The No. 2 nationally ranked IMG Academy Ascenders (7-0) ventured to Jacksonville to face the Trinity Christian Conquerors (5-3). After a defensive struggle in the first half, the Ascenders rallied for three touchdowns in the third quarter on their way to a 34-21 victory.
After exchanging punts on several possessions, the Conquerors struck first when RB Rasheed Martin scored on a 12-yard burst. The Ascenders would answer two minutes later when WR Jhamon Ausbon made a spectacular grab on a 24-yard strike from Kellen Mond. A blocked extra point preserved a 7-6 lead for Trinity, which held through the end of the half.
The Ascenders took their first lead of the contest four minutes into the third quarter when Mond foud walked into the endzone on a 7-yard run.
Arguably the play of the game happened on Trinity’s ensuing possession. Linebacker Dylan Moses pressured Conquerors QB D.J. Matthews on an attempted screen pass, and the hurried throw would find DE Robert Beal in coverage who returned the interception 21-yards to put IMG Academy up by a pair of scores, 20-7.
Trinity answered when Shaun Wade caught the first of his two touchdown receptions on the night on a 38-yard strike from D.J. Matthews. However, the Ascenders would answer with Mond’s second touchdown run of the evening, that one for 15-yards to end the third quarter at 26-14.
An errant snap on a punt through the back of the endzone added another two-points to IMG Academy’s lead. After the safety-kick, IMG Academy’s final points came on another Mond rushing score of 29-yards.
Mond’s three touchdown night puts him at 11 rushing touchdowns on the season, only five shy of the program record of 16 set by current Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough during the 2013 inaugural season. Mond is also at 16 total passing touchdowns, only two-shy of the program record of 18 (three times; last, Shea Patterson, 2015).
With the victory, IMG Academy improves to 2-1 all-time against Trinity Christian.
The Ascenders are back on the field on Friday, Oct. 28 with a second outing to southern California this season when they match up against the Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits (5-2). The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports West and via Facebook Live at facebook.com/FoxSportsWest. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 PM PST/10 PM EST.
– Johnny Esfeller
IMG 6 0 20 8 – 34
TC 7 0 7 7 – 21
TC – Rasheed Martin 12 yard run (Frankie Onate kick), 2:32
IMG – Kellen Mond 24 yard pass to Jhamon Ausbon (kick failed), 0:32
IMG – Kellen Mond 7 yard run (Cooper Graham kick), 8:11
IMG – Robert Beal 21yard interception return (Cooper Graham kick), 7:41
TC – D.J. Matthews 38 yard pass to Shaun Wade (Frankie Onate kick), 6:02
IMG – Kellen Mond 15 yard run (two point pass failed), 0:48
IMG – Safety on errant snap to punter, 5:56
IMG – Kellen Mond 29 yard run (two point pass failed), 5:38
TC – Legend Brumbaugh 30 yard pass to Shaun Wade (Frankie Onate kick), 4:45