All season long quarterback Keon Roman has been making big play after big play for his Krop football team. And, in a District 13-8A showdown with Hialeah on Thursday night at Traz Powell Stadium with a playoff berth on the line, Roman came through again.
With his team clinging to a 31-27 lead, less than three minutes to go and the Lightning on the Hialeah 9-yard line facing third down, Roman dropped back to throw and, as he so often does when nobody is open, took off running. And run he did, right into the end zone, diving head first over the goal line for the put-away touchdown as Krop (5-4, 2-1) came through with a huge 38-27 win and punched its ticket to the postseason.
While the win was slightly tempered with the news of North Miami Beach’s overtime win over North Miami — which meant a runner-up spot for the Lightning and a first-round date with Columbus rather than a district title — there was still plenty of jubilation.
Roman finished the night with 84 yards rushing on 13 attempts and 187 yards through the air on 12-of-20 passing.
“I’ve been trying to tell anyone who will listen all year long how special this kid is,” said Krop head coach Dave Hudson about his star quarterback. “He makes such great decisions out there and is not afraid to step up in the big moments and make big plays, and you saw that out there tonight.”
“It wasn’t a designed run,” said Roman of the clinching score. “I just dropped back and immediately saw the middle open up wide and I took off. It felt great when I got in because I knew that score had clinched it.”
After Roman faked a field goal as a holder and found Toro Nelson for a 15-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter, it looked like the Lightning would cruise, leading 24-7.
But, led by quarterback Alin Edouard and running back Henry Bussey, the T-Breds (4-4, 1-2) put on a furious rally. After Edouard found Bussey for a 19-yard touchdown over the middle on a third-and-goal situation to make it 24-13, Krop running back Jovon Durante fumbled five plays later and Dominic Elverson recovered.
On the next play, Edouard weaved his way to a 49-yard TD run to make it 24-19.
After Krop went back up 31-19 on a 16-yard Roman-to-Nelson hook-up, the T-Breds answered with another quick 75-yard drive, Bussey going over from 2 yards to make it 31-27 with 8:42 left.
• Westminster Academy 38, Curley 14: Westminster Academy scored two touchdowns in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the game before host Archbishop Curley ever took a snap, and the Lions cruised from there to the easy win at Curley in a consolation round game of the Southeastern Independent playoffs on Thursday afternoon.
WA quarterback Ray Sharp enjoyed a huge day as he completed 7 of 11 passes for 200 yards and four touchdowns.
• Coral Reef 27, Southridge 20: The Coral Reef Barracudas (5-4, 2-2) finished district play with a historical 27-20 victory over the Southridge Spartans (3-6, 1-3) at Harris Field in front of more than 400 fans.
The Cudas, who were 0-8 in the last eight seasons against the Spartans, clinched the victory on a 3-yard scamper by quarterback Nicodem Pierre.
“It feels good to build confidence in the players,” Coral Reef coach Chevas Clements said. “It sets the tone for next season.”
• District 13-4A: Kassandra Blandon’s first place finish helped the Miami Beach girls win their district title.
• Results – 1. Miami Beach 37, 2. Reagan 39, 3. Krop 94, 4. North Miami 99, 5. American 123, 6. Hialeah Gardens 136: Kassandra Blandon (MB) 21:45.58, Janeen Zamora (REA) 22:49.54, Luz Bastos (MB) 23:16.29, Grace Friedman (MB) 23:37.86, Maria Alvarez (REA) 23:38.11, Shirley Thelusma (Kro) 23:53.22, Susana Vasquez (Rea) 25:02.17, Denise Manfrini (Rea) 25:07.65, Hersline Louis (NM) 25:22.84, Nia Awonsa (NM) 25:29.97. Stephanie Solorzan (HG) 25:34.31, Natacha Acosta (Amer) 25:38.44, Jala El-Biali (KRO) 25:39.73, Maria S Zalazar (MB) 25:52.22, Lauren Martino (MB) 25:56.31.
• District 13-4A: Krop may have been the first-place team in the district championship, but it was American’s Tristan Enriquez who was the individual winner with a time of 18:21.35
• Results – 1. Krop 29, 2. Miami Beach 66, 3. American 79, 4. North Miami 83, 5. Reagan 102, 6. Hialeah Gardens 134: Tristan Enriquez (Amer) 18:21.35, Spencer Tate (KRO) 18:57.85, Alberto Bendjouia (KRO) 19:11.29, Edouard Gilles (NM) 19:13.88, Evan Gruda (KRO) 19:22.43, Alec Goldberg (MB) 19:41.88, Romario Tranquille (KRO) 20:07.12, Gabriel Obregon (MB) 20:09.30, Price Destyaobles (NM) 20:15.65, Aldo Aguilar (HG) 20:25.13, Christian Roman (Rea) 20:26.01, Joshua Gottlieb (Kro) 20:48.54, Luis Roblero (NM) 20:58.37, Cynamon Ben (MB) 21:07.98, Miguel Caraballo MB 21:19.80.
Northwestern vs. Homestead (Harris), 7:30 ANDRE
Edison at Gulliver Prep, 3:30 ANDRE
Varela vs. Southwest (Tropical), 7:30 WALTER VILLA
Booker T. Washington at Monsignor Pace, 7:30 BILL DALEY
Miami High vs. South Miami (Curtis), 7:30 DAVID QUINONES
Coral Gables vs. Coral Park (Tropical), 3:30 WALTER VILLA
Miami Beach vs. Miami Springs (Hendricks), 7:30 MATTHEW MACKLE
Key West vs. Norland (North Miami), 7:30 RUSSELL QUINOA
Central at Belen Jesuit, 4 GABRIEL IBRAHIM
Mourning at Hialeah-Miami Lakes, 7:30 SERGIO BONILLA
Dade Christian at Archbishop Carroll, 3:30 KELLY SACO
Keys Gate at Westminster Christian, 4 IRVING ALVAREZ
Hialeah Gardens vs. Mater Academy (Traz), 7:30 D’JOUMBAREY MOREAU
Champagnat at Archbishop McCarthy, 7 sentinel
Marco Island Academy vs. Solid Rock Christian (Southridge), 7:30
South Florida HEAT at Northwest Christian, 7:30
SWIMMING AND DIVING
Region 4-3A at Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex - Prelims: 9 a.m.; Finals: 5
District 16-1A at Greynolds Park - Girls: 2; Boys: 2:45