Jeshuan Jones gave South Fort Myers High the spark it needed in an 18-6 victory at Cape Coral on Friday night.
Jones broke a 6-6 tie with a 57-yard punt return late in the third quarter and the Wolfpack (2-0) tacked on an insurance touchdown early in the fourth on a 12-yard pass from Maurice Flournoy to Brandon Lewis.
“It was a big momentum changer,” said Jones, a junior. “We came out dead. We were dead in the first half. That gave us a little boost.”
Jones took a couple of steps back, which let him survey the field better and bounce to the outside.
“We funneled it inside and he went outside,” Cape Coral coach Larry Gary said. “We talked about dominating special teams and not taking it easy. We had the guy, we just had to make the tackle.”
South Fort Myers coach Matthew Holderfield also said the punt return gave his team a jolt.
“It’s early in the season and we’re making mental mistakes,” Holderfield said. “But we keep getting better. I think this season, it’s about survival for us.”
The Seahawks (0-2) got the jump on South Fort Myers when quarterback Chase Sealander hit Ethan Fruitt in stride on a 43-yard scoring play.
Then the Wolfpack D got a lot stingier. It didn’t allow a first down in the third quarter. In the meantime, it tied the game on 1-yard TD run by Riley Ware.
“Early on, we had a little too much emotion,” Holderfield said. “We have a couple of kids from Cape and they got emotional. They let it get into their minds and didn’t do their assignments. But they corrected it.”
The Seahawks matched South defensively for three quarters. On numerous times they tackled Wolfpack runners for losses in the backfield.
“Our defense is learning how to play,” Gary said. “We kind of tweaked it from last year. We’re a penetrating defense that forces the back to go east and west. We get after our people. Our kids want to beat each other to the mall. It’s share and meet.”
SFM 6 | 0 | 6 | 6 — 18
CC 6 | 0 | 0 | 0 — 6
CC: Ethan Fruitt 43 pass from Chase Sealander (kick failed)
SFM: Riley Ware 1 run (run failed)
SFM: Jeshuan Jones 57 return (kick failed)
SFM: Brandon Lewis 12 pass from Maurice Flournoy (run failed)
Rushing – SFM: E’Quan Dorris 18-62, Riley Ware 6-57, Flournoy 3-12, Eddie Teague 2-3, Ladarius Boston 1-minus 2, Jeshuan Jones 2-minus 9 CC: Isaac Washington 11-37, Camron Blissett 4-32, Chase Sealander 4-10, Chris Kovacs 1-minus 7, Trent Rogers 1-minus 9.
Passing – SFM: Flournoy 4-9-1-51, Will Morris 5-9-0-62. CC: Sealander 11-14-1-133, Kovacs 1-1-0-2.
Receiving – SFM: Jones 6-86, Brandon Lewis 3-27. CC:Dwayne Emilus 7-37, Washington 3-47, Fruitt 1-43, Kris Reaves 1-8.