They say that “offense bring in fans, but defense brings championships.” That was the case for the Charlotte JV football team as they used six turnovers to easily roll over Port Charlotte 31-7 last week. That win gave the Tarpons the Charlotte County Championship.
The win was extra sweet since it avenged their only loss of the season when they lost a close battle 6-0 to open the season at Port Charlotte. The Tarpons didn’t have a defense set to open the season and as is usually the case when they find who can play where and what to expect from them, the defense will carry a team. Coaches will tell you that “if you shut out every team, the worst you can do is get a tie.”
In the history of football there have been several names for a team’s strong defense such as “The Doomsday Defense,” “The Purple People Eaters,” or “The Steel Curtain.” The Tarpons don’t have any catchy name for themselves, they can just call themselves “good.” Since that first game, the starting defense has not allowed a touchdown for the entire season
Quarterback Franky Raybon gave the Tarpons a 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a 27 yard race into the end zone. Charlotte then struck twice in the second quarter. The touchdown came on a two yard keeper by Raybon then Ty Amaral split the uprights for a 38 yard field goal as time expired to give Charlotte a 17-0 lead at the break.
A bad snap on a Pirate punt on their first possession after the half made it a short field for the Tarpons. Jacob Manomat punched it in from three yards out to run the score up to 24-0. Less than three minutes later, Justus Pagan found pay dirt from eight yards out to boost the Tarpon lead to 31-0.
The Pirates had their lone score on a quarterback sneak with under two minutes to play after the Tarpons had emptied their bench for most of the fourth quarter.
“You guys came out, went to work, did your job and showed up to play. We still haven’t given up a touchdown since the last time we played these guys. That’s amazing. Offense great game! We’ve got to finish this next week. Enjoy right now because on Monday you need to get ready to get to work,” said Coach Brendan Toop.
That amazing defense that Toop talked about got turnovers in every way possible in the second quarter. Two of them led to scores. Hunter Pritchard blocked a punt that led to Raybon’s second score. Jacob Molnar recovered a fumble late in the second quarter that led to the field goal just before the half. Luke Kane also had a pick in the second quarter.
Maurice Farhat-Weber and Pedro Santamaria both recovered fumbles in the fourth quarter to put an end to any thoughts the Pirates may have had about making a comeback.