Pope John Paul II 26, Westminster Academy 24

Missed 2-point try costs Westminster Academy in loss to Pope John Paul II


Special to the Miami Herald

Westminster Academy, the Southeastern Football Conference’s top seed in the South Division, fell short in its fourth-quarter comeback as Pope John Paul II held on for a 26-24 quarterfinal upset Thursday night.

The Lions (7-2) trailed 26-18 before sophomore Elisha Daniels, who switched to quarterback to start the second half, connected with junior Andrew James on a 13-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-12 with 6:30 remaining in the game. They failed to tie the score on the two-point conversion.

With just over three minutes left, Westminster Academy took over from its own 8-yard line, but on fourth down, junior quarterback Joe Vairo threw one of his three interceptions.

Early on, the Lions captured the lead on their opening drive on senior Spencer Saliba’s 3-yard touchdown run. The Eagles (4-5) countered with 12 straight points on junior quarterback Raymond Rizk’s 60-yard pass to senior wideout Javonta Swinton and senior Dequan McGriff’s 2-yard run.

Trailing 12-8 halfway through the second quarter, Westminster Academy closed out the half with 10 unanswered points. Saliba found the end zone for the second time on an 8-yard run, while senior kicker Hunter Eakin nailed a 35-yard field goal.

Down 18-12 to start the second half, Pope John Paul (4-5) snapped its two-game losing streak by scoring 14 straight points on a pair of touchdown runs by McGriff. The back finished with 25 carries for 140 yards and three touchdowns.

“It’s tough [because] you work all season to get to the pinnacle,” Westminster Academy coach Jake Sorg said. “We were a couple of plays short. We didn’t convert when we needed to convert. We made some plays, but they made better plays.”

Read more Broward High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category