Cape Coral extended its string of wins over city rival Mariner to nine in a row last Friday night while Ida Baker and Bishop Verot locked up playoff berths in district showdowns to join Island Coast in making the postseason.
While the Seahawks were pummeling the Tritons 49-6 at Tony McKenna Field, the Bulldogs were pummeling East Lee County 53-7 and Sarasota Cardinal Mooney snatched the district title away from the Vikings 35-10. With no district or playoff implications at stake, the Gators dropped a 49-7 decision at University School.
Bishop Verot (5-3) is one of a handful of teams in action this Friday night when they visit North Fort Myers (3-6) in the regular season finale.
Ida Baker 53, East Lee County 7: Ida Baker senior Alex Febles paced the sidelines following the Bulldogs' triumph looking equal parts sentimental and determined.
The win closed out the Bulldogs' season at 9-1, improved their District 6A-12 record to 2-1 and guaranteed them a spot in the regional playoffs that begin on Nov. 15. It also was the regular-season home career for Febles, who has come a long way since a miserable winless freshman season.
Febles amassed 81 total yards and scored three touchdowns in his Senior Night swan song. As he stood with teammates in their traditional post-game salute to the school's band, the speedy, fresh-faced veteran couldn't
help but reflect on those first few difficult varsity steps.
"The 0-10 season was really bad for us. It felt like it lasted forever," he said. "I kind of saw the potential there, though, and we would tell
ourselves, 'It's OK. It's OK. Just keep it going. Just keep working hard.' We were able to do that, and this is where it got us."
That 2010 team scored just 89 points in 10 losses. The 2013 team, with 22 seniors, many of whom took their freshmen lumps alongside Febles, scored 353 and allowed 160 in its nine wins, which surpasses the school record of eight set in 2009.
The 2009 team played the lone playoff game in school history, losing to Charlotte 27-7.
Coach Brian Conn mentioned the nine-win record in his post-game huddle with the players, blending congratulations on the achievement with a challenge to get more done.
"Now it's time to set new goals," he said. "All the goals that were set the beginning of the year - completion. Now there's a new opportunity. No (football) team from this school has ever won 10 games. No team from this school has ever won a playoff game. Why stop here? Keep this thing going."
The Bulldogs starters scored on each of their eight possessions - seven touchdowns, one field goal - before being pulled for backups midway through the third quarter.
In addition to Febles' TDs on runs of 13, 5 and 2 yards, Baker also got a four-yard scoring run by Johnny Garrow and scoring passes of 5, 49
and 28 yards by quarterback Sage Attwood to receivers Geordan Hoagland, Garrow and Roy Denson, respectively.
E. Lee County 0 7 0 0 - 7
Ida Baker 15 31 7 0 - 53
IB - Febles 13 run (Attwood run)
IB - Febles 5 run (Barahona kick)
IB - FG, Barahona 46
IB - Garrow 4 run (Barahona kick)
IB - Febles 2 run (Barahona kick)
IB - Hoagland 5 pass from Attwood (Barahona kick)
ELC - Ward 3 run (Gooden kick)
IB - Garrow 49 pass from Attwood (Barahona kick)
IB - Denson 28 pass from Attwood (Barahona kick)
Cape Coral 49, Mariner 6: The Black & Blue Bowl was a lot more blue than black as the Seahawks rolled to victory in the 27th annual crosstown rivalry. Their season over, the Seahawks finish 7-3 while the Tritons are 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.
"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.
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 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."
Cape Coral 15 21 13 0 - 49
Mariner 0 0 0 6 - 6
CC - Eamon Smart 7 run (Eliot Pierce conversion pass to Colin Loethen)
CC - Dylan Bontrager 4 pass to Rasheen Bailey (Mateo Perez kick)
CC - Smart 7 run (Perez kick)
CC - Bontrager 9 pass to Miguel Repress (Perez kick)
CC - Smart 25 run (Perez kick)
CC - Smart 4 run (kick blocked)
CC - Issac Washington 15 run (Perez kick)
M - Jonah Markovits 18 pass to Anthony Chambers (kick failed)
Cardinal Mooney 35, Bishop Verot 10: Cardinal Mooney had a game plan so obvious that possibly the parking lot attendants were the only ones to miss it.
Demardre Patterson was going to get the ball - often. In fact, Patterson touched the ball on 72 percent of Mooney's offensive plays, rushing 37 times for 259 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cougars to a 35-10 victory.
The Patterson show started after Wes Cole drilled a 24-yard field goal to put the Vikings in front 3-0.
Starting at the Cougars' own 34, Patterson handled the ball eight out of 10 plays and accounted for 59 of the 66 yards for their first scoring drive. Patter-son went the final 10 yards through the middle and with the PAT took a 7-3 lead.
Later at the 4, Patterson found the end zone again for a 14-3 halftime lead. In the third quarter, Mooney extended its lead to 21-3 when quarterback Reese Vita called his own number around the left end for a four-yard TD run.
A little trickery by Verot cut the lead to 21-10. Farrell found receiver Grant Suroski in the flat and Suroski in turn threw downfield behind the Cougars defense to Steve Brown for a 38-yard TD strike.
That was as close as the game got.
Mooney 0 14 7 14 - 35
Bishop Verot 0 3 0 7 - 10
BV - FG, Cole 34
CM - Patterson 10 run (Young kick)
CM - Patterson 4 run (Young kick)
CM - Patterson 41 run (Young kick)
BV - Brown 34 pass from Suroski (Cole kick)
CM - Sellers 5 run (Young kick)
Freelance writers Pete Sisk, Lyle Fitzsimmons and Neil Blair Bennett contributed to this report.