Heavily favored to make another deep run for a Class 8A title, visiting Miramar used nine ball carriers (including three quarterbacks) to gain 248 rushing yards and score four touchdowns to beat South Plantation 42-7 on Friday night.
Khalil Lewis, who led the way with two rushing touchdowns of 4 and 10 yards, gave Miramar (1-0) a jump-start to the new season with 77-yard return of the opening kickoff, producing a first-and-goal situation. Alex Anderson’s two-yard run up the middle got the rout started for the Patriots, who are coming off a season where they reached the regional semifinal.
“That was a great start,” coach Damon Cogdell said. “Khalil was gassed. He felt he should have gone all the way. We had lots of guys cramp up, but it’s just the beginning of the season.”
South Plantation, 9-2 last season, fumbled away its first possession of the season, setting up Gerald Hawkins’ 14-yard TD pass in the flat to Sanjai Bruno for a 14-0 lead just 54 seconds into the game.
Miramar, however, failed to add points in the first half, having committed 140 yards in penalties before intermission. The Patriots corrected the problem during the second half, committing just one penalty for five yards the rest of the way.
“Our motto was to refocus [during halftime],” Cogdell said. “We’ve got to do a better job with the penalties, and it was much cleaner in the second half.”
Cameron Rigby had 65 yards on seven carries to lead the Patriots; Demari Simpkins had 57 yards on five carries and Eric Pittman had 43 yards in eight carries.
The Patriots defense held the Paladins (0-1) to just nine rushing yards on 26 carries and contributed to the scoring on linebacker Ryan Samuels 16-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.
South Plantation’s Ronald Kennedy scored on an 83-yard kickoff return late in the quarter to avoid the shutout.