NAPLES — The 37th edition of the Coconut Bowl didn’t have nearly the drama or suspense of the 36th.
In businesslike manner, Naples High slowly chopped away at Lely in Friday’s rivalry game. The game looked like it would be close early, but the Golden Eagles took a 31-point lead into the fourth quarter before winning 38-13.
Naples won back The ‘Nut, the trophy that goes to the winner of Collier County’s oldest rivalry each year, after being upset by Lely at home in overtime last season. The Golden Eagles now have a 22-15 advantage in the series.
“It’s a great win,” Naples coach Bill Kramer said. “Anytime we beat Lely it’s a big deal for us. It’s the Coconut Bowl.”
The win keeps the Eagles (6-0, 3-0 in 3A-12) undefeated on the season and sets up a match of heavyweights in next week’s Crosstown Showdown against Barron Collier (5-1, 3-0). With both teams unbeaten in Class 3A-District 12 and just three league games left, next week’s game could be for the district championship.
It was a one-score game in the second quarter when the Golden Eagles scored two touchdowns before halftime. Naples added another score on its first drive of the second half to erase any chances Lely (2-5, 1-3) of its first back-to-back Coconut Bowl wins since 1998.
Naples used a punishing ground attack to grind out yardage and long drives against the Trojans’ defense. The Eagles ran for a season-high 359 yards.
Running back Manny Morgan had a career-high 186 yards on just 16 carries. Steven Williams added 98 yards, and both back scored a touchdown.
Only a sophomore, Morgan had never played in the Coconut Bowl before, but he had plenty of motivation. Morgan’s father, Tyrone, is a 1994 graduate of Lely. Morgan was in the stands for last year’s game, but that didn’t stop his dad from giving him an earful when the Trojans won.
“It was depressing because my dad’s a Lely graduate, and he laid it on me,” Morgan said. “Today I just wanted to come out and ball because I knew this game meant so much to him.”
Lely could have kept the game much closer, but couldn’t capitalize on Naples’ mistakes in the first half.
After the Eagles fumbled the ball away on their own 33-yard line in the second quarter, Lely turned it over on down four plays later. Naples took advantage when Williams ran 45 yards to the end zone five plays later to put the Eagles up 14-0.
The Trojans hoped to cut into Naples’ lead late in the first half when they got the ball with 1:20 to go in the second quarter. Eagles linebacker Carlos Barreno intercepted quarterback Patrick Lane two plays later, though.
It took Naples just three plays to score after the interception to move ahead 21-0 with seven seconds to go before halftime.
“We made some mistakes,” Lely coach Dave Miller said. “While their guys were making plays, our guys weren’t making plays tonight.”
Lely finished with 231 yards of offense, 190 on the ground. Most of those yards came on two fourth-quarter scoring drives. In the first half, the Trojans were held to just 47 total yards.
“I thought coming in we’d be able to move the ball a little bit,” Miller said. “Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. They did a good job shutting us down.”
Naples 38, Lely 13
Naples 7 14 10 7 — 38
Lely 0 0 0 13 — 13
N – Carlyle 1 run (Okubo kick), 9:37
N – Williams 45 run (Okubo kick), 10:32
N – Pinckney 13 pass from Carlyle (Okubo kick), 0:07
N – Morgan 11 run (Okubo kick), 9:22
N – Okubo 46 FG, 3:07
L – Rakoski 17 pass from Lane (Sanchez kick), 9:45
L – Cyceron 67 run (run failed), 1:54
N – Crook 5 run (Okubo kick), 0:40
2010 PREPZONE FOOTBALL: WEEK 7
WEEK SEVEN COVERAGE:
- Video: Naples takes back the Nut
- Video: First Baptist suffers a loss at home
- Video: Naples band halftime show
- Video: Lely band's halftime show
- Video: Fans & bands: Coconut Bowl
- Photos: Naples vs. Lely (Coconut Bowl)
- Photos: Palmetto Ridge vs. Immokalee
- Photos: St. John Neumann vs. First Baptist
- Photos: Estero vs. Fort Myers
- Photos: Golden Gate vs. Cypress Lake
- Your Photos: Naples Fan Photos
- Your Photos: Lely Fan Photos
- Your Photos: Lely Band Photos
- Your Photos: Golden Gate & Cypress Lake Fan Photos
- Prep football: Naples pulls away from Lely in Coconut Bowl
- Prep football: Palmetto Ridge downs Immokalee for first victory
- Prep football: St. John Neumann ground attack chews up First Baptist
- Prep football: Golden Gate defense comes up big in win over Cypress Lake
- Prep football: Estero's comeback bid falls short at Fort Myers
- Prep football: South Fort Myers crushes Ida Baker
- Prep football: Florida Christian duo runs down Community School
- PREP FOOTBALL: Week 7 scores, stories, photos & videos
- Prep football: Friday's scores from around the state of Florida