IMG Academy

IMG Academy repeats as Honor Bowl winner in San Diego

IMG Ascenders offensive lineman Reuben Unije leads the way in drills.
IMG Ascenders offensive lineman Reuben Unije leads the way in drills. ttompkins@bradenton.com

The IMG Academy Ascenders (2-0) ventured west Saturday to San Diego to take on California’s Corona Centennial Huskies (1-1) in the 2017 Honor Bowl.

Entering the fourth quarter, Ascenders running back Trey Sanders put the game away with touchdown runs of 75 and 65 yards to give IMG a 40-20 victory.

The game was a rematch of the 2016 Honor Bowl thriller between the two programs, where the Ascenders came out on top with a last second touchdown and two-point conversion to win 50-49.

IMG’s first points came when kicker Aidan Swanson connected on a 36-yard field goal to the game 3-3.

The Ascenders’ next score came later in the second quarter to knot things up at 10-10 when quarterback Art Sitkowski connected with wide receiver Brian Hightower on a pinpoint 18-yard strike.

Sitkowski would guide the team to its first lead of the game later in the half with a 23-yard passing score to wide receiver Jalen Jordan.

The Ascenders’ final score of the half came on a pick-six from defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles when he picked off Centennial QB Ala Mikaele. Radley-Hiles would go on to record a second interception later in the evening, on his way to being named Game MVP.

Sitkowski earned the Honor Bowl Character Award for IMG Academy following the game.

After taking down the No. 6/No. 9 (Max Preps/USA Today) ranked Huskies, the Ascenders will face another top-25 squad when Baltimore’s St. Frances Academy comes to town on Saturday.

USA Today reports that the Ascenders’ winning streak now stands at 30 consecutive games. They beat Chandler (Ariz.) to start the season.

Up next

Who: St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) at IMG Academy

Where: IMG Academy, Bradenton

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

TV: ESPNU, ESPN3

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