Preps Recap: Martin County once again ends Tarpons’ season

Original run date: Nov. 17 in Charlotte Sun

PUNTA GORDA — The sight of Martin County High School driving down the field to go ahead with little time remaining on the scoreboard was all too familiar for the Charlotte High School football fans.
History repeated itself Friday night as the Tigers scored the go-ahead touchdown when running back Dan Fillhaber punched the ball from a yard out with2:13 left on the clock. For the second year in a row, the host Tarpons found themselves on the losing end because of it, this time in a 35-32 decision that ended their season.
Fillhaber had two touchdowns and 159 yards, but the real star ended up being Jermohn Queen, who torched the Charlotte defense for three scores and 341 yards on 32 carries.
“We didn’t have an answer for it,” Tarpons coach Binky Waldrop said of the consistent seal blocks that opened space for the two running backs. “We put 10 people up there against that, and we still couldn’t stop it. They just out-physicaled us all night.”
Neither Queen nor Tigers coach Chuck Kenyon said they could have even imagined the video game-like numbers Queen put up, especially considering that he usually makes his name on the basketball court as one of the better players in the state. But Kenyon said it just showed Queen’s athleticism.
“We knew that he was going to be our feature … but Queen’s just special,” Kenyon said. “We know that this is fun for him, he’s tough as nails.”
Though Charlotte’s defense didn’t fare well, the same couldn’t be said of the offense, led by Clyde Newton.
The senior running back ran for 152 yards and two touchdowns and caught another 12-yard score in the losing effort. Tarpons quarterback Brennan McGill threw for 257 yards on the night and a pair of touchdowns with a pick on 13-for-22 passing.
Heading into the fourth quarter, Martin County had seized the momentum thanks to Janarie Jones interception and three touchdowns in the third to lead 28-17. But Charlotte fought back at the start of the fourth thanks to an 80-yard drive that featured 30 yards rushing from Newton and a 12-yard touchdown reception.
The Tarpons converted a two-point conversion to bring it to within three but finally took a 32-28 lead when Newton was able to punch it in again from a yard out.
That’s when Fillhaber took over, rushing for 55 yards of an 80-yard drive to give Martin County the lead for good.
Charlotte received the ball with two minutes left and had a shot but a pair of false start penalties backed the Tarpons up enough to stall any chance at pulling out a win.

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