Had someone tried to tell Sam Sirianni Jr. when his head coaching tenure began in 2002 that in his 100th victory, his Fort Myers Green Wave football team would pass for more yards than it rushed, he would have smiled and shook his head no.
But on Friday night, Sirianni was smiling and shaking his head yes.
The Green Wave defeated Cypress Lake 35-0 at the Panthers’ Thomas Broomhead Memorial Stadium, where Sirianni joined his late father, Sam Sirianni Sr. (244 wins), and retired North Fort Myers coach Ron Hoover (117 wins) as the only three football coaches to attain 100 wins in Lee County history.
With four seconds remaining and the victory secure, Fort Myers junior Dawson Degroot dumped a bucket of Gatorade on Sirianni.
“I’m going to smell like a lime now,” said Sirianni, who like his father began with a run-first mentality, deploying his offense in the Wing-T formation. Only in recent seasons did Sirianni incorporate elements of the spread offense that has dominated football on all levels.
Those elements were evident, as Fort Myers senior quarterback Edwitch Merisier completed 12-of-20 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown. The offense combined for 127 rushing yards.
“You have to evolve in this game,” said Sirianni, whose team improved to 2-1 and will play host to South Fort Myers this week. “I still believe you can’t win if you can’t run the football. I just believe there are other ways to win now.”
And run, the Green Wave offense did, too. Senior running back Darrian Felix scored on a 3-yard run, and sophomore running back Xavier Perez scored on runs of 4 and 3 yards. Senior Jacquez Banks scored on an 8-yard run.
Fort Myers junior Bensley Bornelus caught five passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.
“Sammy’s a great coach,” Bornelus said. “He deserves it. We’re looking to get him more wins.”
Cypress Lake fell to 0-2 and will be at Mariner this week. Coach Xavier McCray said other than his players losing four of six fumbles, they had a stellar effort.
“We played well, but Fort Myers wasn’t going to give us anything,” said McCray, who praised Sirianni for his success and longevity. “He has put in a lot of work and a lot of years. He’s a great guy. I have much respect for him.”
Sirianni appreciated the praise from his peers, his players and others and deflected it toward them.
“It’s flattering,” he said. “It’s humbling. What reflect on are the four principals I’ve had here and a supportive administration. My staff is the reason for this, and ultimately, it’s the players.”
CYPRESS LAKE | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | FINAL 0
FM: Xavier Perez 4 run (run failed)
FM: Darrian Felix 3 run (run failed)
FM: Jacquez Banks 8 run (Jeff St. Louis kick)
FM: Perez 3 run (St. Louis kick)
FM: Bensley Bornelus 13 pass from Edwitch Merisier (St. Louis kick)
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