Since being thrust into Naples' starting lineup as a sophomore during last season's postseason run, Eagles head coach Bill Kramer has known that quarterback Kilton Anderson has possessed the ability to be a game-changer.
Because of a stellar season by running back Manny Morgan and a litany of blowout games that saw the starters spending most of the second half on the sidelines, Anderson hasn't had the opportunities to put up gaudy numbers.
That wasn't the case on Friday night when the 6-foot-2 junior showed he could be the elite quarterback in the area with his breakout performance against one of the Eagles' toughest opponents of the year.
"He is really a rare athlete," Kramer said. "God blessed him with cognitive tools and the physical ability and has taken those gifts and applied himself."
Anderson did it all in the Eagles' 42-31 victory over visiting Venice and capped off a perfect 9-0 regular season for Naples. He ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns, and threw for 102 yards and two more touchdowns in the air. It also puts other teams in Class 6A on notice that the Eagles can score in a multitude of ways.
"Venice did everything they could to take Manny out of the game. They forced the option and tried to make the quarterback beat them," Kramer said. "And (Anderson) did that."
Kramer attributed the success to Anderson's dedication in practice.
"It all started with a great work week. He knows how to prepare and Friday showed that," Kramer added.
Aidan Brennan, Barron Collier swimming — Took fifth in the 100 freestyle and sixth in the 50 free as Cougars finished fourth at the 2A state meet.
Conor Keating, Barron Collier football — Ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in his first start of the season to lead Cougars to victory over Gulf Coast.
Carlos Miranda, Palmetto Ridge cross country — Won third consecutive individual regional title at Class 3A-Region 3 meet.
Alejandro Pedraza, Golden Gate cross country — Won the individual title at the 2A-Region 3 meet.