NORTH PORT — Sean Silverberg threw for a touchdown and rushed for another, and Dylan Almeyda scored twice as the North Port High football team overcame a slow start for a 31-16 victory over Bayshore on Friday during Homecoming.
But the real drama came after the game, when North Port head coach Garon Belser popped the question to his now-fiancé.
North Port (2-5) ended its five-game losing streak and was able to overcome a great performance by Bayshore’s Julien Boyer, who single-handedly kept his team in the game.
The Bruins (1-4) drew first blood. After recovering a fumble on North Port’s first possession, they drove 67 yards on seven plays, using Boyer’s legs. He would get the last yard to give Bayshore an 8-0 lead after the two-point conversion.
Slowly, North Port bounced back. The Bobcats would record a safety late in the first quarter to get on the board, and would turn the ensuing free kick into a field goal to make it, 8-5.
It appeared as if Bayshore would score again late in the half, but a field goal was blocked and returned by Jeremiah Laguerre deep into Bayshore territory, which quarterback Sean Silverberg would cash in with a 3-yard touchdown run to give North Port an 11-8 lead at the half.
North Port again capitalized on a Bayshore mistake early in the second half when a fumbled snap on a punt was picked up by Seth Parker, who returned it 30 yards for a score to make it 17-8. After a stop on defense, Silverberg drove the Bobcats down the field and found Dylan Almeyda in the corner of the end zone on the final play of the third quarter to make it, 24-8.
North Port had a chance to put the game away, but a Boyer interception and return would eventually lead to his second touchdown run to cut the lead to 24-16 with four minutes left in the game.
However, Almeyda scored again on an end run one minute later to put the game on ice.
KEY PLAYS: The fumbled snap that led to the Parker touchdown was the backbreaker as Bayshore was still very much in the game at that point.
KEY STATS: Silverberg threw for 197 yards and a touchdown while adding another on the ground. Boyer rushed for 91 yards and two scores and added an interception for the Bruins.
WHAT IT MEANS: A lifetime of happiness for North Port head coach Garon Belser, though there may not be much more happiness for North Port as their last three games are going to be killer. Wins will be hard to come by from here on out.
QUOTES: “The hard part for me was focusing on the game. I wanted them to focus on the game and I’m mad at myself for allowing this to be a distraction, but they came out and did their jobs.” — North Port coach Garon Belser.