Ida Baker did everything it could to extend drives and keep Port Charlotte’s explosive ground attack off the field, but there was no answer when it couldn’t.
After the host Bulldogs (2-6, 0-3 in District 6A-10) fought to a 14-all tie at halftime, the Pirates (6-0, 3-0) ripped off 399 yards on just 16 runs in the second half to pull away to a 57-21 win and stay unbeaten.
Port Charlotte sophomore tailback Marc Jean-Louis scored after halftime on runs of 57, 85, 84 and 12 yards and finished with 285 yards on only nine carries – seven for 278 yards in the second half.
Baker senior receiver Luke Endsley caught 14 passes for 143 yards, and Baker junior quarterback Toby Noland (21-of-32 passing, 239 yards, one touchdown) was sharp until getting picked off twice with the game decided late in the fourth quarter.
Port Charlotte, which completed one of only three passes for minus-6 yards, finished with 588 yards on 33 rushes. Baker, playing with only 28 players because of injuries, finished with 351 total yards.
“We dressed 28 guys tonight and had a couple go down during the game. We definitely wore down,” said Baker coach Brian Conn. “I’m proud of the guys that dressed out. The 28 guys that have fought threw some nicks and bruises through some tough games and had the gall to come out tonight against a good team and give them a great effort in the first half.”
After an exchange of punts opening the game, junior Tyreece Luther got the Pirates on the board with a 90-yard run.
Endsley’s spinning, weaving, 50-yard kickoff return helped Baker answer on the next drive, which ended with Noland finding senior tight end Robert Cobb wide open on 4th-and-3 from the 7.
The Pirates tore through the Bulldogs without facing a third down on the next drive, going 70 yards in eight plays to go ahead on Ernest Harvey’s 3-yard run.
Baker answered again on the next drive, using an array of play action and misdirection to go 74 yards on 16 plays and finally scoring on sophomore Shomari Mason’s 1-yard run just before halftime.
But Jean-Louis exploded down the sideline on a pair of option pitches to the right side for a 28-14 lead. Both scores came on the first play after Baker punts.
James Stewart’s 12-yard run on 3rd-and-1 cut the deficit to 28-21 near the end of the third quarter.
But Harvey broke free for a 60-yard score for a 35-21 lead before Jean-Louis scored twice more.
“Even on times we didn’t score I thought we did a good job (keeping the ball),” Conn said. “Second half not so much. Guys wore down.”
PORT CHARLOTTE 57, IDA BAKER 21
PC 7 | 7 | 14 | 29 — 57
B 0 | 14 | 7 | 0 — 21
PC – Tyreece Luther 90 run (Devyn McCormick kick), 3:53
B – Robert Cobb 7 pass from Toby Noland (Julio Amaral kick), 11:06
PC – Ernest Harvey 3 run (McCormick kick), 7:58
B – Shomari Mason 1 run (Amaral kick), 0:50
PC – Marc Jean-Louis 57 run (McCormick kick), 8:13
PC – Jean-Louis 85 run (McCormick kick), 5:43
B – James Stewart 12 run (Amaral kick), 1:33
PC – Harvey 60 run (McCormick kick), 11:40
PC – Jean-Louis 84 run (McCormick kick), 9:15
PC – Jean-Louis 12 run (Spencer Burkhart pass from Paul Barnes), 4:53
PC – William Furlow 42 INT return (McCormick kick), 4:10
Rushing — PC, Shawn Campbell 5-32, Ernest Harvey 12-152, Paul Barnes 5-0, Tyreece Luther 2-99, Marc Jean-louis 9-285; B, Shomari Mason 23-50, Toby Noland 5-5, Luke Endsley 5-7, James Stewart 8-50
Passing — PC, Barnes 1-3-0, -6; B, Toby Noland 21-32-2, 239
Receiving — PC, Harvey 1-(-6); B, Endsley 14-143, James Cuttino 3-27, David Drennan 2-40, Robert Cobb 2-29