Week 3 Football Preview

Panthers become road warriors, while Sharks enjoy bye


It will be a relatively quiet week for football in the area as the Ponte Vedra Sharks have a bye week, while the Nease Panthers travel down to Davenport to take on Ridge Community.

Although week three may seem early to have a week off, it could actually not have come at a better time for the Sharks (1-1), as they are fresh off a statement 23-22 victory on the road against Florida State University High.

The resiliency was there for a second straight week, but this time around the Sharks took care of business and learned from week one by finishing the deal and scoring the game-winning touchdown in the final 10 seconds.

That growth from one week to the next is exactly what head coach Steve Price and the coaching staff wants to see, and the Sharks surely proved something to themselves as well as the rest of the state with the win over the Seminoles, who are regarded as a state finalist contender in Class 2S.

A week off following such an emotional win and long road trip is just what the Sharks ordered, as they can now refocus for what will be eight consecutive weeks of football on the horizon.

For the Nease Panthers, it is now their turn to go on a lengthy road trip as they take the more than two-and-a-half-hour journey south of Orlando to play Ridge Community on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

The Bolts (1-1) present an interesting test for the Panthers (1-1), because they are a hard team to figure out at times, as they won their season opener over Celebration 40-0 but then lost to a highly regarded Lake Wales team, 40-6 in week two.

Although the competition was different both weeks, it is difficult to get a read on which team is more of an example of this year’s Bolts’ squad.

The Bolts finished 5-4 one season ago and always seem to be in the hunt for a playoff spot at the end of each year, which demonstrates consistency within the program.

One of the more interesting stats the Bolts had last season was that they finished the year with 282 points both scored and allowed.

The Panthers will be looking to bounce back after their first loss of the season, but one of the positives that came from the contest against Creekside was the emergence of Maddux Spencer, who fully emerged onto the scene with a performance that included 14 receptions for 289 yards through the air.

It will be interesting to see what he can do for an encore and how the coaching staff continues to find new and inventive ways to get the ball in his hands.

Defensively, despite surrendering 51 points, the Panthers’ secondary showed that they have some ballhawks flying around back there with multiple interceptions in the contest.

As the offense continues to find the perfect balance of what works, especially with running back Cam Smith still out, it is up to the defense to help allow them the time they need to figure it out.

Nease Panthers, Ponte Vedra Sharks, week three, high school football


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