Perhaps the words didn’t come out precisely, but you never got the sense there was any disrespect meant toward Duke Johnson, who did so much for Norland before becoming a star freshman running back this year for the University of Miami.
Still, after Norland had routed previously unbeaten Hialeah 42-7 on Friday night at Milander Stadium, one Vikings assistant coach was overcome by exuberance.
“We don’t need Duke,” he said excitedly. “We don’t need Duke.”
To be sure, there is little question Johnson would help Norland — or any team at this level — but the larger point is that the Vikings (4-1) are doing just fine in the post-Duke era.
After Hialeah (3-1) took a 7-0 lead on its first drive, the Vikings scored on their initial possession, capping a 40-yard drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Taron James.
The momentum really swung in Norland’s favor in the second quarter, when Arsenio Frederic recovered a fumbled punt return on the Hialeah 11. Two plays later, Zaquon Tyson caught a 10-yard fade from James to give Norland a 14-7 lead.
A few moments later in that same left corner of the end zone, Tyson caught a 20-yard deflected pass for his second touchdown of the night.
“We’ve been working on that play in practice,” James said of the fade route. “I really appreciate the catches [James] is making.”
Tyson wasn’t the only Vikings player making touchdown catches. Kendrick Edwards took two receptions to the end zone.
James, who totaled three touchdown passes, connected with Edwards on one of them. The other came on a fourth-down trick play in which James tossed a lateral to Khalil Murat, who tossed 35 yards for the score.
Hialeah coach Marc Berman was without three of his starters due to injury: offensive lineman Randy Dona and receivers / defensive backs Joseph Togy and David Francis.
The T-Breds came out hot, connecting on a 47-yard strike from Alin Edouard to George Williams on their first play from scrimmage. That set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Cesar Meneses on the next play.
• Ferguson 35, Goleman 34: Ferguson outlasted Goleman, which was down seven points with 30 seconds left in the clock.
Goleman senior running back Jeremiah Oyetunji punched it in the waning seconds of the game. But the Gators were unsuccessful in their 2-point conversion.
The Ferguson offensive leader was running back Isaiah Braddy, who had 113 yards and two touchdowns.
• Homestead 23, Varela 6: After a slow start, the Broncos (4-1, 1-0) scored a pair of second quarter touchdowns to pull away from the Vipers (2-2, 1-0) at Harris Field.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Homestead put together a drive that was capped off by a 6-yard touchdown run by quarterback Maurice Alexander.
The Broncos scored on its next touchdown when receiver Ermon Lane turned up field for a 47-yard punt return.
Running back Johnnie Hankins scored on an 18-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to put Homestead up 20-0. Hankins led all rushers with 65 yards on 12 carries.
• Krop 43, Miami Springs 17: Quarterback Keon Roman was a force against the Golden Hawks as they were unable to stop him as he led Krop (3-2) to the win FIU North.
Roman threw for 207yards and four touchdowns. He connected on two occasions with Ryan Mayes — including a 47-yard touchdown in the final seconds of the first half.
• Westminster Christian 70, Archbishop Carroll 14: Four early touchdowns by sophomore running back Tim Irvin sparked the Warriors (2-3, 1-1) to the win against the Bulldogs (0-5, 0-2) at Westminster Christian School.
“I just saw green,” Irvin said. “When I see green, I just go.”
Irvin scored on a run, catch and two punt returns.
• Coral Reef 14, Sunset 0: A pair of big plays by receiver Josh Young and 273 rushing yards helped Coral Reef (2-2, 0-1) overcome 155 yards in penalties to defeat Sunset (1-4, 0-1) at Tropical Park.
Leading 6-0 in the third quarter, Barracudas quarterback Nicodem Pierre faked an inside handoff, then pitched the ball to Young, who took the reverse 45 yards. On the ensuing kickoff, Young recovered a fumble to retain possession for Coral Reef, who went on to chew up clock in the victory.
Sunset showed some signs of life when Ezekie Scott intercepted Pierre on a slant intended for Tristen Ferguson, but an assortment of short runs by Knights running backs Oscar Falcon (33 yards, 11 carries) and Kevin Dominguez (36, 10) was not enough.
Coral Reef continued to batter the Knights on the ground with 72 yards in the fourth quarter by backup halfback Ernest Donaldson. Donaldson replaced Jordan Edwards.
• North Miami 56, Miami High 7: North Miami clobbered Miami High at Curtis Field.
Ronald Frederic returned the first kickoff to the Stings 13-yard line in the first few seconds. A few short plays later North Miami’s Nesley Ostral found a pass in the end zone to start the Pioneers dramatic victory.
Pioneer defense was tough from the start, sacking Miami High’s Kelvin Reyes on their first drive. The stats leader for North Miami was junior running back Charles Romane, who picked up 81 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.
• Hollywood Hill 13 Stranahan 6: The Spartans won their first game of the season by defeating the Dragons.
Running back Aaron Spencer rushed for 67 yards and one touchdown.
Fullback Griffin Goins carried the ball six times, for 39 yards and a touchdown.
“This was a district game and we couldn’t afford to go 0-2 in the district,” said coach Al Lang. “I know how hard these guys work and
it feels real good to get are first win.”
The Dragons struggled all night, committing 11 penalties for 110 yards. Their only score was a 30 yard pass play but came as time
expired in the fourth quarter.
• Deerfield Beach 49, Douglas 7: From the first play, Deerfield Beach pounded Douglas with the run as running backs Brandon Powell and Aeron McNeal combined for 385 rushing yards. The Bucks earned their first district win of the season at Butler Stadium in Deerfield Beach.
“We went back to the basics this week going to our run blocking, running the ball and trying to just grind it out,” said Deerfield Beach coach Allen Jackson.
Powell led Deerfield Beach (1-3, 1-1 District 11-8A) with 214 rushing yards in the game. On the first play from scrimmage in the first quarter, Powell sliced through the Eagles’ defense for a 68-yard touchdown run. Malcolm Shields