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Lehigh overcomes Cape in closely fought contest

October 10, 2018
By CJ HADDAD ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

It was a tale of two halves in Lehigh Friday night as the Lightning (4-1) edged out Cape Coral (5-1) in a closely contested bout, leaving the Seahawks scoreless after surrendering 21 first half points for a 26-21 victory.

Lehigh's defense flipped a switch in the final 24 minutes, holding Cape Coral to just 52-yards of total offense in the second half, including two interceptions of Seahawk quarterback Parker O'Dell.

"It was a tough game, you know," said Seahawks Head Coach Dale Moore. "I'm super proud of our kids and their effort. We'll heal up and be ready to roll for next week."

Cape looked strong through the first half, being up 14-0 at one point, and carrying a 21-14 advantage going into the break, despite losing their starting running back, senior Adrian Canty, on the first drive.

"Very first play of the game, we lose one of our very best players, Adrian Canty," said Moore. "He tried (to return) one play, but he wasn't who he was supposed to be. And listen, my No. 1 priority in this job is their safety, it was not safe for him to compete."

O'Dell opened the scoring with a 13-yard scamper up the middle of the Lehigh defense, finishing off a 55-yard drive, to give Cape a 7-0 lead early in the second.

O'Dell had a solid night under center, going 13-25 with 148 passing yards, two interceptions, 62 rushing yards, 2 TD's in the air and one on the ground.

A Lehigh three and out on the ensuing possession put the Seahawks on their own 24-yard line.

After senior running back Anthony Cody took a hand-off for 3-yards, O'Dell hooked up once again this season with senior Jaydin Feliz for a long score, this time, for 73-yards.

Feliz was wide open up the right sideline and secured the catch after a slight bobble, but outran the Lightning safety to extend the lead.

Feliz finished with 5 receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown.

After another Garcia-Gastro point after kick, the Seahwaks had a 14-0 advantage.

It didn't take long for Lehigh to respond though, as new quarterback, senior D'mateo Collins took over for James Magee, and lead the Lightning to a 70-yard touchdown drive.

Collins had runs of 14 and 18-yards before throwing his first of three touchdown passes to senior Delshawn Green.

This was a 19-yard jump ball to the back left corner of the end zone, and the 6'1" receiver went up and got it, doing a great job of staying in bounds as he was blanketed by defenders.

A successful 2-point conversion made it 14-8 Seahawks with just over 8 minutes to go in the half.

The teams traded punts on consecutive possessions, and Lehigh found themselves on their own 20-yard line with just over two minutes until half.

Tre'Shaun Clark, senior defense end for the Seahawks sacked Collins for a 15-yard loss to put the Lightning back on their own 5.

Two plays later, Collins and Green found each other once more, this time for a monster 92-yard touchdown.

Collins floated a beautiful ball up the left sideline, with Green breaking a tackle after reeling in the pass and bringing it to the house.

It was 14-14 after the Lightning PAT attempt was blocked.

Cape got the ball back with under two minutes until half, and made good of their opportunity, thanks to a roughing the passer call on Lehigh at mid-field that gave the Seahawks a chance to score.

Junior wide receiver Jeron Newson provided nearly all of the offense on the drive, accounting for 41-yards and a 13-yard touchdown reception to give Cape the lead after two quarters.

Newson, along with Cody, picked up the slack for fallen teammate Canty

"Anthony Cody did a heck of a job, he always does. He ran his tail off," Moore said.

Cody finished with 83 total yards on 13 rush attempts and one reception.

The second half opened up with five straight scoreless possessions for the two teams, until Lehigh, with great field position after O'Dell's first interception, gave the ball to senior running back James Chaney who burst up the middle for a 28-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the drive.

Chaney was a workhorse all night, as he finished with 125 rushing yards on 20 attempts and a touchdown.

Cape still held onto a one-point lead with 7:30 to play in the fourth after a 2-point conversion was failed.

The Seahawks recovered a bad QB-RB exchange with 5:30 on the clock, but a three and out, combined with a stellar 60-yard punt return from Lightning sophomore Tar'varish Dawson, put Lehigh on Cape Coral's doorstep.

After a couple of hectic plays from Lehigh, including a fumble that quarterback Collins recovered for a gain, they found pay dirt once again.

Collins, who finished 9-17 with 143-yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 47 rushing yards, connected with Green for a third time, giving the Lightning their first lead of the game, one they would not relinquish.

All three of Green's receptions went for touchdowns, totaling 119 yards.

Another failed 2-point conversion kept the score 26-20 in favor of Lehigh.

Cape could not muster much offense on their final two possessions, both coming with under two minutes to play.

Senior 6'4" defensive end Quashon Fuller for the second time picked off O'Dell at the line of scrimmage, as he timed each pass just right, before snatching it out of the air with precision and great hands.

"We were our worst own enemy tonight," Moore said following the game. "We had too many penalties in crucial times - little mistakes, putting us behind the chains, giving them a first down - just too many penalties.

"And we have things to fix. That's the great thing about football. You don't have to wait three weeks to play again. We get to play next Friday. We've got a week to improve ourselves, to get better, to continue our district play."

Cape Coral's playoff hopes are certainly alive at 5-1, but the loss is something Coach Moore looks to build off or, rather than hang his head at.

"Sometimes losses are good things," he said. "Sometimes it can be good. You know, you never want to lose - ever - but sometimes it can kind of refocus you on what you want to really want to accomplish. Not that we were unfocused, we just played a heck of a football game. We have a district foe next week, and we're excited about that. So, we're going to keep on choppin'."

Cape will take on Ida Baker next week in district competition.

1st Quarter:

2nd Quarter:

CC -O'Dell 14-yard run (Antonio Garcia-Gastro kick) 11:38

CC -Feliz 73-yard pass from O'Dell (Garcia-Gastro kick) 9:45

L -Green 18 pass from Collins (2-PT good) 8:12

L --Green 92 pass from Collins (kick failed) 1:50

CC -Newson 13 pass from Odell (Garcia-Gastro kick) 0:33

3rd Quarter:

4th Quarter:

L-Chaney 28-yard run (2-PT no good) 7:31

L-Green 8-yard pass from Collins (2-PT no good) 2:00



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