Pirates ride defense to win in opener
Led by senior defensive back Kedarius Smith's two interceptions, the Braden River football team forced five turnovers Friday night in a 28-3 victory over visiting North Fort Myers.
Smith set up Braden River's first touchdown when he returned a pick to the Red Knights' 20-yard line. Dusty Peebles made it count when he threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Andre Mays. The junior quarterback threw for 181 yards, connecting on 7 of 12 pass attempts.
Cody Deans set up the Pirates' second touchdown when he recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, which led to a two-yard TD run by senior Titus Humphrey, who had a big night with 131 yards rushing.
A fumble recovery by Curtis Govan inside the Pirates' 5-yard line late in the second quarter enabled Braden River to take a 14-3 halftime lead.
After a weather delay, Humphrey got his team back on the board when he broke free for a 35-yard touchdown run. The Pirates capped off the game's scoring when backup sophomore quarterback Jacob Huesman threw a 13-yard touchdown strike to Justin Ross. The junior wide receiver caught four passes for 94 yards.
IMG 21, ORLANDO OLYMPIA 6 -- The Ascenders' defense limited the Titans to 199 total yards and held on for a victory on the road in their first game as a varsity program.
Defensive end Kyle Forde had three of the team's five sacks, and Shane Dixon intercepted a pass in the end zone to lead the IMG attack.
Offensively, running back Mikey Daniels scored the school's first touchdown, and Alabama commit Bo Scarbrough gained 68 yards on 13 carries. Quarterback Michael O'Connor, who is headed to Penn State, finished 14 of 28 with an interception and a 50-yard touchdown strike to former Cardinal Mooney player Casey Gunderson.
ESTERO INVITATIONAL -- The Lakewood Ranch boys finished third, and the Mustangs girls came in sixth Saturday at the 38-team 3D Invite at Estero.
Mitch Arnold led all Lakewood Ranch runners by placing eighth in 17 minutes, 55 seconds. Teammate George Dabbiero was 20th in 18:45, followed by Josh Napier (34th, 19:28), Read Corley (35th, 19:29) and Brice Easton (20:19).
Katie Wray paced the girls team by coming in 12th in 21:32. She was followed by Andrea McDonald (22nd, 22:12), Julia Ortiz (23rd, 22:13), Emily Perez (29th, 22:35) and Elizabeth Chandler (50th, 23:22).
Belen Jesuit won the boys team title with 23 points. Estero was second at 78 points, and the Mustangs scored 149. Estero won the girls event with 44 points. Lakewood Ranch scored 136.
HOLLOWAY PARK JAMBOREE -- Sydney Britt finished second overall to lead the Manatee girls to a victory in the Varsity Open race in Lakeland.
Britt finished in 22:57.30, just ahead of teammate Katie Lanphere, who finished third in 23:05.10. Jessica Jones was fourth in 23:20.90, Casey Carson was ninth in 24:16.80, and Maddy Valadie was 10th in 24:18.40.
-- Herald staff report