By JONATHAN BLIKSTAD
Special to the Breeze
The North Fort Myers Red Knights used a balanced offense and stingy defense Friday night to overpower the Estero Wildcats 42-9.
With a full moon over Moody Field, the game started with errors on both sides. It seems both teams were their own worst enemy. On the first three possessions there were three turnovers, and two more occurred before the end of the first half.
Beside that, North Fort Myers (2-3 overall, 0-1 district) was penalized six times for 55 yards in the first half. Particularly discouraging for the Red Knights was that three different plays that would have resulted in touchdowns were called back because of penalties.
North coach Barry Goettemoeller said, "I'm really proud of the way our team overcame a lot of adversity. We found out this week that two of our starting offensive linemen couldn't play this week. Some other guys stepped up and did really well."
The Knights scored first on a 48-yard pass from Nathan McIntosh to Mike Rosario. Rosario caught the pass at the Wildcat's 35 and cut and wound his way to the end zone.
Estero (1-4) looked like they might hold North to just one score in the first half, but the Knights put together a drive at the end of the second quarter. With only 7.9 seconds left in the half and the ball on the Wildcat 6-yard line, McIntosh threw a high fade pass into the left corner of the end zone where Tre Boston jumped higher than the defender. That score gave North momentum going into halftime.
"We got the ball back just before half, and ran the two-minute offense to perfection," Goettemoeller said. "McIntosh put the ball up there so Boston could make a play, and he did."
The Wildcats have had to turn to sophomore quarterback Ryan Sides after the injury to senior Will Davis. They were also without injured starting wide receiver John Pencil.
North continued to shut down Estero in the third quarter, and scored two offensive touchdowns. Clifford Smith ran in from 11 yards out, and Boston caught another touchdown pass from McIntosh.
Then on the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Sides tried to throw deep into the Knights secondary. Boston was there to intercept it, backtracked a few yards, went to the right side and returned the ball 50 yards for another score. The Knights had scored twice in 28 seconds, and the game was decided by that point.
Boston and McIntosh shined once again in this game as they had against Island Coast earlier in the season. McIntosh's stats were 15-18-1 for 260 yards and three touchdowns, while Boston caught two of those touchdowns and ran an interception back for a score.
North hosts South Fort Myers next Friday. Estero visits DeSoto County.
Estero 0 0 0 9 - 9
North FM 7 7 21 7 - 42
NFM - Mike Rosario 48 pass from Nathan McIntosh (Evan Sargent kick)
NFM - Tre Boston 6 pass from McIntosh (Sargent kick)
NFM - Clifford Smith 11 run (Sargent kick)
NFM - Boston 8 pass from McIntosh (Sargent kick)
NFM - Boston 50 interception return (Sargent kick)
E - FG, Blaine Moriarty 21
NFM - Joey Agnello 25 run (Sargent kick)
E - Colin Lewis 3 run (pass failed)