Everyone knew Killian’s defense was strong, but on Saturday night at Tropical Park, it had to lift the Cougars to victory against a tough Carol City team in a game filled with offensive struggles.
Behind two defensive touchdowns and another score that was set up by a blocked punt, Killian took down Carol City 20-16 in the season debut for both teams.
“It’s Miami Killian. That’s how we do things around here,” Killian coach Cory Johnson said of his team’s tradition of defense. “That’s how I came up [playing for Killian]. That’s how we’re going to keep it around here.”
With Carol City leading 16-13 and driving, it appeared the Chiefs were in control, but Sheldrick Redwine took an interception 53 yards down the sideline for the game-winning score early in the fourth quarter.
Jaquan Johnson sealed it in the final minute with an interception on a deep pass on fourth down.
Johnson also scored in the first quarter on an 11-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown on a screen pass that went backwards. Redwine blocked the punt that set up Cliff Smith’s 1-yard keeper for a touchdown.
The game was such a struggle for Killian offensively that its total offense (127) barely edged its penalty yardage (125).
The night began with a 79-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff for the Chiefs’ top prospect Rashad Fenton. He was later ejected for throwing an elbow at a player whose helmet fell off mid-play and faces a minimum of a seven-day suspension.
Carol City’s Stephen “Buckshot” Calvert went 19 for 36 for 184 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Killian faces South Miami next on Thursday.
Nakia Robinson took one of Phillips’ passes 63 yards for the game’s final score. Terrance Rutherford caught five passes for 81 yards to lead the Generals.
“Our receivers ran great routes [Saturday],” Phillips said. “They fought off the line of scrimmage and got open when I needed them.”
Phillips, who went 9 of 18 for 178 yards and also rushed for a team leading 90 yards on seven carries which included a 60 yard burst up the middle late in the fourth quarter.
“The play called for a pass, but I saw the hole and all that grass in front of me,” Phillips said of his long jaunt. “I just wanted to do whatever it took to help my team.”
NMB could never get anything going offensively. Quarterback Cedric Wiggins led the Chargers with 21 yards rushing. He finished the game 11 of 28 for 99 yards and an interception.
The Chargers were also penalized 16 times for 160 yards and committed two personal fouls in the red zone on third downs that extended drives for the Generals.
Prior to the game, during warmups, senior wide receiver William Pollack collided with a teammate and sustained a broken leg. Pollack was engaged in passing drills with cornerback Kevin Lipscomb and the two crashed to the ground.
Pollack was assisted by paramedics until an ambulance came to take him to a local hospital.