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August 31, 2013
Bates not only led the Sharks defense, but scored a touchdown with 9:17 remaining in the game.
Bates took a handoff from Colin Feller and went five yards into the endzone. That score put the Sharks up 45-17.
With help from the defensive line and his fellow linebackers, Bates helped set up big plays for other defenders, like defensive lineman Casey Barker
Barker took advantage of a missed assignment with just under 30 seconds to go in the first half to sack Panthers QB Justin Lee for a six yard loss.
In the game's final minutes-when the mercy rule was in effect and the clock did not stop, Bates had to take a knee after a play, but walked off of the field under his own power. He left the game with what appeared to be cramps. He did not return.
Ponte Vedra's other honorable mention was junior Kurtis Willingham. He is listed as a quarterback, but was one of the game's huge difference makers from the tailback spot. He ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns.
Ponte Vedra improves to 1-0, while Nease falls to 0-1