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North loses to Pirates in Kickoff Classic

August 21, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

North Fort Myers head football coach Dwayne Mack sensed a lack of urgency from his team during Friday's Kickoff Classic at Port Charlotte.

Two trips inside the 10 resulted in a loss of possession on downs and a lost fumble, while Port Charlotte was solid in all three aspects of the game as the Pirates rolled 22-9.

North's Parker O'Dell went 14 of 24 passing for 190 yards and North's only touchdown.

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The North Fort Myers High School football team takes the field on Friday against Port Charlotte in the Kickoff Classic.


However, that was countered by Port Charlotte's Ja'Nyrein Washington, who carried the ball 20 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns, while Dylan Lockhart started the second half with a 95-yard kickoff return to give the Pirates some distance.

Mack said the Red Knights left points on the field, with those two missed opportunities proving to be the difference.

"Nobody judges you on efforts, they judge you on results on the scoreboard. We need to do a better job getting that scoreboard in our favor," Mack said. "We have to do a better job as coaches and that starts with me. We'll be better next week, I promise."

Port Charlotte scored first following a North fumble, with Washington cashing in with a short scoring plunge to make it 6-0 following a failed two-point conversion.

North held the Pirates out of the end zone in the second quarter and countered with a drive that ended with a 30-yard field goal from Brent Reed to cut the lead to 6-3 late in the first half.

The Red Knights quickly got the ball back on a fumble and threatened with four shots inside the Pirates five, but were denied in the closing seconds of the half, with O'Dell getting stuffed on fourth down at the one.

That would prove costly, since Port Charlotte deferred at the start of the game and took the second half kickoff, which Lockhart brought back to the house to make it 14-3 after Logan Rogers ran it in for two.

The Red Knights got back into it late in the third when O'Dell threaded the needle and found Daniel Pilgrim with a 22-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 14-9 after O'Dell missed on a two-point pass.

However, Washington began to wear out the Knights and scored from seven yards out and ran it in for two early in the fourth to ice the game.

"We really emphasize our special teams. Our district as tough as it is, we have to play well in all three phases," Port Charlotte coach Jordan Ingman said. "It's great to see the kids rewarded for all that work."

Mack took the heat for the defeat and challenged his team to focus on the season opener against Cape Coral next week, adding that he can't worry about what he can't control, such as the weather or the situation with the officials' strike earlier in the week. That situation has cleared itself up and officials in Lee County will be back on the field for the opening of the regular season Aug. 23.

"You can't control the uncontrollable," Mack said. "That's what my coaches told me. I can't worry about all the outside stuff. I need to worry about preparing for Cape Coral."



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