Miramar was hoping to use its game against Plantation on Thursday night as a tune-up for next week’s showdown with nationally ranked power and nemesis St. Thomas Aquinas, a chance to clean up some mistakes against a quality opponent.
The Patriots, ranked sixth in the Miami Herald’s Top 20 poll, didn’t exactly sparkle. But they survived, posting a 28-14 victory over the 11th-ranked Colonels (2-1) in a game that featured 28 combined penalties for a grand total of 303 yards.
“I’m still traumatized by all the penalties,” Miramar coach Damon Cogdell said. “It was a sloppy game. It took forever.
“But it is what it is. A win is a win.’’
Miramar was flagged 12 times for 147 yards in the game. Plantation was flagged 16 times for 156 yards. More than 15 of the penalties were unsportsmanlike penalties, late hits or personal fouls.
Miramar (3-0) led 7-0 at halftime despite doubling Plantation’s offensive output. The Patriots, however, turned it up in the second half, scoring twice in the third quarter on a 1-yard TD run by junior tailback Alex Anderson (6-1, 200 pounds) and a 6-yard keeper by quarterback Nick Jeanty, who scored twice in the game on runs.
Plantation finally broke through with 10:46 remaining when junior Markel Yarbrough (5-9, 165) scored on a short 2-yard run. It was the first time this season Miramar’s defense had yielded a touchdown, a span of 11-plus quarters to open the season.
“When we let up that touchdown it was a stab to the heart. It stunk,” said Miramar middle linebacker Ryan Samuels, who forced a fumble in the first quarter and intercepted a pass by Plantation quarterback Chris Lammons late in the first half deep in Patriots territory.
“I’m just glad we got the win. One of my goals coming into this season was to make more turnovers, and I did that [Thursday night].’’
Senior Eric Pittman had the game’s flashy play moments after Plantation’s first touchdown.
He took a handoff and shimmied his way past defenders at the line of scrimmage before sprinting and following his blockers down the field on a 58-yard touchdown run. Pittman finished with 148 yards on 12 carries.
Lammons, a University of Florida commitment at cornerback, ran for 92 yards on 16 carries and completed 13 of 27 passes for 191 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown strike to Jewison Dawkins with under two minutes to play.
Now, the Raiders are next. Miramar has won two in a row in the annual series.
“I always hated when we had to play them all the time,” Cogdell said. “But at the same time, it’s become a great series for us.”