Inside Friday night: Vero’s mastery of Centennial

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Dennis Jacob talks about Vero Beach’s performance against an undefeated Centennial.
CARYN SHAFFER/TCPALM

Five takeaways from Friday’s Week 6 high school football games.

1. Mighty Vero

Akeem Dixon scored two touchdowns and Nick Celidonio finished with two TD passes in Vero Beach’s 30-3 win against St. Lucie West Centennial in the District 8-8A opener for both teams in Vero Beach.

The Fighting Indians (4-0) shackled an offense that had scored a school-record 134 points in three games.

Eagles quarterback Nick Barnes, who had produced back-to-back 300-yard passing games, managed just 59 against the Indians (though there were some drops).

The defense also produced a fourth-quarter safety as Vero Beach defeated Centennial for the sixth year in a row. The Indians, Melbourne and Merritt Island are the only teams to win six consecutive meetings against the Eagles.

The last four games, in particular, have been one-sided: 35-0, 34-0, 35-0, 30-3.

Vero Beach pushed its home winning streak to 39 games, its regular-season winning streak to 37 and its district roll to 12.

2. Make that four in a row

Fort Pierce Westwood improved to 2-0 in District 15-5A with a 21-19 win against John Carroll Catholic.

Marques Burgess had an early 87-yard touchdown run as the Panthers (4-1) won their fourth consecutive game — their longest winning streak since the 2010 team had an undefeated regular season.

Fort Pierce Westwood can clinch its first district title since 2010 by beating Suncoast on Oct. 13 at Riviera Beach and Pompano Beach on Oct. 27 at Lawnwood. Not bad for a team that had won only 11 games from 2011-16.

Jahfari Harvey had a 68-yard interception-return touchdown for John Carroll (1-4, 1-2), which shut out the Panthers over the final 18 minutes. 

3. Passing lane

Treasure Coast (2-2) kept pace in 8-8A, overcoming an early deficit behind Ashton Houser-to-Tyrec Thompson touchdown passes of 84 and 63 yards to defeat Fort Pierce Central 23-7.

The Titans defeated the Cobras for the third consecutive season and dropped the Cobras to 0-3 for the first time since 2007.

Unlike the past two seasons, when Treasure Coast won in dramatic fashion — the first with 17 seconds left, the other in overtime — the Titans trailed only once before Houser’s two TD passes turned things around.

4. Zero net gain

Okeechobee’s up-and-down season continued in a 41-0 loss to Heritage in the Brahmans’ first District 14-6A game.

The Panthers produced two fumble-return touchdowns in a 3 ½-minute span of the first quarter to go to 2-0 in the district.

Okeechobee (1-3) was blanked for the second time in four games.

5. Competitive series

The three Fort Pierce Westwood-John Carroll meetings (2001, 2002, Friday) have been decided by a combined total of eight points.

Friday marked Westwood’s first win in the series. The other two games were played as regular-season openers with John Carroll —then coached by Lenny Jankowski — won 10-7 and 16-13 in overtime.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/story/sports/high-school/football/2017/09/30/inside-friday-night-veros-mastery-centennial/719097001/

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