Mustangs nip Bruins, 17-15

Two football teams looking to the future each took a page out of the past Saturday morning as Lakewood Ranch trimmed Bayshore 17-15 in a non-district football game on the Mustangs’ home field.

The Bruins and Mustangs played the final two quarters of a game that began on Friday night but was suspended at halftime due to inclement weather.

Playing on Saturday reminded Lakewood Ranch head coach Mick Koczersut of years ago when they played and coached Pop Warner youth football games as far away as Fort Myers. “The only difference was no one had to weigh in this morning,” he said.

Regarding momentum, Lakewood Ranch (1-0) weighed in early (including Friday night) and Bayshore (0-1) near the end. The Mustangs built a 17-0 lead based on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Justin Curtis to Mickey Koczersut Friday and – on Saturday – a 36-yard field goal by Travis Freeman and a two-yard run by Chase Sharp. Freeman made two extra points.

The field goal came with 4:56 remaining in the third quarter. Sharp’s run came with 30 seconds left in the quarter and followed his interception on the Bruins’ previous possession.

Bayshore, which hasn’t had a winning season since 2003, and was winless last year, roared back in the fourth quarter and scored on runs of 15 (8:38) and 11 (3:54) yards by Zy’darrian James. The first was followed by a two-point conversion by kicker Jared Richardson, who later made an extra point.

After the game, Bayshore head coach John Biezuns noted three times the Bruins had an opportunity to score, but failed.

“We just dug ourselves a hole,” he said. “Getting out of a hole is tough. Right now we have one side of the ball that is playing out of their minds (the defense). The problem is we’re just not stepping up to the plate on offense.”

There was no marathon band performance to rock the 13-hour “halftime.” But one of the few advantages the delay afforded both teams was the ability to alter game plans. That allowed coaches to play a larger role.

“We made some adjustments from last night,” Koczersut said. “Our kids pretty much did the things we needed to do. (But) we had a little bit of a letdown mentally once we got up (17-0).

Up next

▪  Bayshore at Island Coast in Cape Coral, 7:30 p.m. Friday

▪  Southeast at Lakewood Ranch, 7:30 p.m. Friday