Ida Baker Bulldogs coach Brian Conn had to be happy with the play of his special teams, his defense and the senior leadership in Friday's30-20 victory over the Cape Coral Seahawks.
It's the first regular-season win over their city rivals.
Baker opened the scoring with senior Trayvon Clarke blocking a Cape punt and seeing T.J. Holliman return it 18 yards for a touchdown.
Ida Baker coach Brian Conn instructs Bryan Tirado during a break in the action Friday night. The Bulldogs defeated Cape Coral 30-20.
The Seahawks answered. After two short-yardage plays, senior quarterback Trey Daniels hit wide receiver Rasheen Bailey down the right sideline for a 75-yard TD. The extra point failed and Baker held a 7-6 lead.
Baker then put together their best offensive drive of the game, sophomore quarterback Sage Atwood showed poise in his passing and confidence in the running game. The big play came on third down at the 7-yard line when Atwood rolled to his left and threaded a ball into double coverage for senior Gabe Hollow in the end zone. Clarke added the extra point and Baker led 14-6.
Trouble struck the Seahawks as they lost Daniels to a nagging ankle injury. The job fell to sophomore Dylan Bontrager and Cape seemed to find some rhythm. Using his arm and his legs, Bontrager marched the Seahawks down the field and senior tailback Richard Dobson punched it in from two yards out.
Bontrager then laid a perfect ball to the corner of the end zone for sophomore Jordan Eason for a two-point conversion to tie it at 14-14.
Cape then went in to a period of self destruction, first losing Bailey to an ejection for unsportsmanlike conduct, then turning the ball over on a fumble late in the second quarter. Cape's defense then stiffened, forcing a punt.
Rashaan Gaymon fielded the ball at the 18-yard line, reversed his field and cut to the middle leaving everyone in his wake for an 82-yard TD gallop as the first half expired. Cape Coral led 20-14 at the half.
After Cape punted in the third quarter, Baker took the ball on their own 47. Senior tailback Jeremy Betts then put the team on his back and with his third straight carry rumbled 42 yards to give Baker a 21-20 lead they would not relinquish.
To open the fourth quarter, Baker got to the Cape 6-yard line, but again the Seahawks forced a 23-yard field goal by Clarke.
With time running out for Seahawks, on a third-and-7 at their own 24, Bontrager released a ball just as he was leveled. Holliman returned the interception 48 yards for the final clinching score.
"It's nice when the defense and special teams put points on the board," said Conn. "It really takes the pressure off the offense."
Baker (2-0) travels to Port Charlotte next Friday while Cape Coral (1-1) tries to regroup at home against Lely.
Cape Coral 6 14 0 0 - 20
Ida Baker14 0 7 9 - 30
IB - Holliman 18 blocked punt return (Clarke kick)
CC - Daniels 75 pass to Bailey (kick failed)
IB - Hollow 7 pass from Atwood (Clark kick)
CC - Dobson 2 run (Eason pass from Bontrager)
CC - Gaymon 82 punt return (kick failed)
IB - Betts 42 run (Clarke kick)
IB - FG, Clarke 23
IB - Holliman 48 interception return (kick failed)