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Flags screech Broncos

Ray DiMonda,
Posted 12/31/69

PONTE VEDRA - With the Middleburg Broncos still looking for the first 2023 season win; they made their way into the Shark Tank at Ponte Vedra getting off on the wrong foot.

“We can’t even …

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Flags screech Broncos


PONTE VEDRA - With the Middleburg Broncos still looking for the first 2023 season win; they made their way into the Shark Tank at Ponte Vedra getting off on the wrong foot.

“We can’t even get everybody lined up,” said Middleburg High head football coach Ryan Wolfe, after watching his Broncos implode with 11 penalty flags hindering any Middleburg effort on the field. “We have everybody moving around, messing with their pads, messing with shirts and we can’t even get lined up to start the football game."

After losing the toss and the Sharks deferring to receive until the second half, the Broncos lined up for the first play from scrimmage only to get charged with a delay of game. The Sharks took advantage of 11 Bronco penalties on their way to amassing five unanswered passing touchdowns as the Broncos suffered a 35-0 road-game shutout loss.

With district play less than two weeks away, Wolfe knows it’s time to pull some levers and change things up.

"I think we are going to have to hit the drawing board and figure out what we’re doing wrong," said Wolfe, now 0-3 with a makeup game on October 4 against Bishop Kenny (weather). "I don’t like players going both ways, but we are just going to have to slow it down and have a few players go both ways. What we are doing now just isn’t working.”

The Broncos did have several individuals who made great plays such as a huge sack by defensive end Tucker Cody for a loss of several yards. A great late-game showing from running back Lawson Padgett whose grit made up for his five-foot seven-inch size. Good gains by running back Jaden Boyd, and great middle-run stops by linebacker Austin Cruce. The issue is having all the players on the same page at the same time.

As a team, the Broncos could only gather a total of 135 yards, converting only a single third-down play. A Middleburg fumble and a Ponte Vedra intercepted pass were both converted for touchdowns by the Sharks.

Asked about the halftime adjustments, quarterback Carson Stewart said, “I knew I just had to keep my head up, tried to pick my chin up and focus on the mistakes I made in the first half.” About his positional leadership as the quarterback, Stewart said “I tell them to keep their heads up. Don’t let their heads stay down. Keep them in the game so they don’t give up and we keep trying to put some points on the board. It’s about listening to the coaches and what they have to say, what they tell me they see so I can fix it and do better on the next set of downs.” Stewart finished only able to gather 78 passing yards compared to 185 yards through the air for the Sharks. Stewart had several passes on target and dropped by the receivers.

At the half, Wolfe told his players, “We can’t lay down. We have to go out and fight. How we play in the second half is how we will go the rest of the season. I at least want to see my guys go down fighting rather than just laying down.”

The bright spot was the second half Bronco's defense only allowed a single Shark score.

“We have to hit the drawing board,” said Wolfe. “We have to go figure out some personnel. We’re a mess right now and it is going to take a little while to fix it. We have the right guys to fix it, so we just have some work to do.”