Fort Lauderdale coach Richard Dunbar believes his team has a sense of urgency with three games remaining in the regular season, poised for its first trip to the postseason since 2004.
Following a two-game slide, the Flying L’s won their second in a row Thursday night, cruising past Pembroke Pines Charter 49-21 at Flanagan High School.
“Just staying humble and just staying focused and not being satisfied with every win,” Dunbar said. “Knowing that we won a game but correcting mistakes so we can come as close to perfect as possible as we approach this stretch that we’re in right now. That’s all the guys talk about. If you’ve got to speak it, you’ve got to believe it.”
Senior quarterback Derrick Warren and senior wideout Rashawn Pascal connected for three first-half touchdowns as Fort Lauderdale built a 32-7 lead after two quarters.
“Those two guys are like brothers, and when I say ‘brothers’ they’re like brothers,” Dunbar said. “Everything they do is together.
Everywhere they go is together. They come to practice together and they leave practice together. Every day at practice they’re working on checks, routes, timing, everything. They’ve got good chemistry, those two.”
The Flying L’s also benefited from two non-offensive touchdowns — a 65-yard fumble recovery on a sack by junior Jaquawn Nelson and a 64-yard kickoff return by senior Kenny James — by halftime.
After James found the end zone for the second time on a 7-yard run with 10:27 to go in the third quarter, the second string went in for the Flying L’s.
Pines Charter senior running back Jiovanni Aponte finished with 189 yards and two touchdowns — one of which came in the second quarter — on 17 carries. Junior quarterback John Jablonka also rushed for a touchdown from the triple option for the Jaguars (1-6, 0-2).
In four wins this season, the Flying L’s have outscored opponents 113-39. In three losses, they have been outscored 98-38.
A key District 15-6A matchup waits next Thursday when its leader Archbishop McCarthy (5-1, 2-0) faces Ft. Lauderdale (4-3, 2-0) for rights at the top of the standings.
• Cooper City 31, South Broward 3: Lemond Johnson led the Cowboys (3-4, 2-1) with 131 yards on 15 carries, including a 24-yard touchdown in his final carry in a District 15-7A matchup where Cooper City finished with 31 unanswered points at its homecoming.
Cooper City finished with 289 yards in total offense, collecting 17 first downs along the way to dominate the Bulldogs (0-7, 0-4) in the second half after a one-touchdown first-half lead.
Sean Pratt only had two completions in seven passes for 30 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to Lukas Volpe in the opening minutes of the third quarter. The score was set up on a Jackson Nix blocked punt that gave the Cowboys possession on the South Broward 19 just three plays earlier.
The Cowboys outgained the Bulldogs 133 to 43 through two quarters while holding the visitors to just two first downs, but managed to only take a 10-3 halftime team.
• Coconut Creek 35 Coral Glades 28: Johnny Richardson caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Jhakari Harrison with 6:58 to play, and Melquan Duncan returned a fumble and interception for touchdown as Coconut Creek overcame a 13-point deficit in the second half to pick up its first win of the season, beating Coral Glades at Coconut Creek’s homecoming game.
The Cougars (1-6) jumped out to an early 9-0 lead on a field goal and a 15-yard fumble return for touchdown by Duncan, but they went to sleep after that and the Jaguars took over behind their aerial attack.
Malik Bynum hit Ariel Bruington for an 18-yard touchdown cutting it to 9-7 early in the second quarter. Then Michael Dellelo hit Anthony Washington in stride with a perfect pass leading to an 85-yard touchdown, and just like that, the Jaguars led 14-9. Dellelo then hit Zmir Zitf with a 30-yard touchdown pass on a fantastic catch for a 21-9 lead.
The Cougars responded with a 93-yard touchdown by Rashad Land on a perfect pass from Harrison with just over a minute to play in the first half, but Glades went right back down the field and Dellelo hit Jason Engel with a 30-yard touchdown pass for a 28-15 lead going into the break.
But the Jaguars (1-6) offense stopped attacking after that.
Harrison hit Land for a 15-yard touchdown with 17 seconds to play in the third giving them hope and less than two minutes later, Duncan picked off Bynum scooping the ball off his shoestrings and running it back 34 yards for the tying touchdown. Harrison finished with 222 yards passing and three touchdowns.