By: Wells Dusenbury
ESPN 106.3 Reporter
-Heading into Friday night's Kickoff Classic, Seminole Ridge head coach Scott Barnwell had one goal in mind: Get reps for his back-up quarterbacks. Last year, starting quarterback Dalton Trimble suffered a torn ACL in the team's second game, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. With an inexperienced back-up, the team struggled to find any consistent offensive rhythm and finished the year 5-5.
"We wanted to make sure that never happens again," said Barnwell.
So with Trimble back healthy, and thoroughly entrenched as the starter, Barnwell decided to sit his senior QB in favor of getting a pair of younger players some valuable playing experience. Sophomore running back Jeremiah Brown and junior Michael Adeyanju split time at quarterback as the Hawks rolled to a 47-7 win over Taravella.
Barnwell said he was impressed by duo, especially Brown, who normally serves as the team's starting running back. While Trimble will be back under center against Pahokee this Friday, the Hawks do enter the regular season with its back-up quarterbacks having some real game experience.
-The star of Seminole Ridge's victory, however, was do-it-all senior Joey Schergen. The speedy senior showed off his versatility against Taravella, scoring four touchdowns in three different ways for the Hawks. Schergen wasted no time on Friday as he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. The senior, who started at running back with Brown at QB, rushed for 46 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, Schergen also tallied 3 catches for 98 yards and 1 touchdown.
"Joey brings a whole different level because he's so athletic," said Barnwell. "He's deceivingly fast. He doesn't look like he's moving that fast, but no one seems to catch him."
-While Pahokee fell 7-0 to Atlantic in its Kickoff Classic, sophomore tight end Zatavian Morgan was a bright spot for the team. In the first quarter, the 6-foot-2, 235-pounder showed off his big-play capability with a leaping one-handed catch in traffic. Last year, Morgan started as freshman and caught nine touchdowns in his debut season.
With his size and athleticism, Morgan presents a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses as the Blue Devils can line him up next to the tackle or split him out wide. Head coach Alphonso Smith raved about his tight end's athleticism and said he plans to feature him more this upcoming season.
-After struggling mightily in its spring game versus Seminole Ridge, South Fork's defense has grown up quickly. With the team breaking in ten new starters at the time, the unit was torched by the Hawks, allowing 35 points in the first 14 minutes of its game. Three months later, the South Fork defense has taken a massive leap forward.
On Friday night, the Bulldogs topped Palm Beach Gardens 35-21, with the defense making critical stops all night long. The most notable example came late in the contest. With the Gators on the South Fork two-yard line in the 4th quarter, the Bulldog defense denied Gardens on the goal-line, forcing a turnover on downs and sealing the win for the team.
While the first half of the spring game wasn't the most pleasant experience, head coach Mike Lavelle thinks its served his team in the long run.
"The game snuck up on them," said Lavelle of the Seminole Ridge game. "I think they grew up in the spring game and we tried to take the forward this year. The kids made plays defensively. We've got a lot of skill players offensively, and those are the guys that get the ink in the paper, but defensively we've got some good kids out there."
-Palm Beach Gardens safety Devin Studstill was forced to watch the team's loss from the sidelines on Friday night. Due to an FHSAA rule, the three-star recruit was unable to suit up since he hadn't participated in five fall practices. The senior spent the first two weeks of camp in Georgia, working as a ball-boy for the Atlanta Falcons. Studstill, however, will be back in the line-up as the Gators kickoff the regular season this week versus John I. Leonard.
-With Studstill out on Friday, fellow defensive back Amari Carter made his presence felt. The 6-foot-2, 188-pound hulking safety delivered a number of bone-crushing hits against the Bulldogs. Carter, who's only a junior, showed why he will be a major defensive recruit next season. Check out one of his hits from Friday night in the video below.
(Sidebar: I recorded this off the camera during halftime, so the Lady Antebellum you hear is coming from the stadium loudspeakers, not me. As to why was "Need You Now" was playing at a football game? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
-With super-productive wideouts Tavares Martin and Dante Cousart off in college, Dwyer entered the falling looking for another target to compliment University of Florida commit Isaiah Johnson. After one game, it looks Dwyer looks like has found its answer. In the team's win over Miami Northwestern, sophomore Varrick Davis showed off his big-play capability, hauling in two long touchdown grabs.
On his first score, he streaked past the opposing cornerback and help-safety on the right sideline, hauling in a perfectly placed ball from Toddy Centeio for an 80-yard strike. On his second touchdown, he utilized his speed once again as he outraced the defense to turn a 20-yard catch down the middle into a 65-yard score.
With an experienced QB in Centeio and a explosive wideout next to him in Johnson, Davis will have the opportunity to put together a major season.