Marco Island Academy ran into a football team that was strong on both sides of the ball Friday night when they visited First Baptist Academy of Naples. When the dust settled, the Rays came home on the short end of a 42-16 score.
"They're well coached," Rays head coach Greg Fowler said of First Baptist. "Our kids played hard. I'm glad we scored a couple in the second half. I'm glad the kids kept fightin'."
The Marco coach received two unsportsmanlike penalties and was ejected from the game near the end of the first half.
The reasons for the penalties were not obvious.
"Apparently I did enough to get ejected tonight," Fowler said. "I did not use any profanity at all."
According to the Florida High School Athletic Association manual, a football coach who has been ejected from a game faces a minimum of a one-game suspension.
According to the association manual, "all coaches or other representatives of the school's athletic interests who have been disqualified (ejected) from a contest must complete the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) "Teaching and Modeling Behavior" course prior to the completion of the suspension or within thirty (30) calendar days, whichever comes first."
The Rays had trouble stopping First Baptist's running game. Baptist's Dylan Cibelli broke several long runs against the Rays, including TD runs of 48, 24 and seven yards. First Baptist's Jayce Howell also broke an 80-yard TD run on the Rays.
With the score at 42-0 at halftime, the second half was played with a running clock.
The Rays continued to play hard and scored twice in the fast-moving second half.
Junior Tyler Gresham rumbled 26 yards for the Rays first score. Quarterback Andrew Fowler ran for the two point conversion to make it 42-8.
The Rays stopped First Baptist and again drove for a score when Fowler scored on a quarterback sneak. Tyler Gresham picked up the two point conversion with a nice run.
With the win, First Baptist Academy improves to 4-1. The Rays drop to 2-4.
The academy has a week off to prepare for their next game.
"We have a bye week and then we have a home game against Southwest Florida Christian," Greg Fowler said.
Rays' next game
Marco academy has bye this week, faces SW Florida Christian next week