Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

St. Augustine “All The Way Up” Against Ponte Vedra

Ponte Vedra FL- Retired NFL Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer once described it has a “gleam”. Michael Jordan is famously quoted as referring to it as “the zone”. Many players today are quoted in calling it being “all the way up”. No matter what you call it, the definition remains the same. Being in a state of mind in which nothing can detour or alter your course or focus. Nothing can stop it. And Friday night, indeed nothing could stop St. Augustine as they were  in this state of mind dominating Ponte Vedra 41-0.

Geographically, only about 20 miles separate St. Augustine High School and Ponte Vedra High School, yet on Friday night they looked like they were thousands of miles apart mentally. St. Augustine jumped out of the gate focused and unfazed by the Shark’s homecoming crowd.  In the first quarter, Quarterback Austin Reed connected with wide receiver Karim Brown for the Jacket’s first touchdown. These two would connect again early in the second quarter on a pitch and catch to put St. Augustine up 14-0.

QB Austin Reed and WR Karim Brown connected for 3 TDs in the first half versus Ponte Vedra

After stopping Ponte Vedra again and forcing them to punt, St. Augustine drove down the field to what seemed to be their third score of the half, but running back #15 Dexter Brown coughed up the football when Ponte Vedra’s #17 DB Tommie Zitiello stripped him at the one yard line. The ball was recovered by Ponte Vedra’s #45 LB Duncan Van Kourteren. A key play at this juncture in the game would seemingly galvanize a group, yet this wasn’t the case for Ponte Vedra. The Sharks, for every intent and purposes just did not look like they wanted to be on the field. Coach Matt Toblin substituted his quarterbacks, inserting freshman Jakobi Myers at times in hopes to create a spark, but there was none to be had on this night. Ponte Vedra would cough up the football when #3 DB Tyrek Russ jarred the ball loose on a punishing tackle, and the ball was recovered by #33 LB Gerald Rowe. It was a costly mistake that Austin Reed would make them pay for. Reed would throw his third touchdown of the first half on a quick out to Brown who this time raced 65 yards for another score. The dynamic duo accounted for over 150 yards and three touchdowns by halftime as St. Augustine led 21-0.

In the second half, St. Augustine began to establish the running game and they kept it simple with man on man football. Players like right tackle 6’1 250lb sophomore Miles Ayers, 6’0 350lb senior guard Thomas Adkinson , 6’0 368lb junior guard Thomas Marrero, left tackle Dezmond Edwards, and  6’0 280lb  senior center Darrell Farrell paved the way for the Jacket runners. They routinely got to the second level of defenders, occupying linebackers while moving Ponte Vedra’s defensive line out of the way. Running backs #21 Fre’quan Sparrow and #5 Brandon Johnson were the benefactors of great blocking. Sparrow scored the first touchdown of the second half, a 4yd run to give St. Augustine a 27-0 lead. While Johnson made the most of his opportunity on a 7 yard rumble in the third quarter scoring to make the lead 34-0. Running-back Dexter Brown, the victim of an early goal-line fumble redeemed himself mightily when he took off for an 90 yard touchdown scamper to close the game. St. Augustine finished unofficially with 289 yards rushing. a dominating performance on the ground.

The Jackets swarmed the homecoming celebration of Ponte Vedra, dominating them in every phase of the game. However the unit that may deserve the most credit for the 41-0 shutout is the defense. For the second week in a row the Jackets stung their opponents with a goose egg. (Englewood 52-0 previous week). #30 Junior DE Darius Stanley registered a sack in the game, #44 junior MLB Rylan Shugart was a tackling machine and always around the ball, while the St. Augustine secondary of #4 Jarien Ramos, #11 Jaden Mc Dowell and #1 Lonnell Harris completely shut down Quarterback Jack Murrah and the Sharks passing game. It was a game Ponte Vedra will attempt to quickly put behind them when they face Terry Parker next week. St. Augustine ( Power Rankings #2 team) will take on Ed White in hopes of staying all the way up for this impressive season their having.


Featured images courtesy of Thomas Reed Photography