The American Heritage Patriots challenge the Ponte Vedra Sharks for the FHSAA Class 5A state championship on Friday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Both schools come into this contest with undefeated records.
American Heritage(13-0) are seeking their third Class 5A state title in the last four years. They did capture the state championship in 2013 and 2014. This will be the second time in three weeks that the Patriots will travel from Plantation to Orlando so travelling a long distance won't be a factor. They dethroned the defending state champions Bishop Moore on the road 20-7 in the regional final and returned home to beat Jesuit 21-14 in the state semifinal last week. They had home wins over Fort Pierce Westwood 55-12 in a regional quarterfinal and Cardinal Gibbons 10-7 in a regional semifinal.
The Patriots can run out of the option with quarterback Jason Brown along with running backs Abraham Alce, Jordan Johnson and Miles Jones. Brown intends to find wide receivers Laress Nelson, Dontavius Butler, Jones, Josh Alexander and Darnell Fleury as passing targets.
Ponte Vedra(13-0) hosted their first three playoff games with victories over Yulee 51-19 in a regional quarterfinal, Ribault 35-32 in a regional semifinal and Rickards 31-20 in a regional final. They went on the road and stopped Clay 52-42 last week in the state semifinal.
The Sharks also execute out of the option with quarterback Nick Tronti and running backs Hal Swan and Zach Walton. Tronti will look for wide receivers Marshall Few, J.D. Pirris and Jake McGuire along with Swan on passing plays.