For the second week in a row, Plantation American Heritage ended the game with an interception.
Only this time, the game wasn’t on the line, as the top-ranked Patriots made easy work of Stephenson, coasting to a 36-8 victory in a Battle of the Borders showdown.
The Patriots (2-0) led the entire game and nearly earned a shutout.
A mishandled snap in the punting game forced the Patriots to take a safety in the second quarter, and they let Stephenson’s Antonio Woods slip through for a 45-touchdown run.
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But other than that, the Patriots dominated. Brian Burns had a pair of sacks and the defense held Stephenson starting quarterback Xavier Sheppard to 3-of-18 passing for 26 yards and three interceptions.
Jarius Stewart ended the game by collecting the team’s fourth interception of the Jaguars’ backup.
The Patriots looked in control from the start, forcing the Jaguars (1-1) into a three-and-out on the game’s opening drive, then scoring on their ensuing possession — a six-play, 41-yard drive capped by Jason Brown’s 1-yard run.
Early in the second quarter, the Patriots built their lead when Brown connected with Laress Nelson on a 19-yard touchdown.
It looked as though the Patriots would take a shutout into halftime, but Stephenson was the beneficiary of a bad punt snap that punter Zack Thomaston was forced to punch out of the end zone before a Jaguars defender got to him.
It didn’t matter much, however.
The Jaguars’ next possession ended in a Tyson Campbell 61-yard interception return for a touchdown with 14 seconds remaining in the half, giving the Patriots a 19-2 lead.
The Patriots opened the second half with a three-and-out, but the Jaguars muffed the punt. American Heritage recovered at the 2 and Khalil Herbert scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns on the next play.
The game was a change of pace from a week ago, when they nearly lost to IMG Academy after the Ascenders scored the go ahead touchdown with seconds left. However, the play was called back for holding and the next play was a Patriots pick-six to win the game.
AMERICAN HERITAGE 36, STEPHENSON (GA.) 8
AH – Jason Brown 1 run (kick failed)
AH – Laress Nelson 19 from Brown (Oren Milstein kick)
STE - Team safety
AH – Tyson Campbell 61 INT return (pass failed)
AH – Khalil Herbert 2 run (Milstein kick)
AH – Olsten 35 FG
STE – Antonio Woods 45 run (kick failed)
AH – Herbert 12 run (Milstein kick)