Week seven football preview

Panthers, Sharks continue to develop identity with each week


We are now in the thick of the high school football season and we are beginning to see what this year’s teams are made of, and week seven presents huge tests for both Nease and Ponte Vedra.

The Panthers and the Sharks currently find themselves on winning streaks and they have begun to show both a mental and physical toughness in recent weeks.

Nease trailed at halftime in consecutive weeks to Orange Park and Sandalwood, but both times were able to come back to win thanks to second half charges and lock down defensive efforts.

Bryce Frick continues to look comfortable since taking over the starting quarterback duties and he does not appear to get bothered by the situations around him and his teammates seem to feed off his calm presence.

Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers have shown the ability to tighten up when it matters most and have shutout their opponents in the second half the past two weeks, showing that the halftime adjustments are working.

They also continue to show a nose for the ball and the ability to force turnovers, especially with interceptions in the secondary, which are starting to add up as the season goes on.

The Panthers welcome will need their defense and offense to continue its forward trajectory as they welcome in longtime rival St. Augustine High to the Panther Den and look to slow down an explosive Yellow Jackets attack that is averaging 43 points per game.

The Yellow Jackets are undefeated with an impressive record of 5-0, including wins over Bolles, Brunswick (Georgia) and Bartram Trail.

For the Ponte Vedra Sharks, they are flying high following a massive 31-0 district win on the road against Flagler Palm Coast and return home to take on the Bishop Kenny Crusaders (4-1).

The Sharks having been clicking in all phases of the game as they are coming off their second shutout of the season defensively, while also scoring 30 points or more as an offense for the third straight contest.

This defense is starting to develop and look the part in every facet, and they present a difficult challenge for opposing offensive coordinators each week, whose objective it is to find the chinks in the armor.

However, that is easier said than done when going up against the Sharks, who have playmakers on each level and the cohesion amongst the group appears second-to-none.

The Sharks and Crusaders squared off last year in an instant classic that saw the Sharks score in the waning seconds to win 32-24.

In many ways, that was one of the games that sparked the Sharks offense at the tail end of last season, and they have built off that momentum through the offseason and into this year.

Ben Burk continues to spread the ball around through the air and Brian Case is becoming a walking 100-yard rushing game.

The Sharks are looking more and more like a state contender with each week that passes, but they also know that they still have a lot in front of them.

One thing for sure, is that the Shark Tank will be rocking after two consecutive weeks on the road.

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