Sunset quarterback Jamal Horne raced to the end zone three times Thursday night at Tropical Park.
On his final dash to the goal line, Horne outraced all defenders to score the game-winning 3-yard touchdown as time expired that lifted Sunset to an 18-12 victory over South Miami.
The Knights (2-1) won their second consecutive game and moved to 2-0 in District 16-7A, the division they won last season.
"I’m like a happy father watching his kid go from crawling to walking," said first-year Sunset coach Mandrell Nickle, who had previously coached at Miami Jackson and is a graduate of Homestead High.
"Through all the adversity, this team hasn’t put their heads down in defeat."
Horne ran for 62 yards and his winning score was set up by an interception by Tayvon Dukes that gave Sunset the ball at South Miami's 7-yard line with nine seconds remaining.
Sunset's defense forced four turnovers.
Junior linebacker Ahmad Lee recovered two of the three fumbles the Knights’ defense forced.
South Miami (0-3, 0-2) tied the game at 12 on a 2-yard touchdown run by Donkeavis Davis with 1:54 left. But their extra point attempt was blocked.
Neither team was able to make a conversion as they went back and forth following a scoreless first half.
Quarterback Bryce Holliday led South Miami with two rushing touchdowns as the Cobras ran for 190 yards. But Holliday completed only 4 of 20 passes for 32 yards and an interception.
Sophomore Richard Baster led the Knights running game with 89 yards on 24 carries.
Nickle has been able to instill that belief in a Sunset team that returned only two starters – both offensive linemen – from last year’s 10-2 team that reached the regional semifinal round.
"Through it all we’ve been blessed with kids with heart," Nickle said. "I think the rest of the county is going to see that you have to play all four quarters strong to beat us."