Coral Gables 31, Southwest 24

Coral Gables denies Southwest perfection

 

Coral Gables’ Dijion Smith accounted for four touchdowns, preventing Southwest from having an undefeated regular season.

a1fernandez@MiamiHerald.com

Southwest alumni from as far back as the 1960s showed up to Tropical Park Thursday night hoping to see their Eagles make school history.

But as it has done very often during its longtime rivalry, Coral Gables denied Southwest victory and this time regular-season perfection.

Led by its defense, which posted three interceptions and shut out the Eagles in the second half, Coral Gables dealt Southwest its first loss of the season 31-24 in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Quarterback Dijion Smith threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 59 yards and one more touchdown to lead the Cavaliers (9-1), who open the playoffs next Thursday at Tropical Park against Hialeah.

Antiwone Johnson caught two of those touchdown passes and finished with six catches for 123 yards.

Mark Wynn had two interceptions, and he and Andrew Spence each had one in the second half to beat the Eagles (9-1) and deny them what would have been their first 10-0 season in school history. Southwest was also vying to beat Coral Gables three consecutive seasons for what would have been the first time in the series history.

“Those guys [at Southwest] were undefeated for a reason and they do a great job,” Coral Gables coach Roger Pollard said. “Our defense played aggressive and we buckled up and started playing some football in the second half.”

Southwest quarterback Dre Pickett-White ran for a 71-yard touchdown and threw a pair of touchdowns in the first half to Brian Paez, at one point giving the Eagles a 14-3 lead.

But Coral Gables methodically rallied as its defense held and its running game — even while resting star Gregory Howell for most of the second half — took control. Sophomore Mike Keino ran for 127 yards on seven carries. His longest — a 75-yarder — set up Smith’s 5-yard go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

Southwest had a chance to tie the game with a minute remaining. But Gables’ pressure defense swarmed and sacked Pickett-White forcing fourth and 33 at the Gables 38. A desperation pass was intercepted by Wynn to end the threat.

“Keino’s been working his tail off and listening to everything [Howell] has been telling him,” Pollard said. “He loves this game and it’s paying dividends.”

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

  • High Schools roundup

    Doctors Charter boys’ track relay teams qualifiy for states

    The Dade Christian boys’ track 4x100 relay team will head to the State Championship for its second year in a row. Abigael Neus, Sam Mompremier, Jeanmaxon Adrien, and Cameron Floyd. Darwin Abreu qualified fourth overall in the mile. The 4x400 relay team, Torrian Wallace, Jovyn Pierre, Andrew Dodds, and Jonathan Gill needed to finish fourth out of 16 teams and run under a 3:42 to qualify for states. Freshman Jonathan Gill lead the team to a time of 3:36, awarding them fourth place to also qualify them for states.

  • Roundup

    Two Cooper City athletes sign with colleges

    Cooper City pitcher and first baseman Johnny Haney signed a scholarship with the Point Park University (Pittsburgh) baseball team. The left-hander is 6-0 so far this season with 31 strikeouts, three complete games and 1.28 ERA. He is hitting .317 with a homerun, 13 RBI and 16 runs scored.

  • State Tennis Championship

    Ransom Everglades’ Allegra Hanlon galls short of state title

    Everything seemed in place for Allegra Hanlon to end her high-school career with one more tennis championship. Then the rains came.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the
Discussion

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