Beware Miramar Patriots: The Flanagan Falcons are eyeing you pretty hard.
Don Simon’s football team, which has been teetering on the edge of the playoffs each of the past couple seasons, sent a strong message Friday night that it’s ready to crash the postseason party with a 45-7 dismantling of previously unbeaten Western.
The Falcons (6-2, 3-1 in District 12-8A) put a hurting on Wildcats quarterback Wade Freebeck, sacking him four times and sending him hard to the turf countless others. The junior completed just 10 of his 24 pass attempts for 112 yards.
Meanwhile, Flanagan sophomore quarterback Ryan Stanley completed 24 of his 34 attempts to nine different receivers for 277 yards and a touchdown as the Falcons rolled up 486 yards of total offense. Western (6-1, 2-1) had only given up 47 combined points in its six wins before Friday and had won by an average margin of 26 points in each game.
“This is the best shot we’ve had yet since I’ve been here,” Simon said of his team’s chance to make the playoffs. “We got one more game to go. It’s in our [hands] for the first time. We’ve just got to continue to play well. But we’re a lot closer than we’ve ever been.”
Flanagan, which has a bye week next week, will host the Patriots (4-4, 2-1) on Nov. 2. Miramar, which still has to play Western next week in a pivotal district game, knocked Flanagan off 20-16 last season. Now, the Patriots are all that stand in Flanagan’s way of a playoff spot.
“I’ve been ready for it because I was at Miramar in ninth grade,” said Falcons tailback Christopher Nealy, who ran for 97 yards and three scores Friday night. “I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait for it. Beating them would mean a lot to everybody.”
Stanley completed 16 of his first 24 attempts in the first half including a 10-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Bradley Martin just before the half to help make it a 12-point cushion.
• Miramar 34, Everglades 6: The Patriots scored three times in the first quarter, and the Gators were unable to generate any offense as Miramar won in front of a bout 500 fans in this year’s edition of the Mayor’s Cup.
Miramar (4-4, 2-1) rode its talented corps of running backs to victory, accounting for four rushing touchdowns despite picking up 145 yards of penalties.
Everglades (3-5, 0-3) has lost five in a row after winning its first three contests.
• Hollywood Hills 30, Archbishop McCarthy 27: The Spartans (2-5) upset the Mavericks (5-2) to win their homecoming game.
The Spartans stopped Frantz Petitpapa at the 1-yard line on the last play of the game to seal the victory.