Ponte Vedra Sharks (13-0) vs. Plantation American Heritage Patriots (13-0)
FHSAA Class 5A State Football Championship
3:00 PM EST Friday at Camping World Stadium, Orlando
GAME DETAILS, HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN & LIVE UPDATES
Tickets: $12 ($15 at the gate) general admission / $17 ($20 at the gate) reserved seating — can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com. Gates open 90 minutes prior to kickoff. All patrons will enter the stadium from Church Street. Parking is $10.
Live Updates: On Twitter at @FlaHSFootball | Pregame preview, halftime update, and end of game recap on Periscope.
TV Broadcast: Spectrum Sports Florida (HD 1147 for Charter Subscribers in Central Florida and Tampa Bay)
Radio Broadcast: None
Internet Stream: Watch online at MySpectrumSports.com (there is a fee to watch the games)
The Drive To December
Ponte Vedra: defeated Yulee,51-19, in regional quarterfinals; defeated Ribault, 35-32, in regional semifinals; defeated Rickards, 31-20, in regional finals; defeated Clay, 52-42, in state semifinals.
American Heritage: defeated Westwood, 55-12, in regional quarterfinals; defeated Cardinal Gibbons, 10-7, in regional semifinals; defeated Bishop Moore, 20-7, in regional finals; defeated Jesuit, 21-14, in state semifinals.
Ponte Vedra: Ranked No. 10 in 5A by Joe Pinkos; Ranked No. 3 in 5A by Associated Press
American Heritage: Ranked No. 1 in 5A by Joe Pinkos; Ranked No. 1 in 5A by Associated Press, Ranked No. 11 by MaxPreps, Ranked No. 16 by USA Today
FHSAA State Series History
Ponte Vedra: Four state series appearances, 6-2 overall playoff record.
American Heritage: 23 state series appearances, two state titles, one runner-up appearance, 26-20 overall playoff record.
Head Coaches & Coaching Records
Ponte Vedra: Matthew Toblin, third year (24-10 at Ponte Vedra, 41-17 overall including a stop at Clay).
American Heritage: Patrick Surtain, first year (13-0 at American Heritage, only coaching stop).
Ponte Vedra: Joe Conroy – offensive coordinator; James Nicholson – offensive line; Richard Barnes – offensive line; Aaron Avery – quarterbacks; Frankie Franklin – running backs; Shane Bowers – wide receivers; Mike Desanto – wide receivers; Kris Kramer – kickers; Frank Garis – defensive coordinator; Gordie Rolison – defensive line; James Pye – defensive line; Mannie Wellington – linebackers; James McViegh – linebackers; Glen Amerson – linebackers; Travis Bradford – defensive backs; Todd Fordham – defensive line.
American Heritage: Mario Perez – offensive coordinator; Chad Wilson – defensive coordinator; Travis Spiva – offensive line; Mike Smith – running backs; Oronde Gadsden – wide receivers; Mike Conrad – defensive line; Laney Stearns – linebackers; Ed Perry – special teams.
Players To Watch
QB Nick Tronti, Ponte Vedra, Sr. – Tronti had a career performance against Clay in the state semifinals, as he was responsible for 552 total yards and six touchdowns. That put the Charlotte commit over 7,000 passing yards for his career, and his 30 yard TD run with 2:36 left helped put away Clay. Tronti added a 26 and 74-yard touchdowns rush as he ran for 239 yards and four scores.
QB Jason Brown, American Heritage, Sr. – Brown is heading to Harvard after this, his senior year, and he has shined for the nation’s #11 team according to MaxPreps. Brown is 21-2 as a starter the last two seasons and this year has thrown for 1,525 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for another 514 yards and four scores.
DE/LB Andrew Chatfield, American Heritage, Jr. – Chatfield leads an American Heritage defense that has allowed 134 points all season. He has 79 total tackles, including 25 for loss, and leads the Patriots with 19 sacks.
RB Hal Swan, Ponte Vedra, Sr. – Swan is only 5’8″, but he joins Tronti as the major weapons for the Ponte Vedra offense. He has over 1,700 yards total offense and 21 total scores for the Sharks, including 16 TD’s on the ground. Swan averages almost 137 yards of offense a game for undefeated Ponte Vedra.
DT George Ellis, American Heritage, Sr. – Ellis added 73 total tackles, including 14 for loss, and five and a half sacks, and came up big with a fourth-down sack to end the state semifinal win over Jesuit.
The Skinny On Ponte Vedra
Ponte Vedra has only been a high school since 2008 and had just two playoff wins prior to this year’s run to Orlando and their first state championship game appearance. Sharks made a run to 5A regional final in 2011 but were knocked out in the opening round by Bishop Kenny in 2012 and Ribault a year ago. Tronti has been almost single-handedly leading Ponte Vedra in the playoffs, and they have been involved in some shootouts the past three weeks against Ribault, Rickards, and Clay. Clay coach Josh Hoekstra said after last week’s game that Tronti has “put his team on his shoulders.” Swan adds to the 1-2 punch with Tronti, and he will need to be very active against an extremely tough American Heritage defense. Wide receiver Marshall Few has also a major part of this Sharks offense. Defensively, Ponte Vedra has given up some points, but have made the stops when needed, including a late interception by Andrew O’Dare to put away Clay. Tronti may have to once again put Ponte Vedra on his shoulders against one of the top teams in the nation.
The Skinny American Heritage
Patriots are no stranger to playing at Camping World Stadium as they are looking for their third state championship in four seasons. Patrick Surtain has continued the winning tradition for Heritage in his first season as head coach after taking over for Mike Rumph, who is now an assistant coach at Miami. American Heritage is a little different than Ponte Vedra in that their defense has been extremely dominant, allowing only 134 points all season, and 32 of those came in a win over Miami Northwestern. The Patriots have won their last three postseason games by a combined 23 points, but allowed only 28 points combined in wins over Cardinal Gibbons, defending 5A state champion Bishop Moore, and Jesuit. The offense is steady, and Brown is a smart QB and leader who doesn’t make mistakes and makes enough plays to win. The Patriots have played a challenging schedule and have beaten all comers to this point, and will be a heavy favorite as a nationally ranked team against a Ponte Vedra team making it’s first trip to Orlando.
FloridaHSFootball.com: American Heritage 31, Ponte Vedra 17
Joe Pinkos: American Heritage 13 over Ponte Vedra