Class 8A regional quarterfinals | Miramar 31, Monarch 21

Miramar rallies to defeat Monarch


Special to the Miami Herald

Miramar coach Damon Cogdell did not have to say much during his halftime speech Friday night.

The players took care of that.

Trailing 13-2 against Monarch, host Miramar responded after the break with a 21-point third quarter on its way to a 31-21 victory over the Knights in the Class 8A regional quarterfinals.

“Everybody said something in the locker room,” Patriots quarterback Nick Jeanty said after the disappointing first-half performance. “We all spoke up.”

The win sets up a massive matchup between nationally ranked unbeatens as Miramar will host Deerfield Beach in next Friday’s regional semifinal.

“The way we look at it, we’re both 1-0,” Cogdell said of the Bucks. “We had to refocus [Friday night], and we’ll be focused next week as well.”

Monarch did not go away easily. Just when it seemed Miramar had gained control at 16-13, the Knights drove and set up for a game-tying field goal. But Miramar blocked it, and Tyrek Cole returned it 74 yards for the score to give the Patriots a cushion.

Early on, the Knights didn’t look like a team making its first state playoff appearance.

Quarterback Michael Harris hit Calvin Ridley on back-to-back passes on Monarch’s second drive, the last for a 15-yard score.

Monarch’s defense also held a potent Patriots offense out of the end zone in the first half and recovered two Miramar fumbles inside its own 5-yard line. The Patriots’ only points of the first half came on a safety after one of those fumbles.

“We weren’t intimidated,” Monarch coach Calvin Davis said. “We had a game plan. We just weren’t able to execute it in the second half the same way we had [in] the first half.”

Harris finished a yard shy of 200 in the air.

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