By Roger LaLonde
Marco Island Academy (MIA) and Lely football fortunes differed on Friday, October 23.
The Rays got themselves back into the game before a fourth-quarter barrage of points saw Community School of Naples win 69-37.
Lely used a passing and running game to take an early 20-0 lead in its 27-8 victory over Cypress Lake.
The area’s top passing quarterback, Andrew Fowler, threw for 354 yards and four touchdown passes. Austin Gross stepped up, as MIA’s running game was lacking two of its best runners. Gross ran for 116 yards, including a touchdown and caught six passes for another 58 yards.
The game looked like a runaway early, as Community School used just six plays to score three touchdowns in the first quarter. The Seahawks scored three more times in the second quarter to take a 41-13 lead at halftime.
The Rays scored the first two touchdowns in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 41-27, with a chance to get the lead to seven points. But penalties stalled the drive, and Community School laid claim to the win.
Tyler Wallace ignited the Rays offense with three touchdown catches of 11, 43 and 34 yards, as he totaled 150 yards on seven caught balls. Brian Flynn added a touchdown catch. Vinnie Moeller caught eight passes for 71 yards.
“Austin (Gross) played awesome football,” said Rays coach Greg Fowler. Patrick Michel, the team’s top rusher, tried to go, but couldn’t due to an ankle injury.
Tyler Gresham was sitting out a one-game penalty for leaving the bench when a fight broke out in the team’s last game against Southwest Florida Christian. Gresham was trying to get Rays players off the field, not participating in the fight. However, it is a FHSAA rule that if a player leaves the bench to come onto the field it is an automatic one-game suspension.
The Rays host Evangelical Christian at 7 PM on Friday, October 30. It will be “Senior Night” for the players and cheerleaders. It is a 2A-7 matchup with both teams at 1-4 and 2-6 overall.
Lely makes passing game count in win
In a rare show of passing, Lely quarterback Jacquez Carter completed 4 of 5 passes, good for two touchdowns and 78 yards. He also led the team in rushing with 99 yards.
Cypress Lake scored in the fourth quarter, but by then Lely held a 27-0 lead.
Lely travels to Immokalee for an important Class 5A-District game at 7 PM Friday, October 30. Both are 2-1 in district games. A win can seal a playoff birth. Dunbar, 3-0, hosts Mariner, 0-3.
Rays, Trojans recognized by FACA
Members of Marco Island and Lely teams have been recognized by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association District 18 in its selection of the top players in the area.
In Class 5A, Lely tackle Raymond St. Jour made the first team on offense. Honorable mentions included Lik Estillien, quarterback, tight end, Jacquez Carter, quarterback, Caleb D’Haiti, running back, Junior Siffort, defensive tackle, Hakeem Durity, safety, Blazidy Deeprat, safety, Daniel Obidiegwu, tight end and Cedrick Dervil, offensive lineman.
In Class 2A, honorable mentions included MIA’s Andrew Fowler, quarterback, Tyler Gresham, running back and Patrick Michel, running back.
Overall Player of the Year was Carlin Fils-Aime of Naples.
The 2A Coach of the Year was Billy Sporacio of First Baptist Academy.