BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Local prep teams are glad to be back to playing football after Hurricane Dorian wiped out games and practices last week.
On Monday, in a highly anticipated matchup and our Game of the Week, Atlantic blanked Seabreeze 32-0 on the campus of Atlantic in Port Orange in front of an estimated crowd of 1,000.
Atlantic’s (2-0) defense dominated the game.
Seabreeze (1-2) got its first offensive first down on a 41-yard pass from John Gardella to Avery Randolph in the third quarter.
“We were able to do what we did because of film and how our coaches prepare us. We watch a lot of film. We’ve been practicing well. We saw what was on film and were in position to make plays,” responded Ty Berrong, a senior linebacker with Atlantic.
Atlantic senior safety Jaye Brockington reflected, “Coach Mayo tells us that film is the key to everything we watch film every day. We watched them on tape. We dominated by what we’ve seen off film and prepared for it.”
Berrong and Brockington (two interceptions) were just two of several Shark defenders to shine in the game.
The Sharks offense featured a potent rushing attack that ran for five touchdowns.
Atlantic did, however, commit plenty of penalties.
“We’re sloppy, but we’re improving. Our defense carries us. It’s our strongest aspect. We still have a lot to clean up offensively, especially in the deep passing game,” commented DJ Mayo, Atlantic’s head coach.
‘Too many mistakes’
The Sandcrabs’ defense also forced several three and outs and two fourth-down stops.
“I think we did well but made too many mistakes. We came out flat on our first offensive drive. We missed some late scoring chances too,” said Patrick Brown, Seabreeze’s head coach.
“Our defense had some big stops. It was only a two-score game at halftime. They wore us down in the second half since our defense played a lot of snaps.
Atlantic led 14-0 after Aaron Walton’s nine-yard touchdown run with 8:14 left in the second quarter. The lead stood at the half.
The Sharks took a commanding 21-0 lead after Charles “C.J.’’ Robinson’s one-yard score with 8:27 to play in the third quarter.
The score came after the Sandcrabs fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half.
Two practice days
From there, Seabreeze was never able to recover.
The Sandcrabs missed several scoring opportunities – all in the second half.
A 19-yard touchdown pass from Gardella to Randolph was negated by a holding penalty; they failed to convert a fourth down and two interceptions were thrown inside or near the end zone.
Robinson ran for 108 yards; he and Walton each had two rushing scores for Atlantic.
Dallas Lovelace also ran for a touchdown for the Sharks.
The teams played with just two days of practice after Hurricane Dorian moved the game from Friday and no football activities were allowed from Tuesday through Thursday.
“They played us with energy. We went a long time without football activity, but we both had two days to prepare. They were in the same situation as us. We needed to get the game in,” stated Mayo.
Brown echoed, “I don’t think it was too much a factor. We both had two days of practice.”
A short week
It’s another short week for both teams with games looming in just days.
Atlantic hosts Melbourne Central Catholic on Saturday at 6 p.m. while Seabreeze travels Deltona on Friday (Sept. 13) at 7 p.m.
“We’ll look at our film, get guys checked out to make sure we have no major injuries, and we’ll get back to work and ready for Friday,” noted Brown.
Mayo added, “It’s another short week. We’ll exchange film and come up with a game plan. We’ll have two real practice days.”
Other makeup games that were moved from Friday to Monday included Halifax (0) at Pine Ridge (50) and Deltona (7) at Winter Springs (26).
Father Lopez played at Titusville, which was after Daytona Times’ deadline.
This week’s top games
Flagler Palm Coast (2 -0) at Spruce Creek (1-0): There will be a playoff-like atmosphere when two of the best local teams square off in a district 8A-2 showdown with playoff implications.
Melbourne Central Catholic (0-1) at Atlantic (2-0): The Sharks play their second game this week; they face a tough team that made the playoffs last year.
Sanford Seminole (2-0) at DeLand (1-0): It’s the district opener with playoff implications for both talented teams.
Seabreeze (1-2) at Deltona (02): It’s another district opener and both teams played on Monday; just feeling this could be competitive.
Prep Sports Seven Pre-Season rankings
1. DeLand (1-0), 2. Flagler Palm Coast (2-0), 3. Spruce Creek (1-0), 4. Mainland (0-1), 5. New Smyrna Beach (1-1), 6. Father Lopez (1-0), 7. Atlantic (2-0). Others: University (2-0).