Palmetto Ridge coach Chris Toukonen saw plenty of room for improvement from the Bears’ offense, defense and special teams Friday.
But Toukonen was nonetheless still a little happy after Palmetto Ridge remained undefeated on the season Friday with a 22-8 victory over Estero at Palmetto Ridge High.
The Bears won mostly with a defense that limited the Wildcats to only 147 yards of offense.
“We’ve got get a little better, but a win is a win, and we’re happy to be 3-0,” Toukonen said. “We’re going to take our bye week next week and turn it into a work week and get better.”
Christian Torres led the Bears with 121 yards rushing.
The Palmetto Ridge defense didn’t allow an Estero touchdown until late in the game.
The Wildcats actually allowed no offensive touchdowns from the Bears, who got into the end zone only on an interception return and a kickoff return to start the third quarter.
“We’ve got to play well on offense, defense and special teams. When you do only one of those well, you’re not going to win,” said Estero coach Jeff Hanlon. “Our offense kept shooting itself in the foot. The defense has to work on giving up less first downs and less yards. The special teams did OK, except for one breakdown.”
Palmetto Ridge forced a fumble from the Wildcats early in the game, and Nathaniel Perez returned it to the Estero 3-yard line.
Three plays later, Esequiel Moya kick a 25-yard field goal.
Six minutes later, the Bears scored a field goal again, again from 25 yards from Moya. It was set up by a 43-yard pass from Kenneth Geiger to Torres. With 3:00 left in the first, Palmetto Ridge led 6-0.
Late in the first, Garlens Roger returned an interception 65 yards for the Bears’ first touchdown to give Palmetto Ridge a 13-0 lead.
The Wildcats finally got on the scoreboard late in the second period when a lineman tackled Bailey Anderson in the end zone for a safety.
The Bears added to their lead at the start of the second half when Widly Francois returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a score.
The Wildcats did not score a touchdown until Max Bossi’s 2-yard scamper with 4:14 left in the fourth.
“Our defense is really carrying us right now,” Toukonen said. “We’ve got plenty of experience, and that’s what we’re hanging our hat on until the offense catches up. We’ll obviously take this win.”
EST 0 | 2 | 0 | 6 — 8
PR 13 | 0 | 9 | 0 — 22
PR – FG Esequiel Moya 25, 9:15
PR – FG Moya 25, 3:00
PR – Garlens Roger 65 interception return (Moya kick) 1:16
EST – Safety, Bailey Anderson tackled in end zone
PR – Widly Francois 85 kickoff return (Moya kick), 11:45
PR – Safety, Palmetto Ridge player tackled Kyle Flynn in end zone, 6:32
EST – Max Bossi 2 run (pass failed), 4:14
Rushing — EST: Victor Shelly 3-48, Max Bossi 8-28, Kyle Flynn 4-30. PR: Christian Torres 12-121, Kenneth Geiger 2-8, Jacob Curry 5-29, Widly Francois 5-44.
Passing — EST: Phil Setterquist 2-7, 11. PR: Kenneth Geiger 2-2, 77, Jacob Curry 2-5 26.
Receiving — EST: Kyle Flynn 1-6, Frankie DeJesus 1-5. PR: Dominique Linton 1-34, Christian Torres 1-43, Bailey Anderson 2-26.