The visiting Crusaders of Bishop Kenny capitalized on a mishandled Ponte Vedra punt to score first, but the Sharks answered quickly and often on their way to a 38-22 victory at the Shark Tank on Friday evening.
After BK’s opening touchdown, Ponte Vedra junior quarterback Jack Murrah led the Sharks to a 31-7 first half advantage using key passes to three different receivers. The first came on a 58-yard strike to tight end Kit Connelly, setting up Mark Calvin’s 1-yard touchdown plunge.
Murrah then connected with Kyle Barker for a 49-yard gain that gave the Sharks a first down at the Kenny 18-yard line. Two plays later, the quarterback found Jarrett Stepp open in the end zone.
On Kenny’s next possession, Zach Summers recovered a Crusader fumble, and Murrah and Barker collaborated immediately for a 25-yard touchdown to give Ponte Vedra a 21-7 lead.
Kenny wasn’t able to mount any offense against Ponte Vedra’s determined defense, and the next time Murrah had the ball in his hands, he went again to Barker—his new favorite receiver—for 26 yards and a first down in the Crusader red zone. This time, Ponte Vedra was forced to settle for a 32-yard field goal converted by Riley Robbins.
The Shark defense continued to intimidate the Crusaders. First, Connelly sacked the harried BK quarterback, and then Duncan Van Kouteren blocked an attempted Crusader punt. Reed Popp recovered for Ponte Vedra at the visitors’ 8-yard line, and two plays later, Calvin bowled over BK defenders to put the Sharks up 31-7 at the half.
Up by 24 points, Ponte Vedra spent the better part of the second half in a prevent defense—much to the Crusaders’ delight. BK took advantage of a short PV punt to score its second touchdown and was successful on the 2-point conversion, pulling within 16 to make the score 31-15.
At this point, the Sharks gave Murrah the rest of the night off, replacing him with freshman Jacobi Myers. On his first play from scrimmage, Myers called his own number and busted up the middle for 80 yards and the Sharks’ final touchdown.
The remaining Crusader score did little but make the final score slightly more respectable.
Murrah finished 9 for 15 for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Barker caught four passes for 122 yards, Stepp had four receptions for 42 yards and Connelly had one catch for 57 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Cole McCormick led the team with 13 tackles, Christian Herring had 10 and Van Kouteren had nine. Pete Merlini, Daniel Lichlyter, Connelly and Summers each recorded a sack.
The Sharks (4-1) host the undefeated St Augustine Yellow Jackets (4-0) Friday October 6 in a non-conference game.