Lakewood Ranch

Fischer, Lakewood Ranch back on track after blowing out North Port

NORTH PORT -- Justin Fischer rushed for 145 yards on 20 carries and Darrin Lowery scored two touchdowns as the Lakewood Ranch High School football team ended a six-game losing streak with a 42-7 win over North Port at the Preserve in the District 7A-11 finale for both teams.

Quarterback Justin Curtis completed six passes to six different receivers for 107 yards and three scores as the Mustangs took advantage of three first-half turnovers by North Port, turning them into 21 points and forcing a running clock for the entire second half. The Mustangs scored three touchdowns in a span of two-and-a-half minutes in the second quarter to turn it into a rout.

"We played to the ability we thought they could play to. We did bad things, but we overcame them," Lakewood Ranch coach Mickey Koczersut said. "They've put a lot of work in and we had a chance to come out and win, and that's good for them."

Lakewood Ranch (2-7, 1-4) caught its first break on North Port's first possession when Christian Cahueque recovered a fumble at the North Port 32. Six plays later, Curtis found Lowery in the end zone to make it 7-0.

The Mustangs scored quickly on their next possession, taking just five plays and a steady diet of Fischer, who ran the final 6 yards into the end zone to make it 14-0.

North Port couldn't stop the Mustangs in the first half, allowing 320 yards of offense while gaining just 36. Lowery scored on a short touchdown run and 20 seconds later, following a Devin Twenty fumble recovery, Curtis threw to Mickey Koczersut, the coach's son, to make it 28-0.

Chris Hadley intercepted a pass moments later, setting up a 6-yard TD pass to Trevor Losada to make it 35-0. A potential third Lowery touchdown late in the half was called back by a personal foul.

Even a running clock couldn't stop the Mustangs, as Davion Thomas ran the ball in from 13 yards on their first second-half possession to make it 42-0.

North Port (2-7, 0-5) broke the shutout in the closing moments on an Octavious Cummings touchdown run.

For North Port coach Brian Hatler, it was no consolation in a game where the Bobcats made too many mistakes.

"We didn't do the things we need to do to be successful. We turned the ball over and gave up big plays defensively. You can't do that," Hatler said. "Lakewood Ranch outplayed us. There's no doubt about it."

Cummings ran for 35 yards on nine carries for the Bobcats. Lowery ran for 46 yards on six carries for Lakewood Ranch.