The football showdown between Bolles and Ponte Vedra for a final playoff spot was expected to be a close and exciting game. Except for the first 24 minutes, the result was not what was expected as the Sharks dismantled the Bulldogs, 42-13, last Friday night at the Shark Tank, scoring 35 points after falling behind 13-7 in the second quarter.
Bolles did little with its first possession and punted the ball away. The Sharks moved 88 yards in 13 plays — seven on runs by Campbell Parker. The touchdown came on a Jack Murrah to Logan Conway pass for 27 yards.
Bolles answered with a six-play drive of its own to tie the score at 7-7. Then, the Bulldogs took the lead after a pass interference and personal foul penalty against the Sharks proved costly. The Dogs, however, missed the PAT, leaving the Sharks on the short end of the 13-7 score. Many in attendance thought the missed extra point would be critical, but it made little difference in the outcome.
Bolles intercepted a Sharks pass but almost immediately fumbled it away. Mike Soncrant recovered for the Sharks, who used the possession to take the lead. Murrah found Reese Russi in the middle of the end zone for the score. Ponte Vedra led 14-13 with three minutes left in the half.
Three minutes was more than enough for the Bulldogs to move to a first down on the Sharks’ 15-yard line. Three plays later though, the Ponte Vedra defense forced a 31-yard field goal attempt. Tommy Zitiello blocked the kick, leaving Ponte Vedra up 14-13.
Despite a 47-yard Murrah to Conway completion, the Sharks were forced to punt on their first possession of the second half. Caden Fordham’s kick pinned the Bulldogs at their own 8-yard line. Cole McCormick’s subsequent interception, plus a flag against the visitors, gave the Sharks a first down at the Bolles’ 3-yard line. Cobi Myers ran in for a touchdown, resulting in a 21-13 Ponte Vedra lead midway through the third quarter.
Not surprisingly, the Sharks attempted and recovered an onside kick. Ponte Vedra’s Max Schalit recovered and three minutes later, Parker bulled over from a yard out. The Sharks led 28-13, but that would change very quickly when Fordham picked off a Bolles pass and returned it 36 yards for the touchdown to put Ponte Vedra up 35-13.
Bolles turned the ball over on downs on their own 48 to start the fourth quarter. Again, Murrah hit Conway for 40 yards and a first down at the Bolles 15-yard line. After Parker moved it five yards closer, Murrah flipped it to Conway for the Sharks’ sixth and final touchdown of the night.
Any hope the Bulldogs might have had to close the gap slipped away on Mathews Webster’s interception and 60-yard return.
Ponte Vedra finishes out the regular season with a non-conference game against Creekside at home on Friday at 7 p.m.