Elliot Washington is one of several young Venice players who have taken a step forward in 2020, giving the Indians a better chance against the IMG Ascenders tonight, Venice High Coach John Peacock said.

VENICE - The Venice Indians will host IMG Academy tonight in a game set to be broadcast on ESPNU. 

IMG Academy is ranked No. 1 in the country by MaxPreps.

The Ascenders are coming to Venice and the Powell-Davis Stadium which will have a 25% capacity crowd.

The game starts at 8 p.m. on ESPNU, which is Channel 73 for Frontier cable networks; Channel 744 for Comcast/xfinity and Channel 35 for Hotwire.  

IMG Academy wasn’t initially on the schedule this season after playing Venice in 2019, but Indians coach John Peacock didn’t hesitate to play one of the toughest teams in high school football.

The Ascenders have a long list of college-bound players, including Michigan commit J.J. McCarthy at quarterback, Georgia commit Lovasea’ Carroll at running back, Alabama commit Jacorey Brooks at wide receiver and other players heading to the SEC, Big Ten and ACC, among others.

The last time they played, IMG dominated in a 46-7 win on Aug. 23, 2019. 

In 2019, the Indians went 8-5 overall, ultimately losing in the state semifinal

It has returning starters Steffan Johnson, Chuck Brantley, Weston Wolff, Ethan Mort, Desavion Cassaway, Da’Marion Escort, Myles Weston, Jayshon Platt, Martin Ramos, Kade Reyher and Elliot Washington.

Peacock is ready for the game, he told The Gondolier.

“We hope when people come watch us play they leave thinking, ‘Wow, what a smart, disciplined and tough team,’” he said. “As long as we can achieve that, I don’t care about the end result.”

And he's ready to see fans in the stadium.

“Twenty-five percent is better than zero,” Venice coach John Peacock said.  

Venice High Athletic Director Pete Dombroski said his school will be able to safely space out 2,300 people.  -  Vinnie Portell contributed to this report.


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