Sharks earn playoff spot with win over Creekside

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Ponte Vedra controlled its playoff destiny with an important 38-15 win on the road over the Creekside Knights Friday evening.

The good news is the win earned the Sharks a spot in the mysteriously complicated District 5A playoff picture. The bad news is the Sharks will play Godby, the No. 2 ranked team in District 5A-Region 1. And to make it more challenging, Ponte Vedra must travel three hours to Tallahassee for the game.

Against the Knights, Ponte Vedra kept its focus on the game at hand and won handily, scoring 24 second half points. Kyle Barkerthe talented, junior wide receiver played a major role in the Shark offense, catching eight passes for 118 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Zack King who is enjoying his return to play following a potentially season-ending hip injury earlier in the year scored two of the Sharks’ touchdowns. Touchdown catches by Jarrett Stepp and Rani Toma accounted for the other two Shark scoring plays.

The Shark defense showed it is ready for the postseason as well by making two more game-changing plays. Tommy Zitiello and Duncan Van Kouteren combined to block a Creekside punt. Then, Christian Herring intercepted a Knight pass to stop a Knight drive. 

Special teams also made its share of contributions. Ponte Vedra successfully executed yet another onside kickoff following the team’s third touchdown. Cole McCormick, as he has done several times this season, recovered the ball.

Ponte Vedra’s punt team also found ways to make game-changing plays. In the first half, Riley Robbins’ punt pinned the Knights deep when Zach Summers downed the ball at the Creekside 4-yard line. Robbins, who converted all five point after attempts, added three more points to his team-leading point total with a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter.

The District 5A Region 1 playoff schedule for Nov. 10 has No. 1 ranked West Florida (Pennsacola) slated against eighth ranked Rickards. No. 4 ranked Ribault plays No. 5 ranked Wakulla. No. 3 ranked Trinity Christian plays the sixth ranked Bolles Bulldogs, and the seventh-ranked Sharks face No. 2 Godby.

Should the Sharks upset Godby, they would face the winner of the Bolles/Trinity matchup Nov. 17. 

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