And the Golden Hawks train continues to chug along.
Amazingly, just two years removed from being at the very bottom of the ladder among Miami-Dade County high school football programs, the Miami Springs football team continued its meteoric rise from the ashes last Thursday night (Oct. 10).
The Hawks hosted Goleman in a key District 16-7A contest at Milander Stadium and a Gators team that was much better than the 0-6 record it brought into the game.
And even though they struggled through the first 2 1⁄2 quarters, the Hawks woke up and pulled away to an easy 34-0 victory. And with that came an incredible fifth consecutive victory from a team that won a grand total of just three games over the previous three seasons combined.
More important than the 5-1 overall record, the win moved Springs to 3-0 in the district, setting up a huge showdown against American this Thursday night, Oct. 17 at Traz Powell Stadium at 7 p.m.
The Patriots, the preseason district favorites, are also 3-0 in the district and the winner will have the inside track to the district title.
“This one was a lot tougher than that final score indicates,” said head coach Darryel Bethune. “I was really worried about this game coming in because Goleman plays that old-school type of wing offense and can really control the ball on you, and that’s what they did for a while.”
Bethune’s team led just 7-0 at halftime and had watched the Gators control the ball most of the first half, only to turn it over twice in the red zone (inside the 20).
Then Goleman took the opening second-half kickoff and marched nearly 80 yards, eating up the first six minutes of the third quarter, and appeared ready to go in and tie the game when the biggest play of the night took place. Goleman quarterback O’Brian Anderson fumbled the snap at the Springs 7-yard line and D.J. Bethune Jr. fell on the loose ball.
The Hawks then proceeded to march 82 yards in just six plays and running back Malik Thomas, who finished the night with 121 yards on 16 carries and three scores, went over from 11 yards out to make it 14-0. A few minutes later, Johnny Rembrick broke Goleman’s will when he took a punt return and bolted 70 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-0 and Bethune was able to start breathing easier.
“We came out slow tonight but we found a way to get things going in the second half,” said Thomas. “We really had to make sure we took care of business because we really wanted the American game next week to mean something, and now we’re really excited and looking forward to it.”