BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Aaron Manning and Torrey Gaines helped lift Atlantic past Deltona 49-14 in Port Orange on Oct. 4.
The duo connected on three touchdown passes. Manning threw for 295 yards with four touchdowns and ran for 75 yards with a score while Gaines had seven catches for 185 yards with three scores.
“We just had a good week of preparation. We had a great game plan. We were just able to execute tonight. We’re growing and maturing as a team,” Manning said.
Gaines echoed after the game: “Like Aaron said, it’s all about preparation then executing. We were able to do so tonight.’’
The teams battled to a 7-7 tie after the first quarter as both capitalized on turnovers.
Atlantic (5-1) went to a passing attack in the second quarter, finding success with the deep ball. They scored 21 points in the quarter and led 28-7 halftime.
“We took advantage of what they gave us. Manning is a baller. He is capable. Gaines is a heck of a player too,” commented DJ Mayo, Atlantic’s head coach.
The Sharks are playing without Division I recruits in wide receiver Maximus Campbell (concussion) and linebacker Ty Berrong (shoulder injury).
Mayo added, “We have a lot of guys stepping up for us with guys out with injury. Max is our go-to receiver but Torrey has excelled. With Ty out, guys like Jaye Brockington are playing multiple positions and doing extremely well.”
Deltona on deficiencies
Deltona (0-6) continued to fight but just couldn’t cut into the deficit.
“Our deficiencies showed up. We lack depth and we’re quite young. We have some guys out with injury too, but Atlantic played a good game against us tonight,” said Allen Johnson, Deltona’s head coach.
Charles Robinson added 62 yards rushing with two scores and a two-point conversion run for the Sharks.
Aaron Walton also caught four passes for 82 yards with a score for Atlantic.
Denzel Chatman threw for 119 yards with two touchdowns both to Eli Patton for Deltona.
Patton had three catches for 95 yards for the Wolves.
The teams are headed in opposite directions. The Sharks are in the playoff mix while the Wolves are looking for wins.
“We are progressing. We have to work to continue to improve. We must approach each game each week likes its our Super Bowl,” said Mayo.
Johnson added, “This year is tough and humbling. It’s a spot where we haven’t been. We’ll keep working, fighting and playing hard.”
Atlantic travels to Melbourne Eau Gallie while Deltona goes down the street to face inner-city rival Pine Ridge.
Top games of the week
Seabreeze (4-2, 1-0) at New Smyrna Beach (4-2, 1-0): The Sandcrabs and Cudas play a key district 6A-4 game, which should be competitive.
Fort Pierce Westwood (4-1) at Mainland (2-3): The Buccaneers face another quality opponent at home.
Spruce Creek (3-2, 0-2) at University (4-1, 1-1): It’s another key district 8A-2 game between two local teams. The Titans are still in district race but the Hawks want to knock them out.
Seminole (6-0, 2-0) at Flagler Palm Coast (6-0, 2-0): This game could eventually decide the district 8A-2 title and automatic playoff berth. The Seminoles and Bulldogs boast talented and deep squads.
Deltona (0-6, 0-2) at Pine Ridge (1-5, 0-2): The Wolves and Panthers are out of the district 6A-4 title race. The schools are located in Deltona down the street from each other.
Prep Sports Seven Pre-Season Rankings
1. Flagler Palm Coast (6-0), 2. DeLand (3-2), 3. Mainland (23), 4. Spruce Creek (3-2), 5. Atlantic (5-1), 6. University (4-1), 7. Seabreeze (4-2). Others: New Smyrna Beach (4-2).