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Big fourth quarter helps Mariner topple Island Coast, 32-14

September 1, 2018
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The fourth quarter was all Mariner on Friday.

Leading just 19-14 entering the final period, the Tritons (2-0) pulled away from Island Coast for a 32-14 victory at Mariner High School.

Quarterback Rashawn Hunter ran for four touchdowns, three in the second half, and passed for a fifth to help turn away the Gators (0-2).

Article Photos


Mariner senior Rashawn Hunter (22) passed for a touchdown and ran for four more against Island Coast Friday night. To view more photos from the game, see the Cape Coral Breeze Facebook page.

"He's special," Island Coach Jim Wiseman said. "If you're not in the right position, where you're supposed to be, he's going to make you miss, and it's going to hurt you in the long run."

If you look at the final statistics, Hunter's night might not seem all that impressive. He had 77 yards net rushing, a figure distorted by three losses totaling 20 yards in the first half. He only threw 10 passes, nine n the first half, connecting on six. Those six, however, were good for 157 yards.

And then there were the touchdowns. Those were impressive enough. A 52-yard connection with Noel Erickson. Short keepers of 8 and 3 yards in the first half, and two bigger runs that destroyed the upset hopes of the Gators.

With under 10 minutes to play, Hunter broke loose for a 43-yard touchdown, and scored from 15 yards out with about seven minutes remaining.

That changed a 19-14 game into a 32-14 margin, and that was pretty much that.

"He had his game," Tritons' coach Travis Smith said. "He did what he usually does. He's a great kid."

Tavin Ward raced 62 yards for Mariner's final touchdown with 2:54 remaining.

"I'm proud of our guys," Smith said. "They held strong and they kept believing. Things started falling our way in the fourth quarter.

"I haven't seen us finish a fourth quarter like that in a long time."

The final score looked lopsided. However, Friday's game bore no resemblance to either team's performance from the week before, when Mariner demolished Estero and Island Coast lost big to Cypress Lake in the teams' season openers.

"I believe we got better," Wiseman said. "We had it within a score in the fourth quarter. They made plays in the fourth quarter and we didn't. We couldn't match them."

"All hats off to Jim," Smith said of the Island Coast coach. "Making the adjustments that he did after last week. He's doing a great job with that program and those guys are scrappy. He's got a great staff. He's done a great job with that program."

The game got off to a fast start. Hunter hit Noel Erickson to give Mariner the lead on the Tritons' second play from scrimmage.

Island Coast came right back with a drive capped by Keon Anderson's 6-yard run. The Gators, however, missed the extra point to trail by 7-6 midway through the opening quarter.

A 37-yard Hunter to Dylan Hinz pass got the Tritons rolling in the second quarter. A pair of Cade Reynolds runs gave Mariner a first and goal at the 8. Hunter went the final yardage for the touchdown.

Island Coast got a huge break to open the second half. Mariner couldn't corral the second-half kickoff, and the Gators recovered at the Tritons' 35. The Gators then converted with an 18-yard scoring pass from Joseph to Damien Jennings.

Mariner responded by handing the ball to Cade Reynolds, who picked up 51 yards on two carries. Two penalties added 20 yards, and Tavin Ward carried to the 3. Hunter again finished off the drive with a keeper.

"I'm proud of that defense," Smith said. "Our offense was working hard and not giving up. And then they finally started putting things together in the second half."

The Gators missed an opportunity later in the third that could have given them the lead. With a first down on Mariner's 11, Island Coast couldn't score. The Tritons took over on their own 8 still leading by 19-12.

That possession did lead to two Island Coast points -- a safety when Mariner's punter was downed in the end zone.

Cade Reynolds ran for 164 yards on 13 carries for Mariner, and also caught a pass for 25 yards. Ward finished with 110 yards on the ground and 12 receiving.

A highlight for Island Coast was the play of freshman running back Keon Anderson. Anderson, who didn't carry the ball in the Gators' opener, was the workhorse against Mariner. He finished with 78 yards on 19 carries.

"A young freshman that's growing up and working hard," Wiseman said."We like his future, and he's doing great right now."

Gators quarterback Joseph finished with 82 yards on 12 rushes.

The Tritons have a week off before playing at Cypress Lake, which like Mariner is off to a 2-0 start. Island Coast travels to Bradenton Bayshore this week.

ISLAND COAST 6 0 8 0 -- 14

MARINER 7 6 6 20 -- 39

First quarter

M - Noel Erickson, 52-yard pass from Rashawn Hunter (Colin Osgood kick). 9:30.

IC - Keon Anderson, 6-yard run (kick failed). 6:21.

Second quarter

M - Hunter, 8-yard run (kick failed). 6:26.

Third quarter

IC - Damien Jennings, 18-yard pass from Jason Joseph (kick blocked). 10:09.

M - Hunter, 3-yard run (conversion failed). 8:50.

IC - Safety, Mariner punter down in end zone. 2:01.

Fourth quarter

M - Hunter, 43-yard run (Osgood kick) 9:39.

M - Hunter, 15-yard run (kick failed) 7:04.

M - Tavin Ward, 62-yard run (Osgood kick) 2:54.

Fort Myers 28, North Fort Myers 20: The Red Knights fell to 0-2 with a bitter loss to their oldest rival. The Green Wave improved to 2--0. North Fort Myers is home against Palmetto Ridge this coming Friday.

Cape Coral 40, Estero 0: The Seahawks are 2-0 after a dominating performance on the road. Parker O'Dell ran for two TDs and threw a 59-yard pass to Jaydin Feliz. Adrian Canty ran for two scores, and Adrian Medacco ran for a touchdown. Cape's next game is Friday at East Lee County.

North Port 14, Ida Baker 7: Ida Baker fell to 1-1 after its second consecutive road game. The Bulldogs' home opener is this Friday against 0-2 Estero.

Oasis 39, Marco Island Academy 0: The Sharks (2-0) cruised past MIA in Oasis' home opener. Oasis travels to Evangelical Christian in Fort Myers next Friday.

Bishop Verot 38, Titusville 13: The long trip across the state was worth it for the Vikings (1-1), who jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back. Bishop Verot has its first home game next Friday against Lakeland Christian.



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