Sharks Football Pull Even
By Kennedy Rosenhal
The Ponte Vedra High School football team won their recent game over First Coast High School with a final score of 27-7. This brings their record to 2-2. The sharks had controlled the whole game, and defense really stepped up, only allowing seven points. Senior safety, Sam Soares, had a pick in the first half. And sophomore, Ben Burk was out with a scapula injury for the Sharks, so junior, Nathan Bunkosky had to take over the offense. He threw one touchdown to sophomore, Ryan Smith and senior, Mikey Stephens took care of the rest. Stephens had two rushing touchdowns, and helped lead the team to victory. Junior, Davis Ashcroft put the game away with three extra points and two field goals.
In the first quarter, the Sharks did not score, but did not allow their opponent to score. They had their fans on the edge of their seats. The students that showed up for the away game did not have to wait long for action though. In the second quarter, the Sharks scored twenty points, and only allowed seven. The offense exploded, with Mikey Stephens scoring his first touchdown and Nathan Bunkosky throwing a wide-open touchdown pass to Ryan Smith on the left side of the endzone. This was the first game this year that Nathan had started as quarterback. He explained, “Stepping up as quarterback against First Coast was definitely a challenge, but it was a challenge I had been practicing for. I’ve played quarterback a few times so I’m not too unfamiliar, so it was good to be moved out here and help the team. I’ve moved around to many positions, so it wasn’t stressful at all; I’ll do whatever it takes to get a win.” His confidence helped the Sharks come out on top against the FCHS buccaneers. The half ended with a score of 20-7 since Ashcroft hit his two field goals. In the second half, the defense did not allow any more touchdowns, and only allowed twelve rushing yards the whole game. Mikey Stephens had one more rushing TD in the third quarter, and the Sharks finished the game with a win. The players prepared for this game carefully after losing to BCHS. Jacob Gibbs elaborated on that, stating, “To prepare for this game, we watched film throughout the week and prepared for what we would expect from First Coast’s playstyle. I go 110 percent in the weight room and practices to get ready.” The Sharks were prepared for a physical game against the Buccaneers.
There were obvious changes from the previous game to this one. Trevor Rosendahl gave an inside look on how the sharks were able to go from a loss to a huge win. As part of the coaching staff, Coach Rosendahl was able to see what the sharks needed to improve on before the next game. On the Baker County game, he stated, “We lost the battle on field position and turnovers early in the game, “Against a team this good (BCHS), we can’t afford to lose either.” In that game, the sharks could not create on offense with only 142 yards. In their recent game, against FCHS, they had 331 yards, a clear improvement and indicator that PVHS controlled the field. Coach Rosendahl also talked about how to move on from the BCHS game. He said, “It is never easy losing a game. If this game of football was easy, then everyone would be doing it, and we would be out of a job. If you are not competing at PVHS, you are falling behind. When things do not go right, personalities are amplified. We are not going to sit around and pout at PVHS, we are going to see how we can get better.” The Sharks did not sit around and wait for First Coast, they went in head on and went from a 26-7 loss to a 27-7 win.
Overall, the Sharks had a great comeback from the previous game, and they controlled the game against FCHS. The Sharks defense held the Buccaneers to under 150 yards and converted on the offensive end. The running game was clearly superior for PVHS with 268 more rushing yards than their opponent. The Sharks have evened out their record and ready for their next game.