It wasn’t pretty, but P.K. Yonge shut out Santa Fe 15-0 behind a stout defense and a late touchdown run by Devin Pedro, giving the Blue Wave their first win of the 2022 season.
Despite a hurricane looming and area teams either canceling or postponing their matchups, P.K. Yonge and Santa Fe decided to push their matchup up to Tuesday night giving both teams only a three-day break from last week’s games.
With the short week, P.K. Yonge coach Kevin Doelling explained that they only had a walk-through practice on Monday to prepare for the game.
“I will say it’s a relief,” Doelling said. “This is a young team, and they’re still learning a lot of little nuances of the game… I’m happy for the boys. They have a bunch of smiles on their faces. I’m just really proud right now.”
The Blue Wave kicked off the scoring on their opening drive with a 31-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Adrian Curtis to Thomas Young III, Curtis’ sixth touchdown pass in his first season as the full-time starter. A missed PAT would put the score at 6-0 with 9:12 left in the first quarter.
“Tonight, we had a pretty balanced attack,” Curtis said. “I feel like we ran the ball pretty good. I feel like we threw the ball OK. I didn’t play to the best of my ability today, but I’ll fix that.”
Curtis, who was named the Sonic Drive-In player of the game, shined in a tough offensive night, throwing for passes of 40 yards and 70 yards to Deldrick Goston and 40 yards to Calvin Thomas.
“I will say, three or four times during the game, he came over and apologize for his ‘poor performance,’” Doelling said. “He’s a wonderful kid. He’s tougher on himself than I could ever be. I try to be the nice one on him so there isn’t double the pressure.”
Goston’s 70-yard reception set up a 25-yard field goal by Pablo Diaz to put the Blue Wave up 9-0 with 8:14 left in the third quarter.
Santa Fe had multiple attempts inside the P.K. Yonge-30-yard line but could not find the end zone in any of their attempts, turning the ball over on downs most possessions.
“It’s going to be the happiest $50 I spend on doughnuts on Sunday when we get to the meeting,” Doelling said of his defense. “That’s a heck of a performance from those guys.”
Prior to Tuesday’s contest, P.K. Yonge gave up scores of 48, 55 and 46 through their first three games.
Santa Fe backup quarterback Erik Hockman hit Amarion Cason for a 30-yard reception to put the ball in Blue Wave territory, eventually leading to a Keimarion Neal 11-yard touchdown run. However, Neal’s score would be called back for a holding call. Neal previously had a 25-yard run in the game called back for a holding call. They would eventually turn the ball over on downs.
On the following possession, the Blue Wave drove down the field behind heroics from Pedro and running back Rashuan Walden. However, it was Curtis’ 40-yard pass to Thomas that put P.K. Yonge on the one-yard line, leading to Pedro’s game-sealing score.
“It doesn’t matter who it is, I trust my guys one-on-one every time,” Curtis said about Thomas’ clutch reception in one-on-one coverage.
The Blue Wave continue a wacky schedule with a Monday night matchup at Mount Dora Christian Academy with kickoff at 5 p.m. Meanwhile, Santa Fe looks to bounce back with a home matchup on Friday, Oct. 7, against Suwannee (Live Oak).
Tuesday, Sept. 27
P.K. Yonge 15 Santa Fe (Alachua) 0
Menendez (St. Augustine) 23, Gainesville 14
Friday, Sept. 30
Columbia (Lake City) at Orange Park – rescheduled for Friday, Oct. 7, and moved to Ridgeview (Orange Park), 7 p.m.
Branford at Lafayette (Mayo) – rescheduled for Oct. 17
Chiefland at Trenton – canceled
Taylor County (Perry) at Suwannee (Live Oak) – postponed (TBD)
Union County (Lake Butler) at Wildwood (TBA)
OFF – Buchholz, Dixie County (Cross City), Fort White, St. Francis Catholic Academy
Monday, Oct. 3
P.K. Yonge at Mount Dora Christian, 5 p.m.
Bell at Seven Rivers Christian (Lecanto), 6 p.m.
Oak Hall School at Bronson, 6 p.m.
Eastside at North Marion (Citra), 6:30 p.m.
Newberry at Williston, 7 p.m. – Game will be broadcast on 106.9 FM “I am Country” and online (audio only) at IamCountryRadio.com beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Bradford (Starke) at Keystone Heights, 7:30 p.m.