Clarence Brown wasnt with South Miamis football team when it fell painfully short of making the playoffs last season.
The Cobras hope he can be a difference-maker who helps them avoid the same fate this year.
Brown, who transferred from Doral Academy, ran for 132 yards and three touchdowns on 14 attempts Wednesday to lead South Miami to a season-opening victory against Sunset at Tropical Park.
I feel like we really have something good for ourselves, Brown said. I put in that hard work in the summer because I couldnt practice with the team in the spring. That was tough, but I think we have a chance to go far this season.
South Miami (1-0) lost a tiebreaker against Coral Gables last season, falling short of clinching the runner-up spot in District 14-8A. The district got a little bigger this season, adding Miami Beach a playoff team last season in Class 7A.
But the Cobras hope an improved running game will give them an edge.
We started strong and built on what we worked on in the summer, South Miami coach David Gray said. Clarence is a proven runner and the blocking we gave him helped things come together. Were bigger on the line this year and with Clarence in there, its a perfect fit.
Brown scored twice in the first quarter on touchdown runs of 11 and 5 yards to give South Miami a 16-0 lead.
Senior kicker Adrian Izquierdo made field goals from 27 and 30 yards.
South Miami also did damage through the air, as junior quarterback Patrick Coats fired a perfectly timed 54-yard touchdown pass to senior Anthony Truesdell.
The Cobras kept Sunset off the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter when Jordan Fiore broke through for a 28-yard touchdown.
Truesdell and Hajjii Frederick each recovered fumbles for South Miami and the Cobras special teams blocked a punt that led to an early touchdown.
SOUTH MIAMI 39,
SM- FG Izquierdo 27
SM- Brown 11 run (run failed)
SM- Brown 5 run (Izquierdo kick)
SM- FG Izquierdo 30
SM- Truesdell 54 pass from Coats (kick failed)
SM- Palacio 5 run (Izquierdo kick)
SM- Brown 18 run (Izquierdo kick)
SUN- Fiore 28 run (Piniero kick)
Rushing (att-yds) -- SUN: Morrison 2-3, Dominguez 2-18, Laguerre 14-19, Doctor 12-20, Fiore 2-31. SM: Roberts 1-(-2), Sanchez 1-0, Coats 1-3, Piloto 1-7, Brown 2-25, Palacio 5-27, Brown 14-132.
Passing (comp-att-int, yds)-- SUN: Laguerre 3-10-0, 20. SM: Rincon 2-4-0, 16, Piloto 1-4-0, 23, Coats 7-10-1, 129.
Receiving (rec-yds-TD) -- SUN: Morrison 1-9, Galbon 2-11. SM: Brown 1-4, Roberts 1-11, Washington 1-11, Rincon 1-12, Palacio 4-45, Truesdell 2-85.
The Cardinal Gibbons boys and girls swimming teams defeated Coconut Creek and Northeast at a three-team meet at Northeast on Wednesday.
Charles Mahalec, Andrew Zielinski and Fisher Crist all won two individual events for the Chiefs boys. Mahalec won the 200- and 500-meter freestyle, Zielinski came in first place in the short-distance 50- and 100-meter freestyle events, and Crist was the victor in the 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter breaststroke.