The Venice football team got its first taste of action on the field of Powell-Davis Stadium on Friday as a warmup for next week’s Kickoff Classic game at Plant High School.
In a matchup of the varsity and junior varsity squads, the game went how just about anyone could predict, with the elder Indians winning in blowout fashion, 34-0, in the half-game contest.
“It looked good today,” Venice coach John Peacock said. “We just wanted to make sure we can transition from kickoff to offense to touchdown to extra point. We just wanted to get everyone on the field and give them a little bit of a game feel.”
Varsity quarterbacks Nico DallaCosta and Ryan Overstreet split series in the game, with DallaCosta making the most of his time on the field. The senior finished the day 6-of-6 passing for 113 yards and three touchdowns, and 20 rushing yards on four carries.
Overstreet showed off his arm at times but was intercepted once and sacked for a big loss. He ended the game with 7-of-12 passing for 51 yards and two rushes for 18 yards.
Though he didn’t score himself, his first drive of the game was capped off with a five-yard rushing touchdown by Brian Taylor.
“I have to watch the film,” said Peacock when asked if a quarterback has separated himself yet. “They’re both going to get an opportunity against Plant, so we’ll see.”
New Indian receiver Malachi Wideman participated in warmups but didn’t take any snaps at receiver in the game as he continues to learn the playbook.
Receiver Jayshon Platt was the impact playmaker on offense — coming down with six catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns with Wideman on the sideline and Weston Wolff playing sparingly.
Defensively, the Indians shut out the JV team with ferocious tackles and three turnovers — an interception by Kade Reyher, a pick-six by Steffan Johnson and a forced fumble by Desavion Cassaway that was recovered by Riley Cleary, who also had a sack.
The Indians also tried some onside kicks, as they’ve been known to do in regular season games from time to time, recovering one of three attempts.
With the game out of hand and just three minutes left in the half, Peacock called for four field goal attempts by kicker Luke Wheatley, who converted 2-of-4 looks from 37 yards out.
While the day was relatively low-key for Venice, it served as a reminder of what’s to come in less than a week. The Indians will travel up to play the four-time state champion Plant Panthers at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16.
“We’re excited for the season,” Peacock said. “We’re really excited to play Plant. Obviously, they’re a great program so it’s going to be a great challenge for us. It’s the first step of many, and we’re ready for it.”