Despite playing giveaway all night long, losing six fumbles, the Hallandale Chargers and quarterback Legend Moore saved their best for last.
Trailing by two with just over three minutes left and the ball at midfield, Moore led his team down field and scored from 1 yard out on a quarterback sneak with 1:09 left to give Hallandale a 40-36 victory over Jackson in a key District 16-5A game at Hallandale High School.
“Obviously it was messy during the game with all of the fumbles but we always say it’s all about how you finish and we finished the way we needed to [Saturday night],” Hallandale coach Benedict Hyppolite said. “[Saturday night] was a big win and Legend Moore came through for us when he had to.”
The win was huge for the Chargers, who moved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in tough District 16-5A. On the other end, Jackson — riding high three weeks ago after an upset win over Booker T. — fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the district and now finds its postseaon hopes in jeopardy.
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Jackson led 36-32 with just over three minutes left when the Generals, knowing Hallandale had no kicking game, took an intentional safety to make it a two-point lead.
But Moore found Thaiu Jones-Bell for 13 yards on a third-and-10 to the Jackson 37 and then hit Shemar Thornton for 34 yards to the 3 to set up Moore’s winning score.
Malcolm Ray then sacked Jackson quarterback Terrance Craig, who fumbled, and Davion Smith recovered with 44 seconds left.
“It was a rough night but I know my teammates are always counting on me to come through when it counts so it was just a matter of staying with it,” said Moore, who finished a big night completing 9 of 19 passes for 189 yards and five touchdowns — three through the air and two on the ground. “We have a lot of big games in front of us so we definitely needed to get this one [Saturday night].”
Said Hyppolite: “The one thing about Legend is that no matter how bad things are going, he always comes to me in he fourth quarter and says, ‘Don’t worry, Coach, I’ve got you.’ We put the ball in his hand and he always finds a way to do it.”
When Moore scored from 13 yards out midway through the third quarter, Hallandale led 26-15 but, the Generals came storming back.
Craig, who finished the night 17-of-31 passing for 306 yards and two touchdowns, found Devon Washington for a 40-yard score to cut the deficit to four. Minutes later, Jackson took the lead when Moore was sacked, fumbled and Lacedrick Brunson scooped up the loose ball and rolled 33 yards for a score and a 29-26 lead.
The teams each traded one more touchdown before Jackson took the intentional safety.