GAINESVILLE – Middleburg High football showed off some new wrinkles and they had nothing to do with coach Karl Smeltzer’s tenure as head coach, but more impressively, had all to do with …
GAINESVILLE – Middleburg High football showed off some new wrinkles and they had nothing to do with coach Karl Smeltzer’s tenure as head coach, but more impressively, had all to do with quarterback Joe Justino getting time to throw and a bevy of pass catchers, led by tight end Trevor Todd, doing the job to the tune of a 21-2 first half rout of Santa Fe High in the Broncos’ spring football game Thursday in Santa Fe.
Smeltzer, long a run power game kind of guy, got Justino on the move in the pocket behind a line that featured all-state Cole LeClair and strong man Colby Warner, and let the secondary of Santa Fe see some Bronco flash of pass with Todd taking 12 yard steps just past the Raider linebackers to march downfield on their first series with pass plays of 22, three and 10 yards before finishing with a 10 yard scoring pass in traffic. Justino also added the PAT kicks for all three Bronco scores.
On the second series, Justino rewarded a fast-attacking Bronco defense led by linebacker Brody Senn and defensive tackle Blake Rossman to double down on a three down series with a 15 yard pass to Todd followed by a 40 yard scoring pass play to Laron Bryant.
Bryant, snagged Justino’s pass as Justino rolled left and out-snagged a Raider defender before sprinting untouched to paydirt.
On Santa Fe’s next series, Senn teamed with Krew Coffield and defensive back Stone Newsome who destroyed a sideline pass in front of the Santa Fe bench that lost four yards. Santa Fe punted to the Bronco 21 where Justino misfired to Luke Padgett on first down, then found Bryant behind the Raider defense for a 69 yard scoring pass play that saw Bryant outrun the Raider defense for 40 yards putting Middleburg up 21-0 with 2:02 still in the first quarter.
Santa Fe had their first bit of luck on offense with a 17 yard pass play ending the first quarter on the Middleburg 46 yard line where defensive coaches Frank Hall and Alan Burnsed decided to release the ‘dogs’ on Santa Fe with a blitz from Jonathan Floyd and an outside blitz from cornerback Trevor Shearin creating chaos in the Raider backfield and causing a punt.
Middleburg started at their 10 yard on the no-return punt with Padgett slotted as quarterback and the Santa Fe defense smashed in for a safety and a 21-2 score.
Middleburg’s defense again firred up with Calvin Suggs smashing a fourth down pass play.
Middleburg again fell prey to a miscue with Shearin fumbling away possession near midfield, but defense held and a sack from Todd squashed the Raiders at midfield.
Smeltzer went downfield after Padgett went seven yards on a scramble with a 32 yard pass play from Padgett to Taj Gonsalves putting the Broncos at the Santa Fe 25. Padgett broke out for an 11 yard scramble to set up the Broncos at the 14.
Padgett went three times into the end zone to Todd as the halftime clock ticked down with a pass interference flag and two unsuccessful jump balls ending the half.