Killian swept through the first half of this season led by one of the stingiest defenses in South Florida.
On Wednesday night, the Cougars’ offense, while not dominant, proved itself an effective enough compliment to the defense and helped the team remain unbeaten with a 28-21 win against Coral Gables at Tropical Park.
Killian (6-0), ranked seventh in the Miami Herald’s South Florida Top 20 poll, totaled only 120 yards on offense. But quarterback Antwan Collier found Anthony Olivencia for two pivotal touchdown passes.
“We just had to put drives together on offense,” said Olivencia, who finished with six catches for 45 yards. “We proved wrong a lot of people’s doubts about our offense. We face the best defense in the county every day in practice, and it makes us feel like there’s no one in front of us when we’re out there moving the ball.”
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Coral Gables (4-2), ranked 11th by the Herald, opened the game with a 12-play, 70-yard drive capped by Keino Mike’s 1-yard touchdown run.
But the Cougars’ defense prevented Gables from any more sustained momentum for the next two quarters while its offense came around.
“It’s a huge win for our kids, but we can’t continue to win these games with so many penalties,” Killian coach Cory Johnson said. “It’s something we need to straighten out.”
Then, its playmakers stepped up as they have throughout the season so far.
Senior James Bowe anticipated a pass from Voshon Waiters, intercepted it and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter that put Killian ahead 14-7.
The Cougars did not trail again.
After Collier found Olivencia for a 20-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to give Killian a 21-7 lead, Gables answered when Amir Rasul broke through for a 69-yard touchdown run.
Senior Jaquan Johnson gave Killian a cushion again when he returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown.
“Those kids have been here for four years on our team,” Johnson said. “We expect them to come up in our system and become ball players, and that’s what they’ve done. They hang through all adversity and fight hard.”
CORAL GABLES 21
CG-Mike 1 run (Mourra kick)
KIL-Olivencia 4 pass from Collier (Shojaeinia kick)
KIL-Bowe 43 interception return (Shojaeinia kick)
KIL-Olivencia 20 pass from Collier (Shojaeinia kick)
CG-Rasul 69 run (Mourra kick)
KIL-J. Johnson 60 punt return (Shojaeinia kick)
CG-Saldivar 8 pass from Waiters (Mourra kick)
Rushing (att-yds) -- KIL: Collier 10-1, Herrera 1-6, Thompson 7-13, Johnson 1-15, Mortimore 4-17. CG: Waiters 3-(-21), Fuller 1-(-7), Supre 2-(-5), Romer 1-10, Mike 12-50, Rasul 9-100.
Passing (comp-att-int, yds)-- KIL: Collier 12-19-0, 68. CG: Waiters 8-21-1, 59.
Receiving (rec-yds-TD) -- KIL: Lewis 1-2, Mortimore 1-3, Herrera 1-3, Johnson 2-14, Olivencia 6-45. CG: Rasul 1-(-18), Supre 1-2, Wilson 3-20, Saldivar 3-55.