Trailing 3-0 entering the fourth quarter, Southwest Florida Christian seniors informed coach Mark Ackerman they were staying in to finish the job. The Knights continued to play solid defense and rising junior Terrance De Avila scored from two yards out early in the fourth to secure a 7-3 victory over Gateway Charter in the spring football game at Bishop Verot on Friday.
SFCA allowed 188 total yards of offense in three quarters of varsity play. The Knights gave up four plays of 30 yards or more but the only points they allowed were a 24-yard Matthew Ponto field goal with 6:48 left in the third quarter.
“The defense was really solid, the guys got physical,” Ackerman said. “The last couple of years we’ve given up a pretty good amount of yards and quite a bit of points. They ran it on us some but when we needed to we stiffened up.”
Gateway got into the red zone on two possessions but could only come away with a field goal –a byproduct of three drive-killing fumbles. The Griffins fumbled four times Friday, recovering one.
“I was happy with the effort,” Gateway first-year head coach Johnny Brown said. “We made some mental mistakes, we had a new quarterback so that can happen.”
SFCA also had trouble snapping the ball with new center Tyler Manes. SFCA fumbled the ball five times but managed to recover three.
Gateway rising seniors Ja’Zon Murray and Rondelle Tape are both in contention for the starting quarterback job. Murray was 2-for-4 for 57 yards, Tape, more of a runner, ran for 74 yards on three carries under center. Brown said he was impressed with both and who ever doesn’t get the job will be moved to wideout.