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North rolls over Ida Baker, 47-7
October 2, 2019

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The North Fort Myers Red Knights were a runaway train Friday night and never looked back on their way to a dominating 47-7 victory over Ida Baker at Mooney Field.

Post game, North's head coach Dwayne Mack called the victory a statement game for a Red Knights team that has produced back-to-back wide-margin victories after a rough outing against Fort Myers on the road -- the only blip on an otherwise impressive start to the season.

"Our big thing is, we're an 'A' school -- the only 'A' school in the West Zone. We want to be the best football school in the West Zone -- best academic school, best football school," Mack said. "This is a statement game. Everyone was saying that Baker is back, and hats off to the coach, he's doing a great job, but at the end of the day, we want to prove to everybody that when it comes to football, you've got to come to North Fort Myers."

North (5-1) started fast on offense, electing to receive the ball after winning the coin toss and drove down the field where a stout Ida Baker (3-3) defense made a goal-to-go opportunity for the Red Knights result in a Brandon Bush 25-yard field goal.

On the ensuing kickoff, North would recover the football, giving them a short field to work with.

Senior quarterback Parker O'Dell would cap the five-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Daniel Pilgrim, giving the Red Knights a 10-0 advantage.

North would force a Bulldogs punt on their next possession, and a bad snap from the center gave the Red Knights a short field to work with yet again.

On the second play of the drive, O'Dell scampered 10 yards into the end zone, extending the lead to 17-0 at the end of the first quarter.

On North's next drive, O'Dell once again used his legs to find pay dirt, this run going for 21 yards.

O'Dell had a solid game on the ground and in the air, rushing for 143 yards on nine attempts with a touchdown and completing 12 of 16 passes for 142 yards, a touchdown and interception. He was also a perfect 7-for-7 in the second half.

"He stepped up and became a team leader," Mack said of O'Dell's performance. "In the Fort Myers game, you could tell that when he got punched in the mouth, he was kind of discouraged, and we had a little 'come to Jesus' meeting, and he stepped up and led the team."

Ida Baker would put together an impressive nine-play, 70-yard drive to answer the bell on their next possession.

Led by junior quarterback Eric Swanson, the Bulldogs converted a fourth-and-seven to get themselves on the board.

Swanson hit junior Angel Alverio over the middle en route to a 24-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 17.

North would answer and score one more time before the half, as senior running back Sammy Presmy fought his way for a 5-yard touchdown.

A young running back also emerged on this night for the Red Knights, as they were without workhorse back Christian Morgan.

Sophomore Tavin Turner was called upon to tote the rock 12 times and accounted for 60 yards of offense, including two second-half touchdowns -- runs of 1 and 2 yards respectively.

"That's the thing, we've got a lot of 10th graders and juniors playing," Mack said of players such as Turner and wide receivers Pilgrim and Atavious Weaver (freshman). "Some of these guys have got to step up. We've got a lot of guys that are young that are going to be around for a long time."

Mack also pointed out the youth on his defense when asked how they kept an Ida Baker offense in check that has had no issue putting up points this season.

"They're hungry," Mack said.

Bush would tack on two more short field goals in the second half to account for the remaining Red Knight points.

Mack said the game plan against a solid Bulldog defense was to take the play to them.

"Just run at them," Mack said. "Don't flinch and run at them. That was our whole thing -- we just want to go right at them and see what they were made of."

Ida Baker head coach Chuck Faucette didn't point any fingers post game, saying his team needs to build upon the experience.

"There's no excuses," Faucette said. "They whipped us and that's just the way it is. We've got growing pains. Until we know how to play in a big game like that and make mistakes the way we do -- until we stop doing that, we're going to get our butts kicked and that's what happened."

Numerous times the Bulldogs gave North the ball in their own territory, making the game an uphill battle from the start.

"We tried to slow them down," Faucette said. "The first 17 points, they got the ball inside the 20-yard line. We were stopping them -- we did a heck of a job and then we turn around and give them the ball again."

The loss didn't deter Faucette from the main goal of the season for Ida Baker, and that is to continue to develop into an up-and-coming program, as they have been this season.

"We'll be back," Faucette said. "It's a learning thing. Everything is learning."

The first-year head coach also took ownership for the lackluster special teams play on his team's behalf.

"Special teams crushed us," Faucette said. "I'm very upset with that right now, and that's my fault. I did a bad job getting them ready and I'm going to take the blame for that. It's as simple as that."

This week, Ida Baker takes on South Fort Myers in the Bulldogs' homecoming game.

North has a bye this week and then will host Dunbar Oct. 11.

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Twitter: @haddad_cj

IDA BAKER 0 7 0 0 -- 7

NORTH FORT MYERS 17 14 16 0 - 47

1st quarter

NFM: Brendan Bush, 25-yard field goal, 9:58

NFM: Parker O'Dell, 8-yard pass to Daniel Pilgrim (Reed kick), 9:02

NFM: O'Dell, 10-yard run (Reed kick), 1:03

2nd Quarter

NFM: O'Dell, 21-yard run (Bush kick), 8:25

IB: Eric Swanson, 24-yard pass to Angel Alverio (Joseph Napoli kick), 4:37

NFM: Sammy Presmy, 3-yard run (Bush kick), 3:34

3rd Quarter

NFM: Bush, 21-yard field goal, 5:28

NFM: Taven Turner, 2-yard run (kick fail), 3:05

NFM: Turner, 1-yard run (Bush kick), :33

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