Ponte Vedra’s Sharks celebrated Senior Night with an impressive 49-13 win over the visiting Terry Parker Braves last Friday, and while the night was intended to honor the seniors, it turned out to be a special night for a few underclassmen as well.
Shark senior quarterback Jack Murrah had plenty to celebrate, completing 5 of 6 passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns. His senior running back, Mark Calvin, rushed for 50 yards on 11 carries. Christian Herring, another senior back, added 24 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Rani Toma caught one of Murrah’s touchdown passes, and senior kicker Riley Robbins converted five PATs. Senior kickers Brian Salzman and Mitch Levine converted the other two.
Shark underclassmen scored five of Ponte Vedra’s seven touchdowns. Freshman Caden Fordham started the rout scoring the first touchdown of the night on a sweep from 3 yards out. Then junior Reese Russi teamed up with Murrah for a 12-yard score. Russi caught three balls for 43 yards on the night.
Junior Nick Pirris made the score 28-0 when he hauled in a toss from freshman quarterback Jacobi Myers on a play that covered 36 yards. The half ended with the Sharks up 28-7.
Ponte Vedra’s defense stopped the Braves on a fourth-and-2 at the home team’s 33-yard line, and four hard runs by Calvin gave the Sharks a first down at the Braves’ 32-yard line. Then sophomore Tommy Zitiello gathered in Murrah’s perfect pass to push the Shark lead to 35-7.
Following Zitiello’s score, Parker wasn’t able to get a first down and had to punt the ball away. Minutes later, Toma’s touchdown catch gave Ponte Vedra its sixth TD and a 42-7 advantage.
Parker scored again in the fourth quarter but saw the point after blocked and trailed 42-13. Sophomore Collin Magill—with 30 yards on 13 carries—combined with Calvin to grind out three first downs to set up the final Shark score. It came when underclassman Zach Chattaway bulled over defenders from 2 yards out with one minute left in the game.
The Sharks offense benefitted from a solid effort by their defense. Parker was forced to punt three times, and the team turned the ball over on downs three times and had a pass intercepted (by Zitiello).
Leading tacklers for the Sharks were Herring with five and Connor McDonough, Gibson Pardue, Zitiello, Pete Merlini and Nick Greco all with four.
Next week, the Sharks face their toughest challenge of the season when they travel to Trinity Christian.