DAYTONA BEACH – With a new regime of coaches at Nature Coast, the Sharks split their two halves at the Daytona Kickoff Jamboree Friday night, beating the Titusville-Astronaut War Eagles 7-0 before falling to the Daytona Beach-Seabreeze Sand Crabs by a score of 14-10.
The way the jamboree was set up, Nature Coast played a half against Astronaut and then a half against host Seabreeze at Daytona Municipal Stadium.
“I would have liked to have four quarters to evaluate guys,” new Sharks headman Justin Worden said. “But all in all there was a lot of positives to take away.”
When Worden was hired he brought in a new coaching staff with only Rudy Story staying from the old staff at Nature Coast.
“For three weeks of practice I thought that was pretty solid,” Worden said. “We’d like to be a bit cleaner but overall a lot of positives.”
It was a unique test for the Sharks, who had to game plan for two entirely different teams.
The War Eagles were a ground-and-pound style of team that struggled to move the ball against a very game Sharks defense. Hybrid linebacker/defensive end Sedrick Burkes, who was in the backfield all night and involved on every tackle.
“He didn’t want to play the position at first,” Worden said. “I talked him into it.”
The lone score in the first game came on a 8-yard run by running back DeShawn Smith, who finished with 11 carries for 83 yards and that score against Titusville.
The second game featured a pass-heavy attack from the Sand Crabs which seemed to stymie the Sharks a bit.
“We were very vanilla in our coverage,” Worden said. “We need to get lined up a bit better on defense.”
Worden attributed the little confusions on defense to less preparation time spent on that side of the ball.
“I wouldn’t say we neglected defense,” Worden said. “Our main focus was moving the ball on offense, though, because if you don’t score points you can’t win.”
The Sand Crabs were led by Jeramiah Wilson, who was 11-for-18 through the air for 110 yards and a touchdown. He also added 40 yards rushing before he left the game with what was believed to be a broken leg.
On fourth-down-and-6, Wilson scrambled left and was taken down awkwardly. He laid there before being attended to and was ultimately put on a stretcher, carted off with his leg braced and covered.
Smith missed about 10 minutes of that game for the Sharks, as he was dealing with cramps.
“You don’t want to see a kid get hurt in spring,” Worden said. “We have three or four kids who can play running back in a pinch, and (Richard) Graham was a positive tonight.”
The scoring for the Sharks against Seabreeze came on an Austin Lacy 39-yard field goal, and a 1-yard plunge from Graham.
Worden said the next step for the Sharks is to break down the film and work hard over the summer.
“We need to get them in better football shape,” Worden said. “We have a long way to go before the first game; we will be ok.”
Nature Coast 7, Titusville-Astronaut 0
Qtr. Scoring 1 2
AST 0 0 — 0
NCT 7 0 — 7
NCT – Smith 8 run (Lacy kick)
Daytona Beach-Seabreeze 14, Nature Coast 10
Qtr. Scoring 1 2
NCT 3 7 — 10
SEB 7 7 — 14
NCT – Lacy 39 field goal
SEB – Hicks 1 run (Hayworth kick)
NCT – Graham 1 run (Lacy kick)
SEB – Blake 33 pass from Wilson (Hayworth kick)