A ball-control offense that was heavy on the run proved to be Barron Collier's best defense Friday night against local non-district rival Lely at the BC stadium.
Allowing the Trojans just 10 plays from scrimmage in the second half, the Cougars (4-1) shut out Lely, 17-0.
In that dominant second half, BC engineered long scoring drives of 70 yards (15 plays) and 66 yards (12 plays) to control time of possession.
Barron Collier's two touchdowns were scored by Jake Berman on a 4-yarder and Carson Klahm on a 2-yarder.
Ironically, everybody thought it was Conor Keating who took over for Klahm in the second half at the QB position. The truth was, it was still Klahm in the huddle wearing the No. 12 instead of his usual No. 15 jersey.
"He got popped in the nose right before the end of the first half and his jersey had blood all over it, so he had to change jerseys at the half," said winning coach Dan Pallante. "There was no deception intended. He just had to get a different jersey on because of the blood on his other one."
The Barron defense limited Lely to only one first down in the game — that one in the first half. The Trojans (2-3) netted just 23 yards rushing for the game and 19 yards passing.
Both teams have tough assignments next Friday night. Barron Collier travels to Naples High and Lely will play host to Immokalee.
"You can always win a football game with good defense," Pallante said, also commenting on the lopsided time of possession. "We can't throw the ball so grinding it out on the ground has to be the name of our game. Really, the best defense is a slow ball-control offense. I'm old-school."
Barron Collier ran the ball 57 times, throwing only six times — two of which were intercepted. The bullish Berman led the rushing attack with 93 yards on 19 carries. Eleven different Cougars got touches.
"That's the beauty of the type of offenses we run," said Lely first-year head coach Stacey Stewart. "We both like to run the ball. The thing tonight was that they put us in more second-and-long situations that we put them in. That was the key."
The first half went as expected with both teams focusing on their ground attacks. But the defenses were up to the task Barron hurt itself by losing two fumbles in the first half. The only first-half scoring came on a 28-yard field goal by Nico Gomez with 2:02 left in the first period.