Senior corner Lukas Masterson said his team needed to get its swag back after losing to Naples last week.
They did in a big way.
Gulf Coast scored on their first four possessions to roll over visiting Estero on homecoming night Friday, 41-2.
“There’s a lot of times where when you play a team like Naples, it will really wreck your season,” Gulf Coast coach Pete Fominaya said. “I thought the kids came out strong and bounced back pretty well.”
Demarcus Townsend, normally a defensive back, got to play a little on offense, and took advantage. The sophomore ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries, including an electrifying 86 yard sprint in the second quarter.
“I love it,” Townsend said. “The coaches gave me a chance, and I put full effort into every one.”
Senior Brendon Drugan may have shared the load, but still put in a big night, running for 166 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns, and added 70 yards receiving. It would have been even more, but Drugan had three long plays called back for penalties, including a 91 yard touchdown run which was nullified by a hold.
The Sharks, who never trailed, scored twice on their first seven snaps. Drugan broke free on a 60 yard score on the game’s third play from scrimmage, then after an Estero three and out, Townsend spun free of a tackle to score from 26 yards out on fourth down.
Kaden Frost was efficient, throwing for 148 yards on 9-for-12 passing, including a picture perfect pitch and catch to junior wide receiver Lucas Luft. The sophomore quarterback found the 6’5” receiver on a deep fly route for a 45 yard score, and a 20-0 lead just over seven minutes into the game.
“Our offensive line is amazing,” Frost said. “They work really hard, made every block, I love our line, you have to as a quarterback. Everything on offense was flowing well tonight.”
While the Sharks offense was cruising, putting up an eye-popping 509 yards of total offense, Estero sputtered. The overmatched Wildcats managed just one first down in the first half, and it was by a Gulf Coast penalty, and it wasn’t until the third quarter of the game until Estero had positive total yards on offense.
“We’ve still got a lot of growing to do,” Estero coach Jeff Hanlon said. “Offensively in the first half we just kept getting in our own way. Second half we finally started to put some things together.”
“We’re getting better, slowly, and we’re eliminating those mistakes, just not as fast as we’d like.”
The final score could have been a lot uglier, but Gulf Coast penalties kept wiping away scores. The Sharks were penalized 16 times for 155 yards, four of those penalties negating touchdowns. Masterson had a punt return and an interception return called back, while Drugan saw rushing and receiving touchdowns nullified.
“We were in a position where we tried to get some reserves in, and our level of play fell off,” Fominaya said. “Everyone needs to be accountable, and everyone needs to do their jobs.”
Estero managed to sneak onto the scoreboard when Cameron Heise was tackled in the endzone. An errant snap got past the sophomore punter, who fell on the ball for a safety.
Up next for the Sharks comes an important game against Riverdale. There are only three teams in District 7A-12, so Gulf Coast needs to make the most of its two district games.
“We’ve got to prepare for Riverdale like it’s a playoff game,” Townsend said.
EST 0 | 0 | 2 | 0 || 2
GC 20 | 14 | 7 | 0 || 41
GC Brendon Drugan 60yd run(Cameron Heise kick)
GC Demarcus Townsend 26yd run(Heise kick)
GC Lucas Luft 45yd pass from Kaden Frost(kick failed)
GC Danny Rendon 13yd run(Heise kick)
GC Townsend 86yd run(Heise kick)
EST Heise tackled in endzone for safety
GC Drugan 5yd run(Heise kick)
Total Yards: 84
First Downs: 6
Total Turnovers: 2
6 Willie Neal 8/18, 78 yds, INT. 5 car, -7 yds.
7 John Cameron Correll 3 rec, 49 yds.
Total Yards: 509
First Downs: 8
Total Turnovers: 0
4 Brendon Drugan 12 car, 166 yds, 2 TD. 3 rec, 70 yds.
1 Demarcus Townsend 8 car, 153 yds, 2 TD.
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