Fifty years after Coral Gables legend Larry Rentz led the Cavaliers to victory over rival Miami High at the Orange Bowl, the Cavaliers sought to reproduce the same magic that lifted the school in its historic 1963 win.
The Cavaliers did just that, running away with a 37-0 victory over the Stingarees on Friday night at Curtis Park, a mere two miles away from the site where the Orange Bowl once stood.
It was a satisfying victory for the Cavaliers, who not only hold bragging rights in one of Dade County’s most historic rivalries until the team’s meet again next year, but also remain perfect in district play.
Coral Gables’ Gregory Howell led the way for the Cavaliers on offense, finishing with 113 yards on the ground and three rushing scores on 18 carries.
“This is a rivalry that used to often decide who went to the state championship and one of the biggest rivalries in the county since before I was born,” Coral Gables coach Roger Pollard said. “A lot of these kids know each other, and we want to grow the rivalry.”
After a scoreless first quarter, it was the Cavaliers defense that put Coral Gables (6-1, 3-0 District 14-8A) on the board with defensive lineman Shakur Cooper tracking down quarterback Murphy Theodore in the end zone for a safety early in the second quarter.
Howell took over shortly thereafter, rushing for a 20-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive and adding a 7-yard touchdown run before the first half was over to give Coral Gables a 16-0 lead at the halfway mark.
The Cavaliers defense was unrelenting in the second half, continuing to swarm the backfield and shutting down the Stingarees (4-3, 1-2) rushing attack and limiting wide receiver Keyshawn “Pie” Young.
The Stingarees never threatened to score in the second half as the Cavaliers pounded away on offense.
“We fly around well and we were solid against the run, which is what we feel we need to do to win games,” Pollard said.
Now the Cavaliers set their sights on Coral Park and moved one step closer to their ultimate goal of winning a district title.
“We want to establish that we are a contender in this district, not by what we say but by what we do,” Pollard said.