Not every game will be a pristine example of perfect football. Some games will be downright ugly.
But the end result counts just the same.
Despite being plagued by penalties and turnovers, Miami Jackson scored in each facet of the game – offense, defense, and special teams – to manufacture a 29-8 win over visiting district foe Hallandale Wednesday night at Tropical Park.
The Generals (3-1, 1-0 District 16-5A) had to overcome 18 penalties which resulted in 180 penalty yards and four lost fumbles to earn their first district win of the year. Hallandale (1-3, 0-1) had 11 penalties for 110 yards.
Jackson’s saving grace was its defense. The talented group held up strong throughout the night – generating seven sacks, forcing and recovering four fumbles and turning an interception into points when senior defensive lineman Lamarcus Anderson stepped in the way of a screen pass and returned it 40 yards to put the Generals up 20-0 late in the second quarter.
Kayshawn Lamour led Jackson with three sacks while Meklange Nichols added two.
Generals head coach Lakatriona Brunson said that her defense has been the pillar of the team this season.
“I knew our defense would come out and perform like this…this is how they’ve been playing all year. Just aggressive and nasty,” Brunson said.
Jackson’s defense technically hasn’t given up any points through four games. The Generals shutout their first two opponents and weren’t responsible for the points allowed to South Dade (two interceptions returned for touchdowns) or to Hallandale (a fumble return and a safety).
Offensively, Jackson was sporadic. They began the game well when Devin Essix hauled in a 45-yard touchdown pass from Terrence Craig Jr. not even 90 seconds into the game but things went downhill from there.
The Generals finished the game with negative (-37) rushing yards. David Solomon and Isaiah Jean-Baptiste were the only Jackson ball carriers to finish with positive yards – 27 and 5 yards respectively.
Craig finished with 197 passing yards on 10 of 14 passing with a pair of touchdown passes – the first quarter toss to Essix and a 12-yard throw to Antwan Brinson that put the Generals up 29-8 with just under a minute to play.
Brinson finished with a game-high 71 receiving yards on three receptions while Essix and Anthony Lloyd totaled 54 and 47 receiving yards respectively.
Hallandale’s night was – obviously – worse than Jackson’s.
The Chargers also finished on the negative side in rushing yards – ending up with negative (-65). They also only mustered 133 passing yards as quarterback Nathaniel Williams found it difficult to operate under the pressure from Jackson’s defense.
Hallandale’s defense was responsible for all the team’s points Wednesday – a 40-yard “scoop and score” fumble return after a sack by Michael Neismith right before halftime and a fourth-quarter safety after multiple Chargers defenders forced Jackson’s quarterback to take an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone.
Brunson said she’ll take the ugly win, but admitted that her team has to be better if it wants to contend for a district title.
“We’ve got to clean up the mistakes,” Brunson said. “We cannot continue to play like this – with all the penalties and not being able to capitalize on our opportunities.”
Carol City Blanks HML
The Chiefs made quick and easy work of Hialeah-Miami Lakes Wednesday night, jumping out to a 43-point lead at halftime before cruising to a 55-0 victory at Traz Powell Stadium.
Carol City (2-1, 1-0 District 16-6A), which will face district and neighborhood rival Miami Norland this coming Monday (Oct. 2), didn’t even have to get a big game from standout senior running back Camron Davis to produce the win Wednesday. Davis finished with just 19 yards on three carries bbut did score a first-half touchdown.
The Trojans (0-3) were overmatched Wednesday – evident by the team only amassing 70 total yards of offense.
Booker T. Shuts Out Edison
Junior quarterback Daniel Richardson threw four touchdown passes as Booker T. Washington coasted to a 42-0 win over Miami Edison Wednesday night at Milander Stadium.
The Tornadoes (2-2) were happy to get back on the winning side after suffering back to back losses to rivals Miami Central and Miami Northwestern.
Freshman receiver Jacorey Brooks caught one of Richardson’s touchdown tosses as did Zahir Turner, while Rionne Jackson turned on the running clock with his 10-yard fourth quarter touchdown run and Willie Davis returned a punt for a touchdown to make the final margin 42-0.
The Red Raiders (0-4) gave it all they could – staying even with powerhouse Booker T. through the first quarter before the Tornadoes broke open the game.