If the Aug. 18 Kickoff Classic between Ponte Vedra and Fletcher is any indication of what’s to come during the regular season, be ready for some exciting football. The Sharks edged the visiting Senators 16-14 on a 20-yard field goal by Riley Robbins on the game’s final play.
In the Kickoff Classic format, the varsity squads for each team played the first half, then the two teams used underclassmen in the third and fourth quarter. But for two plays, the game’s excitement came in the final quarter when the freshmen and JV squads were on the field.
Ponte Vedra’s varsity scored on its opening drive of the game when junior quarterback Jack Murrah connected with senior wide receiver Jarrett Stepp for a 60-yard touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Fletcher’s Anthony Evelyn answered with a 90-yard romp down the sideline for the game-tying touchdown. With two scores in less than four minutes, the game appeared to be heading for a wild offensive shootout, but the defenses stepped up and dominated play.
The first half ended with the teams tied at 7-7, and it wasn’t until the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter that the scoreboard came back to life.
At that point, Ponte Vedra’s freshman quarterback Jacobi Myers engineered a long and impressive drive mixing runs and passes that ultimately ended in the second Sharks touchdown. With the extra point attempt missing wide to the right, Ponte Vedra held a 13-7 lead. But Fletcher wasn’t ready to pack it in despite needing a touchdown with little time remaining.
In less than a minute, two deep passes by sophomore quarterback Devon Lingle gave the Senators a first down at the Sharks’ 25-yard line. On the next play, the quarterback rolled left all the way to the end zone. The point after was good, and the visitors led 14-13 with 3:22 left on the clock for the Sharks’ offense.
Ponte Vedra coach Matt Toblin sent his freshman quarterback back in the game, and he proceeded to engineer another long drive that culminated in the winning 22-yard field goal as time expired.
Said Toblin after the game, “I was pleased with the way all our players competed, especially the younger guys. We were able to get all our player some game action, and that was what we wanted to do.”