Having lost five in a row in the series, the Broward County All-Stars were getting a little tired of hearing about Miami-Dade’s dominance.
So they went out and did something about it Friday night as Broward, thanks to a brilliant game from quarterback Tyler Monaco and wide receiver Chris Cotto, defeated the Dade stars 16-7 in the Miami Dolphins Dade vs. Broward All-Star Game, presented by Under Armour at Flanagan High School.
The win marked Broward’s first since 2010 and had players doing assorted front and back flips all over the field in celebration when the game was over.
“I’m so proud of the kids tonight because they came out and played with a lot of energy,” said Broward head coach Devin Bush Sr., who led Flanagan to the Class 8A state title last month. “I wanted to make sure they had a lot of fun and I think, I’m not sure, I guess it was five or six losses in a row and they were getting tired of hearing about it.”
The Broward team probably wouldn’t have managed to get it done without Monaco and Cotto.
Cotto, who helped lead Hallandale to a deep playoff run, finished the night with five catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns, the second coming from 35 yards out with 1:11 left in the game to clinch things for Broward. On the play, he broke three tackles and changed direction twice before sprinting to the end zone.
For his efforts, he was named the game’s Offensive MVP although you could have made a strong case for Monaco. The Western quarterback finished the night 17 of 30 for 254 yards and the two scores to Cotto.
“The first half was a little bit of a struggle for us but Tyler [Monaco] came up to me and said, ‘I got you,’ and we just stayed with it,” said Cotto, who is a solid commit to Western Kentucky. “It felt great to help get us this win tonight because it had been awhile for Broward.”
“I can’t take credit for it all as I had a bunch of talented guys around me tonight, including Chris [Cotto],” Monaco said. “He’s just an animal out there. I know that if I put it in his hands he’s going to do something special with it and you saw that out there tonight. He was ready to play tonight.”
Following a first half in which both defenses dominated with Broward taking a 2-0 lead to the locker room, thanks to a second quarter safety, the Dade stars, after finishing with minus-one yard of offense in the first half, finally got going when Carol City quarterback Stephen “Buckshot” Calvert led them down field. First, he found Miami Springs wide receiver David Bradley for 27 yards on a third-and-7 to the Broward 30 and then, facing third and 10 at the 20, found Bradley again for a 20 yard touchdown putting Dade up 7-2 with 2:28 left in the third.
But Monaco and Moss had a quick answer. Even after Flanagan’s Nikholi Jaghai had his 95 yard kickoff return called back on the ensuing kickoff, Broward went 70 yards on five plays, with Monaco finding Cotto over the middle for a 34-yard touchdown to put Broward up 10-7.