Second-half adjustments and a blocked field goal helped the Coral Reef Barracudas (5-2) hand North Miami (5-1) their first loss of the season on Friday night, defeating the Pioneers at North Miami Stadium.
With two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Coral Reef blocked what could have been a game-winning, 37-yard field goal by kicker Jackson Denis to secure the victory.
“That’s what champions are made of. We’re not champions yet, but that’s what we’re working toward,” Coral Reef coach Chevas Clements said of the play. “We have to be able to come up with big plays at the end of the game.”
The Barracudas struggled offensively in the first half, managing just nine passing yards and 67 yards on the ground in the first two quarters of the game. But the Pioneers were not able to take advantage, only managing to take a 13-7 lead into the third quarter.
After a field goal by the Pioneers made it a two-score game with 8:23 remaining in the third quarter, the Barracudas responded with a field goal of their own to cut the deficit back down to six points and made several key stops to shut down the North Miami offense.
Coral Reef’s game-winning drive came early in the fourth quarter as running back Jordan Edwards — who finished with a team-high 74 yards rushing on 11 carries — helped move the chains and fellow running back. Devonte Jones capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to give the Barracudas their first lead of the game, which proved to be just enough.