Week 2 Football Preview

Panthers face county rival, Sharks travel west


The Nease Panthers passed their first test of the 2023 season with a 10-7 overtime victory against Jackson High last week and now they will face another stiff test against county rival Creekside High on Sept. 1.

One of the major questions heading into the highly anticipated week two matchup surrounds the health of Cam Smith, who left the game on the first drive last week and did not return with an apparent shoulder injury.

The Panthers’ offense struggled to find rhythm at times during the contest but were able to gut out a win and start the season on the right foot.

However, if Smith is unable to go, the Panthers have some viable options with both junior Andrew Moses and sophomore Quinn Bradfield splitting carries and doing a nice job filling in against the Tigers.

Losing Smith during a game is a shock but knowing that Smith may not go will allow the Panthers’ coaching staff to devise a game plan around that, which means that the offense should look much more comfortable with a week of practice under their belt.

The Knights have an explosive offense that can do damage both on the ground and through the air and are led by junior quarterback Harrison Miller, who knows how to operate their system.

The Panthers stymied the Tigers in week 1, who possess another dangerous offense that can present dual threat options of attack, so it will be interesting to see how the Panthers can build off of that effort heading into week two.

Last season’s contest between the two teams turned out to be a shootout with both teams marching up and down the field before the Knights pulled away late for a 62-41 victory.

For Ponte Vedra, they stood toe-to-toe with Bartram Trail, but the offense hit some rough patches in the second half that they were not able to overcome.

As always seems to be the case, head coach Steve Price has a resilient group of players that never quit until the final whistle blows.

Now it just comes down to making some slight tweaks and making sure to finish strong, because the win was there for the taking and they know it, which is something they can definitely build on moving forward.

This week, the Sharks travel out west along Interstate-10 to Tallahassee to take on the Florida State University High School, for the return trip of a home-and-home series where the Seminoles came to the Shark Tank a year ago.

Just like for the Panthers, the Sharks are looking to even things up against the Seminoles, who defeated the Sharks on their home field, 24-13 last season.

One of the things that looks to still be in place one year later is the prowess of the Sharks’ defense, which looks to have found its next wave of leaders and playmakers once again on that side of the ball.

The Sharks were able to hold an athletic Bears’ offense to just seven points in the first half and created resistance throughout the second half but were faced with some short fields that made things challenging at times.

However, they held their own throughout it all and now turn their attention to the Seminoles.

Week 2, high school football, Nease Panthers, Ponte Vedra Sharks