The clouds cleared over West Dade just in time for Thursday night’s District 16-7A game between Goleman and host Doral. Then, the Firebirds rained big plays, points and turnovers on Goleman in a 52-28 win that clinched a playoff spot.
In a scoring hat trick, quarterback Angel Alvarez threw for two touchdowns, ran for one and caught a 42-yard touchdown on a wide receiver throwback pass from Natavious Payne. Javier Zuniga handled most of the running game, rushing for 91 yards on just eight carries.
If such a rout can have a turning point, it came in the second quarter when Doral (6-1, 5-1) ran off 17 points in 1:44.
Doral led 21-0 after scoring on its first three possessions. But Goleman (4-4, 4-3) followed a 90-yard touchdown drive by forcing a three-and-out. Another plow-it-out drive that would make the second half relevant appeared in progress when defensive lineman Steven Tobie picked off a throwback screen. After Tobie’s 43-yard return to the Goleman 9, Doral unleashed a Sugar Ray Leonard finishing flurry.
Two Zuniga runs covered the 9 yards: 28-6 with 1:46 left. Three-and-out and Carmelo Ramos blocked a Goleman punt, setting up the Firebirds at the Gators’ 33. A 17-yard fade lob from Alvarez to Brieon Fuller: 35-6 with 19.9 seconds left.
But, wait, there was one final, finishing kick. Wendol Philord, whose interception set up Doral’s third touchdown, recovered a fumbled kickoff at the Goleman 27. A 24-yard field goal, a chip shot for Vladimir Rivas: 38-6 with 2.2 seconds left.