SPARR — As summer quickly approaches, football season is officially underway for many schools across the county, including both North Marion and West Port, who faced off in their first spring matchup of the season on Thursday night.

While Mother Nature provided some doubt about whether the game would continue, it was the offensive effort of North Marion, led by quarterback Quintin Gross, that undoubtedly led the Colts to a 28-3 victory over the Wolf Pack.

North Marion struck early in the first quarter as Gross connected with Buc Offord through the air for a touchdown to give the Colts an early 7-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

Early in the second quarter, however, West Port was dealt a significant blow as nationally-ranked four-star quarterback Brian Maurer suffered a deep bruise ankle injury that resulted in his departure from the game. With the exit of their senior leader, the Wolf Pack was unable to find any offensive rhythm moving forward in the game.

Meanwhile, the Colts continued to move the ball down the field as Gross delivered a touchdown pass to Kadin James to extend the lead to 14-0. Gross later added a third touchdown pass late in the second quarter to Jyron Gilmore, helping secure the win.

“We’ve still got a long ways to go, but overall I thought we came out and showed the physicality and the nature in which we want to play,” stated North Marion head coach Willie Offord. “I don’t really have any crazy expectations. I just want these kids to come out here on Friday night and put a good product on the field and do the best they can.”

North Marion will open up the regular season on August 24 at Tallahassee Rickards.

“Obviously Brian [Maurer] got hurt in the third series and we couldn’t really throw the ball as much we like to, but I thought our guys were resilient and stayed positive,” stated West Port head coach Matt Franklin. “The expectation level for us starts up front and I think that if we get better in the summer, then we’ve got the guys to compete in this district and anybody on our schedule.”

West Port will kick off its regular season at Lecanto on August 17.