Island Coast 24, Fort Myers 21 (OT)

Island Coast 24, Fort Myers 21 (OT)

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Island Coast 24, Fort Myers 21 (OT)

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Island Coast High School football coach Joe Bowen could not bring himself to watch his team’s final play.
After blowing a 14-point, fourth quarter lead and after watching Fort Myers High kicker Steven Brosy miss a 37-yard field goal attempt, Bowen said he turned his back to the field when his own kicker, senior Kevin Vigne, attempted the decisive, 31-yard game-winning field goal in overtime.
“I was too nervous to look,” Bowen said.
Bowen should have watched.
The kick sailed through the uprights as the Gators held on for a 24-21 victory against the Green Wave at Sam Sirianni Field at Edison Stadium. The matchup held major implications in the District 6A-11 playoff race. Island Coast improved to 5-1 overall but more importantly 3-0 in the district.
The game began more than two hours late because of a lightning delay. It did not end until just before midnight.
“This game was huge,” Bowen said. “With us and South Fort Myers without a loss, that puts us in a pretty good spot right now.”
The Green Wave aren’t in such a good spot. After falling to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in District 6A-11 play, the Green Wave hit the road this week to undefeated district rival South Fort Myers, where a loss would in all likelihood knock the defending district champions out of postseason play.
“This game was right there for us,” Fort Myers coach Sam Sirianni Jr. said. “I give my kids credit for fighting back.”
Island Coast senior quarterback Kurt Benkert completed 15-of-24 passes for 168 yards. He also rushed for a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He guided two touchdown drives in the second quarter that were capped by a pair of touchdowns by senior running back Devon Calhoun.
Island Coast led Fort Myers 21-7 entering the fourth quarter. A pivotal play happened at the end of the third, when Island Coast failed to convert a fourth down with just inches to go, after which Fort Myers began to rally.
The rally began with a 9-play, 46-yard touchdown drive capped by a 2-yard run by Terrance Moore with 10 minutes and 12 seconds remaining.
Then, with 10:12 remaining, Fort Myers senior defensive end George Paulk, the homecoming king, returned a fumble caused by junior Mackensley Coby 11 yards for a 21-21 tie.
“They had the momentum in the fourth quarter to say the least,” Bowen said. “I thought we were in big trouble.”
Now, it’s the Green Wave’s turn to dig their way out of trouble, starting this week at South Fort Myers.

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Island Coast 24, Fort Myers 21 (OT)
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