NORTH PORT -- The Bayshore football team found out it can't quite rest on its laurels.
A week after rallying from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to post a 17-14 overtime victory at Class 5A-District 11 rival Sarasota Booker, a similar rally by the Bruins fell short. North Port sophomore Devon Allen called his own number and scored from 52 yards out with 30.2 seconds left to give the Bobcats a 21-12 homecoming victory in a non-district game at The Preserve.
"We came out and fought hard last week for that win at Booker," Bayshore head coach Elijah Freeman said. "I don't what happened this week. We just thought all of a sudden we didn't have to work, scratch and claw. North Port faced some adversity this week, but that's how you find out about a team's character."
North Port, which learned on Thursday that five of its players would be suspended for four regular-season games for their involvement in an incident following last week's 42-7 loss to visiting Class 7A-District 11 foe Braden River, got a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter. Octavious Cummings opened the scoring with a 3-yard run with 6:55 left before halftime, while Allen connected with C.K. Poulos on a 13-yard touchdown a little more than four minutes later.
Allen, who is listed as a wide receiver and defensive back on the North Port roster, got the start at quarterback in place of classmate Skylar Razwilawich. He finished with 246 yards of total offense, while Poulos had 100 yards on four receptions.
Bayshore had its share of opportunities as it forced four turnovers, including three in the second half. Isaiah Frazier played a factor in each of the Bobcats' three second-half turnovers as the Bayshore senior had a fumble recovery and two interceptions.
The Bruins failed to convert a fourth-and-3 from the North Port 28 on the final play of the first quarter, then later a 35-yard field goal attempt by Bayshore's Jesus Urdaneta was blocked with 7:11 left in the third quarter. After back-to-back touchdown drives, including a 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive that was capped by O'Neill's sneak with 12.5 seconds left in the third quarter, an interception by Frazier with 5:04 left put the Bruins back in business.
After a 14-yard run by Ashawn Angel to the North Port 45, the Bobcats recorded three sacks of O'Neill to retake possession. Bayshore still had one timeout left and the North Port coaching staff was content to run out the clock when Allen spotted his opening and went virtually untouched to the end zone.
The Bruins (1-5) face a must-win district game next Friday at Wauchula Hardee.