Norland 19, Homestead 17

Norland rallies to defeat Homestead

 

Special to the Miami Herald

Norland trailed from the opening kickoff when Homestead five-star receiver and Florida commitment Ermon Lane took it 90 yards for a touchdown.

But with 53 seconds to play, Norland (1-3, 1-0 District 16-6A) took its first lead of the game and it would be the only one that mattered.

Running back Khalil Murat broke a pair of tackles and dove into the end zone as he ran off tackle right for the winning touchdown from 7 yards away as Norland began district play with a win Friday night at Harris Field.

“[I was thinking] I had to put the team on my back and let’s win,” said Murat, who finished with 120 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. “All in my head was just to win.” That’s all we’re trying to do."

As a team, Norland ran for 285 yards and held Homestead (2-1, 0-1) to 18 rushing yards. Ced Miller and Alexander Watson ran for 68 and 63 yards respectively. Miller also scored on an 11-yard scamper in the first half.

The Vikings (1-3, 1-0 District 16-6A), after a long travel from near the Miami-Dade County border all the way down to Homestead, won their inaugural district game of the season in possibly the strongest district in Florida after an 0-3 start to the season.

"This has got to be the toughest district in the state," Norland coach Daryl Heidelburg said. "Any win is a big win... Just to get one win is a step in the right direction."

While Lane started the game with the 90-yard kick return for the touchdown, the stout Vikings defense held him without a catch. On Homestead’s final drive, he had a reception by the sideline that would’ve put the Broncos near field goal range, but it was wiped away by an illegal forward pass penalty.

Norland trailed by as many as 10 in the third quarter when Homestead receiver Gilbert Johnson leaped for a jump ball between a corner and safety along the sideline and ran it the rest of the way for an 82-yard touchdown.

Although the Broncos led the majority of the game, Homestead did not record a first down until the 7:42 mark in the fourth quarter.

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