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.”