Sharks, penalties frustrate Westside

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Thanks to Hurricane Irma, the Ponte Vedra Sharks had to wait a few days to register their third straight win of the season. But the wait was worth it as Ponte Vedra beat Westside 31-7 on Monday evening at the Wolverines’ field.

It took a while before the Sharks could get their offense in gear for this rare Monday night matchup. That wasn’t the case for the defense, however, which came off the bus clicking on all cylinders. After the teams exchanged punts for the better part of the first 12 minutes, Ponte Vedra mounted a drive behind the hard running of Mark Calvin.

Moments later, RJ Glodstarting in place of injured Jack Murrahthrew a jump ball to Jarrett Stepp in the end zone. The ball was tipped twice before the sure-handed Shark receiver pulled it in. It was Stepp’s earlier punt return that had given Ponte Vedra a first down near midfield. Ten plays later, he put the Sharks up 7-0.

Ponte Vedra’s defense harried the Wolverines, keeping them constantly bottled up on their own end of the field. Their lone excursion across the 50-yard line proved disastrous when Cole McCormick picked off an errant pass and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown, resulting in a 14-0 Sharks lead.

The next time the Westsiders had the ball, they faced a fourth-and-1 on their own 40-yard line and opted to go for it. A fired-up Sharks defense denied them the yard.

Freshman quarterback Jacobi Myers took over for Glod and moved the team to a first-and-goal situation at the host’s 1-yard line; however, Ponte Vedra had to settle for a Riley Robbins field goal and a 17-0 advantage after three passes fell incomplete.

The half ended with the frustrated Westside offense hoping for better things the next 24 minutes. That didn’t happen. Sloppy play and numerous penalties (seven called against Westside) combined with Ponte Vedra’s stout defense kept Westside out of the end zone until the game’s closing minutes.

As in the first half, the Wolverines’ elusive but erratic quarterback Adroin Webster continued to find himself under pressure from the likes of Carson Shoals, Zach Summers, Daniel Lichlyter and Emory Kingry. When Webster was able to get his passes off, the Shark secondary covered well as displayed by Tommy Zitiello’s interception and the ensuing 20-yard return, as well as a bone crunching tackle after the catch by Wesley Davis.

In the meantime, the Sharks found a few more ways to score, including a 20-yard TD pass to Stepp from Glod and a 36-yard tackle-busting romp by Calvin off a great block by Rob Wortelboer.

Few things went right for the hosts throughout the game as they suffered their fourth loss. Even after Westside’s lone touchdown in the closing minutes, the team’s onside kick attempt was recovered by Duncan Van Kouteren.

The Sharks passed up another scoring chance by taking a knee on the game’s final play.

Ponte Vedra travels to Pedro Menendez on Friday, Sept. 22. 

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