Trailing by two points with three minutes left in the game, Miami Gulliver Prep quarterback Jowan Watson didn’t flinch.
Having already enjoyed a huge night, Watson calmly drove the Private All-Stars down the field in the final minute to set the stage for a 22-yard field goal with nine seconds left on the clock to give the team a dramatic 22-21 win over the Public squad in front of a packed house of more than 2,500 at Monsignor Pace High School in the Sixth Annual Tru Sports Founation Private/Public All-Star Game.
Watson finished the night completing 12 of 24 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 45 yards on nine carries to earn the game’s Offensive MVP honors.
The game winner came off the foot of Hunter Tullock of North Broward Prep, who drilled the field goal that gave the Private team a 4-2 lead in the series.
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The MVP voting was close because Watson was the first to admit when the night was over that Johnny Rembert was a big key to his success.
In a strange set of circumstances where Rembert played all year for Miami Springs High School, he jumped over to play for the Private side because he actually attends classes at Center of Life Academy, a small charter school near Miami Springs.
Rembert finished the night with seven catches for 181 yards and caught all three Watson touchdown passes, the last one a 46 yarder with 10:10 left that gave the Private squad a 19-15 lead.
“He didn’t get in here until midway through last week but he’s ridiculous, he’s a play-maker,” Watson said of Rembert. “He just understands coverages, he can read the corners like nobody else and just makes plays.”
On that last drive, which included a pair of catches by Rembert, Watson had little doubt he would get his team down the field.
“Never had a doubt I could get my team down the field on that last drive,” Watson said. “I really wanted to try and get it in the end zone and not count on necessarily getting the field goal, but it all worked out.”
The Public squad had gone ahead on a 3-yard touchdown run by Goleman running back Tory Myers with 3:06 left, but the extra point was blocked — setting the stage for the Private team’s last drive.
“I was just really blessed to have that kid as my quarterback this past year,” said Private team coach Raviel Maisonette, who is Gulliver’s offensive coordinator. “He did a great job all year for us, so composed and such a high-character guy and I always had the full belief that he would get us down there on that last drive. We had been in many tough spots at Gulliver and he responded then as well.”
Said Rembert, a young man of few words who declined to get into the circumstances of how he wound up on the Private team: “Just trying to make a few plays, that’s about it.”
Miramar defensive tackle Bryto Dieujuste was named the game’s Defensive MVP with a dozen tackles.