NAPLES — Justin Black had his best game of the year for the Barron Collier football team, and it only took two and a half quarters.
The Cougars quarterback threw for season highs of 298 yards and four touchdowns to lead Barron Collier to a 54-22 win at Gulf Coast. The Cougars (6-4) scored 26 straight points in the second half to run away with the 14th Catfish Bowl, their fourth straight victory in the annual rivalry game.
“It just felt awesome,” Black said of his play. “It was an awesome way to end the season. We hope to go into the playoffs with a lot of momentum.”
After losing four of five games, the Cougars head into next week’s Class 6A regional quarterfinal at Fort Myers winners of two straight. It’s the fifth straight trip to the postseason for Barron Collier, but the Cougars are 0-4 in first round games since 2007.
Black is in his first year at Barron Collier after moving to the area from Port Huron, Mich., this winter. He had throw for more than 200 yards just once in a game this season and had one touchdown and three interceptions the past four games.
Against Gulf Coast the senior threw for 230 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as the Cougars took a 28-13 lead into the locker room. Black completed 14 of 21 passes with one interception and left the game with 3:17 remaining in the third quarter and his team up 40-15.
“This whole year has been a transition going from Michigan to Florida and learning a whole new offense,” Black said. “Tonight everything was clicking. I felt comfortable. Hopefully we can use this momentum next week.”
Just 30 seconds into the second quarter, Barron Collier went up 21-0 on Black’s second touchdown pass. Gulf Coast rallied and found the end zone on back-to-back drives to pull within 21-14 with 1:07 left in the first half.
The Sharks had the momentum and were set to get the ball back to start the third quarter and potentially tie the game.
Black made sure that didn’t happen. He led the Cougars 55 yards in three plays. With 13 seconds left before halftime he found Shea Wickenden on a 41-yard touchdown pass in which he scrambled to his right and seemed to waive his receiver into position.
Gulf Coast got a safety halfway through the third quarter when linebacker Vince Parker wrapped up Black, who was then called for illegal grounding in the end zone. The Cougars responded by scoring four straight touchdowns to go up 54-15 with three minutes to play.
Sharks coach Andrew Miranti, who is 5-16 in two seasons as head coach, said the game would have been closer if it weren’t for Gulf Coast mistakes.
“In the first half … we jumped offside on fourth down, and then there was a roughing the quarterback,” Miranti said. “We gave them two touchdowns in the first half. Nonetheless I’m proud of the way the kids played. There was no quit.”
In his last game at Gulf Coast, senior quarterback Charlie Cannaday completed 16 of 30 passes for 152 yards for two touchdowns and an interception. His favorite target was fellow senior Anferne Warner, who caught nine passes for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Rick Beaubrin, another senior, had 124 yards on five receptions, including a 79-yard touchdown on the game’s final play. With the running clock in effect, time ran out after he scored with 1:30 left.
“I played hard,” said an emotional Cannaday, who left with a leg injury in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. “I left it all out there, did all I could.”
Barron Collier coach Mark Ivey refused to speak with the media following the win. When a Daily News reporter asked if he could speak with him, Ivey said, “No, sir. Never.”
BARRON COLLIER 54, GULF COAST 22
BC 14 14 12 14—54
GC 0 13 2 7—22
BC — James 12 pass from Black (run failed), 7:46
BC — Boileau 8 run (Kerlek pass from Black), 4:22
BC — D. Miller 10 pass from Black (Tamayo kick), 11:31
GC — Warner 14 pass from Cannaday (Rogers kick), 8:00
GC — Beaubrin 9 pass from Cannaday (kick failed), 1:07
BC — Wickenden 41 pass from Black (Tamayo kick), 0:13
GC — Safety (Parker sacks Black in end zone), 5:52
BC — Kerlek 11 pass from Black (kick blocked), 4:00
BC — Pass 7 run (kick failed), 3:17
BC — Pass 53 run (Tamayo kick), 10:19
BC — Decker 3 run (Tamayo kick), 3:05
GC — Beaubrin 79 pass from Brennan (Rogers kick), 1:30
2011 PREPZONE FOOTBALL: WEEK 11
- Video: Cougars land the Catfish Bowl trophy
- Video: Naples no match for Venice
- Video: Palmetto Ridge vs. Braden River - Quarter 1
- Video: Palmetto Ridge vs. Braden River - Quarter 2
- Video: Palmetto Ridge vs. Braden River - Quarter 3
- Video: Palmetto Ridge vs. Braden River - Quarter 4
- Video: Bishop Verot defeats Estero
- Video: SFM dominates Cypress Lake
- Photos: Bradenton-Braden River vs. Palmetto Ridge
- Photos: Naples vs. Venice
- Photos: Estero vs. Bishop Verot
- Photos: Barron Collier vs. Gulf Coast (Catfish Bowl)
- Photos: South Fort Myers vs. Cypress Lake
- Your Photos: Barron Collier Fan Photos
- Your Photos: Gulf Coast Fan Photos
- Your Photos: Gulf Coast Band Photos
- Your Photos: Barron Collier Band Photos
- Prep football: Naples no match for dominant Venice squad
- Prep football: Palmetto Ridge falls in finale on last-minute F
- Prep football: Estero's hopes for winning season turned away by Verot
- Prep football: First Baptist routs Zion Lutheran Christia
- Prep football: Golden Gate comes up short at American Heritage
- Prep football, Week 11: Friday's scores from around the state of Florida
- Prep football: Barron Collier romps in Catfish Bowl
- Prep football: South tunes up for playoffs by rolling Cypress Lake
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