ARCADIA — Port Charlotte says it works on special teams more than any team in the area, and all season that work has paid off.
It did so again Friday during its non-district contest against DeSoto, blocking two punts, one of which resulted in a touchdown as the Pirates overcame a sloppy first half to cruise to a 42-7 victory.
The first blocked punt set up a Logan Rogers touchdown run to give Port Charlotte a 6-0 lead before Desoto took a brief lead late in the first quarter on a Jakeemis Pelham catch and run for a 7-6 lead.
The Pirates recovered with touchdowns by Ja’Nyrein Washington and Jaylen Turner in the second quarter for a 20-7 halftime lead.
Rogers and Turner scored in the third quarter to go along with a safety caused by a bad snap, and Jaytren Butler finished the scoring early in the fourth to force a running clock for the remainder of the game
Key plays: Port Charlotte blocked a punt on Desoto’s first possession to set up its first touchdown.
The Pirates also got some big plays on the ground from Rogers, Washington and Turner as they rushed for close to 300 yards.
What it means: For DeSoto, it’s another week where its inexperience and thin bench came to bite them in the second half.
Port Charlotte remains undefeated , even if they still haven’t played their best ball yet.
Key stats: Washington gained 103 yards on seven carries, while Turner added another 80. Rogers had two touchdown runs and 41 rushing yards.
What they said: "We flipped the switch. We're capable of much better early. We came out flat and had a lack of focus and attention to detail. That's my fault as a coach. We need to come out better next week." Port Charlotte coach Jordan Ingman.
"We have a limited number of guys and they go both ways. Port Charlotte was smart, they sped up their offense and it worked. We got tired." DeSoto coach Bumper Hay.
PORT CHARLOTTE 42, DESOTO 7
Port Charlotte 6 14 15 - 42
DeSoto 7 0 0 0 - 7
PC - Logan Rogers 12 run (kick fail), 9:34.
DE - Jakeemis Pelham 55 pass from Tony Blanding (Daniel Vornell kick), :36.
PC - Ja'Nyrein Washington 47 run (Washington run), 8:59.
PC - Jaylen Turner 45 run (kick fail), 3:18.
PC - Rogers 28 run (Trevin Howard kick), 9:58.
PC - Safety, snap goes through end zone, 7:59.
PC - Turner 22 run (kick fail), 6:04.
PC - Jaytren Butler 12 run (Howard kick), 6:12.