NAPLES — Golden Gate is in the playoffs.
That was a sentence never uttered before -- until Friday night.
The Titans entered their Class 5A-District 12 matchup against Lely, a team Golden Gate had never beaten, needing a win to clinch its first postseason berth.
Golden Gate (4-3, 1-0 in district play) steamrolled the Trojans 44-14 before an enthusiastic crowd at Titans Stadium and will now compete in a playoff game for the first time in the school’s eight-year history.
“It was a sweet victory,” Titans coach Mike DiGrigoli said. “To beat Lely for the first time, and for that win to allow us to enter the playoffs for the first time is a triumph for the program.”
Though the Titans moved the ball on offense in the first quarter, they committed five penalties which stalled each of their opening drives.
As he did last week in a 59-21 win over Palmetto Ridge, sophomore running back Breon Brown got the Titans on the board first with a long touchdown run.
On the second play of the second quarter, Brown broke through a hole on the line of scrimmage, darted outside and down the right sideline for a 44-yard score. He totaled 180 yards on the ground, adding another score on a 23-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Five minutes after his first touchdown, Brown, a former youth All-American with the Naples Gators, set up the Titans’ next score with a spectacular 39-yard run to the Trojans’ 15-yard line. Two plays later, Golden Gate quarterback Kenneth Mouton connected with Keovis Brice on a touchdown pass.
Golden Gate recovered a Lely fumble on the Trojans’ ensuing possession. Junior running back C.J. Jones pounded the ball in from a yard out to give the Titans a 21-0 lead, and help send them on their way to the postseason.
“We’ve been staying after practice working with the running backs,” Titans senior offensive lineman Shannon Lopez said. “Tonight, we opened up holes and (the running backs) hit them hard.
“These guys are my brothers. We grew up together and made history. We practiced hard all week. We came in with the mindset where we knew we were going to win.”
Golden Gate’s defense played superbly, sacking Lely quarterback Karbel Dirogene four times and holding the Trojans to just four first downs.
“Our defensive game plan was to be aggressive,” DiGrigoli said. “Don’t hold back. No reservations. Play full out.”
Contained most of the evening, Dirogene was able to break off a 42-yard touchdown run right before the half to put the Trojans (1-7, 0-2) on the board. He ended the evening with 74 yards rushing.
The Titans travel to Gulf Coast next week before heading to Immokalee on Nov. 4 to play for the 5A-12 title. The Trojans host Palmetto Ridge next Friday.
GOLDEN GATE 44, LELY 14
L 0 7 0 7 -- 14
GG 0 22 15 7 -- 44
GG -- Brown 44 run (Rojas kick) 11:35
GG -- Brice 15 pass from Mouton (run good) 6:53
GG -- Jones 1 run (Rojas kick) 4:12
L -- Dirogene 42 run (Sanchez kick) 2:20
GG -- Carr 15 fumble return (Pass good) 11:44
GG -- Kendrick Mouton 4 run (Rojas kick) 0:19
L -- Mobley 2 run (Sanchez kick) 9:31
GG -- Brown 23 run (Rojas kick) 5:32
2011 PREPZONE FOOTBALL: WEEK 8
- Video: Naples claims 6A-12 title
- Video: Immokalee blows past Barron Collier
- Video: Neumann routs Moore Haven
- Video: SFM knocks off Island Coast
- Video: Golden Gate defeats Lely
- Video: Estero defeats Cypress Lake
- Video: Week 8: Coach Weber's Preview
- Photos: Immokalee vs. Barron Collier
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- Prep football: Community School pulls out win at Seffner Christian
- Prep football: Estero's Sides passes 6,000-yard mark in Wildcats' win over Cypress Lake
- Prep football: First Baptist routs Merritt Island Christia
- Prep football: Golden Gate defeats Lely, makes playoffs for the first time
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- Prep football: Gulf Coast falls short at Port Charlotte
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