ENGLEWOOD — Lemon Bay opened with a flashy reverse flea flicker on the game’s first play, but from there it was all Pirates in a 36-7 win for Port Charlotte.
After multiple lightning delays, a three-touchdown first half from Port Charlotte running back Ja’Nyrein Washington thrust the Pirates our front, 36-0, at the half.
Lemon Bay opened with a promising first drive, but it stalled on an intentional grounding penalty on 4th and 12.
Port Charlotte scored on its each of its five first half possessions, converting three of five two-point conversions.
In the second half, Port Charlotte eased up offensively, but kept the pressure on defensively.
Even so, Lemon Bay was able to squeak in a touchdown late after receiving good field position on a botched punt.
Key plays: Washington led the offensive charge with his three bruising scores of 19,19 and 1 yards.
One of the scores was set up by a spinning, toe-tapping catch from receiver Mike Jones over the defender for a 41-yard gain.
The Pirates got a jolt from receiver Jaylon Turner in the second quarter as he took a jet sweep for 78 yards for the score.
Midway through the third quarter, Lemon Bay running back Colby McCauley began to pick up steam after amassing only 11 yards on four first half carries. McCauley took a sweep toward the home sideline and cut to the pylon for a two-yard score. He finished 55 yards.
Key stats: Washington gained 82 yards on 8 carries. The Pirates totaled 190 rushing yards in the first half.
Rogers was 8 of 10 for 73 yards and Jones had 53 yards on four catches. Reserve quarterback Jason Hogan led the Mantas with 19 rushing yards on 6 carries. Though the stats weren't flashy, Pirates coach Jordan Ingman said Rogers showed more poise and comfort compared to the preseason scrimmage.
The Pirates outgained the Mantas, 263-73, in the first half.
What it means: This win and loss doesn't mean much to either team outside of momentum. Port Charlotte came out and took care of business like it expected to, giving the Pirates a boost before a physical matchup with Hardee next week. Lemon Bay will battle fatigue and numbers all season and will look to flip the script against a less than intimidating Lakewood Ranch team.
Quotes: Port Charlotte coach Jordan Ingman: "It took us the first drive, we didn't play as well as we should've, but by the second drive we started coming off the ball a little better and playing harder. We did some little things that people can't see that we didn't do in the first game."