Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Tarpons Wallop 'Hawks | Quarterback Brennan Simms' First Five Passes Go for 259 Yards and Four Touchdowns

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Tarpons Wallop 'Hawks | Quarterback Brennan Simms' First Five Passes Go for 259 Yards and Four Touchdowns

Article excerpt

CHARLOTTE 42, CAPE CORAL 0

PUNTA GORDA -- Brennan Simms has been perfect for several weeks now.

But Friday night, Charlotte High's starting quarterback improved upon even that.

The 6-foot-3 senior - who hasn't been intercepted since Opening Night - completed his first nine passes for 259 yards and four touchdowns, lifting the sixth-ranked Tarpons (8-0 overall, 4-0 in Class 6A-District 10) to a 42-0 Homecoming rout of Cape Coral, clinching their eighth consecutive playoff berth and 14th in coach Binky Waldrop's 17 seasons.

Wide receiver Stantley Thomas, whose five catches for 174 yards all came in the game's first 20 minutes, turned a quick out pattern into a 67-yard score on the opening play from scrimmage, and later hauled in a 31-yard lob from Simms to make it 28-0 with 1:03 remaining - in the first quarter.

Charlotte's first five scoring drives lasted a combined 13 plays.

Yes, it was that easy.

"When we re-united this year, everything just clicked," Thomas said of he and Simms, who were teammates as sophomores at North Port. "It felt the same again, almost like practice. If he throws me the ball, I'm going to come down with it.

"The connection has grown a lot because we also work off the field. We run routes and do stuff on the weekends, we hang out."

Simms was already 8-of-8 for 238 yards and four TDs, after less than 11 minutes.

"I knew I was doing well, but I was happier about 28-zero," Simms said. "(Cape Coral) tried to put almost 10 guys in the box against us. If you want to take away the run, we're just going to pass. It doesn't really matter to us, because we excel at both."

USF-bound running back Elijah Mack (867 yards rushing, 17 TDs in eight games) took most of the night off, as Waldrop looked ahead to next week's showdown with Peace River rival Port Charlotte (5-3, 4- 0) that will crown a district champion.

Mack carried five times for 51 yards on the opening possession of the second half, scoring on an 11-yard run after a 55-yard touchdown dash (on his first touch) was negated by a penalty.

Simms, who finished 11-of-14 for 283 of Charlotte's 418 total yards, hasn't been picked off since his 17th pass against Fort Lauderdale High on Aug. …

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