North Marion falls to Lake Brantley in spring football

Youthful Colts gain experience in loss to Patriots

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Posted May 19, 2023 | By Mark Pinson/Special To The Ocala Gazette
Photos By Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette

The North Marion football team concluded three weeks of spring practice with a game against Lake Brantley on Friday night. The Colts were able to play a number of young players at different positions giving them valuable game experience in a 42-6 loss to the Patriots.

“I wasn’t worried about the score, I just wanted the kids to come out and play hard,” North Marion coach Greg Carr said. “A spring game win or loss doesn’t matter. We just wanted to have some new guys get opportunities and capitalize on them so we can head into the summer and work on getting better. I’m not discouraged because I know we have guys that can compete and play good football.”

Lake Brantley (Orlando) ran the option offense effectively as junior fullback Tavin Hebert scored two rushing touchdowns, while sophomore quarterback Parker Perales added a touchdown on the ground and one through the air as the Class 4M Patriots took advantage of the Colts’ inexperience.

“When you’re playing a team with that style of offense, it’s important to be disciplined and that was a lot of our guys first time seeing it,” coach Carr said.

There were no kickoffs in the game and each possession after scores began at the 25-yard line unless a team had to punt.

Lake Brantley marched 75 yards in 10 plays, all on the ground, on its opening possession of the game with Hebert capping the drive with a 31-yard run right up the middle of the North Marion defense. The point after gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead.

North Marion went three and out and was forced to punt on its first possession with Lake Brantley taking over at its 43.

The Patriots drove inside the Colts 30 before North Marion recovered a fumble to end the threat.

The Colts picked up a couple of first downs, but a fumble was recovered by Lake Brantley on its 48.

The Patriots capitalized on the turnover as tailback Alex Catano rumbled 52 yards for a touchdown. The point after made it 14-0 late in the first quarter.

North Marion’s next possession ended with an interception of quarterback Issac Smith’s pass by Lake Brantley’s Akemi Caraballo who returned it 51 yards for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Patriots a 21-0 lead.

The Colts got on the scoreboard as running back Mitchell Brown broke several tackles on his way to a 60-yard scoring scamper to pull Class 2S North Marion within 21-6.

Lake Brantley answered with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that Hebert capped off with a four-yard scoring burst. The extra point made it 28-7 midway through the second period.

North Marion was forced to punt and Lake Brantley gained possession at its 38-yard line. The Patriots moved the ball inside the Colts’ 5-yard line and Perales found the end zone on a keeper just inside the right pylon to give Lake Brantley a commanding 35-6 at the half.

North Marion picked up a first down on its first possession of the third quarter before having to punt.

Lake Brantley moved 70 yards in 13 plays with Perales finding wide receiver Brian Williams open in the end zone for a 6-yard scoring strike. The point after made the score 42-6 and a running clock was used the rest of the game.

North Marion heads into the summer knowing that much work needs to be done and improvement in the weight room and on the field comes with hard work.

“We had a lot of young guys playing tonight and sometimes you have to take your lumps to get better,” coach Carr said. “I’m proud of my guys and we have to get stronger in the weight room and continue to work hard to get better and come together as a team during the summer.”

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