Ida Baker High took advantage of Island Coast High’s generosity and earned a breakthrough win Friday night.
In the regular-season opener for both teams, the Bulldogs topped the host Gators 32-14 by rallying from a two-touchdown, first-quarter deficit. Ida Baker tailback Alex Febles ran for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion while quarterback Sage Attwood threw for 180 yards and two more TDs.
“We talked about trying to be the best in the west,” Ida Baker coach Brian Conn said. “Island Coast has been a very good team and is a good team. They got the jump on us, we had some early nerves, but we made some great adjustments.”
Island Coast had beaten Ida Baker three straight times. Last season, the Gators took advantage of turnovers to win.
This season, the roles reversed. Island Coast had six turnovers, including five lost fumbles. Things started to unravel in the final seconds of the first half. With the ball at the Ida Baker 4, Island Coast quarterback Quinn Bourque saw a snap go over his head and the clock run out.
“The wheels fell off,” Island Coast coach Joe Bowen said. “Today, it all caught up in one day. A lot of turnovers. It killed us at the end.”
Trailing 14-3, the Bulldogs took the opening kickoff 60 yards. A perfectly placed 39-yard pass from Attwood to Roy Denson put the ball at the two and Febles took the ball in from there.
“He’s one of my key receivers,” Attwood said. “Everyone is a good receiver. They all get open for me. It’s awesome.”
The first of two Island Coast muffed punts gave Baker the ball on the Gators’ 20. On the next play, Febles burst up the middle for the TD.
“It was very crazy,” Febles said. “Thanks to the offensive line.”
After Island Coast’s third fumble of the game, Geordan Hoagland made a great double move and was wide open where Attwood hit him in stride.
“We weren’t very consistent with the passing game but we got some big-play guys and they make plays when it’s there,” Conn said. “We’ve got good talent, they just to have to rise up.”
On fourth down, Attwood delivered the dagger with 9:34 left when he connected with Johnny Garrow on an 11-yard scoring play.
“Ever since I came here, we’ve been a second-half team,” Attwood said.
Meanwhile, Bowen will try to figure out why a problem he didn’t see in practice – fumbling – happened so much in a game.
“The coaches will regroup and hopefully, we’ll learn from this,” he said.
IC: Quinn Borque 12 run (Bourque kick)
IC: Eric Russaw 31 run (Bourque kick)
IB: FG Filander Barahona 29
IB: Alex Febles 2 run (Barahona kick)
IB: Febles 20 run (Barahona kick)
IB: Geordan Hoagland 26 pass from Sage Attwood (Febles run)
IB: Johnny Garrow 11 pass from Attwood (Barahona kick)