VERO BEACH — Junior fullback Jormonte Hunter scored on TD runs of 2 and 4 yards in the first half Thursday night to lead the Fighting Indians to a 14-6 triumph over South Fork and improve their record to 6-0.
“He gives you everything he has,” said Head Coach Gary Coggin of Hunter, who rushed for 142 yards on 28 carries. “Jormonte runs hard, and has great leg drive. He picked up crucial first downs when we needed him and he allowed us to run down the clock tonight.” The first TD by Hunter capped a nine-play, 75-yard drive with a 4-yard run with 7:01 left in the first quarter. Kicker Pat Baker’s PAT was good.
South Fork answered on their next possession, driving 80 yards and ending on Kyle Reardon’s 3-yard TD run with 2:39 left in the quarter. Devin Wilson, a soccer player substituting for starting Kicker Robbie Rupp, missed the PAT to make the score 7-6.
Vero Beach scored again with 5:30 left in the half on Hunter’s 2-yard TD run and Baker’s PAT made the score 14-6. The highlight of this drive came when junior QB Todd Fennell connected with senior running back Stevie Wallace on 15-yard fade route near the right sideline. Wallace, with his body fully extended in a dive, caught the ball one-handed and managed to hang on as he hit the ground.
In spite of neither team scoring in the third quarter, it solidly belonged to VBHS. South Fork ran a total of 3 plays for 8 yards, and fumbled a punt deep in their own territory. Senior defensive back Seth McNeal recovered the ball at the 15, and VBHS drove down to the goal line. Senior QB Alex Bryan failed to score on fourth down, when his play action keeper was stuffed at the line of scrimmage with 4:11 to go in the quarter.
South Fork and VBHS would trade punts the rest of the way and Hunter kept eating up valuable yards and the game clock. South Fork had a chance of getting back into the game late, when they got the ball on their own 47 after a 43-yard punt by Fennell.
Backup QB Anthony Tellex connected with running back Chris Collette on a 12-yard pass, and a roughing the passer penalty gave them the ball at the VBHS 26. After driving down to the VBHS 10, junior defensive end Cody Horstman sacked Tellex at the 20 with 55 seconds left in the game. On the next play, senior defensive back Kenneth Jackson intercepted the ball at the VBHS 9 to give the ball back to the Fighting Indians with under 50 seconds left to play.
VBHS ran the rest of the clock out to seal the 14-6 victory.
South Fork’s senior running back Zack Fisher was held to 43 yards on 8 carries. He came into the contest averaging 146 yards per game.
“We wanted to throw the ball tonight, but we didn’t,” said South Fork Coach Dennis Lavelle. “We couldn’t stop them. We made so many mistakes — it’s tough to come to Vero and win.”
In spite of racking up well over 100 yards in penalties, VBHS was able to dominate the time of possession and grind out the win.
“The bad thing about our performance was the penalties,” said Coggin. “We can’t keep playing the type of football that we want to play if we keep getting these penalties. It’s one of those ugly wins, but I knew it was going to be a four quarter football game.”
WATCH Thursday night’s game: HERE