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Russaw leads Gators' 45-6 romp

October 12, 2013
By LYLE FITZSIMMONS - Special to the Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

If you're looking to get under the skin of Island Coast's Eric Russaw, it's not difficult.

Just walk up alongside him on a football field and say the words "Ida Baker."

"I ain't gonna lie. It hurt me. It hurt us as a team," the junior said with a grimace, referring to the Gators' lone loss of the season in a nondistrict game on Aug. 30. "We had a big game against Baker that we could've won, we laid down, and since then we've just been playing the rest and doing our job. This is where it's gotten us."

Russaw completed the latest stage of the 12-step recovery Friday night at North Fort Myers, scoring three touchdowns on five first-half touches in the Gators' 45-6 romp in a key District 5A-14 matchup at Moody Field.

The win is the Gators' fifth in six games and fourth in four district outings, which keeps them in charge of their own fate as it relates to the postseason. A home defeat of Cypress Lake next Friday clinches at least a tie for the 5A-14 crown heading into a showdown with Dunbar, also at home on Oct. 25.

"We don't have to say too much about (Baker) because the kids know what happened and they remember it and they're not happy about it," Gators coach Joe Bowen said. "Hopefully, that'll keep providing the drive to keep us going, and hopefully we won't fall into that trap again."

If he keeps calling plays for his 5-foot-8, 175-pound speedster, it won't be an issue.

Russaw swept in from three yards to give the Gators their initial TD, and a 10-0 lead, at 6:36 of the opening quarter. He took an option toss from quarterback Quinn Bourque 65 yards to make it 24-0 at 4:33 of the second and darted 40 yards with a quick right-side pass for a 31-0 edge just 76 seconds later.

"To us Gators, we've got to be on it 24/7. No laying down, even if there's a thousand up on the board," Russaw said. "We're a good team. We practice sloppy sometimes, but we come together as a family. We just need to play like we were playing Dunbar in every game."

He had two runs for 68 yards and three catches for 49 more in the opening half, which saw the Gators outgain their hosts 260-72, while running 14 fewer plays from scrimmage (35 to 21).

"(Russaw is) one of these kinds of kids, we know he can catch the ball. So what we're going to try and do is put him in space and make someone account for him," Bowen said. "You put the ball in his hands and he makes the coaches look good."

Aside from Russaw's explosions in the opening 24 minutes, the visitors got a 26-yard field goal from Bourque and a 52-yard connection from Bourque to Theodore Mitchell. After the intermission, Elijah-Trey Boyd galloped 60 yards for a score in the third quarter and linebacker Zelan Lambert picked off Brandon Makar's pass and returned it 30 yards to the end zone in the fourth.

Boyd finished with 101 yards on seven carries, and Bourque completed 10 of 14 passes for 218 yards.

North Fort Myers got on the board on its second-to-last possession of the game, when Makar hit Brian Byrd with a 25-yarder with 7:35 to play. The Red Knights (2-5, 2-2) are off next weekend before visiting Lemon Bay on Oct. 25.

Island Coast17 14 7 7 - 45

North FM 0 0 0 6 - 6

Scoring Summary

IC - FG, Bourque 26

IC - Russaw 3 run (Bourque kick)

IC - Mitchell 52 pass from Bourque (Bourque kick)

IC - Russaw 65 run (Bourque kick)

IC - Russaw 40 pass from Bourque (Bourque kick)

IC - Boyd 60 run (Bourque kick)

IC - Lambert 30 interception return (Bourque kick)

NFM - Byrd 25 pass from Makar (kick failed)



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