JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Mandarin's state title defense opened its 2019 season with a familiar theme.
But it wasn't easy though.
The Mustangs got three touchdowns from Carson Beck, but rival Atlantic Coast made them work for every bit of their 28-12 win in the Publix Bold City Showcase on Saturday.
Beck, the state's reigning Mr. Football, had touchdown passes of 22 and 43 yards to Jaylen Smith, and added a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Beck, a Georgia commit and an Elite 11 selection, finished 10 of 18 for 223 yards. Smith had a team-best 109 yards on three catches.
It was Mandarin's fifth straight win in the series.
But the Stingrays were close throughout the game and played well defensively.
Jordyn Williams had an acrobatic interception in the end zone to stop one Mustangs drive and Josh Williams had another.
The Mandarin defense was the difference. The Mustangs took away every bit of Atlantic Coast's rushing attack and made life difficult on quarterback Ridge Jacobs. The Mustangs picked off two passes, including the clincher by Uriel Richardson that allowed Mandarin to hold on to a 21-12 lead.
Martranius Mack ripped off a 39-yard touchdown two plays later to give the Mustangs the final margin.
Jacobs had two scoring passes to Patrick Bryant II and finished with 140 yards passing. Bryant had seven catches for 70 yards.
Mandarin 28, Atlantic Coast 12
M, 7, 7, 7, 7 -- 28
AC, 0, 6, 0, 6 -- 12
M – Beck 1 run (Levine kick)
AC – Patrick Bryant 5 pass from Ridge Jacobs (kick blocked)
M – Jaylen Smith 22 pass from Beck (Levine kick)
M – Smith 43 pass from Beck (Levine kick)
AC – Bryant 17 pass from Jacobs (pass failed)
M – Martranius Mack 39 run (Levine kick)
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