Vernon running back K’wan Powell would not be denied in Friday night’s jamboree games. The junior scored a total of four touchdowns against Arnold and Mosley.
“He’s just such a weapon,” Vernon coach Gerald Tranquille said.
Behind the legs of Powell, Vernon defeated Mosley 16-8 and Arnold 15-7. The Dolphins were able to split the evening with a 25-14 victory over Arnold in their 24-minute jamboree game.
Arnold actually trailed Mosley by only four points with just over a minute to play, then Mosley defender Lamar Clark ended any chance of a comeback when he intercepted Arnold quarterback Liam Byrd and returned it 52 yards for a score.
“We hit the quarterback, the pressure was really good,” Mosley coach Jeremy Brown said. “He underthrew it and Lamar did a good job of undercutting it and making a play. And the run after the catch, that’s why he plays wide receiver too.”
Byrd actually completed his first three passes against Mosley for a total of 33 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown. However, he was unable to complete another pass in either half due in large part to defensive pressure and dropped balls.
Earlier in the game, the Marlins celebrated a defensive score of their own when Nicholas Caldwell returned a Mosley fumble 100 yards to give Arnold a 14-12 lead with just over eight minutes remaining.
Arnold’s final score of the night came on another big play. This time, Marlins quarterback Braxton Tomasiewicz hooked up with Johnathan Pael for an 24-yard touchdown with just over a minute remaining in the loss to Vernon.
Mosley running back Don McKay scored two rushing touchdowns in the victory over Arnold. He finished the night with 15 carries for 128 yards.
“It’s no secret,” Brown said. "We’re big up front. I mean we got three really good running backs.”
Fellow Mosley back Jacarri Greene carried the ball 19 times for 138 yards. Emanuel Holmes rounded out the group with six rushes for 58 yards.
While all three Dolphins had their moment in the sun, none could quite match Vernon’s phenom on the ground. Powell broke numerous tackles on his way to finishing the evening with 14 carries for 107 yards. He also caught two passes for a total of 43 yards.
“Whether you give it to him or not they have to account for him,” Tranquille said. “And that’s one thing that helps the other guys around us.”
Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of that attention was Vernon quarterback Dyvion Bush, who completed 10 of 15 passes for 130 yards.
“Last year when he’d get a little pressure he’d look to scramble,” Tranquille said. “This year he’s stepping up in the pocket and keeping his eyes downfield.”
When Bush did run, he made it count. The quarterback carried the ball five times for a total of 33 yards and converted a pair of 2-point conversions.
Vernon wide receiver Darrell Powell, K’wan Powell’s cousin, was targeted often in the Yellowjackets’ game against Mosley. He finished the evening with a team-high four receptions for a total of 37 yards.
The Vernon coach said the newest Powell on the team is hungry to make a strong impression after he missed the fall season entirely.
“He’s just a weapon for us,” Tranquille said. “We want to get him acclimated to our offense early and see what he can do.”
Florida Atlantic tight end coach Clint Trickett, formerly featured on Netflix original "Last Chance U", showed up to observe both K'wan Powell and Mosley defender Will Dempsey.
Dempsey was seen on crutches later in the evening. Brown said Dempsey rolled his ankle against Vernon and was held out of the half against Arnold to be cautious. The Mosley coach said they could have taped his leg up and sent Dempsey back out in a regular season game.
The St. Joe Foundation presented Mosley’s football program with $30,000 to be used for recovery from Hurricane Michael.