PVHS Football Wins Thrilling Rivalry Against Nease
By Kennedy Rosendahl
The Ponte Vedra high school Sharks took on the Nease high school Panthers in their rivalry matchup on Friday, Oct. 28. The game was highly anticipated and had a huge turnout. Both the Ponte Vedra side and the Nease side had full bleachers, and the energy was high. This game did not disappoint these fans. The lead went back and forth the entire time and finally went into overtime at the end. Both teams scored but only the Sharks converted the extra point, winning the game for their team, 35-34. This was a huge win to help the team get to playoffs, and if they win next week, they will be in.
The game started in favor of the Sharks. The defense remained strong and did not allow any touchdowns in the first quarter. On the other side of the ball, the Sharks performed well. The Sharks took off running, with two rushing touchdowns early, one from junior, Ben Burk, and the other from sophomore, Brian Case. This helped the Sharks gain momentum early on. The only time the Panthers got a scoring opportunity in the first quarter was a field goal attempt, which was not converted. In the second quarter, the Sharks scored one more touchdown, a pass to sophomore, Landon Okla. The Panthers had two rushing touchdowns this quarter, but missed one extra point, and the score at the end of the half was 21-13. The defense for the Sharks provided excellent ball pressure, making it difficult for the Panthers to run the plays they wanted, creating chaos. This helped the Sharks remain ahead at the end of the half.
The second half was where the game got tight. In the third quarter, the Panthers did not allow the Sharks to score. They, however, had one rushing touchdown and a successful two-point conversion, tying the score at 21. In the fourth quarter, Burk had another passing touchdown to senior, Wyatt Rogers, the longest completed pass of the night at 38 yards and more for Rogers after the completion. The Panthers answered these points with a touchdown and again it was tied up. The Panthers drove down the field a few possessions later and were set up to kick a field goal, to put the Panthers up three points with two minutes remaining, but junior, Joe Mahoney, made a huge play and blocked the kick. “The energy was crazy, and I knew at that point the game was ours,” said Mahoney. The block was a momentum swing for the Sharks, and they drove it back down the field to kick a last second field goal of their own. Unfortunately, the kick by senior, Mark Romano, was just left, and the game was sent into overtime.
Overtime started out as Panthers’ possession from the ten-yard line. They scored on a third and goal play by the running back. But they did not convert their two-point attempt, giving the Sharks an advantage. Case matched the touchdown and Romano set up to kick the field goal. This time, it was right down the middle, winning the game for the Sharks. The team had a total of 234 rushing yards and 168 passing yards, showing major improvements in the offense. The team also had no turnovers helping them win the game. The defense was well prepared for the talent of four-star senior quarterback, Marcus Stokes, and forced the ball on the ground. The team totaled 87 tackles on the night, showing just how physical this game was. The Sharks team came together well to help win the game.
The Sharks need to win their next game against the Creekside Knights to make the playoffs. Their overall record is now 5-4, and the win against Nease makes the rivalry record over the years 12-2 in favor of the Sharks. If the Sharks continue to excel, they should win the game against the Knights on Nov. 4.