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Poller: A Focused Miami Northwestern Dismantles Heritage Del Ray

Del Ray Beach, FL–Twenty five minutes before a scheduled 7:00 P.M. kickoff, the American Heritage (Delray Beach) Stallions warmed up in preparation for an opponent that had not arrived yet. At that moment, the home crowd may have assumed that the Miami Northwestern Bulls would not perform to their full potential because of their late arrival. Maybe they hoped that the emotional loss to the American Heritage Patriots would have lingering effects that could swing the game in the home team’s favor.

When the visitors finally arrived and exited the buses, they were fully dressed and uncharacteristically stoic. Their flamboyant swagger was replaced by a quiet confidence as they entered the gates which enclosed picturesque Scott Mauer Memorial Field. It would become apparent very quickly that the outcome of this contest was inevitable. The Bulls scored touchdowns on their first six offensive possessions, and the 41-0 dismantling of the over-matched Stallions truly resembled a glorified scrimmage.

Four plays into the game, the talent disparity between the two combatants was made extremely obvious to everyone in attendance. After forcing Heritage to go three and out on their initial drive, RB Kiaryn Davis (13 carries for 109 yds. and 1TD) fielded a punt and looked to be corralled by the Stallion coverage team for a minimal gain. But, he reversed field, leaving defenders in his wake and sprinted towards the sideline. Heritage LB Hunter Dombrowski gave chase valiantly, but did not notice he was being set up for a vicious crackback block. Dombrowski was decleated and almost beheaded, as his helmet went flying off from the impact of the hit.

Kai Henry Miami Northwestern

Kai Henry, Miami Northwestern

The Stallion faithful and the team realized quickly that this game wasn’t about winning, it was about surviving. The Bulls were assessed an unnecessary roughness penalty, negating the return and bringing the ball back near midfield. However, two plays later, RB Kai Henry (13 carries for 175 yds. and 3TDs) broke through the line untouched for a 47 yard touchdown run, giving the Northwestern a 7-0 lead.

The Bulls perfectly executed a surprise onside kick and were immediately back on the attack. The Stallions committed two fifteen yard penalties, setting up a 21 yard touchdown pass from QB Chatarius ‘Tuda’ Atwell to WR Andre Adams. After another three play drive by Heritage ended in a punt, Henry and Davis took turns battering the porous Stallions’ defense. This time, Henry culminated the drive with a 34 yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 20-0.

The game was already out of control, and the home team had yet to make a first down.

The game was already out of control, and the home team had yet to make a first down. However, the third drive of the game for Heritage was a carbon copy of the first two. Determined to change the momentum, the Stallions chose to go for the first down on 4th and 1 on the Bulls’ 43. But the defense stiffened again, giving the ball back to their red hot offense. The Northwestern coaching staff featured Davis on the drive, and he made the most of his opportunity. On a second and 10 from his own 44 yard line, Davis eluded two would-be tacklers with a jaw dropping fake along the sideline, breaking free for a 36 yard gain. Although he would have a 15 yard scamper called back, Davis continued to slice his way through the Stallion defense and eventually scored on a 3 yard touchdown run. The first half lead had now ballooned to 27-0.

Finally, with halftime quickly approaching, American Heritage QB Cam Smith got the Stallions a first down on a 13 yard scramble. He completed an 11 yard pass to WR Luis Gonzalez, and followed that with a 17 yard scramble. The crowd really became vocal when he completed his next pass to WR Joshua Turner for a 14 yard gain, putting the home team in scoring position. However, a sack and a holding call on consecutive plays seemed to rattle Smith and halt the momentum. On the next play, Smith forced an errant throw into coverage and was picked off by DB Taurus Dotson, Jr.

After giving Kai Henry a rest on the preceding drive, the Miami Northwestern staff proceeded to feed their workhorse and he delivered. He carried the ball six times in the drive and gained 60 yards, including two 20 yard bursts and a four yard touchdown. The score was now 34-0, and the only consolation for American Heritage was that there would be a running clock in the second half.

Miami Northwestern received the kickoff in the second half and decided to showcase Davis one last time before emptying the benches. Davis did not disappoint, gaining 36 yards on the drive including a 21 yard burst that put the Bulls inside the Stallions’ 5 yard line. Three plays later, QB Atwell concluded the scoring with a one yard quarterback sneak for a final margin of 41-0.

Max Edwards

Max Edwards

After the game, Miami Northwestern Coach Max Edwards remarked that he implored his team throughout the week to start tonight’s game the way they started the second half of their loss to Plantation American Heritage.

“The kids bought into it and had a good week of practice, and it showed on the field.” When asked about their businesslike demeanor before the game, Coach Edwards replied, “We decided we weren’t going to chat or talk, we wanted our actions to speak for us on the field.” When the scoreboard on the road says Visitor 41 – Home 0, there’s really not much left to say.

About The Author

Wayne Poller began contributing to Football Hotbed in August of 2016. He’s an experienced writer and Football Coach with a passion for the sport. Wayne covers high school football for Football Hotbed.

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