The Venice football team is off to another strong start. The Indians started off by taking a trip down to Traz Powell Stadium and dropping 56 points in a pre-season win over Miami Northwestern. Since then, they have hosted two more powerhouse programs and come away with notable wins. In week one, they handled Edgewater 41-7. They followed that up by coming out of a dogfight against Cocoa with a 21-20 win. Venice is as well-coached and talented as ever. The Sunshine State powerhouse has some very impressive athletes that we took a closer look at. Here are the Venice offensive statistical leaders so far this season.
2022 QB Ryan Browne 6’5” 207 lbs
Browne has completed 21 out of 36 (58%) passes for 319 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. He is averaging 15.2 yards per completion. The big fella is not afraid to run the football and initiate contact either. He has 71 rushing yards in two games. He is doing an excellent job of leading a powerful offense. He takes great care of the football and feeds his playmakers consistently. He has a strong arm and throws well on the move.
2022 WR Omari Hayes 5’8” 150 lbs
Hayes is the Swiss army knife of the Venice offense. In the two wins, he has compiled 210 all-purpose yards and 4 touchdowns. He has recorded 9 receptions for 114 yards and 1 touchdown, and 7 carries for 38 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also has two kickoff returns which were 20 and 38 yards. He is a player that opposing defenses will want to make sure they keep tabs on. He lines up all over the place and is a versatile playmaker. He has good hands, legit speed, and he runs with power. His 3 rushing touchdowns have come off of direct snap plays. He has excellent vision and knows how to find the end zone.
2022 WR Jayson Platt 6’1” 180 lbs
Platt is Venice’s other versatile receiver. So far this season, he has 7 receptions for 103 yards and 1 touchdown. As a junior, he had over 800 all-purpose yards and 7 touchdowns. On film, he displays solid route running, strong hands, and great speed. He is a smooth runner and is strong and elusive with the ball in his hands. He also returns kicks. His punt return TD against Miami Northwestern in the pre-season shows the reason why. It also gives you a great glimpse at his break-a-way speed.
2022 TE Austin Bray 6’6” 225 lbs
Statistically, Bray only has one catch so far this season, but his film just gets me excited. He has put some good stuff on video in spring and pre-season also. Bray is an excellent blocker with big-time size. He is an old school hand-in-the-dirt type of tight end that most people don’t appreciate enough these days. He is a bully. He fires off the ball, gets his hands on defenders and finishes blocks. The Illinois transplant has solid speed and will hurt opponents if they give him a free release. His efforts as a blocker will give him plenty of opportunities to fire off and run past the linebackers and safety. With a strong offensive line and a big back like Damarion Escort, many teams will have to sell out against the Venice run game this season.
2022 RB DaMarion Escort 6’2” 200 lbs
After splitting carries as a junior and finishing with 116 touches for 608 yards and 10 touchdowns, Escort has established himself as the workhorse of the Venice run game this season. Through the first two games, Escort has carried the ball 41 times for 233 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the pre-season game at Miami Northwestern, he ran for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns. He added some size this off-season which isn’t good news for defenses. He has a strong burst and very respectable top-end speed for a big back. Escort’s vision allows him to read his blocks and see holes as they open. He has quick feet and good balance which allows him to make quick cuts and bounce runs outside in a hurry. He recently landed a well-deserved offer from Army. It says a lot about a young man when West Point comes knocking on your door.