Stranahan running back Valentino Jean made sure his first rushing attempt of the night mattered.
Jean found a seam and took off for what turned out to be a 43-yard, game-winning score, helping Stranahan to a win over Coconut Creek in a District 6A-15 battle at South Plantation. Jean’s run punctuated Stranahan’s (4-4, 4-2) strong fourth quarter as it rushed for 134 yards and outscored Coconut Creek (4-4, 3-3) 12-0.
Jean’s run was important but Stranahan’s final defensive stand also made a difference. Coconut Creek quarterback Jahkari Harrison looked like he threw the go-ahead touchdown pass, only to have a holding penalty negate the play and push back the offense to third-and-24. Coconut Creek couldn’t convert on third down, and on fourth down Harrison searched for a receiver and found a man deep in the end zone, but the pass sailed over his head.
It appeared offense wouldn’t be a problem for Stranahan to open the game. Stranahan marched down the field and scored on its first drive, capped by a 1-yard run by Anthony Hunt with 9:16 left for a 6-0 lead following a missed extra point.
Coconut Creek had its struggles and fumbled on the first play of the first series and opened the second series with three consecutive false-start penalties.
Eventually, Coconut Creek overcame those mishaps to put together a three-play, all-pass series resulting in a 10-yard pass from Harrison to Malek Young tying the game at 6 with 11:20 left.
Young caught his second touchdown pass when he made a few moves and darted 60 yards down field for a touchdown and 13-6 lead in the third quarter.