Prep football: Barron Collier, Gulf Coast looking to end regular season with Catfish Bowl victory

Here's a look at the results:

Oct. 23, 1998 – Barron Collier 34, Gulf Coast 2

Oct. 8, 1999 – Gulf Coast 36, Barron Collier 35

(Catfish Bowl established)

Oct. 6, 2000 – Gulf Coast 42, Barron Collier 36 (OT)

Sept. 7, 2001 – Barron Collier 27, Gulf Coast 0

Sept. 13, 2002 – Barron Collier 18, Gulf Coast 0

Oct. 3, 2003 – Barron Collier 17, Gulf Coast 7

Oct. 1, 2004 – Barron Collier 35, Gulf Coast 0

Oct. 14, 2005 – Barron Collier 28, Gulf Coast 6

Oct. 13, 2006 – Barron Collier 42, Gulf Coast 14

Oct. 5, 2007 – Gulf Coast 22, Barron Collier 14

Oct. 10, 2008 -- Barron Collier 38, Gulf Coast 20

Nov. 13, 2009 -- Barron Collier 45, Gulf Coast 28

Nov. 10, 2010 -- Barron Collier 28, Gulf Coast 7

Nov. 10, 2011 -- Barron Collier 54, Gulf Coast 22

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Key players: GC – QB Nick Schmidt, RB Brandon Mullings, WR A.J. Carter. BC – RB Andy Boileau, RB Derren Pass, DB Nathan Leedy.

What to watch for: This is the 15th annual Catfish Bowl. It started in 1998 when Gulf Coast opened and took many students from Barron Collier. The Cougars hold an 11-3 edge in the series and have won 10 of the past 11 games. Both teams mostly run the ball. Barron Collier had a season-high 304 rushing yards last week and has thrown for just 51 yards all season. Gulf Coast sophomore quarterback Nick Schmidt threw for 108 yards last week, a season best.

Pete Fominaya understands the importance of the Catfish Bowl better than anyone.

The first-year Gulf Coast football coach is one of the reasons the Sharks have such a heated rivalry with Barron Collier in the first place.

Fominaya spent his first two years of high school at Barron Collier. When Gulf Coast opened in 1998 the school pulled most its students from Barron, including Fominaya, and the schools have been battling in every sport ever since.

"They're very similar in the people who attend the schools and the families in the area," said Fominaya, in his first year coaching his alma mater. "This (game) is still a big deal to the community."

Nothing of importance is on the line tonight. Only pride.

Barron Collier (6-3) has sewn up second place in Class 6A-District 12 and a first-round playoff game at South Fort Myers. Gulf Coast (2-7) has no hopes for the postseason or a winning record.

Still, both sides would love to get a victory, and not just for bragging rights. The Cougars want to momentum heading into the postseason, while the Sharks would like to end their rebuilding year on a high note.

Plus, there's the always important Catfish Bowl trophy. Barron Collier won the first matchup while upstart Gulf Coast won the second, Fominaya's senior year. Lately the Cougars have owned the trophy, winning four in a row and 10 of 11 since 2001.

"I call it a chest game," said Dan Pallante, in his first season as head coach at Barron Collier. "If you win you get to stick your chest out a little farther."

"It's like playing your friend. That's why I like football in Southwest Florida. Whether you're playing Naples or Gulf Coast, the schools are right there and everyone knows everyone."

The Cougars have rebounded from two straight losses with a pair of big victories. Barron Collier won at Immokalee on Oct. 19 before beating Palmetto Ridge to earn 6A-12 runner-up last week.

The 27-7 win over the Bears tied Barron's largest point total of the season, which came in Week 1. The Cougars also ran for a season-high 304 yards.

Barron Collier wants to make sure it's hitting on all cylinders in the playoffs. Pallante said that means focusing on their strengths and making them even stronger.

"The Cougars are going to play defense and run the ball," Pallante said. "We can't change now. I'm too old."

Despite a 33-14 loss to Lemon Bay that knocked them out of the playoffs, the Sharks continued to make strides in Fominaya's new offense last week. Gulf Coast also had its best offensive output since Week 1, and sophomore quarterback Nick Schmidt threw for a season-best 108 yards.

The goal is to improve even more, Fominaya said, but the Sharks coach knows it will be hard against a strong Barron Collier defense.

"After Naples, this is the second-best team we play all year," Fominaya said. "They have an edge about them. They're physical up front and as big as any team we've seen all season."

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features