JUPITER — Jupiter football’s road to rebuilding began with a 35-0 spring game shutout against Jensen Beach on Friday.
It was a steep departure from even last year’s Jupiter team that finished 5-5, missing the postseason but holding an average margin of defeat of 9.6 points.
The Warriors’ run-heavy offense exited this offseason with head coach Tim Tharp after seven seasons at the helm, as well as former starting running back Emonte Brown, who took his talents to Treasure Coast for his senior year.
New head coach Jason Kradman leads a team that’ll likely be characterized by its defense in the fall.
“Tonight was was not a normal Jensen-Jupiter game,” Jensen head coach Tim Caffey said.
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Jupiter has size on Jensen Beach, but not the power of the Falcons’ offensive trio: quarterback Gio Cascione, running back Dennis Palmer, and Nick Venezia at wide receiver.
Cascione led the night with three total touchdowns – two passing and one quarterback keeper. His target of choice, Venezia, had two scores for the Falcons.
“They’ve had a really good connection since they started building it last year,” Caffey said of the transfers, Cascione from Connecticut and Venezia from West Virginia.
”Unfortunately, both of them kind of got hurt and they weren’t able to finish the season so this year, they’ve worked really hard in the weight room and are doing a great job.”
An overshot snap for Jupiter resulted in a touchdown by way of fumble recovery from Jensen’s Julius Puryear.
Jensen even displayed its depth, putting in the sophomore duo of running back Dy’lond Holmes and quarterback Vaughn O’Brien, who added a rushing touchdown.
“Jupiter and Jensen aren’t too much different – same type of kids that feel overlooked. They play with a chip on their shoulder,” Caffey said.
Despite its size, Jupiter faces issues with experience, returning just six starters and hosting 38 sophomores on its roster.
“You could tell that the short weeks that we have to prepare when you’re trying to put in a new offense or prepare for something are a little bit more difficult for somebody whose kids are young and I’ve been there,” Caffey said . “We were there last year, so I think they’re gonna be fine.”
“We had a quick three weeks, and I got here two days before spring started, and I’m leaving tomorrow,” Kradman said, preparing to tie up loose ends in his current home of Chicago before finalizing his move to South Florida.
Benjamin transfer Logan Steiner and returning starter Edwin McCain give promise that Jupiter has at least two players that can sustain the Warriors until they’re firing on all cylinders.
Albeit Steiner proved his talent with a couple of flashy first down catches at receiver. He shined brightest at safety, collecting a number pass breakups, especially in times where it looked like Jensen receivers may jump to hang another six on the board.
“We had a couple guys in the in the backend of the secondary that made some plays,” Kradman said. “I’m excited about our defense.”
Offensively, however, Jupiter is still at the drawing board.
“I think we played three quarterbacks tonight – just trying to get a look at and give an opportunity to all three guys. They each kind of had a quarter or so, so I think there’s some positives to take there,” Kradman sad.
“We just need to do a better job up front, just giving them time in the run game and the pass game.”