With a loss already hanging over the Cardinal Gibbons football team in District 16-5A, the Chiefs were in no position to suffer another.
Gibbons erased that possibility of another setback with a convincing 45-12 victory over Hallandale on Friday at Cardinal Gibbons High in Fort Lauderdale.
It was the fourth time Gibbons has scored 40 or more points in a game this season.
“Our guys at the beginning of the game were a little tight,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Matt Dubuc said. “That was my fault. We settled in, and we executed when we needed to.
“The defense played a hell of a game. We are happy with the result.”
A victory over Stranahan and a Hallandale (3-5, 3-1) loss to American Heritage next Friday will earn a playoff berth for the Chiefs (6-1, 3-1). Should the Chargers upset Heritage, it will force a three-team tiebreaker on Monday, Oct. 31.
A 24-point second quarter proved to be enough for Gibbons after it trailed 6-0 after the opening quarter.
Nikolas Scalzo threw two of his three touchdowns passes in that quarter for the Chiefs, the first of 31 yards to James Bostic III and 9 yards to Milam Lemon.
Lemon, who finished with 98 yards on 10 carries, added a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter.
Donnell Bennett added a 22-yard interception return, and Griffin Cerra made a 43-yard field goal to end the half.
“I told the kids to keep their heads held high,” Hallandale coach Benedict Hyppolite said. “We need to buy in and get ready for American Heritage. It won’t be easy.”
Following Bennett’s touchdown, Hallandale failed to fall on a pooch kick and it was recovered by Maxwell Worship at the Chargers’ 23-yard line. Six plays later Lemon’s touchdown put the Chiefs 21-6.
Gibbons final score came on a 4-yard scoring pass from Scalzo to Joshua Rito.
Hallandale’s touchdowns came on a Thait Jones-Bell reception from quarterback Legend Moore in the first quarter. Moore added a 1-yard scoring run on the game’s final play.