IMG Academy Football continues assault

IMG Academy continues assault by mauling Dillard, 61-0

dillard

After blitzing Prestonwood Christian last week in Plano, Texas, IMG Academy had plenty remaining in the tank Friday when the Ascenders returned home to take on Fort Lauderdale Dillard.

IMG Academy scored seven touchdowns in the first half in a 61-0 rout of the Class 6A Panthers.

“It’s the mindset over the past two weeks.” Ascenders coach Chris Weinke said. “We got back to fundamentals, and the guys have bought in collectively in all three phases and we’re playing solid football.”

IMG Academy set a record for points scored in a 69-36 win over Prestonwood Christian last week.

“In the past two games, we’ve eliminated turnovers, and we’ve created turnovers on defense, and anytime you have a plus margin in that category, you have a very good chance to win,” Weinke said. “Everybody contributed tonight in all three phases – it was a collective effort. Anytime you score 60 points against a good defense that says something.”

The rout started with a 44-yard pass on a trick play from running back Jack Wegher(Dakota Dunes, S.D.) to Tavares Chase (Plant City, Fla.), a Florida State commit.

Deondre Francois (Orlando), an FSU commit, picked up right where he left off in Texas, matching his production from a week ago with four touchdowns and 204-yards on 15-of-24 (.625) passing, finding TE Tyler Mabry (Ypsilanti, Mich.) in the end zone twice.

Francois connected with ATH Brayden Beard (Fredericksburg, Texas) and WR Clark Thomas (Orlando) for his second and fourth touchdowns, respectively.

Additionally, running backs Tony Jones (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Taven Birdow (Altus, Okla.) and Wegher combined for 151 yards on the ground, each scoring a touchdown apiece.

With the big lead, the Ascenders kept the ball on the ground in the second half.

One of those players creating turnovers is junior cornerback Saivion Smith (St. Petersburg). On a night dominated by the offense, Smith stole the show with three first quarter interceptions, the first he returned for a 30-yard touchdown. His three picks established the new IMG Academy single game record for interceptions in a game.

“On defense, we’ve had some challenges, but tonight it was all about understanding technique and being in the right place at the right time,” Smith said. “That touchdown, I saw the ball coming and it fell right into my lap.”

“He’s gotten better every week,” Weinke said about Smith. “He’s getting better at practice, and that’s transferring to the games. He’s a big-time player, with big-time potential and now all that is coming to fruition.”

Having scoring 130 points in its past two games, the Ascenders will return to action 7 p.m. Friday on the road at the Montverde Academy.

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