St. Augustine dominated both lines of scrimmage and essentially shut down Ponte Vedra’s running and passing games.
Then to really make things unfair, the Yellow Jackets threw the ball to Karim Brown.
Brown caught seven passes for 171 yards, including three touchdown receptions in the first half to help St. Augustine dismantle Ponte Vedra 41-0 Friday night at the Sharks’ field.
“He poses problems,” St. Augustine coach Brian Braddock said in an understatement describing his dynamic senior receiver. “It’s easy to forget how good he is until he goes out in the game.”
Brown caught touchown passes on three of St. Augustine’s four first-half drives. Dexter Brown fumbled into the end zone at the end of a 14-yard run on the other possession, and the Jackets went into halftime with a 21-0 lead, but the game was not as close as the score indicated.
“They out-coached us, out-tackled us, and out-physicaled us,” Ponte Vedra coach Matt Toblin said. “I think even their ball boys were better than ours.”
Karim Brown caught a 14-yard TD pass on a post to put the Jackets up 7-0 and finish off a 95-yard first-quarter drive. He made it 14-0 with a 27-yard scoring catch early in the second quarter, spinning away from the cornerback as he brought the ball in and sprinting into the end zone. And he was wide open on a 65-yard TD catch and run with 2:17 left in the first half.
“He’s just a great athlete. I don’t know how to explain it,” Dexter Brown (no relation) said of the receiver. “Clearly he was open every time. They just couldn’t cover him.”
St. Augustine quarterback Austin Reed was sharp, completing 14 of 19 passes for 245 yards and three TDs. He threw just two passes in the second half. Karim Brown had just one catch for 10 yards after halftime.
The Jackets, who improved to 5-0, added three rushing touchdowns in the second half. Fre’Quan Sparrow scored on a 4-yard run, Brandon Johnson added an 8-yard score and Dexter Brown busted through the line of scrimmage for an 89-yard touchdown run with 3:39 left that put an exclamation point on the victory.
“I just saw the hole and I ran through it. I’m a track guy,” Dexter Brown said. “My o-line did a great job.”
Sparrow finished with 15 carries for 79 yards, while Dexter Brown ran for 136 yards on six carries. Sparrow had 12 of his carries in the second half.
“Coach needed to show me I have to hold onto the ball,” said Dexter Brown, who had just one carry after halftime but made the most of it.
“I got to get better on ball security. I held it high and tight. It just came out,” he said of his first-half fumble.
Ponte Vedra (4-2) lost its top two receivers in the first quarter, and that didn’t help matters for the Sharks. Jarrett Stepp went down with a possible concussion on the Jackets’ kickoff after their first score. Kyle Barker left the game with an injured ankle.
Stepp had two catches for 14 yards on the Sharks’ opening drive.
“That really hurt them,” Braddock said. “If Karim gets hurt and Cedrin (Daniel, 5 catches for 56 yards) goes down, we’d be searching for answers too.”
The Sharks moved the ball into the red zone twice in the fourth quarter but they threw an incomplete on fourth down at the 17, and after getting the ball back on St. Augustine’s second lost fumble of the game, they fumbled for the second time themselves at the 11.
Sharks quarterbacks Jack Murrah and Jacobi Myers combined to throw for 116 yards on 10 of 11 passing, but more than half of that total came on three completions late in the game. The Sharks rushed for just 46 yards on 37 carries. The Jackets’ had five sacks in the game.
Next week both teams return to district action. Ponte Vedra will host Terry Parker, while St. Augustine will travel to Ed White.