The American Heritage Patriots defeated the Ponte Vedra Sharks 35-33 and captured the FHSAA Class 5A state championship on Friday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. It was the third state title for the Patriots in the last four years.
Both schools combined for 27 points in the opening quarter. Ponte Vedra(13-1) stormed out with 13 points in the first three minutes of the contest. Nick Tronti threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marshall Few just 45 seconds into the game for a 6-0 lead. They failed on the two-point rushing attempt.
The Sharks recovered the ensuing on-side kick and took advantage of it. They completed the drive as running back Hal Swan caught a 15-yard touchdown reception from Tronti at the 9:23 mark.
American Heritage(14-0) began to climb out of the 13-point deficit when quarterback Jason Brown ran out of the option and scored from 12 yards out at 7:21.
The Patriots added another touchdown on their next possession to take their first lead 14-13 with 4:34 left in the first. Running back Miles Jones was able to race in from three yards away.
In the second quarter, American Heritage continued with their run of 21 unanswered points. Brown connected a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dontavius Butler with 6:25 to go.
Ponte Vedra got a late touchdown with 3:12 left in the first half. Tronti completed his third touchdown pass of the game with a throw to Few from 15 yards out.
The Pats extended their lead 28-20 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Brown scored on a five-yard touchdown run at 11:55.
The Sharks came back on their next possession to close the gap again 28-26. Tronti ran the ball in from five yards away at 7:57. They tried for a two-point conversion and failed on a pass attempt.
Anthony Schwartz returned the kickoff 59 yards to the Ponte Vedra 25-yard line. Four plays later, Brown sneaked into the end zone on a one-yard run with 5:39 left in the fourth. It was his third touchdown run in the contest.
Ponte Vedra went with a quick attack on their next drive. It was capped by a Tronti two-yard touchdown run with 3:06 remaining and cut the lead down to 35-33.