CLEWISTON — Two key defensive plays late in the third quarter helped propel Fort Myers to an ugly victory over rival Clewiston on Friday night.
Seniors Widchard Guervil and Eddie Ferguson each recovered a fumble deep in Tigers territory that was immediately followed by a Green Wave rushing touchdown as Fort Myers topped Clewiston 22-7.
The teams combined for 140 penalty yards and six turnovers.
“I played in this game in the 70s and early 80s and it always seemed like the Fort Myers/Clewiston game was always low scoring and defensive,” Green Wave coach Sam Sirianni Jr. said. “All the power to our defense. I loved the way after we blew the lead that the defense decided to take the game over.”
Fort Myers (5-3) opened the game’s scoring with a touchdown on its first play from scrimmage thanks to a Clewiston defensive gaffe. No Tiger lined up to cover Fort Myers senior Dawson DeGroot at wide receiver and senior quarterback Ben Stobugh tossed a quick pass to DeGroot and watched him race 70 yards to the end zone to score.
That score came after the Green Wave stopped Clewiston on 4th down on its opening drive just one play earlier.
“We have a hot read that they can throw if they see that,” Sirianni Jr. said.
Both teams offenses stalled after that touchdown and Fort Myers took a 7-0 lead into the halftime break.
Tiger senior Keshawn Davis’ interception midway through the third quarter finally helped propel the Clewiston offense into the end zone. Davis’ interception put the Tigers on the Green Wave 19-yard line and they tied the game after junior Charles Felton caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Menta Jones.
Clewiston (4-3) had the ball back after a Green Wave 3-and-out before Guervil’s recovery led to a 15-yard touchdown run by freshman Yasias Young with 1:32 left in the third.
The Green Wave defense struck again on the next play from scrimmage when Ferguson recovered a fumble at the Tiger 7-yard line. That set up junior fullback Xavier Perez’s 7-yard touchdown run on the ensuing play that gave Fort Myers a 22-7 lead after scoring 15 points in 55 seconds.
Fort Myers junior Jonathan Cassamajor helped seal the win with a late interception on Clewiston’s final drive.
“I was happy because coming (to Clewiston) and winning is never easy,” Sirianni Jr. said. “Earlier in the year we may have lost this game.”
Perez led Fort Myers with 97 yards rushing while senior Darrian Felix chipped in 59 of his own. Just three of the Green Wave’s 38 plays from scrimmage were pass attempts.
Fort Myers 22, Clewiston 7
F 7 | 0 | 15 | 0 — 22
C 0 | 0 | 7 | 0 — 7
F — Dawson DeGroot 70 pass from Ben Stobugh (Chris Heidt kick), 7:52
C — Charles Felton 13 pass from Menta Jones (Jose Benitez kick), 3:58
F — Yasias Young 15 run (Milan Tucker run), 1:32
F — Xavier Perez 7 run (John Briers kick), 0:37
Rushing — FM: Darrian Felix 15-59, Xavier Perez 13-97, Yasias Young 6-55, Ben Stobugh 1-(minus 3); C: Winston Gilkes 1-(minus 2), Menta Jones 18-12, Markevious Terry 7-28, Trayquan Williams 5-34
Passing — FM: Ben Stobugh 2-2, 81 yards, Darrian Felix 0-1, 0 yards, INT; C: Menta Jones 9-14, 120 yards, 2 INT
Receiving — FM: Dawson DeGroot 2-81; C: Winston Gilkes 1-33, Trayquan Williams 3-21, Charles Felton 1-13, Wellestey Madurie 1-20, Anthony Walker 2-14, Donny Creagh 1-19