CAPE CORAL — Charlotte High School football coach Binky Waldrop had to be quite pleased by what he saw out of his Tarpons on Friday during their three-way spring football game against Gulf Coast and Cape Coral.
He learned that Jeremiah Harvey will be a force to be reckoned with at quarterback, the Tarpons can go seven deep on the depth chart at tailback and still gain yards and that the defense is rock solid and able to make big plays.
Harvey scored twice in a 20-0 victory over Gulf Coast in the first game, and scored again in the nightcap against Cape Coral for a total of 187 yards rushing in a 20-7 victory.
Tai’Viahn Kelly scored in each game, and even guys like Malakai Menzer and Keon Jones had their moments to shine.
“We came out and did a good job. We have great skill kids and our guys up front played hard. I’m happy with how we’re progressing,” Waldrop said. “We’ll watch the film and see where we need to get better at.”
Against Gulf Coast, Harvey used his legs to give the Tarpons their first score.
Set up by his 48-yard run, he plowed through the middle for the last five to give Charlotte a 6-0 lead.
Harvey’s arm set up the Tarpons second score, a 49-yard pass to Jordan Cummings. Kelly got the final 16 a few plays later to make it 13-0.
Harvey scored midway through the second quarter, going to the pylon from four yards out go finish the scoring.
Charlotte’s defense, meanwhile, held Gulf Coast’s offense to under 100 yards, with Makhil Lewis gaining just 36 of his 126 yards against the Tarpons.
In the Cape Coral game, Harvey led Charlotte on a nine-play, 70-yard drive that lasted 4:34. After a 36-yard run to set things up, He took it the final four yards to make it 6-0.
Harvey, who hasn’t played quarterback since Pop Warner, showed he could put the ball in the air, Finding Menzer on a key third-down pass before letting Kelly do the rest on a six-yard run to extend the lead to 13-0.
Keon Jones came in for Charlotte, but it was hardly to mop up.
He found Jay Arias for a long pass play, while Menzer broke around left end and sprinted down the sidelines on a 65-yard touchdown to make it 20-0 before Cape finally scored on Charlotte’s JV defense in the closing minutes.
“Jeremiah did a great job. He’s a great athlete and will do great things in the fall,” Waldrop said.
“He can do anything you ask him.”
Harvey believes with all the talent he has around him, his lack of high school quarterbacking experience won’t be much of an issue.
“We lost a lot of good guys last year and I need to pick up the slack. When John Busha comes back, we’re going to be even better,” Harvey said.“We can do whatever we need to, run, pass, we need to keep the defense honest. We can do a lot of things.”
In the game between Gulf Coast and Cape Coral, Lewis had seven carries for 90 yards and a touchdown as the Sharks held on for a 12-6 victory.
Nick Zierhut caught a touchdown pass for Gulf Coast, and Elijan St. Germain caught a 52-yard touchdown pass from Duncan Smith for the Seahawks.
CHARLOTTE 20, GULF COAST 0
Charlotte 13 7 — 20
Gulf Coast 0 0 — 0
CHS — Jeremiah Harvey 5 run (kick fail), 5:03.
CHS — Tai’Viahn Kelly 16 run (Tyler Amaral kick), :14
CHS — Harvey 4 run (Amaral kick), 4:23.
CHARLOTTE 20, CAPE CORAL 6
Charlotte 13 7 — 20
Cape Coral 0 6 — 6
CHS — Harvey 4 run (kick fail), 7:26.
CHS Kelly 6 run (Amaral kick), 1:59.
CHS — Malakai Menzer 65 run (Amaral kick), 6:06.
CC — Adrian Meddacco 2 run (kick fail), 3:05.