The Bulldogs (3-1) responded to their Week 3 loss with a 47-14 win over the Yellow Jackets.
Following Flagler Palm Coast’s defeat at the hands of Sanford Seminole on Friday, Sept. 7 — the first regular season loss under second-year head coach Travis Roland — the Bulldogs went into practice the following Monday expecting radical change.
The Bulldogs failed to score in the 21-point loss — despite getting inside the red zone eight times and rushing for 190 yards.
Instead, the Bulldogs prepared the same way they always do.
“We’re not going to change anything,” Roland. “What for? We know what our mistakes were . . . We had to leave that behind.”
The Bulldogs (3-1) bounced back from their Week 3 disappointment with a dominant 47-14 win against St. Augustine on Friday, Sept. 14, at FPC High School.
The Yellow Jackets went 12-1 in 2017 and were one game away from the Class 6A State Championship before bowing out to Armwood in the semifinal. And although the Yellow Jackets are depleted and in the midst of a three-game losing streak this season, Roland said the respect for traditionally great programs is warranted.
“Got to have respect for St. Augustine,” he said. “Those kids are going to fight because of what they’re trying to live up to.”
After going scoreless for 48 minutes against the Seminoles, it took the Bulldogs fewer than two minutes to score Friday night. The Bulldogs' defense forced a 3-and-out on the opening drive, and on fourth down, the snap went over the Yellow Jackets’ punter’s head and through the back of the end zone for a safety.
Receiver Jordan Belle hauled in a high pass from quarterback Donovan Montoyo on the following drive, dragging a toe inbounds at the back of the end zone for the first offensive score of the game.
Belle’s touchdown was the beginning of what was a heavy passing attack for the Bulldogs. Montoyo threw for 2 touchdowns and completed 9-of-11 passes against the Yellow Jackets.
“I just want to thank my offensive line,” he said. “They give me the time to progress through my reads, and my receivers do an awesome job route running and getting open.”
Freshman backup QB Preston Roberts also saw significant playing time, starting the entire second half after the Bulldogs went up 33-8 at halftime. Roberts threw 2 touchdowns, including a 47-yarder to receiver J.T. Dahlberg just over a minute into the third quarter.
The Bulldogs kept throwing the ball well into the fourth quarter despite the high score, but Roland said it was to give the reserves experience.
“If Donovan goes down and Preston comes in, we’re not going to stop running our offense,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure if Preston has to play, he can run the offense . . . And it keeps Donovan on his toes because there’s a kid who’s a freshman and wants to play, and he’s nipping at the bud.”
With the abilities of running backs Ty Jenkins, Marc Genis and Deshaun Hugee — who had a rushing touchdown against the Yellow Jackets — Roland believes the development of the passing game is the next step toward transforming the Bulldogs into a truly elite team.
“Once we can throw the ball, it’s going to be hard to beat us,” he said.