The Marco Island Academy had a chance to grab a signature win for the program when the fourth-ranked class 2A team in the state visited their field Monday night. But a barrage of big plays by Moore Haven combined with untimely mistakes by Rays left the home team smarting, 49-8 losers.
The game was played on Monday after an all-day rain Friday forced school officials to reschedule.
The Terriers struck fast, putting up 14 points in the first quarter, and never took their foot off the gas, going into halftime up 35-0. Because of the lopsided halftime score, the second half was played with a running clock.
But the Rays had their chances to score after moving the ball effectively, especially on the ground. But turnovers and poor clock management kept them off the scoreboard in the first half.
“We got stopped on several opportunities, “ Rays head coach Greg Fowler said. “Twice we were inside the five and snapped the ball over the quarterback’s head. That was tough. We had the ball inside their five three times and inside their 20 five times and we came up with zero points.
“We have to learn to finish drives,” the coach said. “Maybe we should have kept pounding it. I thought we ran the ball effectively all night. Mov
ing the ball between the 20s doesn’t mean anything. We need to learn how to finish drives.”
The Rays saw the clock run out on them at the end of the first half with the ball on the one yard line. Then the Terriers came out the second half and executed a perfect onside kick that they scooped up and sprinted 40 yards for a touchdown to make it 42-0.
With a running clock in the second half, any hope of a comeback was dashed. Moore Haven busted an 80-yard run for a touchdown and Andrew Fowler connected with Patrick Michel for an 18-yard touchdown in the waning moments of the game. Running back Tyler Gresham made an acrobatic two point conversion to end the evening’s scoring.
Patrick Michel turned in another dazzling performance, rushing 17 times for 119 yards, his third 100-yard rushing game this season.
Andrew Fowler was 9-17 passing for 93 yards.
The 1-3 Rays didn’t have much time to lick their wounds. Coach Fowler plans to be back on the practice field Tuesday, getting ready for Friday’s match-up with winless St. John Neumann, at Neumann.
The Terriers surely didn’t hurt their state ranking in moving to 4-0 on the season.
“We go right back to practice tomorrow,” Greg Fowler said. “It’s nice to get this taste out of our mouths quickly. We’re going to keep working and hopefully we’re going to fix our mistakes.”
Rays’ next game
Friday against St. John Neumann at Neumann.