This is a summary of the top three high school football games that took place on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.
Ida Baker 22 in South Fort Myers, 35 at South Fort Myers
With just six minutes left in the first quarter, the visiting Wolfpack made a strong start. They were leading 14-0. The Wolfpack scored 5:25 in the first scoring drive. Jason Landrum made a fumble at the kickoff and the Wolfpack was up 14-0 by the end of the second quarter. Syncere Trice scored 38 yards.
Season leaders so farLeaders in Southwest Florida High School Football Statistics after Week 2
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“I felt like we got up real early and kind of had a letdown,”Willis May, South’s head coach, stated. “We’ve got to learn how to not do that. We’ve got to learn how to not worry about the scoreboard, play for four quarters, but they came back in the second half and we did some good things. We’ll go back, hopefully have a better week of practice, and just improve.
“That’s what we’re trying to do every week – trying to get better.”
South Fort Myers is now 3-0, after a two-year hiatus. They totaled 365 yards offense. Ida Baker tallied 257 yards of offense.
Takeaways in Three South Fort Myers
1. The South receivers were able to exploit one-on-one matchups all around the field. Jerry Cooper led the pack with six receptions and 152 yards, including a touchdown. Mi’kel Hendrix had 67 yards on six receptions, while Syncere Trice had 66 yards on three receptions with a pair of scores. “We’ve got some guys outside, when they get the ball in their hands, they’re dangerous,”May.
2. Aside from Duncan Smith’s 16-of-22 performance for 285 yards through the air, he got it done on the ground for a second straight week, finishing with 67 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. The senior southpaw was responsible for all five touchdowns that night.
3. After Baker tied it at 14 in the third quarter, the Wolfpack responded and put up 21 unanswered goals to give them an advantage in the second. “I was just waiting for it,”May be added. “I know we’ve got a better team than what we played there in the second quarter. We relaxed. Good teams can’t relax. We did what we had to do, and got the job done.”
Learn more:Listen now! The Inside Southwest Florida Football Podcast’s experts breakdown Week 3.
Learn more:High school football: Week three previews and predictions for all 17 Collier and Lee County games
Three Ida Baker takeaways
1. The duo of Jordan Rizzo and Sebastian Grafmyre are electric when they have the ball in their hands. The pair combined for 109 yard on five catches. Most of that yardage was after the catch. Starting quarterback Kaiden Stengel finished 9-of-16 for 161 yards, with about a third of those passing yards coming in the closing minutes with South’s second team defense on the field.
2. With Jayden Danis’s field goals cutting the deficit to eight in the second quarter, it was a strong finish to the quarter. The Zach Malpica rushing touchdown came with 8:39 left in the third quarter. The Bulldogs were that close, but Malpica’s late touchdown cut the deficit to just 13 points.
3. Ida Baker stopped South running back Nathan Castor. He finished with minus-3 yards after seven rushes. That is the lowest rushing total in a game throughout Castor’s high school career.
— Alex Martin
Gateway Charter 14, St. Stephen’s 13, (OT)
BRADENTON — Even before he requested timeout, Gateway Charter coach Benjamin Daley knew what he was going to do.
After the Griffins pulled within a point in overtime against Saint Stephen’s, there was no question in Daley’s mind he was going for the 2-point conversion and the win.
Gateway Charter won 14-13 over the Falcons thanks to Christon Requina Jr., the quarterback.
“I didn’t want to put my defense back on the field,”Daley stated. “I knew he was going to get that. It was awesome.”
With the score deadlocked at 6-all after regulation, Saint Stephen’s (1-2) went on offense first and got a 1-yard scoring run from Cole Rogers and a PAT kick from Nolan Winterhalter. The Griffins (2-1) needed three plays to reach the end zone: Requina Jr. and Keodrick Dixon each gained 4 yards before Requina Jr.’s 2-yard scoring run.
Three Gateway Charter takeaways
1. Gateway Charter made back-to-back big plays in the first quarter, despite its slow offense. On a fourth-and-8 from the Saint Stephen’s 36, Requina Jr. rolled around the left side for 20 yards to extend the drive. Dixon ran 16 yards up the middle to score the tie-breaking touchdown on the next play. The Falcons stopped the PAT.
2. The Griffins committed a turnover on the first play of the second half that led to the first Saint Stephen’s field goal. “We’ve got to start cutting that out,”Daley stated. “Last week we had five fumbles and two interceptions. This week we had fumbles and everything like that. We’ve just got to be able to convert in the red zone. We got in the red zone a bunch of times and couldn’t convert.”
3. Daley was also pleased with the effort. “We fought until the very, very end. It’s really good for them. I’m glad we didn’t get this loss to keep these boys up.”
Three St. Stephen’s takeaways
1. A.J. Falcons coach Brown lamented the small things. “Little things. Not moving our feet. Little things got us beat tonight,”Brown said.
Brown also knew the game would be won or lost on the two-point conversion after the Griffins’ touchdown. “I knew they were going to go for two,”Brown stated. “We had to stop them. And we didn’t.”
2. Saint Stephen’s received great individual efforts defensively from sophomore middle linebacker Ivan Tulupov and junior middle linebacker Michael Konkol. “The defensive guys played hard,”Brown stated. “We missed a couple of plays on defense, too. Again the little things. And we’ve got to finish. I’m proud of how we fought, and we fought. I’ll give them that. We fought.”
3. Before overtime, the Falcons were able to score only two field goals by Winterhalter (28 and 32 yards) in the third quarter. This was after a scoreless half. “We had a couple of chances to score earlier in the game and we missed them,”Brown said. “It was a false start or penalty that pushed us out of that red zone.”
Canterbury 34, Oasis 0,
The COVID-delayed Cougars season opened with a close defensive match that turned into a rout with 27 point in the fourth quarter. Due to coronavirus protocol, Canterbury’s first two games had to be canceled.
The first half was scoreless. The second quarter was over 33 seconds. Canterbury’s quarterback JT Huether found AZ Levatte along the right sideline and made a catch-and run touchdown. Chase Alley’s kick made the score 7-0
Leroy Roker kicked off the fourth quarter with a reception at the slot. It was 80 yards. Hunter Thomas scored by grabbing a fumble at the end zone on the Oasis’ next drive. Thomas took a turn as fullback and ran 35 yards on a dive play for a touchdown. Ryan Dunavant added a 19-yard run to complete the 34-0.
Learn more:FINAL: Scores and updates from the 3 Southwest Florida football games on Thursday nights
Learn more:Leaders in Southwest Florida High School Football Statistics after Week 2
Three Canterbury takeaways
1. Thomas was both a danger on the defensive line as well as a threat with his ball skills. Thomas played an important role in the game, assisting with tackles for loss and sacks to keep the Sharks at bay. He was rewarded with a fourth-quarter touchdown on fumble recovery.
Thomas was unflinching when given the chance to carry the ball at fullback. Thomas took advantage a large gap in the line, shrugged a safety and ran to the goal zone.
Stacy Sizemore, Canterbury coach, stated that “one thing about him is that he goes full-speed.” He is never at a loss for speed. He gives you all he has, full speed, open and wide open.
2. The COVID delays did not dampen Canterbury’s enthusiasm. However, the rust showed in second half when many players had cramps and walked out of the game. The win was an emotional lift for the program, after a period filled with adversity.
Sizemore stated, “It’s enormous for our programme and what we’re trying build here.” “We want the opportunity to build upon everything that was already there before I got here. This is a major win for us.
3. Sizemore’s return to coaching was a great success. He was an inspiration to a young team when he last coached them in 2015. After stints on the east and Mississippi coasts, he is back to coach the Cougars.
Takeaways from Three Oasis
1. The Sharks were unable to get into the end zone due to penalties. Oasis made it as far as Canterbury on a second-quarter drive. After that, Oasis was hit with a holding penalty and an ineligible men downfield penalty. This negated a touchdown play. The drive ended in a fumble on fourth down.
Oasis was also in line for a field goal in the fourth. Although it was still 7-0, the Sharks were unable to score due to a false start.
2. Mason Ricker, the kicker, was unfortunate to be called upon to do a lot of punting. His kicks were too high for Cougars to return, so they couldn’t. For most of the game, Canterbury was kept at bay by his contribution to field position.
3. Jason Grain, coach, accepted responsibility for the defeat. Grain explained that “I didn’t have a good plan” and that they had. “And we weren’t able catching up.”
— Dave Montrose
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