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North wears down Cypress Lake in 23-21 spring football

May 29, 2019
By PETE SISK (news@breezenewspapers.com) , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Cypress Lake brought the flash Thursday night. North Fort Myers brought the smash.

The smash won.

The Red Knights fell behind 14-0 in their spring football game at Cypress Lake, but kept pounding away until securing a 23-21 victory.

Brett Reed ran for 121 yards and kicked two field goals, Rudy Mack rushed for 88 and a touchdown in the second half and the big Red Knights offensive line ground the Panthers into submission in the late stages.

North Fort Myers rushed for 291 yards on the night. That included some carries late by a runner with a lineman's size. Vinny Husband crunched into the Panthers for 25 yards on four late carries.

"That's what we do," Red Knights' coach Dwayne Mack said. "We try to be smash-mouth on you. Our guys, they love the weight room. They do a great job.

"At the end of the day, hey, we try to run it between the tackles and wear you down."

Although outplayed for most of the second half, the Panthers did make the score look close. CJ Shedd hit his third long touchdown pass of the game with 46 seconds remaining to bring Cypress Lake within 23-21.

From there, the Red Knights just ran out the clock for the win.

"It took some time for the guys to wake up," Mack said. "When they woke up, they played some pretty good football."

Shedd pierced the Red Knights' defense with touchdown passes of 40 yards to Austin Bryant and 60 yards to Cedric Thomas for a 14-0 lead with five minutes to go before halftime.

The senior-to-be put up big numbers on the night, with 322 yards and three scores in the air. As Mack said, Cypress was able to take advantage of a young, inexperienced Red Knights' secondary.

"We're playing a bunch of 10th graders," Mack said. "With a little bit of 7-on-7, they'll get better."

Still, the North defense came up big when needed. Elvis Berrios intercepted a Shedd pass to set up Brandon Bush's 27-yard field goal that brought North within 14-10 in the third quarter. Jay Huckeba's fumble recovery got the Red Knights into position for Mack's go-ahead 7-yard TD run.

Cypress Lake had first and goal on the 9 in the fourth quarter, but the Red Knights' defense held firm to keep the lead 20-14.

Down 14-0 with five minutes remaining in the first half, North Fort Myers then put together its best drive of the night, going 70 yards to score. Quarterback Aaron Cole kept the ball himself and scored from a yard out to close the gap to 14-7.

Reed had 97 yards rushing in the first half as the workhorse of the North offense.

He also tried and missed on 47- and 50-yard field goal attempts. Later, given a more reasonable distance, Reed connected on kicks of 30 and 28 yards. The 28-yarder gave the Red Knights a 23-14 lead with 1:17 to play.

As usual, Mack emphasized the working man's ethic of his Red Knights.

"We're blue-collar mentality," Mack said. "We're in the community of North Fort Myers, a community with a blue-collar mentality. We're going to try to pound, pound, pound.

"At the end of the day, we got the victory."

 
 

 

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