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Cape teams begin big week

November 2, 2009

As the Cape High football team gathered in the end zone at the conclusion of Friday's 34-14 win over Stuart South Fork, Seahawks coach Mike Goebbel stressed to his players the importance of their next game.

After reminding his players to be responsible, as he does at the end of every game, Goebbel added, "For some of you, you may only get this opportunity one time. This is a one time situation."

The Seahawks (8-0) host the Ida Baker Bulldogs (7-1) at Dave Warkentin Stadium Friday for the District 4A-12 championship. Both teams enter with 2-0 records in district play.

Cape defeated Gulf Coast 54-21 Oct. 23 to clinch its third consecutive playoff berth, but the Seahawks haven't won a district title since 1993.

The Bulldogs are out to make some more history for the fifth-year program.

They raced out to a 6-0 record this season and claimed their first ever playoff berth with a 28-7 victory over Palmetto Ridge Oct. 23.

A district title and the reward of a home playoff game would be firsts for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs also seek their first win in the series against the Seahawks. The Seahawks are 4-0 with the closest margin being 26-7 last year.

"Our main goal was to be district champs and that means we have to go through Cape," Baker coach Brian Conn said. "We knew that at the beginning of the year. We've never beaten Cape so it's a big hurdle for us."

With Cape and Baker set to clash, it's certain at least one district title will be captured Friday, but there is the possibility of another with the Island Coast Gators locked in a tight 2B-6 race.

The Gators (5-4, 3-1) host LaBelle (1-7, 1-3) in the regular-season finale. If the Gators win and get help from a Dunbar win over Clewiston, the Gators win the district title. They'll secure at least the runner-up berth with a win over LaBelle.

This is the first 10-game varsity season for the Gators, and their first competing in a district.

They opened the season with a 45-27 loss at North Fort Myers and fell to 1-3 after four games. The setbacks included a 20-3 loss in a physical game against Ida Baker and a 32-28 loss against Clewiston.

The Gators led most of that game, including 28-19 midway through the fourth, before Clewiston rallied for the win.

Since then the Gators have won four of their last five, picking up district wins over Lake Placid 23-8, Dunbar 6-2 and Gateway Charter 66-6.



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