The Black & Blue Bowl was a lot more blue than black.
Cape Coral rolled to a 49-6 victory at Mariner Friday night in the 27th annual crosstown rivalry. The Seahawks finished the season 7-3, while the Tritons were 1-9. The Seahawks also take a 14-13 lead in the series overall.
The Seahawks' ninth consecutive win in the series was never in doubt. They scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions and were in scoring position on the eighth when the clock reached 0:00.
Mariner senior Malcolm Ferdinand (10) turns upfield after catching a pass in the fourth quarter. The long play set up the Tritons for their lone touchdown in their loss to Cape Coral Friday night. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
"We ended up like we wanted to," Seahawks coach Larry Gary said. "I'm glad we were able to finish like this. We had a real presentable season 7-3."
"We knew we were going to play a team that outmatched us in team speed," Mariner coach James Hale said.
Senior Eamon Smart ran for 191 yards and four touchdowns in his final game in a Seahawks uniform.
"All of us on the team wanted to go out strong," Smart said. "We didn't get in the playoffs, which is what we really wanted, but a seven-win season isn't bad at all, particularly after last year when we went 4-6."
Smart was happy to see his teammates raise the Black & Blue Bowl trophy on the field after the game.
"Even when they're not having a great season we want that trophy. We want to keep that at our school. It doesn't matter who we play. We want to come out and dominate."
Smart scored on runs of 7, 7, 25 and 4 yards. He had 101 yards and three touchdowns by halftime.
Junior quarterback Dylan Bontrager had touchdown passes of 4 yards to Rasheen Bailey and 9 yards to Miguel Repress.?Eliot Pierce connected with Colin Loethen on a trick play for a two-point conversion after Smart's first score. One of six Mateo Perez extra-point attempts was blocked.
On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks held Mariner to 174 yards of offense and seven first downs.
The Seahawks defense had three takeaways, including Cody Jenkins' 50-yard interception return to the Mariner 25 to set up Bailey's first-quarter touchdown catch. Justin Parmeley ran a pickoff back 55 yards late in the game before the Seahawks ran out the clock.
The Tritons got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter on Jonah Markovits' 18-yard pass to Anthony Chambers. Hale, who has been on the sidelines for both sides of this rivalry, paid tribute to the Mariner seniors who stuck with the team through a rebuilding season.
"They showed up every week," Hale said. "They worked hard. They kept a good attitude. "They lost a coach (after last season). I guess a lot of guys left, 10 to 15 people left. They chose to stay. Give them a lot of credit for that.
"In a lot of places you have a season like this you have players quit on you and stuff like that. They didn't do that. They came and worked hard. We had a good week of practice this week," Hale added
He got a look at the future, too, playing freshmen Friday night who could be a big part of the Tritons down the road.
"We started four ninth graders, 14-year old kids. On the defense we had three kids who are 15 years old," said Hale. "The two defensive tackles are 14. They're out there against kids who are 18, 19 years old. In two years these guys are going to be the big studs."
Gary also had some youngsters on the field. Freshman Issac Washington scored Cape's final touchdown on a 15-yard run that started a running clock late in the third quarter.
For Gary, Smart was just one of a number of seniors whose Seahawks career came to an end Friday.
"It's always that way," Gary said. "You hate to let them go, but you've got to let them go."
Cape Coral 15 21 13 0 - 49?
Mariner 0 0 0 6 - 6
CC - Smart 7 run (Loethen pass from Pierce)?
CC - Bailey 4 pass from Bontrager (Perez kick)
CC - Repress 9 pass from Bontrager (Perez kick)?
CC - Smart 25 run (Perez kick)
CC - Washington 15 run (Perez kick)