Senior Brennan Norus rushed for 109 yards and three touchdowns in the first half in leading Port Charlotte to a convincing 48-6 win over District 6A-10 rival Island Coast.
The victory clinched a berth in the Class 6A state playoffs for the Pirates. It will be Port Charlotte’s second state playoff appearance in head coach Jordan Ingman’s four years.
More importantly, the win sets up a district championship showdown with the Charlotte Tarpons Friday night in Punta Gorda. The winner of that county rivalry will be home for the region quarterfinals while the loser will be on the road.
“It was nice to get off to a great start tonight,” Ingman said. We’ve got some guys banged up and we were able to rest them in the second half. I’m just happy for the kids.”
The Pirates, now 5-3 overall and 4-0 in the district, scored on four of their first six possessions in the first half. Norus didn’t touch the field in the second half.
Norus’ 4-yard run capped a four-play, 49-yard scoring drive and gave the Pirates a 7-0 lead they would never lose on this night.
Port Charlotte put the game out of reach with a 27-point scoring spree in the second quarter. Norus scored on a 2-yard run and a 35-yard run. Junior Madison Eckhoff also scored on an 8-yard run in the second quarter.
The Gators, 2-7 overall and 1-3 in the district, scored their only points of the game late in the first half. Junior quarterback Kory Curtis hooked up with junior Marlon Gaymon on an 85-yard scoring strike.
T.J. Luther’s 6-yard run and Marquell Platt’s 22-yard run gave the Pirates a 34-6 lead and the “running clock” rule came into effect with 6:33 remaining in the third quarter.
Platt closed out the scoring with a 2-yard run giving the Pirates their 48-6 winning margin.
Norus was the game’s leading rusher with 109 yards on 14 carries. Platt finished close behind with 98 yards on 17 carries. Harvey carried the football six times for 77 yards.
Sophomore Paul Barnes completed four-of-eight passes for 52 yards. Harvey was the leading receiver with two catches for 28 yards.
Curtis completed 13-of-27 passes for 225 yards and one interception. Gaymon had 10 catches for 191 yards.
“It’s another great Charlotte vs Port Charlotte game,” Ingman said. “I’m sure they will be ready for us and we will be ready for them. It’s great for the county.”
Port Charlotte 7 | 27 | 14 | 0 | FINAL 48
Island Coast 0 | 6 | 0 | 0 | FINAL 6
PC: Norus 4 run (McCormick kick)
PC: Eckhoff 8 run (Hernandez kick)
PC: Norus 35 run (McCormick kick)
PC: Norus 2 run (kick failed)
IC: Gaymon 85 pass from Curtis (pass failed)
PC: Luther 6 run (Hernandez kick)
PC: Platt 22 run (McCormick kick)
PC: Platt 2 run (McCormick kick)