LEHIGH ACRES — Following Thursday night's victory over Lehigh in a preseason classic, Lely coach Steve Pricer affectionately called senior running back Fortin Faustin “our little Superman.”
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Faustin did everything in his power to help Pricer to a win in his unofficial debut with the Trojans, rushing for a game-high 141 yards on 20 carries to lead Lely to a 34-13 victory. He also booted four extra-point kicks.
“Fortin just outworks everybody,” Pricer said. “He gets banged up and dinged and he still plays. He does not like to come out of the game. He's a very quiet kid, but he leads by example.”
Faustin was consistently good the entire game, rushing for 78 yards in the first half and 63 yards in the second. His touchdown came on a 15-yard scamper, putting the Trojans up 21-13 late in the third quarter.
“I was feeling pretty good out there,” Faustin said. “The O-line really picked it up in the second half and we were able to move the ball and get first downs.”
Faustin says he enjoys playing for Pricer, who took over the team after former coach Chris Metzger left for a job in North Carolina.
“Right now, Coach P is on the sidelines and I'm trying to impress him,” Faustin said. “I like Coach P a lot. I'm going to keep working hard to show him I can handle the job.”
Faustin wasn't the only offensive star for the Trojans, as wide receiver Justo Vasquez hauled in six passes for 138 yards and a touchdown.
“Justo is one of our team leaders, he's a gamer,” Pricer said. “He just loves to play football and has a great nose for the goal line. He makes big plays despite not being the fastest kid we have. But you better cover him, because he can hurt you.”
Senior quarterback Mike O'Regan experienced a mixed bag of results, completing 12-of-30 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown, but threw two interceptions. The second pick set up Lehigh's second touchdown just before halftime, cutting the Lely lead to 14-13.
“Our offensive line is still a work in progress,” Pricer said. “We have two kids back from last year, but the kids on our line are great kids and they're working hard. Lehigh had some very athletic kids and they gave us fits. They kept beating our offensive tackles. Mike O'Regan stepped up in the pocket and made some throws, but he took some hits as well.”
Lely's defense played a superb game, as Lehigh didn't have a sustained drive until the substitutions were in the game late in the fourth quarter. Lehigh scored one of its touchdowns on a botched Lely punt and the other score came after O'Regan's interception. Lely gave up just over 100 total yards in the contest and scored a defensive touchdown when McKenzie Pierre recovered a fumble and rumbled 25 yards for a score late in the third.
“We've got some very athletic kids and our defensive coaches work their tails off,” Pricer said. “They're super teachers and our kids just respond to that.”
Lely takes on Barron Collier next Friday in the regular-season opener for both squads.
“We need to work on getting better on our offensive line because our pass protection is still a little off,” Faustin said. “But I know we'll be working on it next week in practice to get ready for Barron.”
Lely 7 7 14 6—34
Lehigh 0 13 0 0— 13
Lely— Darlon Hall 7 pass from Mike O'Regan (Fortinel Faustin kick)
Lely— O'Regan 3 run (Faustin kick)
Leh— Erwin Wells 51 fumble return (Kirk Lucarelli kick)
Leh— Derek Fischer 15 pass from Jose Vidal (pass failed)
Lely— Faustin 15 run (Faustin kick)
Lely— Mackenzie Pierre 25 fumble return (Faustin kick)
Lely— Justo Vasquez 15 pass from O'Regan (kick failed)