After a seemingly endless nine-year absence, the much-coveted “Big-T Trophy” is headed back to the hallways of Hialeah-Miami Lakes.
This after an impressive and dominating second-half performance by the Trojans led to 34-0 dismantling of Hialeah on Friday night before a nearly filled Milander Stadium.
It marked Lakes’ first victory over Hialeah since a 31-16 win in 2005.
And the Trojans did it with a series of big plays throughout the second half that began when Simino Walden bolted up the middle for an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to snap a scoreless first-half. And it finished up 90 minutes later when Christoper White picked off a Hialeah pass and bolted 52 yards for a pick six, HMLs second pick six of the half, which capped off a five-touchdown assault with a cluster of big plays and left the Hialeah faithful stunned as the T-Breds fell to 0-3.
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“I never lost the trophy as a player and this means the world to us as an HML family and to bring the tradition back,” said first year Lakes coach Horane Allison, a 2001 HML graduate whose team improved to 1-2. “We wanted to reclaim what’s ours, and this is a big stepping-stone. We broke through in a major way [Friday night], and this will serve as a big springboard for us for the rest of the season.”
After yelling to nobody in particular “tell them to kick me the ball,” as he waited for the second half kickoff, the T-Breds did just that for Walden and off he went on his big-play kickoff return.
“It was just time for us to make a play,” Walden said. “I wanted that ball because I felt ready to make a big play, and it really got us going.”
Said Allison: “We hadn’t scored in our first two weeks, so Simino’s kickoff return was huge. That really sparked us and got us going.
Walden wasn’t done making big plays. Following a safety that made it 8-0, the Trojans drove deep into Hialeah territory and, on third-and-goal from the 13, quarterback Tacarrius Brown found him in the back of the end zone for a score. When the touchdown was nullified by an HML holding penalty, one of an eye-popping 28 penalties for 295 yards on the Trojans for the night, Brown came right back and hit him on the exact same pattern in the back of the end zone. Following Brown’s two-point conversion, Lakes led 16-0 midway through the third.
From there, the Trojans defense, which dominated all night long holding by the T-Breds to 53 total yards, played complete shutdown ball.
They even helped their own cause on the scoreboard when Atonio Howard picked off a Hialeah pass and rambled 75 yards the other way for a touchdown to make it 22-0 and, following a 47-yard Malik Shannon touchdown run with 5:29 left, White got his pick six to complete the scoring.
“Man, this is everything. For this school to not have won this trophy in nine years,” Walden said. “It brings life back into our program. I’m really proud of what we did [Friday night] and can’t wait to get to school on Monday morning and see that trophy in the trophy case back where it belongs.”
HIALEAH-MIAMI LAKES 34,
HML -Walden 88 kickoff return (kick failed)
HML -Safety, Holliday tackled in end zone
HML -Walden 23 pass from Brown (Brown run)
HML -Howard 75 interception return (run failed)
HML -Shannon 47 run (run failed)
HML -White 52 interception return (run failed)
Rushing (att-yds) -- HML: Browns 3-(-8), Walden 3-13, Burns 4-20, Whigham 10-23, Shannon 10-120. HIA: Holliday 3-(-26), Setal 3-(-12), Palau 1-(-4), Charles 2-(-3), Bryant 5-21, Clersier 13-28.
Passing (comp-att-int, yds)-- HML: Browns 3-11-0, 40. HIA: Charles 0-1-0, 0, Holliday 2-5-0, 19, Palau 6-15-3, 24.
Receiving (rec-yds-TD) -- HML: Evans 1-8, Walden 2-32. HIA: Jean 1-(-4), Clersier 1-8, Setal 4-19, Bryant 2-20.