Travis Williams caught a 22-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left, capping a Braden River fourth-quarter comeback and giving the
Pirates a 35-32 victory Friday over North Fort Myers in a non-district contest.
Jacob Huesman took the ball for Braden River with 2:09 left and drove his team 61 yards on six plays, getting a key first down reception from
Justin Ross on third-and-13 to keep the drive going, and a 29-yard catch from running back Carlos Crawford to set up the touchdown on a
night where three missed PATs by North came back to haunt them.
"We told the kids we might get back in the game and have those PATs come back to haunt them," Braden River coach Curt Bradley said.
"We kept fighting and we played our hearts out."
Crawford made the two-point conversion to make it a three-point game before the Pirates defense held tight for the win.
Crawford, gained 156 yards on 24 carries and caught five balls for 54 more. Huesman went 15 for 25, 231 yards, three touchdowns and an
Trailing 32-21 early in the fourth, Braden River got an interception and converted it into a Williams 14-yard TD run to cut the lead to 32-27
after missing the two-point conversion with 6:52 left.
The Red Knights held the ball for more than four minutes, but penalties stalled them and had to punt, setting up the final drive.
"It's the things you encounter in the first game. Special teams, turnovers and conditioning is what counted tonight," North coach Earnest
Graham said. "They wore us down. They stayed committed to the run and wore us down."
Running backs Zaqaundre White and Eric Russaw had huge games on the ground, rushing for 138 and 123 yards, respectively, with two
touchdowns apiece and White adding an interception, but the Red Knights couldn't overcome two turnovers and 20 penalties for 155 yards.
North Fort Myers took a 19-14 lead at the half on the strength of two Russaw touchdowns, but two missed extra points led to the Red
Knights chasing points in the second half.
White scored early in the third quarter, but North missed the two-point conversion to make it a 25-14 game. Justin Ross scored for Braden
River to cut the lead to 25-21 before Tucker Sheridan caught a Jacob Duff TD pass to make it 32-21. after three quarters.
Braden River struck first, driving 90 yards in seven plays. Set up by two long pass plays from quarterback Jacon Huesman, Raymond
Thomas snuck in from a yard out to give the Pirates a 7-0 lead.
The Red Knights countered late in the first quarter. After a 27-yard run by Eric Russaw, Zaquandre White went off tackle for a 35-yard
touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7.
North took the lead on its next possession, driving 68 yards on 10 plays, with Russaw going the final four yards to make it 13-7 after the snap on the extra point was bobbled.
Braden River responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive, where Huesman found Thomas for his second score of the night, with the extra
point giving them a 14-13 lead.
Russaw gave North the lead back on a six-yard run, but again the PAT snap was bobbled to keep the lead at 19-14 at the break.
Braden River 7 7 7 14 - 35
North Fort Myers 7 12 13 0 - 32
BR - Thomas 1 run (Thoma kick)
NFM - White 35 run (Gentile kick)
NFM - Russaw 4 run (kick failed)
BR - Thomas 12 pass from Jacob Huesman (Thoma kick)
NFM - Russaw 6 run (kick fail)
NFM -White 3 run (pass fail)
BR - Ross 6 pass from Huesman (Thoma kick)
NFM - Sheridan 16 pass from Duff (Gentile kick)
BR - Crawford 14 run (pass failed)
BR - Williams 22 pass from Huesman (Crawford run)