Just when you thought you had seen enough miracle finishes between Miami-Duke and Michigan-Michigan State, then came Thursday afternoon’s Florida Independent Football Conference championship game at Palmer Trinity’s Brockway Field.
That’s when the Falcons pulled off their own miracle against North Miami Beach Scheck Hillel.
With just 15 seconds left, Palmer trailing 15-12 and Hillel lining up to punt, the Hillel punter mishandled the ball at his own 25, and Palmer Trinity’s Guillermo Bonet scooped up the loose ball and ran 21 yards to score. The touchdown gave the Falcons a stunning 18-15 win and the FIFC trophy.
“I don’t know how much time there was but I saw the end of that Miami-Duke game and remembered the Michigan-Michigan State game and knew that it’s never over until it’s over and was waiting to see if he made a mistake,” Bonet said. “When I saw him fumble the ball, I just went right for it and scooped it up. We practice that play all the time, and it was like a miracle. For it to happen to me as a senior in my last game, what more could I ask for. The craziest thing to happen in my life.”
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After Hillel quarterback Bradley Moskovitz scored on fourth down from 4 yards out with 1:31 left and Avi Dov picked off a Palmer pass returning it to midfield with just 38 seconds left, the game appeared to be over.
Palmer Trinity had only two timeouts, but when Moskovitz took a knee and fired the ball up in the air in jubilation, he was called for delay of game. The 5-yard penalty wasn’t as big as the clock stoppage for the penalty. Now second down, Falcons coach Rudy Fernandez was then able to use his two timeouts following two more knees by Moskovitz, leaving 15 seconds left and forcing Hillel to punt.
“Oh my God. I was on the sideline just praying,” said Fernandez whose team finished 5-5. “We needed a miracle, and we got one. All season long we’ve preached play to the last whistle, and [Thursday] it paid off. Something like this is huge for our program. We lost 13 players to injury and kept fighting through it. We had 11 freshmen out on that field, and I don’t know how many varsity football teams can say that.”
The run at state bowling for the Coral Springs Charter girls and Miami Christian boys came to an end at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando.
Coral Springs Charter swept Palmetto Bay Bayside in its fourth-round matchup in the Baker bracket but then was eliminated in a 3-1 loss to Titusville.
The run for the Panthers included a third consecutive District 15 title and Harmony Romano becoming their second individual district champion.
The Victors won their first game of a best-of-5 match but then lost the next three to fall 3-1 to Oviedo Hagerty in their opening match.
Both earned dramatic victories to stave off elimination Wednesday. Miami Christian had individual bracket qualifier Igar Rodriguez bowl a clutch strike in the 10th frame of the fifth game of a loser’s bracket match with Merritt Island Edgewood while Coral Springs Charter had its own elimination match go down to a fifth-game win with a bowl-off victory to break a tie in the second game.
“We’ve accomplished a lot this year,” said Miami Christian coach Amado Yaniz. “We have all players returning next year, and we’re just going to get stronger.”
Apopka won the boys’ team title, and Winter Park Circle Christian took the girls’ title.
▪ Mater Academy 1, Reagan 1:Diaz goal. Delucca assist. MA 4-1-1.
▪ HML 2, Jackson 1:Arias 2 goals. HML 4-1.
▪ Miami Springs 8, Northwestern 0: Deno 4 goals, 1 assist. Matos goal.Inhoof goal. Gomez goal, assist. MS 4-1.
▪ Palmetto 8, Killian 1: Lamas 3 goals, assist. Denkert 2 goals, 2 assists. Hyler 2 goals, assist. Gruener goal, assist.
▪ Palmer Trinity 9, Riviera 5: PT(3-0-0): Rivas 6 goals, assist. Rosales goal, assist. Fortis goal, assist. Gutierrez goal, assist. Schiappa Pietra 2 assists. Malueg 2 assists.
▪ TERRA 8, Westland Hialeah 0: Aviles 3 goals, assist. Bermudez 3 goals, assist. Bichara goal, assist. Howe goal. Calderon 2 assists. TER 4-0.
▪ Coral Gables 8, Braddock 0: Ransom 5 goals.Rodriguez goal, 3 assists. Ferra goal, assist.Lancaster goal. Pacheco shutout. CG 1-1-0.
▪ North Broward Prep 6, FAU 2: Blow 3 goals, assist. Sherman 2 goals, assist. Olabisi goal. Walker 2 saves. NBP 4-1-1.
▪ Miami Country Day 3, Chaminade Maddonna 2: MCD (2-0): Medici 2 goals. Tragenotti goal, assist.
▪ Belen 8, Archbishop McCarthy 2: de la Camara 5 goals, 2 assists. Castro goal. Tordin goal, assist. Parehk assist. Pereira assist. Madiedo assist. Pujals assist. BEL 3-0.
▪ MAST 4, Mater Lakes 0: Sabella goal, 2 assists. Papazian goal, assist. Arguello goal.Godoy goal. MA 1-0.
▪ Monarch 1, Deerfield Beach 0: De Oliveira goal. Ferraz assist. Neves 9 saves, shutout. MON 2-0-1. DB 0-1-0.
▪ American Heritage Plantation 2, Pembroke Pines Charter 1: Fray goal. Maximov goal. Defenders: Alex Wallace, Malcolm Tilokee. AHP 2-0-0.
▪ Cardinal Gibbons 6, Calvary Christian 0: Mueller 2 goals, assist. Fiedler goals, assist.Catapano 2 assists. Acosta goal. Marimon goal. Forte goal. Perdomo assist.
▪ Palmer Trinity 4, Riviera Prep 1. PT 2-0.
▪ Jackson 8, Hialeah Miami Lakes 0: Caballero 2 goals, assist. Enriquez goal, 2 assists. JAX 4-0.
▪ Cypress Bay 3, South Platantion 1: SP: Moradel goal. SP 0-2.
▪ Central’s Preseason Tip-Off Classic — Hialeah 64, Miami Springs 39: HIA: Jones 21, Celestine 18, Brown 10, Campbell 10, Betties 5. MS: Jones 15, Romero 8, Moise 6, Carter 5, Parson 5, HT: 31-22 HIA. Three-pointers: C. Jones 4, Moise 2, Celestine 2. Rebounds: Celestine 11. Steals: Betties 8. Assists: Betties 6.
▪ McKinney Preseason Classic (at Palmetto) — Palmetto 44, Coral Park 24: PAL: Collado 5, Kross 9, Martin 4, Granger 6, Pivik 9, Hernandez 1, Van. Collado 7, Palmer 3. CP: Torres 11, Tapia 1, Isaza 2, Tellez 10. Rebounds: Martin 5. Steals: Kross 4. HT: 21-12 PAL.
▪ Coral Gables 53, Southwest 31: CG: Landsberg 18, Ma. Grant 10, Mi.Grant 7, Hippolyte-Wade 4, Walton 4, Thurston 3, Billings 2, Truth 2, Luis 1, Rodriguez 2. Rebounds: Ma.Grant 4, Mi.Grant 5, Hippolyte-Wade 4, Billings 4, Luis 7. Steals: Landsberg 3, Ma.Grant 3, Mi.Grant 5. Assists: Mi.Grant 4. Three-pointers: Landsberg 3. SW: M.Thomas 13, I.Funez 5, S.Cueto 4, A.Concepcion 4, De Leon 3, K.Patino 2.
▪ Miami Christian 51, American 39: AME: Barlon 4, Chislom 2, Webster 6, Rameau 2, Dixon 14, Martinez 5. MC 1-0: Rosillo 2, Banks 2, Alvaraga 8, Allan 2, Alonzo 12, Rodriguez 2, Varros 11, Diaz 7, Torres 5.
Flanagan at St. Thomas Aquinas, 7
Deerfield Beach at Cardinal Gibbons, 7
Boyd Anderson at Nova, 7
Hallandale vs. Monarch (Deerfield), 7
W.Broward vs. Uni.School (Flanagan), 7
Jackson vs. Northwestern (Traz), 7:30
Carol City vs. American (Milander), 7:30
South Dade vs. NMB (N. Miami), 7:30
Chaminade-Madonna at Gulliver, 3:30
Miami High at Southridge, 7:30
Miami Beach vs. Edison (Curtis), 7:30
Monsignor Pace at Belen, 3
Reagan vs. Varela (Tropical), 7:30
North Miami at South Fort Myers, 7:30
Northeast at Coconut Creek, 7
Coral Springs at Cypress Bay, 7
Hollywood Hills at Douglas, 7
Cooper City at Piper, 7
Stranahan vs. Fort Lauderdale (Dillard), 7
South Broward at Western, 7
Homestead vs. Keys Gate (Harris), 4
Westland Hialeah at Port Charlotte, 7:30
Naples St. John Neumann at Doral, 7
Evangelical Christian at Dade Christian, 7
Somerset Ch. at Melbourne Holy Trinity, 7
South Plantation at McArthur, 7
F.Pierce Westwood at Somerset Aca., 3
Int’l School of Broward at Immokalee, 7