TITUSVILLE Word on the street is that you don’t go to a Merritt Island football game to watch passing, but Jimmy Batch sure did put on a show on Thursday.
The junior quarterback didn’t miss, completing all 13 of his passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-0 Mustangs win in District 14-5A play against Titusville.
“Jimmy Batch is just a great quarterback,” said receiver Deben Peterson. “He’s all-around. He just gets you the ball.”
Peterson was his first target, and the receiver did the most he could with it, taking the ball in right near the line of scrimmage, breaking through a cluster of defenders with help from a David Dufresne block and tip-toeing down the sideline for a 38-yard touchdown.
“I caught it and kept my feet pumping,” he said.
There was plenty of the traditional from the Mustangs, now 4-2 overall and 3-0 in district play a week before a date with Palm Bay. The offensive line opened up enough holes for Merritt Island to control the line of scrimmage, including one that allowed Raleigh Barfield score from the 25, right up the middle.
Quenton Ashley did what Mustangs defensive backs often do, intercepting a Titusville pass in stride to end the one scoring threat the Terriers managed. He was part of a defense visibly tougher than in the district opener at Space Coast just a few weeks back when the Mustangs escaped with a 27-19 win.
“We’re really communicating a lot better, one of the things we’ve been focusing on,” he said.
Week 8: Friday’s high school football capsules
The Titusville defense had its moments and twice held the Mustangs out of the end zone. Dante Mitchell broke up a third-down pass in the first quarter to force a field goal attempt, and the middle of the Terriers defense stopped Merritt Island on a third-and-2 early in the second.
That just allowed kicker Mason Denaburg to put on a show, first with a 33-yard field goal and then with a 40-yarder that looked as if it would have been good from considerably longer. He later missed a 54-yarder, but only because it bounced off the left upright – two-thirds of the way up – and back onto the field.
When the Terriers left Connor Allen open in the middle of the field two minutes before halftime, it cost them. Batch found the tight end, and it turned into a 56-yard play that set up the quarterback’s own touchdown run, from 17 yards.
But the Mustangs weren’t ready for intermission. Despite starting deep in his own territory, Batch engineered a touchdown drive that culminated eight seconds before halftime with a 16-yard scoring pass to Luke Clark.
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High school sports | floridatoday.com/sports/high-school-sports/
Merritt Island 33, Titusville 0
Merritt Island 10 16 7 – 33
Titusville 0 0 0 0 – 0
MI- Deben Peterson 38 pass from Jimmy Batch (kick failed), 7:01
MI- Mason Denaburg 33 FG, 3:04
MI- Denaburg 40 FG, 7:59
MI- Batch 17 run (Denaburg kick), 1:39
MI- Luke Clark 16 pass from Batch (Denaburg kick), 0:08
MI- Raleigh Barfield 25 pass from Batch (Denaburg kick), 7:09
Rushing: MI- Taquan Pratt 13-49, Batch 5-47, Barfield 7-28, Rydell Peterson 3-21, James Burt 3-10, Denaburg 2-18; T- Jaleel Davis 10-37, Dontavious Marcus 4-11, Jacob Farris 1-16, Yusuf DeReese 5-9, Tommy Mack 1-4.
Passing: MI- Batch 13-13-0 249, Denaburg 1-2-0 16; T- Chase Gadapee 6-13-1 54, DeReese 4-9-0 28.
Receiving: MI- D. Peterson 5-88, Clark 3-28, Connor Allen 1-56, David Dufresne 1-31, Barfield 1-25, Jake Martin 1-15, R. Peterson 1-16, Nicholas Wampler 1-6; T- Javion Turner 4-35, Rashean Lynn 3-39, Davis 2-2, Mack 1-6.