Defense was the name of the game for the Ponte Vedra High football en route to a 17-0 non-district victory on the road against Menendez on Friday night.
It was the second straight win for the Sharks, who also improved to an overall record of 3-2.
“We feel like we’re making strides and getting better,” PVHS head coach Steve Price said. “We’ve got some real momentum going.”
Nothing is better for defensive players than looking up at the scoreboard and seeing that the opponent has no points at the end of the game.
“I’m just proud, and I think we deserve every bit of that zero that’s up there because we’ve worked our tails off to get that,” junior defensive end Evan Fleischer said.
It is the second time this season the Sharks have shutout their opponent, with the other coming in week two against Episcopal.
“It’s great team defense, it really is,” Price said. “There’s gap control and they just do what they’re supposed to do.”
Defense has been a strength throughout the season and that was the case once again, as the Sharks got their share of penetration and spent a lot of time in the Falcons’ backfield.
“Our pass rush was pretty out there today,” Fleischer said. “Our d-line and our linebackers were all over the place with speed and being aggressive.”
Nathan Bunkosky started his second straight game at quarterback, filling in for the injured Benjamin Burk, and he continues to get comfortable in that role.
“He has really stepped up because it’s not an easy position to just pick up,” Price said.
Bunkosky started games late last year at quarterback, so it is not an entirely new to him.
He was able to get several receivers involved in the passing attack, including connecting with tight end Cooper Smith.
“We harp on keying in on our reads in practice, so it’s all about how the DBs (defensive backs) are playing it and finding whoever’s open,” Bunkosky said.
He was also a willing runner at times and the offensive line helped paved the way for the running backs, especially Corey Bloss, who took advantage and broke some nice runs on the night.
Bunkosky punched in a 1-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper and Bloss eluded tacklers on a shifty scoring run of his own to put the Sharks up 14-0 heading into halftime.
A Davis Ashcroft 35-yard field goal in the third quarter increased the lead to 17-0 and from there the Sharks were able to control the clock and the game with its ground game.
It was a busy night for Ashcroft, who finished 1-for-2 on his field goal attempts and punted on the night.
“He added that (punting) to his repertoire,” Price said. “He’s a weapon.”
The Sharks look to make it three in a row as they get back to district play with a home game against Fleming Island at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1.