The Island Coast offense returned to its roots in Friday’s spring football game, a 20-7 win over visiting Fort Myers.
With former quarterback Kurt Benkert enrolled at East Carolina, Island Cost put its spread offense on the shelf, running the ball on 53 of its 64 offensive plays. The Gators finished with 236 rushing yards, 156 coming in the second half, and scored two of their three touchdowns on the ground.
“Last year, we were ‘Fun and Gun,'” Island Coast coach Joe Bowen said. “Now we’re back to ‘Ground and Pound.'”
Three different backs — rising juniors Theodore Mitchell, Zelan Lambert and Cameron Thompson — all had double-digit carries.
Lambert rushed for a game-high 93 yards and his 3-yard touchdown run put the Gators ahead to stay in the final quarter.
Island Coast had a significant size advantage on both lines with the offensive line trio of Marlon Gonzalez, Everett Wetherell and Mason Boye, all rising juniors, opening up wide running lanes.
“They’re bigger and stronger then us so we thought they’d be a good test in the spring,” Fort Myers coach Sam Sirianni Jr. said. “Their strength is our weakness.
“We’re going to have to have a good summer. We graduated a lot of beef out of our locker room.”
The Green Wave finished the game with 199 total yards of offense but just 61 came on the ground. Rising junior quarterback Dylan DeGroot displayed a strong and accurate arm, but a handful of drops stymied a few offensive drives. He completed 10 of 22 passes for 138 yards and was intercepted once.
Island Coast scored the lone touchdown of the first half when Thompson caught a screen pass from rising junior quarterback Quinn Bourque and bulled his way through the Green Wave secondary for a 21-yard score.
Fort Myers, which had an 81-yard touchdown run by rising senior T.J. Morgan in the second quarter, got on the board in the third. Morgan capped a six-play, 74-yard drive with a 7-yard scoring run. DeGroot passed for 63 yards on the march, including a 34-yard hook up with rising senior Giftson Bornelus, who led all receivers with three catches for 60 yards.
The Gators answered with an eight-play, 70-yard scoring drive, gaining all their yards on the ground. Lambert carried five times for 36 yards on the drive, including a 3-yard touchdown run.
“We’re going to spread it around on offense,” Bowen said. “Zelan had the hot hand a little bit tonight, so we rode him a little more in the second half.”
IC: Cameron Thompson 21 pass from Quinn Bourque (Bourque kick)
FM: T.J. Morgan 7 run (Jack Daugherty kick)
IC: Zelan Lambert 3 run (Bourque kick)
IC: Bourque 1 run (kick failed)