Miami-Dade High School football

Southwest football holds off Coral Gables in OT


Special to The Miami Herald

The only blemish on Southwest’s season came on Oct. 20 in a 21-14 overtime loss to South Miami. In its final game before the postseason, the team got another shot at extra time Thursday night against Coral Gables.

Sophomore D’undre Pickett-White tossed his third touchdown of the night — a 10-yard strike to junior Robbie Jimenez — on the first play of overtime as the Eagles beat the Cavaliers 35-28 at Tropical Park.

Coral Gables (3-7) tied it at 28 with 27.7 seconds remaining in regulation on Dijon Smith’s 9-yard pass to Shaquery Wilson.

Southwest led by 21 points with 7:17 left in the third quarter on sophomore Quindale Corker’s 97-yard kickoff return.

After trailing 14-0 at the half, the Cavaliers scored 28 second-half points. Smith threw for three touchdowns and junior Gregory Howell rushed one in.

Southwest (9-1), which will face Killian in the first round of the playoffs, beat the Cavaliers for only the third time. Coral Gables will play North Miami Beach in the postseason.

“To end up in overtime, I know it sounds crazy, but at least we got a win out of it and showed we can finish,” said Southwest coach Tim Neal, who spent 13 years as an assistant at Gables.

•  Central 52, North Miami Beach 28: Sometimes the best defense is a great offense.

That statement held true for Central in its regular season finale victory over North Miami Beach at Traz Powell Stadium.

Thursday was mostly about injury prevention as both teams have playoff games to prepare for, with the Rockets hosting Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy next Friday in the Region 4-6A quarterfinals and North Miami Beach hosting Coral Gables next Thursday in the Region 3-8A quarterfinals at North Miami Stadium.

The Rockets (7-2) racked up 469 yards of total offense Thursday, including 392 rushing yards — most of them coming from super juniors Joe Yearby and Dalvin Cook. Yearby rushed for a game-high 192 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries while Cook gained 164 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

Central quarterback Keith Reed only completed 4 of his 10 passes, but three of them went for touchdowns — including a final 9-yard scoring pass to Jakari Lockette, the son of Rockets coach Telly Lockette.

But the Rockets defense bent a lot, giving up 362 total yards of offense to the Chargers (4-5).

NMB sophomore quarterback Cedric Wiggins finished 20 of 36 for 245 yards and three touchdowns — all three of which went to receiver Steve Ishmael, who finished with 87 yards on seven catches.

Coach Lockette said that his team’s defensive performance could be blamed on the game being a homecoming for Central — not the chilly 60-degree weather.

“It was homecoming and I think some of the guys got a little caught up in that and maybe weren’t as focused as they should’ve been,” Lockette said.

“But I take that upon myself as a coach. You never want to rob the kids of their full high school experience, but we also have to make sure that we are ready to play every time we step on to the field — especially now with playoffs around the corner.”

Central took a 17-7 lead into halftime — after Reed connected with DaVante Phillips on a 36-yard touchdown pass with 55 second left in the second quarter — but the early part of second half was full of big plays.

Not even a minute into the third, Yearby scored on an 80-yard scamper to put the Rockets ahead 24-7. On the ensuing North Miami Beach possession, Freddy Leroy answered right back with an 80-yard scoring dash of his own to cut the deficit back to 10.

Then Cook outdid them both by scoring on a 90-yard touchdown run with 10:08 left in the third quarter — notching a two-minute span in which the teams combined for 250 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Leroy finished with 126 yards on 21 carries for the Chargers.


•  Mourning 22, Miami High 16: Mourning scored 22 unanswered points in the second half to rally for a victory over Miami High in the season-finale at North Miami Stadium.

Derron Holas was the offensive catalyst for the Sharks (5-4, 2-1), passing for 98 yards and two touchdowns; he also led all rushers with 87 yards, including the eventual game-winning score. Austin Stradford also was instrumental on offense, catching two passes for 59 yards.

Carlton Stamp also had two touchdown catches in the game. Mourning’s defense also stopped the Stingaree offense on a goal line-stand; on the last play of the game where Miami High was stopped at the 1-yard line.

Miami High (3-7, 2-2) was led by Kelvin Reyes, who threw for 127 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 43 yards.

Terron Hopkins led the team in rushing with 62 yards; 59 of them coming on his first run of the game that led to a touchdown. He also caught an 11-yard pass.


•  Coral Reef 34, Braddock 6: Nico Pierre threw three touchdowns over 30 yards and Coral Reef (6-4, 2-2) finished its season on a high note, defeating Braddock (2-8, 1-4) 34-6 at Harris Field Thursday night.

In all, the Barracudas recorded five plays of more than 30 yards, with Pierre targeting tight end Bryan Bradshaw (three receptions, 62 yards) and receiver Jacob McCrary, whose three catches for 129 yards led the team. Pierre finished his season with a 234-yard performance.

“They were overplaying our running game,” said Coral Reef coach Chevas Clements. “They played our receivers one-on-one in man-press [coverage] so we just took a couple shots and we were able to capitalize on them.”

Bulldog quarterbacks Jaime Jarquin and Jordan Chacon were harassed all night by the Coral Reef defense, with five different Barracudas sacking the speedy Jarquin, although he did provide the only points for Braddock with a 4-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Their counterpart, Perez, came on strong in the second half after running back Marcus Leslie’s two rushing touchdowns gave Coral Reef a 14-6 lead.

“He got off slow. He shot a couple basketball shots, as we like to say, he hung them up there. Then he got hit and it got his blood flowing,” Clements said.

After his slow first quarter, Pierre did heat up. His three touchdowns came on consecutive deep passes, each longer than the last, culminating with an 84-yard bomb to McCrary, who beat Braddock defensive backs down the sideline and got behind the defense.


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