The seeds of seasons past were in bloom Friday night at Moody Field, for North Fort Myers' spring game, defeating the visiting Lehigh Lightning 31-12.?
The JV squads claimed the first quarter action. The Red Knights hit first, as quarterback Jared Rusnak opted to run on a designed bootleg, taking it 25 yards for the touchdown. The extra point by Max Ferris, despite there being no rush from the defense on extra points, punts and kickoffs, failed.?
On their ensuing drive after North's score, the Lightning threw their first pick of the game on a jump ball pass to wide receiver Josh Norville. Knights safety Chris Zinn intercepted the pass. After Lehigh's defense forced the Knights to punt, the Lightning offense repeated the same mistake. Another jump ball pass intended for wide receiver Josh Norville was intercepted, this time by safety Jamison Jzyk. Both picks were thrown by JV quarterback William Newhouse.?
The scoreboard was cleared as the varsity units took the field in the second quarter, where the Knights continued to dominate.
At the 5:15 mark, Knights quarterback Brandon Maka, found receiver Brian Byrd wide open in the back of the end zone on a play-action pass,for a five-yard score.?
The Lightening varsity responded to North's score with what seemed to be a well oiled offensive unit. However, after some effective play calling, which saw an even split between runs and passes, Lehigh QB Matt Yzaguirre coughed up the ball on an errant pitch meant for runningback Malik Douglas on an option attempt. North recovered and made it count.??
On the Knights' next possession, after two big passes, one to tight end Jorje Perera the other to wide receiver Connor McCarley, fullback Ricky Noel pounded it into the end zone on a one-yard dive. The extra point, by kicker Hank Gentile, was good.??
The 12-minute half time break did little to cool down the red-hot Knights. After a 30-yard bomb from Makar to Byrd, running back David Vogel ran the ball two yards on a dive for the touchdown. The extra point by Connor Black was good.??
Lehigh responded to the Knights' score with a score of their own. Heavily used Lightning tailback Malik Douglas beat North's defense to the sideline, where he bolted 45 yards, untouched for the first Ligtning touchdown of the game. The Lightning went for two, throwing up a fade to wide receiver Andre Thomas-Cobb, which was incomplete, deflected by cornerback, Brian Byrd.??
Lehigh continued its comeback efforts by holding back the Knights' offense on a fourth down conversion attempt. The Lightning followed their defense's stingy fourth down stance with a highlight-reel 60-yard bomb, Yzaguirre to wide receiver Byron Boston. Again, the Lightning attempted the two-point conversion and came up short.??
North started the fourth quarter by refusing to let Lehigh gain too much ground. After a balanced offensive attack from the Knights' offense, Makar threw his second TD of the game, hooking up with tight end, Jorje Perera on a 30-yard pop-pass. The extra point by Connor Black was good.??
The Lightning went to the air as they continued their comeback. Yzaguirre hit multiple targets to bring the Lightning inside the 10-yard line. A botched shovel pass and two straight run attempts, both thwarted premature of the end zone by the Knights defense, led to a turnover on downs, effectively ending all hopes of \ victory.??
To ice the cake, Red Knights kicker Connor Black hit a 47-yard field goal with a minute left.