Port Charlotte coach Jordan Ingman spent the week urging his Pirates to fight complacency.
The Pirates had three touchdowns after four plays from scrimmage on Friday night against DeSoto County at the Pirate Cove. It was just a taste of what was to come during a 56-12 romp.
Solomon Luther had three touchdown receptions while Jakeemis Pelham turned all three of his carries into touchdowns of 27, 61 and 43 yards as Port Charlotte (2-0) took a 49-6 halftime lead.
Dontavian Smith led DeSoto County (0-2) with 175 yards on 25 carries, including a 66-yard touchdown run during the running-clock second half.
Key plays: Leading 14-0 after two whiplash-quick scores, Port Charlotte blew the game open by blocking a DeSoto County punt at the Bulldogs 27. Pelham promptly delivered his first touchdown run on the next play. After DeSoto County closed to 49-12 following Smith’s long TD run, freshman Ed Guerrier answered for the Pirates with a 38-yard run of his own for the game’s final score.
What it means: The Pirates are ready for the meat of their schedule after two strong tune-up victories to open the season. Palmetto, Sarasota and Bradenton Southeast await the Pirates. Meanwhile, DeSoto County’s extremely young roster learned another critical lesson about continuing to fight against superior opponents, which they did well in the second half on Friday.
Key stats: Port Charlotte’s average starting field position on their seven first-half scoring drives was the Bulldogs’ 34. DeSoto County’s Smith picked up 106 yards on six carries in the second half, including his touchdown.
Quotes: “Our kids played hard and played well. We played a ton of kids. We actually pulled some kids out of the stands and got some really good reps. We’ve got to fight complacency. The next three games are against three very talented football teams.” – Ingman
“We have to fight them losing confidence. You don’t want them to used to being a dog that gets kicked constantly. It’s just about keeping their confidence up. The last two games we played – Charlotte and Port Charlotte – they put some younger kids in so we could get some confidence in moving the ball and stopping them a little bit. It keeps them going.” – DeSoto County coach Bumper Hay.