Venice is still Venice.
Maybe you forgot because Venice was 1-2, not including a Kickoff Classic loss against IMG, heading into its Week 5 showdown with Seminole, the No. 1 ranked team in Class 4M.
Despite falling behind 14-0, Venice rallied to win 24-17. Senior quarterback Brooks Bentley threw two touchdown passes and rushed for the game-winning score late in the fourth quarter.
Venice’s defense pitched a shutout in the second half and limited a potent Seminole offense to less than 100 yards in the half.
All in all, it was a strong reminder that Venice is still one of the best teams in the state.
“We haven’t played great, but obviously we have a young team,” Venice coach John Peacock said. “I knew there were going to be some growing pains, but Venice is still here. I think we made the state aware of that.”
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Bartram Trail can win a number of ways
The Bears defense was its calling card early this fall, allowing one score or less in three of its first four games. That wasn’t the case Friday against St. Augustine when Bartram Trail gave up 37 points – 31 in the first 30 minutes of the game. Of course, allowing 37 points doesn’t look (as) bad when you score 59. Sparked by Laython Biddle’s career game (15 touches, 198 yards, six total touchdowns), Bartram Trail showed it can win in multiple ways.
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Osceola dominates at Rockledge
The Kowboys have played one of the toughest schedules in the state but got a signature win Friday by routing previously unbeaten Rockledge 30-7 on the road. Senior quarterback David Buggs threw three touchdowns in the first half as Osceola built a 21-0 lead.
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Mainland has big bounce-back week
Any concern over Mainland after losing to Bartram Trail is a distant memory after registering a pair of big wins in Week 5. First, the Buccaneers got a late touchdown from Ajai Harrell and held off Flagler Palm Coast 22-16 on Monday. Four days later, Mainland knocked off previously undefeated Lake Minneola 39-26 behind Damarcus Creecy’s 315 yards and three touchdowns.
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Creekside is a contender in 3-4S
Halfway through the season, Creekside is 4-1 with its lone loss coming against state power Buchholz. The Knights pulled out a 37-27 win at Mandarin Friday behind two special teams scores – one by Andrew Kelley and another by Bruno Alves – and a defense that forced turnovers, including two interceptions by Jay Boyer. District 3-4S is deep and talented – maybe the strongest in the state – but Creekside has shown that its certainly in the mix.
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Columbus keeps winning
Yeah, not a hot take at all. Columbus is one of the premier teams in the state on an annual basis. But remaining undefeated during a three-game stretch that included Jesuit (Class 6A champion in 2021), rival Miami Palmetto (regional finalist in 2021) and Miami Northwestern (state semifinalist in 2021) is impressive.
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