North Fort Myers runs past Mariner, 50-7
Summerset accounts for four TDs, totals 300 yards of offense
The North Fort Myers football coaching staff decided to turn back the clock and turn up the offense in their approach on Friday night against Mariner, resulting in a 50-7 landslide win at home.
Red Knights’ head coach Dwayne Mack said after the game it was time to get back to their old ways of featuring a run-heavy offense and bringing it to the opponent. The talented Red Knights (1-2) earned their first win of the young season after two one-score losses in weeks one and two.
“We had to fix stuff, and what I mean by fix stuff is that we had to go back to the old North of running the football,” he said. “We can still throw the ball … but we had to get back to our roots. I went back at looked from the (Ron) Hoover days all the way through — when we run the ball, we do well. That’s what we are – a blue-collar community and a blue-collar school. For us, we’ve got to run the football. Today was the first step of us moving on, and I think if we keep progressing, we can be very successful.”
The Red Knights, who amassed a whopping 301 rushing yards over the course of the game, put that plan in motion from the start.
Junior stud Levontai “Bo” Summersett stepped into the role of quarterback for an unavailable Tanner Helton and looked as comfortable as can be behind center. North ran five consecutive running plays out of the gate with Summersett, capped off by an 11-yard touchdown run to get the fans at Moody Field loud just 1:39 into the game.
The noise ratcheted up another decibel after North’s Ceon Gordon blocked Mariner’s punt attempt on its first possession, scooping up the tumbling pigskin and bringing it into the end zone to extend the lead to 13-0.
Mariner (0-2) did not go quietly into the night, as sophomore quarterback Justin Lewis showed how special he can be on the Tritons’ next possession.
On a third and long, Lewis rolled to his right trying to find a man. When nothing appeared, he cut back towards the middle and through a hole in the line, and then turned on the jets. Lewis found space up the left sideline and kept his feet as a North tackler went for his ankles, finishing off a spectacular 62-yard run to get his team on the board before the end of the first quarter.
“He gets better every day,” said Mariner head coach Josh Nicholson of Lewis. “He’s a competitor, he’s an athlete, he’s still learning the game of football, but hats off to him for stepping up when the team needed him, playing both ways.”
A second stanza that included turnovers from each team nearly went scoreless until Summersett found his passing touch. He and junior Santino Arroyo connected on two consecutive chunk plays, first for 44 yards and then a 30-yard touchdown strike on a beautiful ball up the left sideline by a rolling-out Summersett.
North took a 21-7 lead into the half and came out firing after the break.
Summersett, who went 6-for-9 through the air for 156 and two scores, crafted his second of the night early in the third quarter connecting with senior Brennen Boucher for 24 yards.
The Red Knights then recovered an onside kick and two plays later, sophomore Andre Costa (62 rushing yards) scampered 35 yards to the house giving his team a 36-7 advantage.
Just before the end of the third, North added to its lead via a Gordon1-yard touchdown. He would finish with 54 rushing yards in the game.
After a Mariner punt, North capped the scoring when Summersett crossed the goal line from 3 yards out, collecting his fourth total touchdown of the night.
“I said it from the beginning, he’s a special player,” Mack said of Summersett. “He’s a guy that stays under the radar and does everything he needs to. He’s very competitive, but he’s also a great kid, a humble kid. I’m glad he’s part of our team and we have him for another year.”
Summersett, who is fielding Division I offers, added 155 rushing yards on 22 attempts (7 yards per carry) to go along with his 156 passing yards (311 total).
After the game he said he feels this victory is the momentum North needs to break off a long winning streak.
“I felt good (out there tonight). I felt like we came together as a team,” Summersett said. “This game helped us find our identity.
“I knew I had to come in a step up with (Helton) out. Whatever I had to do, I had to do.”
While the final result doesn’t look appealing on paper, the Tritons battled all game and kept things within reach at halftime. A team that may be lacking depth at the moment due to injury and other circumstances certainly doesn’t lack heart.
“Despite what the scoreboard says, we’re this close,” said Nicholson. “It got away from us late there, and that’s what’s going to happen if we make mistakes, but we played until the final whistle. We had some success, we moved the ball, we started to execute better. We took a step forward now we need to continue to get back to work.”
For North, the win gets the ball rolling for a team, that, despite its youth (just six seniors), features a number of talented players.
“It’s about doing what we do,” Mack said. “We’re trying to get back to what we do. We kind of got out of our norm, but at the end of the day we’ve got to do what we do, which is North Fort Myers football: blue-collar, pound you and hit you in the face.”
Mack also gave credit to his offensive line, which was largely responsible for the over 300 rushing yards as a team on the night.
Next week, Mariner takes on Estero (1-2) at home, while North hosts Ida Baker (1-2).
— Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj
MARINER 7 0 0 0 — 7
NORTH FORT MYERS 13 8 22 7 — 50
N: Levontai Summersett, 11-yard run (2-pt fail); 10:21
N: Ceon Gordon, punt block return (Brandon Bush kick); 6:42
N: Justin Lewis, 62-yard run (Gabriel Chica kick); 4:45
N: Santino Arroyo, 30-yard reception from Summersett (Humble from Summersett); :45
N: Brennen Boucher, 24-yard reception from Summersett (Scotty Olin run); 8:43
N: Andre Costa, 35-yard run (Bush kick); 8:17
N: Gordon, 1-yard run (Bush kick); 1:07
N: Summersett, 3-yard run (Bush kick); 5:36