Pedro Menendez probably wishes it played in the same conference as Ponte Vedra. And why shouldn’t they after beating the Sharks four times in the past five years. Last Friday evening, the host Falcons ended Ponte Vedra’s three-game win streak with a last minute, come-from-behind 15-14 victory.
Prior to Friday, Pedro’s defense had given up more than 33 points per game, but somehow the Falcons managed to find a way to limit the Sharks to a season low 160 yards and just one offensive touchdown. Neither team displayed much offense as evidenced by the game’s 14 punts—seven by each team. Two critical Shark turnovers led to nine Falcon points and ultimately cost Ponte Vedra the game.
After a scoreless first quarter, Menendez intercepted a Jack Murrah pass at the PV 30-yard line but had to settle for a 37-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead. The Sharks were aided by a pass interference penalty on their only offensive touchdown. The score came when Murrah found his tight end, Kit Connelly, open in the right corner of the end zone just before the first half ended.
Both defenses continued to dominate in a scoreless third quarter as each team was forced to punt twice. The second Falcon punt proved costly for Pedro. Tommy Zitiello blocked the punt, and teammate Wes Davis scooped the ball up and returned it 28 yards for a Shark touchdown, resulting in a 14-3 Ponte Vedra lead.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Falcons drove 43 yards to narrow the gap, but Zitiello denied Pedro’s attempt at a 2-point conversion and left the Falcons trailing 14-9.
Then with less than two minutes left in the game, misfortune struck for the Sharks. It came after Ponte Vedra’s offense picked up a first down inside the Falcon 30-yard line because of a 15-yard reception by Jarrett Stepp. One play later, however, the Shark quarterback was unable to handle the shotgun snap, and the Falcons recovered the loose football. The scoreboard clock showed 1:50 left in the game and Menendez—with a first down at its own 40-yard line—trailed 14-9. But not for long.
A 37-yard pass completion followed by a 13-yard run produced the go-ahead touchdown and a 15-14 Menendez lead. Stepp’s interception on the 2-point conversion attempt kept it a one-point Falcon advantage.
The Sharks, however, weren’t able to mount a drive in the final minute and suffered their first loss of the season.
Their schedule doesn’t get any easier as they return home to play Bishop Kenny on Friday, Sept. 29, followed by St. Augustine, Trinity Christian and Bolles.