Sidelines: FPC dominates, Matanzas struggles in preseason
Flagler Palm Coast
The Bulldogs’ preseason game against Eastside didn’t begin exactly as planned.
On the very first play of the game, FPC’s starting quarterback, senior Ryan Freeman, threw an interception, and four plays later, the Rams punched the ball into the end zone for an early lead.
“We got off to a really rough start,” FPC coach Travis Roland said. “But the kids showed their poise and responded back.”
Flagler Palm Coast defeated Eastside 35-14 on Aug. 18, as part of the Eastside Kickoff Classic in Gainesville.
The Bulldogs had a balanced attack on offense, throwing for 175 yards and rushing for 200 yards. Ty Jenkins led all rushers with 80 yards. In addition, five players scored a touchdown.
Roland attributed the play along the offensive line for his team’s success in the ground game.
“Our offensive line came to play,” he said. “They opened up some pretty good holes. That was our biggest question mark going in, and I think we kind of got some confidence going into the season with the offensive line just from the success we were able to have up front.”
Matanzas’ varsity team starters only played three quarters in its preseason game against the Ed White Commanders. But in that limited amount of time, the Pirates struggled.
The Commanders defeated Matanzas 14-0 on Friday, Aug. 18, in Jacksonville.
Pirates coach Robert Ripley said a lot of his team’s struggles were due to inexperience.
“Just first time out jitters, you know?” he said. “Seeing moving pieces for the first time. Being a little bit unsure at the quarterback position. Gotta get that figured out.”
First-time starting quarterback Ryan Thomas struggled against Ed White’s defense. The junior was sacked five times throughout the contest.
“He struggled making his reads and being confident in what he was seeing,” Ripley said. “He just can’t hold the ball too long.”
Despite the loss, Ripley still feels confident in his team’s defense. He said Dru Bowens, Jarrett Patton, Shane Riley, Tylee Austin and Devin Mathews were all able to make plays throughout the night.
“I got no worries right now about our defense,” Ripley said. “The biggest thing moving forward is that we got to execute at a higher level on offense.”