“The Kings of Collier County are back!” Immokalee coach Rodelin Anthony exclaimed after his Indians rolled Dunbar, 28-6 Friday in the Region 5A-3 semifinal at Dunbar.
“We promised it. We’re still playing.”
Considered the underdog by many, the Indians never trailed, and forced four second half turnovers by the Tigers.
“This is not an upset,” Anthony said, flanked by his entire coaching staff. “We knew we were going to beat them since Monday. We live by a motto: anytime, anywhere, anyplace. Anybody that wants some can come get some, we’re not scared of anybody.”
Junior Malcolm Jackson ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns, including a 38-yard run that ended with a dive for the pylon on the game’s first drive.
Jackson said the Indians like playing with a chip on their shoulders.
“It’s a better feeling. It’s more pressure, it’s more work, and then when you do it you feel a lot better inside,” he said.
Carrying a 14-6 lead into the half, Immokalee broke it open in the third quarter, forcing turnovers on the Tigers first three possessions of the second half.
The first, an interception by senior Jean Sanon, ended with Jackson’s second touchdown run, this one a 6-yard dive.
It was the next series where things went disastrous for Dunbar.
Facing second down at the Immokalee 30-yard line, the snap rolled through the legs of senior quarterback Tariq Thomas. Thomas managed to corral the loose ball, but while trying to make a play, the ball popped out of Thomas’ handed and right into the hands of senior defensive end Axan Charles, who raced 55 yards the other way for a touchdown.
“That’s a great correlation to losing,” Dunbar coach Sammy Brown said on turnovers, of which the Tigers had five. “We turned the ball over, they won. I don’t like to lose, but a great job on their part.”
Immokalee avenged a 49-3 loss to Dunbar in last year’s regional semifinal, and are now going to the region final for the first time since 2012, when they reached the state championship game.
In their way sits Tampa Jesuit, who rolled Tampa Jefferson 42-20 on Friday. They’re once again underdogs.
But if you ask Anthony, that means they’ve got them right where they want them.
“I love when you guys vote against us,” Anthony smiled. “That’s the way we like it.”
IMM | 7 | 7 | 14 | 0 || 28
DUN | 6 | 0 | 0 | 0 || 6
IMM Malcolm Jackson 38 yard run(Elias Cuaves kick)
DUN Shocky Jacques-Louis 10 yard pass from Tariq Thomas(kick failed)
IMM Jevon Thomas 2 yard run(Cuaves kick)
IMM Jackson 6 yard run(Cuaves kick)
IMM Axan Charles 55 yard fumble recovery(Cuaves kick)
Immokalee…Passing 65 Rushing 215 TOTAL 280…First Downs 14…Penalties-Yards 16-134…Turnovers 3, 2 fumbles, 1 interception…Defensive 4 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions.
Dunbar…Passing 198 Rushing 53 TOTAL 251…First Downs 10…Penalties-Yards 12-74…Turnovers 5, 3 fumbles, 2 interceptions…Defensive 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception.
Immokalee…Passing 2 Nathaniel Betancourt 4/6 31 INT, 18 RJ Rosales 1/3 31…Rushing 11 Malcolm Jackson 26-189 2 TD, 25 Jevon Thomas 10-39, 24 Jacquez Jackson 1-2, 2 Nathaniel Betancourt 1-(-5)(sack), 18 RJ Rosales 1-(-10)(sack)…Receiving 11 Malcolm Jackson 1-31, 20 Shedro Louis 1-16, 7 Clauderson Louissaint 1-9, 25 Jevon Thomas 1-7, 24 Jacquez Jackson 1-2…Kicking 90 Elias Cuevas 4/4 XP.
Dunbar…Passing 5 Tariq Thomas 9/29 165 TD 2 INT, 1 Jairus Johnson 1/4 33…Rushing 22 Lajuan Preston 10-38, 5 Tariq Thomas 10-17(2 sacks), 9 Seneca Millidge 1-10, 20 Keanu Young 3-4, 4 Kenny Benjamin 2-0, 1 Jairus Johnson 2-(-16)(2 sacks)…Receiving 4 Kenny Benjamin 4-72, 9 Seneca Millidge 1-60, 3 Jeremiah Blanks 2-46, 23 Jeremiah Rice 2-10, 7 Shocky Jacques-Louis 1-10 TD…Kicking 19 Xavier Mcdonald 0/1 FG, 0/1 XP.
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