Turnovers key in Ponte Vedra’s win over Bishop Kenny

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Ponte Vedra took advantage of several Bishop Kenny turnovers last Friday, Sept. 28, to beat the Crusaders, 16-13, in a conference contest on the road. But the Sharks made things difficult for themselves, losing the ball on three fumbles as well. 

Ponte Vedra’s first fumble came seven plays into the team’s opening drive when quarterback Jack Murrah lost the ball on a keeper. No harm resulted as Bishop Kenny went three-and-out.

Ponte Vedra drove to the Crusaders’ 18-yard line before a series of miscues forced the Sharks to punt. This time, Kenny drove 58 yards but had to settle for a 39-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead as the first quarter ended.

The Sharks answered with a 31-yard field goal by Raj Patel. A pair of passes from Cobi Myers to Nick Pirris were the key plays on the drive leading to the field goal.

Ponte Vedra fumbled again on their next possession, but BK returned the favor.

The first half was running out when Kenny converted a fourth-and-24 situation into the go-ahead touchdown thanks to two long passes of 29 and 32 yards. The score at the break was 10-3 Bishop Kenny.

The hosts took the second half kickoff and moved deep into the Sharks’ red zone on ten plays. The Crusaders had the ball one yard from the Sharks’ goal line, but Ponte Vedra’s defense stepped up. A big hit caused another fumble and Ponte Vedra recovered the ball on its own 1-yard line. The play would prove pivotal denying a Bishop Kenny touchdown. That kept the score 10-3. 

After the fumble, the Sharks were able to move out of the shadow of their own goal post but were not able to score on the possession when a third Ponte Vedra fumble ended the drive.  

With the Crusaders’ offense back on the field, Bishop Kenny continued the game of giveaway but not with a fumble this time. Instead, Ryan Chase stepped in front of a Crusaders’ pass and had nothing but green for 32 yards to the Bishop Kenny end zone. 

Again, the Sharks were plagued by misfortune. It came in the form of a high snap on the point after attempt and cost the Sharks the extra point. Ponte Vedra now trailed 10-9.

Six minutes later, Kenny moved in front 13-9 after a 34-yard field goal. 

Still, the Sharks did not pack it in. Kyle Barker took the ensuing kickoff and returned it to midfield. Two plays later, the elusive Barker made a spectacular, sideline diving catch to give Ponte Vedra a first-and-goal at the Bishop Kenny 7-yard line. Myers used four plays to cover the seven yards, finally bulling over from a yard out. The Sharks were then on top 16-13, their only lead of the night. They held on for their fifth win of the season.

Offensive leaders for Ponte Vedra were Barker with five receptions for 81 yards and Nick Pirris with six receptions for 63 yards. Myers rushed 11 times for 51 yards and one touchdown and was for 9 of 15 for 131 yards passing.

Tommy Zitiello was the top tackler for the Sharks with 11, followed by Peter Merlini with nine. Cole McCormick, Caden Fordham, Shane Bloss and Will Frank each had seven total tackles.

This Friday, Ponte Vedra (5-1) travels to Parker (1-4) for a 7 p.m. conference game.

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