Rivalry fuels anticipated first-round matchup in football playoffs

Writer: Sylvie Sparks
Published: Updated:

High school football playoffs kick off this week, and intra-county rivals Fort Myers and Dunbar will go head-to-head in the first round.

When the Green Wave and the Tigers met in week four of the regular season, the Tigers won in a double overtime thriller, but that was then and this is now.

Now, the two meet in round one of the football playoffs, in what Dunbar Head Coach Sam Brown expects to be an instant classic.

“It’s already tough enough to beat Fort Myers and then try and beat them twice. We’re going to have our hands full,” Brown said. “We’re going to have to really dial into the specifics and know our assignments and eliminate the mistakes and the penalties because they’re a good ball club.”

Both teams head into this week’s matchup with identical 8-2 records.

Green Wave senior linebacker Bryan Fitzgerald believes his team can get the win.

“We’ve improved a bunch since then, our offense and our defense,” Fitzgerald said. “I feel like we can go in there and show a different team than what we showed week four.”

The Tigers won the district so they will host, but with Fort Myers right down the road, Dunbar senior linebacker Kyeran Garcia sees his home turf as a neutral site.

“I don’t really see it as an advantage,” Garcia said. “I just feel like both teams are good teams and whichever is the better team that week will win.”

Fort Myers Head Coach Sam Sirianni said no matter who wins, they will represent the area well in round two of the football playoffs.

“The kids know each other,” Sirianni said. “The communities know each other. It can’t get any better than that. Now you put a playoff tag on it. It’s going to make for a neat, neat event here in Lee County.”

The two face off in North Law Firm Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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