North Fort Myers outlasts Ida Baker 57-35 in shootout
There were a dozen touchdowns and a combined 92 points scored at Moody Field Monday night in North Fort Myers, but in the end, it was the Red Knights who earned the victory, defeating Ida Baker 57-35.
A game that was moved from Friday to Monday on account of inclement weather saw plenty of playmaking and high-octane offense as each team’s offense put up a plethora of points.
North (2-2) put together their second consecutive victory posting 50 points or more and now find themselves trending in the right direction after a slow start.
“The previous two games, the offense has done a great job of maximizing and taking advantage of opportunities to score,” said North Fort Myers head coach Dwayne Mack. “We still have a lot of work to do on defense. We still gave up (35) points — that’s something we’re not happy with, but hats off to the offense. We had to go back to what we do at North, and that’s run the ball. Credit to (offensive coaches) Chris Sneddon and David Pasquale, they’re doing a great job.”
North wasted no time getting started as they cashed in on their first drive, finished off by a Ceon Gordon 4-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the affair. Ida Baker (1-3) fired right back on their ensuing possession, tying the game via a 12-yard Kaleb Staple run.
North needed just four plays to retake the lead, as quarterback Levontai “Bo” Summersett connected with Jacob Pucin for 51-yards to get into scoring position and then took a keeper from 1 yard out into the end zone to go up 14-7.
Ida Baker on their next possession punted to the Red Knights who once again put together a successful series. This time Purin found pay dirt after reeling in a Summersett pass and taking it 33 yards to the house, putting the home team up 21-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Red Knight kicker Brandon Bush showed off his leg in the second quarter, as he drilled a 51-yard field goal to extend the North lead, the longest of his career.
Before the half, the Red Knights put together a 15-play, 81-yard drive capped by Andre Devine’s 3-yard touchdown run with 17 seconds remaining — and the sophomore was just getting started.
Although the Bulldogs trailed 32-7 coming out of the break, they showed no intention of laying down for their opponent.
Just two plays into the third quarter, Staple, who ran for 198 yards on 26 carries, broke a 57-yard run up the left sideline and into the end zone to cut the Ida Baker deficit to 18.
After North’s holder fumbled the snap on a field goal attempt, Bulldog quarterback Kaiden Stengel (13-for-21 192 yards) found Zach Malpica for a 61-yard touchdown to make it a one-possession game.
Bush tacked on his second field goal on North’s next possession, this time from 42 yards out.
“I think I’m the best kicker in the area, I just need coaches to see it,” Bush said. “I always train hard and work for that moment. It’s really nice that my coaches trust me so I can put some points on the board.”
The Red Knights forced an Ida Baker punt and on their first play of the drive, Devine took the ball 84 yards up the left sideline, leaving defenders in his dust as he turned on the jets.
Malpica, who scored a touchdown on the ground, via pass and via reception, buried his head from 6 yards out to answer the bell on the Bulldog’s next possession.
Devine, who compiled an eye-popping 258 rushing yards (as well as a 13-yard reception), broke off his third and fourth touchdown runs on the Red Knights’ next two possessions, one from 54 yards out and the other from 18, breaking three tackles along the way.
“I felt great, it’s just instinct,” Devine said of his performance. “My mindset is to try and beat my dad’s records (Noel Devine, who is on the coaching staff at North). I want to create my own legacy.”
Malpica found Ashton Taylor for a 5-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds remaining in regulation to end the scoring.
North takes the win into a bye week, while Ida Baker has a quick turnaround hosting North Port (1-3) this Friday at 7 p.m.
–Connect with Associate Sports Editor CJ Haddad on Twitter: @haddad_cj
1 2 3 4 F
Ida Baker 7 0 13 15 35
North Fort Myers 21 11 10 15 57
N: Ceon Gordon 4-yard run (Brandon Bush kick); 10:28
IB: Kaleb Staple 12-yard run (Jayden Danis kick);7:04
N: Levontai Summersett 1-yard run (Bush kick); 6:06
N: Jacob Pucin 33-yard reception from Summersett (Bush kick); :14
N: Bush 51-yard field goal; 7:54
N: Andre Devine 3-yard run (Summersett run); :17
IB:Staple 57-yard run (Danis kick); 11:38
IB:Zach Malpica 61-yard reception from Kaiden Stengel (kick fail); 5:34
N: Bush 42-yard field goal; 4:06
N:Devine 84-yard run (Bush kick); :18
IB: Malpica 6-yard run (Danis kick); 6:21
N: Devine 54-yard run (Bush kick); 5:19
N: Devine 18-yard run (Rendon run); 2:22
IB: Ashton Taylor 5-yard reception from Malpica (Staple reception); :08