Fresh off of their win over Monsignor Pace and first district title in the history of the program, the Mater Academy flag football team was in no mood to let its history-making run in the state playoffs come to an end.
And it didn’t as the Lions traveled to Miramar High School on Saturday afternoon and, thanks to some late-game heroics from quarterback Alondra Angulo, knocked off the Patriots 12-6 in a first round play-in game. Mater now moves on to a second round play-in game on Tuesday where they will host Archbishop McCarthy, a 24-0 winner over Everglades, at Milander Stadium at 4 or 7 p.m. The winner will earn a berth in the state quarterfinals and a trip to Tallahassee next weekend.
“What a big win for this program especially coming against a former district rival in Miramar as this was always a game we could never get over the hump with,” said Mater coach Luis Sanchez. “We’ve been working hard, we have a good group of hard-working girls and we weren’t content with just winning a district title, we wanted to keep moving on and we are.”
Sanchez watched as his star player, Angulo engineered a brilliant six play, 65 yard drive in the final 1:35 of regulation before hitting Mercy Gonzalez over the middle for a 10 yard touchdown with just 20 seconds left to snap a 6-6 tie.
“She’s an athlete and just gets it done on both sides of the ball,” said Sanchez of Angulo. “She’s a special player and really made some big plays today.”
After a scoreless first half, the Lions took the lead midway through the third quarter on the strength of Angulo’s legs. Facing a third-and-10 at her own 10, she scrambled to her right, bobbed and weaved her way through three different Patriot defenders and took off down the sideline for a 68 yard run to the two. Two plays later, she pitched it to Emily Acosta who ran it in for a 6-0 lead.
Miramar tied the game two minutes into the fourth quarter when Tyshaia Thornton found Indya Vassell on an 18 yard touchdown pass and, after a Mater punt, appeared to be headed for the winning score as they drove to the Mater 15. But Acosta then picked off a tipped pass near the goal line and returned to her own 15 setting up the game-winning drive.
“Mercy was the primary on the play,” said Angulo. “I looked, there she was and it was just a matter of getting the ball to her. Nobody thought we could beat Pace last week and that was great but now we feel like we can beat anyone so let’s keep going.”
Jack Harris 16 kills. Julian Xuarez 30 digs. KIL 22-5.