Tony Jones Jr. ran for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns and Bryce Beard had two interceptions to lead No. 11 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) to a 24-12 defeat of No. 19 St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.) Friday night in Bradenton.
Jones, who has committed to Notre Dame, scored the first touchdown for the Ascenders (5-0) on an 18-yard touchdown run with 3:11 to go in the first quarter. The series was set up by a Beard interception. Early in the fourth quarter, Jones ran it in from the 5 and a few moments later, Beard came back with his other interception.
St. Joseph’s defense gave IMG fits at times, holding the Ascenders to their lowest point total of the regular season. IMG lost 19-7 in the preseason to American Heritage (Plantation).
Michael Carfagno put the Green Knights in position for their first score, picking off a screen pass by IMG quarterback Shea Patterson at the 45. St. Joseph’s Regional (4-1) couldn’t punch it in and had to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Angelo Guglielmello with 8:55 to play in the first half.
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Ricky Aguayo, brother of Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo, put IMG up 10-3 with a 25-yard field goal following a drive led by a several strong runs by Jones.
John Thomas Giles-Harris fumbled the kickoff return and IMG got the ball back when Jango Glackin recovered the ball. That gave the Ascenders another chance to score before the half, but on fourth down at the St. Joseph 7-yard line, the Green Knights sacked Patterson.
Following another field goal by Guglielmello, Drake Davis returned the kickoff all the way to the Green Knights’ 30-yard line and Emmanuel Greene ran it in on a trick play a moment later to put the Ascenders up 17-6.
Early in the fourth quarter, Nick Patti connected on a 1-yard pass to Joe Neglia. The two-point conversion pass was too long and the Green Knights trailed only 17-12 with 11:12 to play.