Sharks settle score with Pedro Menendez


The Ponte Vedra Sharks had a score to settle with Pedro Menendez Friday night and settle it they did. In 2015, the Falcons handed the Sharks an unexpected 25-20 defeat after Ponte Vedra had rolled to four straight wins and had visions of an undefeated season. The payback came as the Sharks pummeled the Falcons 49-22 in a game that was not nearly as competitive as the score might indicate.

Ponte Vedra scored early and often behind the passing and running of quarterback Nick Tronti and running back Hal Swan and Tronti’s talented group of receivers. Tronti found his tight end Kit Connelly wide open over the middle for a 46-yard touchdown before the game was two minutes old.

Moments later, Ponte Vedra forced a three-and-out punt and was back on offense near their own 40-yard line. A pair of passes to Jake Maguire picked up 20 yards and Swan’s 37-yard burst gave the Sharks a first and goal inside the Falcon 10. Tronti’s keeper took advantage of the field position as he scored the first of his three running touchdowns.

Linebacker Sam Barnhard’s fumble recovery of the ensuing kickoff put the football back in Tronti’s hands and the senior quarterback went immediately to wide-out Marshall Few for 36 yards. Few’s remarkable catch came despite the Falcon defender’s apparent interference. It wouldn’t be his only remarkable catch of the game. He made a brilliant diving grab in the end-zone in the third quarter for the final PV touchdown.

With the Sharks again in the shadow of the Falcon goal posts, Tronti rolled left on a keeper for a touchdown and a 21-0 score.

The Shark defense contributed to the rout when Andrew O’Dare forced another Menendez fumble giving Ponte Vedra the ball near midfield. Swan and Zach Walton took turns chewing up yardage in big chunks. Swan’s plunge from a yard out put Ponte Vedra up 28-0 just as the second quarter started.

Menedez found a soft spot in the Shark defense on their next possession by completing a 70-yard pass to a wide-open receiver. Responding to their touchdown, the visitors forced a PV punt, then marched 50 yards to a fourth and goal situation at the Sharks’ one-yard line but weren’t able to score.

The Sharks, aided by a pass interference call, used big running plays by Swan and Tronti to move 99 yards as the first half clock ticked down. Swan ran in from four yards out for the touchdown with 25 seconds left in the half.

The breakdown in the Ponte Vedra secondary that led to Pedro’s first score came back to bite the Sharks on the Falcons final play of the half. This time it was an 80-pass completion.

Ponte Vedra wasted little time making up for the defensive misplay that ended the first half. Tronti took matters in his hands by running 45 yards through the Menendez defense – a play that would make the ESPN highlight reels if it occurred on Sunday afternoon.

The Sharks finished their scoring on Marshall Few’s second brilliant catch of the game, this one covering 33 yards.

The Sharks’ record improved to 4-0 and they have scored an average of 45 points in each of their last three games. Tronti’s stellar season continues as he completed nine of 18 passes for 169 yards and two TDs. He also ran for three scores. Swan carried 18 times for 145 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Few caught five passes covering 93 yards and one TD.

The Sharks hit the road for a conference game against Westside on September 30 at 7 p.m.