Because it was a preseason classic, both Plantation and Miami Columbus used Thursday nights game to evaluate a lot of their young talent.
Plantation coach Steve Davis liked what he saw out of his running game, especially in the second half when the Colonels scored three rushing touchdowns and powered their way to a 27-10 win against Columbus at PAL Field in Plantation.
The Colonels, who went 8-3 last season and open the regular season next week against Fort Lauderdale Dillard, amassed more than 150 yards on the ground and outscored the Explorers 20-7 in the second half.
We started out the game a little slow, Davis said. We stepped up our running game in the second half, and we were more physical, especially on the offensive line.
Both first-team offenses struggled to sustain much momentum in the first quarter.
Plantation finally broke the stalemate when junior Antwuan Haynes found some space, put a quick juke move on a Columbus defender and ran 30 yards for the games first score.
Haynes broke a 50-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, but the play was nullified by a holding penalty.
Senior Clint Sills Jr. and sophomore Deonte Wright each scored rushing touchdowns in the second half, with Wrights score from 22 yards out coming on the games final play.
The Colonels defense limited Columbus starting offense to only three points in the first half.
We started five sophomores on defense, and those guys will just get better, Davis said. We have to look at the film and make some corrections quickly, because we have a tough schedule this season.
Columbus got some productive runs from backs Oshton Armstrong, a senior, and sophomore Amir Rasul both of whom are expected to make big contributions this season in Columbus offense. Senior Sean Bonilla also had four carries for 30 yards early in the game.
The Explorers finally got in the end zone in the fourth quarter when sophomore backup Austin Maloney took a screen pass from quarterback Alex Rios and ran 66 yards for a touchdown.
• St. Thomas Aquinas 21, Dillard 10: Highly touted junior receiver Devante Peete hauled in a pair of touchdown passes to help lead nationally ranked and defending state champion St. Thomas Aquinas to a preseason victory over visiting Dillard.
Peete scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Raiders starting quarterback Wade Freebeck in the second quarter and then on an 11-yard TD pass from backup Jake Rizzo in the third quarter.
• American 49, Edison 0: The Patriots rolled to the preseason win over the Red Raiders at Traz Powell Stadium.
Sophomore tailback KJ Barnes scored on a 42-yard run, and junior Arkeem Granger added a 17-touchdown run in a 39-point first half for American.
• Hallandale 70, Piper 20: Hallandales Taj McGowan fueled the Chargers attack, racking up five touchdowns and 102 yards rushing.
Chargers quarterback Tyler Huntley was 4 of 7 for 110 yards and a touchdown pass, and TJ Harrington was 2 of 3 for 20 yards under center and added a 65-yard run for a score.
• Pine Crest 23, North Proward Prep 19: Quarterback Mike Smith scored the winning touchdown with 33 seconds remaining to lead Pinecrest to a victory.
Matt Irvin fueled Pinecrests offense with 22 carries for 107 yards.