PVHS Football

Sharks lose in OT shootout heartbreaker Friday night


Ponte Vedra’s football game against Bartram Trail last Friday will be one the Sharks will remember for a very long time and not just because they lost a heartbreaker to the Bears in overtime 52-51.

It was a memorable game for several reasons — certainly the Sharks’ tenacity in battling back after trailing by as many as eleven points on several different occasions is worthy of note.

Add to that, the number of unforgettable plays made under pressure by Nick Tronti, Jerret Stepp, Marshall Few, JD Pirris and Quint Boyd in their multiple comeback efforts. It was a game packed with excitement, probably the most exciting sporting event in the Sharks’ history. Unfortunately the thing that Ponte Vedra will remember most is how close the Sharks came to winning the game twice in regulation time after their final, miraculous comeback with a minute and a half left in the game.

Four minutes into the fourth quarter, Ponte Vedra trailed the Bears by ten 41-31. Then Tronti engineered a 62-yard touchdown drive highlighted by Boyd’s 47-yard pass and run and Stepp’s end zone catch to cut the Bears’ lead to 41-38. Stepp earlier had an 86-yard kickoff return for a Shark touchdown.

After Bartram’s 37-yard field goal pushed their lead to six points at the game’s two-minute mark, Tronti passed the Sharks into a 44-44 tie with a magnificent 45-yard touchdown strike to Marshall Few running along the back of the Bartram end zone.

Despite trailing for much of the game, the Sharks needed only the point-after-conversion to walk off with the win. The unthinkable happened when the snap on the PAT rolled to the holder and the kick could not be made.

Still it looked like Tronti had one more miracle up his sleeve after the Sharks forced a Bartram punt with just over 15 seconds on the clock.

The quarterback hit Pirris for 40 yards with the receiver stealing the ball from the Bear defender.

On the game’s final play in regulation Tronti connected with Few on a short pass — the front end of a hook and ladder play — and Few pitched the ball to Boyd who raced down the right sideline toward the Bear’s goal line only to be dragged down from behind at the two-yard line as time expired.

Tronti set the stage again for a Shark victory when he ran a quarterback keeper 10 yards on the first play of overtime for a touchdown. The point after kick was good and Ponte Vedra led 51-44. However, Bartram wouldn’t be denied. They scored on a third down pass then went for two successfully to earn the 52-51 win.

Tronti finished the game with 23 completions on 39 attempts good for 423 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 99 yards and two scores. Pirris caught 7 passes for 126 yards, Few 6 for 136 yards and two touchdowns, Boyd 3 for 96 yards, Stepp 5 for 22 yards and a touchdown.

Ponte Vedra meets Bishop Kenny in a conference game at home Friday evening at 7 p.m.