By Marcus Benjamin @_benjaminmoney
“Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose”
-Friday Night Lights
The famous mantra from the TV series seems to be the mindset for teams in South Florida.
South Florida teams did not disappoint with statement games and fantastic finishes across the sunshine state. The Tri-County area continues it’s strong showing in the 2017 version of the FHSAA playoffs. All classes had at least one team move on to the next round from South Dade to Belle Glade.
Miami Columbus – Dual threat quarterback Anthony Arguelles accounted for 233 yards and a touchdown both running and passing the ball leading the explorers over the South Dade Buccaneers 28-14. Columbus’s lone loss this year came to the hands of the Northwestern Bulls
Miami High – One of the biggest surprises of the season are the Stingarees. They are credited with dashing the hopes of Southridge repeating as back to back champions with a 27-21 win. Linebacker Antquan Kinsey held Southridge at the goal line on a 4th and goal to seal the victory. The senior has received offers from UMass, Toledo and FAU.
Western (Davie) – The most charming of cinderella stories are the wildcats out of Davie. They simply find a way to win and do not beat themselves. After winning their first ever playoff game against Deerfield Beach, the cardiac cats come from 12 points down to beat Palm Beach Central 14-12. Keshaun Clarke scored two touchdowns in the fourth to put his team up and through to the next round.
Atlantic (Delray) – Senior kick return specialist Varrick “Oyeh” Lurry-Davis willed his team to victory with several kick returns setting his team up to win a close one 14-7 over Park Vista. Lurry-Davis currently holds offers from only Central Michigan and Southen Miss.
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) – The Raiders are on a mission to make it four straight state titles in as many years. Sophomore quarterback Derek Wingo, who took over the starting position mid season, connected with Georgia commit Elijah Moore and Virginia commit Tavares Kelly for explosive touchdowns as St. Thomas cruised in a running clock victory over West Broward 38-7.
Doral Academy – The Firebirds pulled off one of the shockers of this postseason with a 6-5 victory over perennial powerhouse Dwyer (Palm Beach). Miles Hayes engineered the game winning drive that set up a Christian Ramirez field goal with 32 seconds left.
Miami Northwestern – The Bulls held on for a 24-18 win over rival Miami Central. Central attempted a hail mary as time expired in the game and the Rockets’ season. Louisville commit Tutu Atwell lead the team to a 24-0 lead before Central came storming back. Northwestern continues its resurgence from it’s glory years of the past with the win.
Miami Carol City – The Chiefs of Dade grinded out another victory on the road with a 17-10 victory over Mainland (Daytona). University of Miami commit Camron Davis scored a 31-yard touchdown that would prove to be the game winner and advance the defending state champions to the next round.
American Heritage (Plantation) – The top team in South Florida took care of business in convincing fashion ending Orlando Bishop Moore’s season for the second straight year. Vanderbilt commit running back Miles Jones scored three touchdowns including the opening kickoff that he would take 99 yards to the house. Patriots are riding a 24-game winning streak into the regional final.
Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale) – The Chiefs of Broward also pulled out a gutty road win over Rockledge 19-14 which is just east of Orlando. Junior running back Vincent Davis scored two touchdowns to bring his team back from behind.
University School (Davie) – The Sharks outscored Monsignor Pace 42-39 in a back and forth battle. Kenny McIntosh had a huge night totaling 243 yards rushing and five touchdowns. The junior running back has already received offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Miami and Notre Dame.
Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood) – Auburn commit Shaun Shivers provided a dominating performance in a 56-0 rout over Benjamin (Palm Beach). Shivers rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
Oxbridge Academy (Palm Beach) – The Thunderwolves feasted on Melbourne Central Catholic in a 32-7 victory. Junior dual threat quarterback Gio Richardson scored two touchdowns in the win.
Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah) – The Lions are looking to avenge last year’s loss in the championship game as they continue to roll with a 47-0 victory over Moore Haven. Quarterback Desjaun Kearse leads his team to the semifinals this week and look to continue their dominance.
Pahokee (Belle Glade) – Leroy Love would help propel the Blue Devils with a 79-yard kick return for a touchdown to extend their lead. Pahokee advanced with a 42-28 victory over Frostproof to the semifinals.