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Saturday football notebook Naples Daily News
For the first half of Fridays game, Immokalee kept the score close against Barron Collier but as has happened many times this season, they ultimately fell to a playoffbound team.
Cougars Coach Mark Ivey said he respected the Indians season, as virtually all of their losses came against squads now preparing for next weeks regionals.
Indians Coach Izzy Gallegos shrugged off the praise, saying the Cougars simply played better, and that he was already beginning to look toward next year to rebuild and regroup.
In the final regularseason game for both teams, Lely and Gulf Coast might have caught a glimpse of future stars Friday. Without their leading rushers, the schools turned to backups to shoulder the load.
Frankie Pugh started in the Trojans backfield in place of the areas leading rusher, Darion Hall, who Lely coach Steve Pricer said was being disciplined. Pugh, a junior, had 167 yards on 22 carries. He had just 247 yards on 42 carries the nine games before Friday.
Before the season began, Pricer expected Pugh to split carries with Hall before Hall became the Trojans goto guy. Pugh had just 59 yards on 13 carries in the first three quarters against Gulf Coast. He ran eight times for 108 yards in the fourth, including a touchdown run of 38 yards and a run of 45 yards that set up his 2yard score.
While Lely coaches knew what Pugh was capable of, the Sharks werent sure what they would get from Germain Troutman. The freshman started his first game in place of injured Sebastian Zuluaga and got his first varsity carries.
Troutmans numbers were modest six carries for 41 yards and one catch for 14 but he also returned kicks for the Sharks. He had a 45yard kickoff return in the third quarter that started a Gulf Coast touchdown drive.
The freshman didnt do too bad, Sharks coach Frank Tudryn said. Youll be hearing his name a lot. Hes the real deal.
After experiencing promising times in the growth process over the first four years of the Palmetto Ridge football program, coach Tim Speakman also took responsibility for this seasons 19 record following Friday nights lackluster loss to the previously winless Mustangs.
The Bears were 73 the past two years and a partially blocked pointafter kick from making the playoffs last fall. But a myriad of problems derailed the momentum. After beating Golden Gate in the season opener, they lost the next nine. Golden Gates only victory this season came against winless Estero.
Im the head football coach and its my responsibility to get that fixed, said Speakman, adding that 2008 was a learning experience for everyone in the program. He talked about what it will take to get back on track.
The No. 1 thing is that we have to be better coaches, Speakman, who took over the program in its second season, reflected. We were 73 for a couple of years and should have been in the playoffs last year. Maybe we got a little complacent, didnt work hard enough.
Once Fridays game got into a runningclock situation early in the third period, there was little opportunity for the Bears to regroup. Running only 10 plays total in the second half, they failed to gain a first down and had just six for the night.
It didnt end quite the way the Celtics would have liked, but several members of the St. John Neumann football team played their last downs Friday night.
The Celtics will lose standout Mikey Davis, quarterback Anthony DeMeo, bruiser Austin Nelz, receiver Brett Reynolds and lineman Nahum St. Fort to graduation, among others.
The Celtics finished 37, but did so against a difficult schedule. Neumann played its first regularseason game against a Collier County public school on Oct. 3, falling 497 at Lely. The Celtics also played five of their final seven games on the road.
Naples was flagged five times for either unsportsmanlike conduct or personal fouls in the third quarter of Friday nights 4912 victory over host Sarasota.
The Golden Eagles were forced to kick off from their own 10 because of two penalties that occurred following Greg Pratts 12yard touchdown run. Pratt, who was pushed into a fence on the west sideline as he entered the end zone, was penalized for retaliating with a halfhearted shove, and another Naples player was flagged for using inappropriate language.
Last games of the year, especially when they start getting outside of things, can get weird, Naples coach Bill Kramer said. I felt that our guys for the most part kept pretty good composure.
A personal foul penalty was called after Chris Krieg capped the scoring with a 26yard run. Naples employed a pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff and forced a Sarasota fumble.
While the decision to pooch kick did not sit well with many of the Sarasota faithful, Sailors coach Bob Perkins had no problem with it.
Bill and I are good friends, said Perkins, whose team picked up two personal foul penalties in the second half. Its part of the game of football.
Whenever you look at South Fort Myers, you cannot ignore the kicker. Mason Prater, whose brother Matt kicks in the NFL for the Denver Broncos, blasted away at the ball Friday night.
While his place kicking was just south of perfect, with one extra point blocked and a 46yard field goal attempt missing wide left, his kickoffs had Cypress Lake backed up on offense every time. Six of his nine kickoffs went into the end zone or beyond and the three that didnt let the Panthers start no further than the 30yard line.