Marco Island Academy won its first game on the field in downing the St. John Neumann JV team 50-16 on Wednesday night at St. John Neumann.
The Celtics were more than game in the first half, but a key Academy interception, which led to an Alex Excell 101-yard touchdown jaunt, gave the Academy a 30-16 lead at halftime.
"The interception by Alex was a big play for us," Academy coach Andy Delgado said."I am very proud of our team. We executed well and played great defense."
Using a wildcat formation, Reeves Carlisle and Jared Jackson played very well.
"Carlisle passed well and Jackson made good calls, read holes well and made positive yardage," Delgado said. "Cabrera was outstanding on offense and defense and Colby Jones was a bruiser when he came in at fullback. Jonatan Kriqi really hit people on defense."
The first-year Academy varsity program is now 2-4, with a forfeit win over Zion Lutheran Christian School of Deerfield Beach. Two losses have been to JV teams and two to varsity teams.
A bad omen for the Celtics came with just 1:22 in. Cabrera picked up a Celtics fumble and raced 30 yards for a touchdown. A run by Jackson made it 8-0.
On the next possession Neumann started from its own 28. Runs by Peter Jean-Marie and Jacob Clark got the Celtics to the Manta Rays' 5-yard line. Quarterback Paul Costain passed to an open Clark, putting them on the board. A pass from Costain to Chris Samos tied the game.
Runs by Jones, Cabrera and two passes by Reeves Carlisle were topped off by a pass from Carlisle to Jackson with three minutes left in the second quarter. A run by Jackson made it 16-8.
Clark and Jean-Marie again sparked the Celtics to a score. The drive was finished on an 8-yard pass from Costain to Santos. Another pass, Costain to Clark, tied the game, 16-16.
The Academy's Jones did most of the running on the Manta Rays next scoring drive, gaining 48 yards. Jackson capped the drive on a 7-yard run, and Jones made the two-point conversion, making the score 24-16.
It wasn't over just yet. With just over a minute to the half, the Celtics offense took the ball to the Academy 10-yard line. However, that's when Costain's pass was picked off by Excell.
The Celtics played short-handed due to injuries, dressing just 14 players.
The Academy's next game is at home against at Northwest Christian Academy of Miami at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 19.
More photos online at marconews.com.