Indians’ win over Sharks puts QBs in spotlight — all four of them

Immokalee quarterback Pedro Arvizu (1) crosses the goal line for a touchdown before losing the football during Friday night's game at Gulf Coast High School. GREGG HARDY/CSI

BY GREGG HARDY
CSI EDITOR

Coaches Rodelin Anthony and Tom Scalise were both pretty candid in their postgame assessments following Immokalee’s 16-10 win at Gulf Coast High School on Friday night.

While Anthony addressed the Indians’ much talked about quarterback situation, Scalise said he wants to see a little more selflessness from some of his guys — using Immokalee as a prime example.

“I have a lot of respect for Coach Rodelin over there and the things he does,” said Scalise, whose Sharks fell to 1-2 on the season. “I believe that he has those kids believing in something bigger than themselves.

“I would say the thing that probably bothers me the most right now is I feel like we don’t have 22 guys pushing in the same direction. I feel like we have 11, but in football 11 is not enough. … Ten guys do something right on a play and one guy doesn’t, you’re short. I don’t think we’re far away. If you watch this game, it’s not like we’re sitting here and the wheels are falling off. It’s just sometimes you’ve got to believe in something bigger than yourself, maybe play a position that you don’t want to play, maybe do something that you don’t want to do to help the team.”

PHOTO GALLERY: View images of the Indians-Sharks game

Immokalee’s offense has been in a state of flux ever since star QB R.J. Rosales left for Evangelical Christian in late July. Lukas Soto and Pedro Arvizu both stepped forward to fill the void, and both guided Immokalee to touchdowns Friday — Soto in the first half and Arvizu in the second.

Immokalee’s Lukas Soto eludes Gulf Coast’s Hurbert Jean Baptiste before completing a two-point conversion Friday. GREGG HARDY/CSI

Still, there were many moments where Immokalee’s offense looked out of sync (although, in fairness, that may have been due, in part, to Gulf Coast’s disruptive front seven). The Indians (1-2) have plenty of athletes on offense — including the Toombs brothers (Raheem and Charles) and Franck Pierre, who each made big plays Friday — and it’s crucial that whoever is quarterback gets those athletes the ball in space.

Anthony wants to see either or both of his signal-callers escape from Rosales’ still-existent shadow and take ownership of the offense.

“Our quarterbacks just have to be a little more consistent and understand what we’re doing,” Anthony said. “… We’re just asking them to do small things, and they’ve got to get better. They have to want to get better. And they have to stop trying to wear the uniform just to wear it — but put some pride behind it. They need a little bit more fire, a little bit more oomph under that uniform.

“… When you have a kid that’s as good as (Rosales is), and plays that position with as much fire and as much pride, it tends to scare other kids away. So now that he’s gone, a lot of kids came out of the darkness and attempted to play the (quarterback) spot and didn’t understand the shoes that they had to fill.”

Konner Barrett has surpassed the 100-yard mark in each of his three games as Gulf Coast’s starting QB. GREGG HARDY/CSI

Gulf Coast also has two quarterbacks in the mix: senior incumbent Justin Mattia, who came back from a preseason injury to log his first action of the regular season Friday; and Konner Barrett, who’s started all three of the Sharks’ games.

“We’re lucky right now,” Scalise said. “We have two guys. We just have to figure out what’s going to make the team work the best.”

Barrett turned in his best performance Friday. He completed 14 of 20 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown — a 33-yarder to Dominic Capelo, who snuck behind the Immokalee defense, late in the fourth quarter. Perhaps more importantly, Barrett threw just one interception after tossing six over his first two games.

Justin Mattia got a few reps in at quarterback early in the second half Friday. GREGG HARDY/CSI

Mattia, who last season accounted for roughly 2,000 yards of offense (1,700 passing and 300 rushing), saw limited time in the Gulf Coast backfield on Friday. He completed 1 of 2 passes for 7 yards and rushed nine times for minus-nine yards.

“(Mattia) will do anything for the team,” Scalise said. “… He always puts others first.”

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES

Gulf Coast — Yeremi Tatis (12 rushes, 63 yards, including a 36-yard run); Ryan Lai (5 catches, 53 yards); Kaden Kitchener (12 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack); and Jake Sundall (11 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, fumble recovery).

Immokalee — (Stats not available) Charles Toombs; Raheem Toombs; Samuel Edison; and Franck Pierre.

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