Ponte Vedra’s Sharks finished the regular football season schedule with a predictable win over 0-9 Creekside. What was surprising was the closeness of the game—17-12.
Shark coach Matt Toblin anticipated that the game against the Knights might not be as easy as the team’s records would suggest when he told his players that “Creekside may be the toughest 0-9 team his Sharks might ever see.”
Ponte Vedra moved to an easy opening touchdown on a Nick Tronti pass to J D Pirris within the game’s first minute. Ponte Vedra would not score another touchdown until the last play of the first half and that would be their last TD of the game.
Creekside used their first possession to score on an extended 80-yard drive only to miss a two-point conversion attempt and trailed 7-6.
For the better part of the first half the teams traded uneventful drives. But for a long touchdown pass from Tronti to Jarret Stepp that was nullified by a holding penalty, the Knights had the better part of the play and were in position to take a 9-7 halftime lead when they lined up for a 47-yard field goal at the Sharks 30-yard line.
Ryan Gleason, as he has done so frequently this season, slipped between blockers and batted the kick aside and into the arms of Andrew O’Dare. O’Dare ran 70-yards untouched down the left sideline for the touchdown that turned into the game winning score for the Sharks.
Ryan Howard kicked a 27-yard third quarter field goal pushing the Ponte Vedra advantage to 17-6 but the Knights answered with a with their final touchdown with five minutes left in the game.
The Sharks had a testy moment with a minute left in the game and a fourth and one situation on their own thirty-eight. Rather than risk a punt, Toblin called a quarterback sneak on which Tronti made the necessary yard for a first down. Two kneel downs later the Sharks had escaped with a 17-12 victory.
Ponte Vedra plays a home playoff game on Friday against Ribault.