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NAPLES — Coach Lane McLaughlin said Carrollwood Day ran into a buzz saw Friday night against Naples First Baptist Academy.
First Baptist’s power run game, behind seniors Jonah Bueltel and Chris Dorrill, set the tone on the opening drive and never let up against the Patriots’ defense. The Lions scored on all six of their first-half drives, their runners patiently taking the breath and heart out of the Patriots on their way to a 56-28 victory.
“We were shell-shocked in that first half,” McLaughlin said.
The Patriots answered the Lions’ first touchdown with a 58-yard pass from Vidal Woodruff to Andy Embody but could not keep pace, as First Baptist built an insurmountable 42-7 halftime lead behind 221 rushing yards from Dorrill and 109 from Bueltel.
The Patriots’ injury report mounted. Dominiq Sicardo sprained his ankle during warmups, Adam Morse took a hit to the head and Robert Davis was suffering from a stomach ailment that held him out.
Davis and the Patriots rallied to start the second half. They scored on a 19-yard run by Davis then a 43-yard touchdown catch by Embody to get some momentum. But the Lions slammed the door again in three plays to go up 49-14.
The Patriots got as close as 49-28 heading into the fourth quarter. The Patriots came up with back-to-back fumble recoveries but turned the ball over on a fourth-and-11 interception and again on a sack and forced fumble, deep in their territory.
“We’re not satisfied but we’re proud of the season we had,” McLaughlin said.
The Patriots had some success through the air as Woodruff was 13-of-22 for 191 yards. Embody had 10 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns, and Davis finished with 19 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown.
The Lions got the football back and ran out the clock with two minutes remaining after a final Carrollwood Day drive stalled.