Hallandale had a frustrating start to its season but managed to come away with a hard-fought 34-26 victory over Cedar Grove in the Battle of the Borders showdown in Atlanta.
The Chargers (1-0) overcame three touchdowns getting called back on penalties and survived behind three Tyler Huntley-to-Joshua Hammond passing touchdowns and two Zach Moss touchdown runs.
“We knew we weren’t going to get to many calls with it being their home turf,” Chargers coach Dameon Jones said. “It was frustrating, especially getting those touchdowns called back. The game could have been over a little while ago.
“[Getting the win] is a good feeling.”
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In the second quarter, Huntley’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Samuel Huntley was called back for holding. That drive ended in an interception.
At the start of the third quarter, Hammond caught a 59-yard touchdown pass that was called back for a false start. The drive also ended in an interception.
In the fourth quarter, Tyler Huntley’s 66-yard touchdown run was wiped out on a holding call. The drive would end in a lost fumble.
Despite the penalty calls, the Chargers scored plenty. Hammond’s first touchdown reception was from 5 yards out and tied the score with two minutes remaining in the first. They took a 12-6 lead on their next drive when Hammond caught a 37-yard touchdown pass at the start of the second quarter.
Hammond’s third touchdown reception came with a minute to go in the third, giving Hallandale an 18-12 lead.
Hallandale’s first three scores were matched by Cedar Grove (1-1).
Trey Shaw had a 2-yard run in the first quarter, Morris had a 5-yard run in the second quarter and added a 2-yard run in the third.
Both teams struggled in point-after-touchdown situations, with each failing on their first three scores.
Hallandale took the lead for good on Zach Moss’ 49-yard touchdown reception, giving the Chargers a 26-18 lead with 4:58 left in the third quarter. Morris tacked on some insurance on a 24-yard run with a minute left in the third.
Morris’ 5-yard run with 29 seconds left in the third brought the score to its final margin.
Jones said after the game that starting receiver Neru N’Shaka sustained a leg injury, though he wasn’t sure of the severity. It wasn’t clear when the injury occurred.
▪ Coconut Creek 41, Marist (Ga.) 21: When there’s a running team that likes to control the clock, facing an opponent with speed on its offense can prove dangerous. Marist (Atlanta) had the run game. But Coconut Creek had the speed and buried the War Eagles with big plays, coasting to a victory in the Battle of the Borders showdown in Atlanta.
The Cougars (1-0) had two scoring drives totaled 119 yards and 29 seconds, which proved to be the difference.
Malek Young caught a 69-yard touchdown pass from Jhakari Harrison in the second quarter on the first play of the drive, which took all of 17 seconds.
With 1:42 reaming, Trayvon Mullen’s 50-yard touchdown reception from Harrison put the game out of reach at 34-21.
The next play from scrimmage was a Vinjoy Amisal interception returned for a touchdown, bringing the score to its final margin. The 6-2, 260-pound lineman made an acrobatic catch, maintained his balance and went 20 yards into the end zone.
Harrison threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-24 passing. He mixed in screen and deep passes to receivers including Mullen (10 catches, 103 yards), Akari Rainford (three catches, 98 yards, touchdown), Benjimen Victor (two catches, 78 yards) and Young (two catches, 74 yards).
In the running game, Coconut Creek finished in the red, with (minus) 11 yards. That was mainly because of a broken run play that resulted in a 26-yard loss.
On the other end of the spectrum, the War Eagles (0-1) attempted just eight passes totaling 38 yards.
▪ Braddock 27, North Miami Beach 16: Braddock running back Alex Victor got the Bulldogs’ season kicked off in style and finished things off at the end of the game as well.
Victor bolted 73 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game before clinching the contest with a 47-yard score with 1:18 left as the Bulldogs gave Juan Torres a victory in his coaching debut.
Victor finished the day with 129 yards on just seven carries, but the real workhorses for the Bulldogs were Robert Chavez and Yosami Sanabria. Chavez ran for 79 yards on 20 carries, including a 12-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and Sanabria had 76 yards on 11 carries.
The Chargers cut a 10-point deficit down to six when Vinshaun Cobham scored on a 5-yard run with 4:41 left and then got the ball back, but Braddock cornerback Anthony Mirabet picked off a pass with just over two minutes left, setting up Victor’s game-clinching score.
“This wasn’t as much about me [Saturday] as it was these kids and coaches who worked hard all offseason to make this a great program,” Torres said. “This was a big win because when you’re coming in and trying to get kids to buy into what you’re selling, success early on is important so they see the results.”
▪ Norland 23, Jacksonville Ribault 12: Coach Daryle Heidelburg will take the penalties against his defense as long as Norland continues to flash an attitude and choke off opposing offenses.
The attitude was nasty and aggressive, as the Vikings’ defense scored a touchdown to start the season opener against host Jacksonville Ribault and finished with a safety. In between, Norland allowed the Trojans very little breathing room Saturday afternoon.
There were miscues as the Vikings were flagged 24 times for 202 yards. But Norland (1-0) ceded more yardage to the Trojans via penalties than it allowed Ribault’s offense, which finished with 138 total yards, including 69 on one carry.
The Vikings forced three first-quarter fumbles, with Val Mayes picking one up less than two minutes in to the game and racing 40 yards for the score. Vosean Joseph closed the scoring with little more than a minute left in the game, slamming Trojans quarterback Jhamall Marsh out of the end zone for a safety.
Norland dictated the terms, with Ribault (0-1) abandoning its five-wide set in favor of a power-I and then reverting back again. The Trojans also switched quarterbacks in an effort to generate offense. A 69-yard run in the third quarter by DeSean McNair was the only dent Ribault made against the Vikings.
“I love my defense. I love my defensive coordinator Luther Campbell. I love my defensive assistants,” Heidelburg said. “I expect this from them. I know they had a lot penalties for excessive things, but they have this University of Miami 1992 attitude, and it works well for us. I’ll shape that into the right direction.”
Heidelburg said the offense even has taken on the defense’s attitude. But, aside from 106-yard effort from running back Chavis Wright, Norland only was in gear offensively for two second-quarter touchdown drives. Each took 12 plays and featured three fourth-down conversions combined while taking more than 9:30 total off the clock.
Quarterback Rodrick Robinson hit Dave Richards on a 10-yard scoring pass to cap the first and then finished off the second with a 5-yard keeper with 4 seconds left in the half.
▪ Mater Academy 14, Killian 7 (canceled): The nondistrict game between Killian and Mater Academy at Southridge Park was canceled following a 30 minute lightning delay, a power outage and a lightning warning.
“The safety of the kids is the most important thing,” Mater Academy athletics director Louis Sanchez said.
Mater led 14-7 when the game was stopped with 6:19 to play in the second quarter after a loss of power dimmed the stadium lights.
The Lions gained the lead on a 70-yard kickoff return by Darius Brown and a 15-yard touchdown catch by Temothas Herrington on a pass from Marlon Serbin.
The Cougars’ score came on a 3-yard run by quarterback Antwan Collier.
According to both schools’ athletics directors, the game is unlikely to be completed.
▪ PK Younge d. St. Thomas Aquinas (25-19, 19-25, 25-18, 18-25, 15-7): Allison Marble: 18 kills, 12 digs, 3 blocks, ace, 7 points. Brook Bauer 22 kills, 9 digs, ace, 12 points. STA 3-1
▪ Coral Gables 53, Homestead 81, South Dade 84, Krop 94, Goleman 120, Miami Springs 136, Hialeah Gardens 178, Hialeah Miami Lakes 184, Miami High 200: Spencer Tate (KR) 17:42, Cavan Wilson (CG) 18:32, Royer Baez (HOM) 18:55.
▪ Park Vista Invitational— Belen 21, Spanish River 74, Archbishop McCarthy 116, Coral Springs 162: Joshua Collins (BEL) 16:01.
▪ Late Friday— Coral Gables 58, Miami Beach 75, South Dade 96, Hialeah Gardens 97, Carol City 114.
▪ Late Friday — Miami Beach 96 Hialeah 34: 200 Free, 100 fly: A. Mullen (MB). 500 Free: Liv Friedman (MB). 50 Free, 100 Free: A. Luy (HH).
▪ Late Friday — Miami Beach 104, Hialeah 34: 200 Free, 500 Free: A. Deybach (MB). 200 IM, 100 Breast: B. Quintero (MB). 100 Free, 100 Back: D. Ruiz (HH).