MARCO ISLAND — Marco Island Academy came out hot against Canterbury on Thursday night, but the Manta Rays quickly cooled down. Canterbury, which trailed 14-13 after the first quarter, earned its first 11-man football win in school history, 46-36.
Manta Rays senior Jared Jackson got the scoring-fest started with a fumble return for a touchdown. However, turnovers and penalties halted Marco Island after the team earned a 14-13 lead in the first quarter. Canterbury scored 39 unanswered points, which proved to be too big of a deficit for Marco Island, which answered with a 22-point run.
Records: MIA 1-2; Canterbury 1-2
Next: Moore Haven at Marco Island Academy, Friday Sept. 27, 7 p.m.
Key moment: Marco Island sophomore quarterback Cole Stretton hit Alex Excell on a 79-yard touchdown pass while up 14-13 in the second quarter. The play called back on a chop block, putting the Manta Rays on their own 6-yard line. The Manta Rays never recovered from the momentum-shifting play, giving up six Canterbury scores before finding the end zone again in the third quarter.
Top performer: Canterbury quarterback Alex Rabinowitz had a field day against the Marco Island defense. The senior scored six total touchdowns, three by ground and three by air, as well as running in a two-point conversion. Rabinowitz torched the Manta Rays with pinpoint accuracy on his throws, completing 66 percent of his passes for 223 yards. He picked up 93 yards on the ground, averaging 6.2 yards-per-carry.
Notable stats: Marco Island wasn’t the only team making mistakes in the turnover-filled match. Canterbury lost four fumbles in the game and had an interception. The Cougars’ defense bailed them out by causing six Marco Island turnovers. Turnovers didn’t turn out to be Marco Island’s biggest issue. The Manta Rays shot themselves in the foot with 13 penalties for a total of 142 yards.
In their own words: “The kids got a little deflated, but after a halftime speech they came out strong. Overall, (the comeback) shows that we have heart and we stayed strong. We didn’t give up; we ran out of time. If this game went a little further, you would see that this game was turning (in our favor.)” -- Marco Island coach Andy Delgado
“My personal opinion on (the penalties) is that we have to do a self-evaluation; I’m going to talk to the kids. In my opinion, there were a lot of personal fouls called that I think was just the kids being aggressive. I didn’t see some of the calls that the refs were explaining to me. I saw kids giving 100 percent and hitting.” -- Delgado
CANTERBURY 46, MARCO ISLAND 36
C 13 23 10 0 - 46
MIA 14 0 6 16 - 36
MIA Jackson 25 fumble return (Mertons kick) 11:43
C C. Gunningham 8 pass from A. Rabinowitz (Dusseau kick) 4:33
MIA Jackson 67 run (Mertons kick) 4:10
C A. Rabinowitz 36 run (kick failed) 3:30
C A. Rabinowitz 6 run (A. Rabinowitz run) 4:03
C A. Rabinowitz 5 run (kick failed) 0:22
C K. Babb 14 pass from A. Rabinowitz (Dusseau kick) 2:00
C Safety 1:11
C A Babb 10 pass from A. Rabinowitz (Dusseau kick) 8:40
C Dusseau 33 kick 6:17
MIA Chery 38 fumble return (run failed) 4:20
MIA Stretton 5 run (Wallace pass from Stretton) 6:26
MIA Jackson 23 pass from Stretton (Stretton run) 3:13
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