Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Efficient Sharks Carve Up Yulee to Stay Perfect; Ponte Vedra Now 10-0, Gets Ribault Rematch

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Efficient Sharks Carve Up Yulee to Stay Perfect; Ponte Vedra Now 10-0, Gets Ribault Rematch

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Barney

Ponte Vedra got the fast start it was looking for and never looked back.

Three touchdowns in the first six minutes set the tone for the Sharks to make Yulee's playoff stay a brief one, routing the Hornets 51-19 in the Region 1-5A quarterfinals on Friday night and barreling into the second round of the postseason. The game was shortened in the second half with a running clock.

It marks just the second time in program history that the Sharks (10-0) have hit a double-digit win total. The 2011 team went 11-2 and went three rounds deep in the playoffs. Now, the Sharks are in the regional semifinals for just the second time, and they get another shot at Ribault. The Trojans (6-3) knocked off Ponte Vedra in the playoff opener last year, a game where quarterback Nick Tronti suffered a broken collarbone and the Sharks failed to do anything against the Ribault defense.

"With this team, this is not a one-year thing," said Ponte Vedra coach Matt Toblin. "This is a multiyear journey. A lot of these kids were starters as sophomores. They've been building this together."

The build was rough early, starting out with a 3-7 year in 2014, a season when Toblin said the team took comfort in close losses. Moral victories were the thing back then, but the Sharks have evolved into an offensive machine behind Tronti, running back Hal Swan and a host of big play receivers.

"Coach Toblin changed this program; we've put in so much work to get better every single day," said Tronti, who finished 11-of-17 for 237 yards and two touchdowns and added a pair of rushing scores. "We wanted to keep [the offense] going. Protect the ball. Score on every drive."

Ponte Vedra didn't give Yulee any kind of chance to turn the game into the slugfest that it wanted.

Ponte Vedra went up and down the field as it pleased. Its first three scoring drives took all of 14 plays and came on a variety of plays. Tronti hit Swan on a 25-yard screen pass, then kept it himself on a fourth-and-2 play that wound up going for an 8-yard scoring run. …

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