Fighting off the rainstorms that caused postponements and cancellations throughout the area, Naples took full advantage of the good weather, routing Miami Edison 71-19 in their season opener at Staver Field on Friday.
After Chez Mellusi opened up the scoring for the Golden Eagles with a five-yard touchdown up the middle, Mellusi exploded for a 77-yard touchdown on only his second carry of the game to put Naples up 14-0 in the early minutes of the game.
“I felt great,” Mellusi said. “All week we had great intensity and we came out to prove ourselves.”
After scoring two touchdowns on two touches, Mellusi continued his dominance on the ground rushing for 149 yards on nine carries and adding two more touchdowns in the second quarter.
Despite going down 14-0 early on after a poor punt lead to an easy score for the Golden Eagles and Mellusi’s big run, Corey Del Pardo put Edison on the board connecting with Joshua Ultima for a 13-yard touchdown in the air.
Looking to add some cushion for his defense, Jordan Persad-Tirone bolted for a 44-yard touchdown run to give the Golden Eagles a 21-6 lead before connecting with Wooby Theork for a 12-yard TD pass to push Naples ahead 29-6 following Mellusi’s successful 2-point conversion run.
Beating out senior quarterback Kyle Kee, whom he split reps with throughout the preseason, Persad-Tirone was 8-for-13 for 118 yards with two touchdowns in the air, one interception and one rushing touchdown.
“Jordan (Persad-Tirone) did a good job,” Naples coach Bill Kramer said. “First full game this year, he accounted for 31 touchdowns last year with his throwing and his running and we know he’s a really good player.”
Trailing 29-6, Del Pardo found Ultima again this time for a 75-yard TD to make it a two touchdown game. With the game far from over, the Golden Eagles put the game out of reach following two more scores from Mellusi and another TD pass by Persad-Tirone to give the Golden Eagles a 50-13 lead at the half.
“He’s (Mellusi) a really good player,” Kramer said. “There’s a reason why he’s got offers from Southern Cal and Notre Dame and everybody in between.”
With the clock running through the entire second half, Del Pardo managed to connect for another 75-yard touchdown pass before being intercepted in the fourth to end the night with three touchdowns and 267 yards on 11 of 24 passing.
Despite being without starting defensive back and University of Michigan commit Sammy Faustin sitting out with a twisted ankle, the Golden Eagles defense hit the brakes on Miami-Edison’s run game leaving the team’s run total at negative four.
Naples faces another Miami area team next week in Palmetto.
“Palmetto’s a really good football team,” Kramer said. “We’ll be stretched to play with them next week.”
ED | 6 | 7 | 6 | 0 || 19
NP | 21 | 33 | 7 | 14 || 71
NP — Chez Mellusi 5 yard run(Hugh Wilkinson kick)
NP — Mellusi 77 yard run(Wilkinson kick)
ED — Joshua Ultima 13 yard pass from Corey Del Pardo(kick failed)
NP — Jordan Persad-Tirone 44 yard run(Wilkinson kick)
NP — Wooby Theork 12 yard pass from Persad-Tirone(Mellusi run)
ED — Ultima 75 yard pass from Del Pardo(Isaac Garces kick)
NP — Mellusi 12 yard run(Mellusi run)
NP — Frankel Theodore 17 yard pass from Persad-Tirone(kick failed)
NP — Mellusi 12 yard run(Wilkinson kick)
NP — Elan Sommala 15 yard run(Wilkinson kick)
ED — Tremaine Taylor 75 yard pass from Del Pardo(kick failed)
NP — Theork 75 yard kickoff return(Wilkinson kick)
NP — Carlens Devariste 15 yard run(Wilkinson kick)
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