In a thrilling see-saw district opener, Taravella receiver Robert Miller cameup with the clutch plays, catching a 7-yarder in overtime from quarterback Lorenzo Jerome to defeat visiting Deerfield Beach, 42-35, on Thursday.
Miller, who finished with 5 receptions for 57 yards, had earlier scored a clutch touchdown on another seven-yard reception with 2:00 remaining in regulation.
“Hey, I don’t think of this as pressure,” a jubilant Miller said as the team celebrated on the field after the Trojans (3-1, 1-0 in District 11-8A) stopped the Bucks’ offense on fourth-and-goal from the 4. “As Coach [Dan Marguerite] said, ‘Big time players come through in big time situations.’ ”
Quarterback Lorenzo Jerome engineered the tying drive following Deerfield’s go-ahead touchdown at 4:36 on Artez Levine’s second touchdown pass to Brandon Powell, covering 23 yards for the Bucks’ last lead at 35-28.
Jerome (15-of-27 for 244 yards, three touchdowns) proceeded to lead the Trojans’ offense from their 20 to the end zone in nine plays, the biggest play coming on fourth-and-3 when he completed an 11-yarder to Miller to the Bucks’ 7.
The game was dominated by big plays (34 first downs between the teams) and big mistakes (262 yards in penalties that negated three Deerfield Beach touchdowns).
The Bucks (2-2, 0-1) staggered early, trailing 14-0 less than five minutes into the game before pecking away for an 18-14 halftime lead.
The Trojans took a 7-0 lead when Kevin Humphries took a lobbing pass from Jerome and ran untouched the last 40 yards to complete the 73-yard score.
Taravella took the two-touchdown lead on its next possession on Jawanza Evans-Morris’ 27-yard run.
Deerfield answered on the ensuing possession to cut the lead to 14-7 on Aeron McNeal’s 35-yard run.
Carlos Rosales kicked a 39-yard field goal before the Bucks closed the first-half scoring on Justin Morgan’s eight-yard reception from Artez Levine’s pass with 3:50 left before McNeal ran in the two-point conversion.
At one point, the Bucks score 16 consecutive points to take their 35-28 lead before the Trojans answered with the two Miller scoring receptions.
• Cardinal Gibbons 51, Pompano Beach 6: Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons coach Mike Morrill was expecting a little more out of his team’s home win over Pompano Beach Thursday night.
“There’s still work to do,” Morrill said after his team won the lopsided affair, but was penalized 10 times for 105 yards and had an interception.
Still, Chad Law’s 27-yard interception return for a score, and a 76-yard kickoff return by Trevon Lee and a 60-yard return by Winston Jackson was enough to offset some of the offensive breakdowns in an otherwise total mismatch.
Cardinal Gibbons (4-0) used the big play and a pair of safeties to burst Pompano Beach’s bubble, sending the Tornadoes to their fourth straight loss.
Chiefs junior David Senior had a 50-yard run for a touchdown with 4:58 left in the third quarter to send the game into a mercy-rule running clock.
“Defense was very opportunistic,” Morrill said. “I was a little disappointed in the offense. I guess two-thirds of the performance was OK.”