FloridaHSFootball.com is a partner of USA TODAY High School Sports
Miami commit Artur Sitkowski threw two touchdown passes and ran for a touchdown as No. 2 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) overcame early mistakes to defeat USA TODAY Super 25 No. 20 & FloridaHSFootball.com Florida Top 25 No. 3 Miami Carol City 41-22 in a preseason game Friday.
Two American Family Insurance ALL-USA defensive linemen for IMG, Nolan Smith II and Xavier Thomas, each had big second-half sacks.
The game was delayed twice by lightning. When it finally got underway, Carol City took a quick 7-0 lead on a 6-yard run by Camron Davis.
The Ascenders struggled early with the center-quarterback exchange, but Sitkowski tied the score at the end of the quarter on a 3-yard sneak following several Carol City penalties. Running back Noah Cain put IMG on top early in the second quarter off an 8-yard run. He also had a 15-yard run for a touchdown in the second half.
IMG’s lead didn’t last long as Carol City linebacker Yasir Abdullah intercepted Sitkowski on IMG’s next possession and ran it back 78 yards for a touchdown. A fake punt led to a 49-yard touchdown pass by IMG’s Aidan Swanson to Andre Cisco to put the Ascenders up 21-14 midway through the second quarter.
Sitkowski found Jalen Jordan with a 14-yard pass to the left corner of the end zone just before the half to put the Ascenders up 27-14. He also threw a fourth down, 34-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to T.J. Pledger.
Carol City quarterback Legend Moore threw a late touchdown pass to end the game’s scoring.
IMG opens the regular season next Saturday against USA TODAY Super 25 No. 7 Chandler, Ariz. in a nationally televised game as part of the ESPN GEICO High School Kickoff, while Miami Carol City opens the season against FloridaHSFootball.com Florida Top 25 No. 10 Deerfield Beach at Traz Powell Stadium on Friday night.
Follow USA TODAY High School Sports on Twitter at @USATODAYhss