High School Sports

Coral Park edges Varela in second consecutive win

Coral Park experienced victory last week for the first time in over a year.

The next step is learning how to win on a consistent basis.

The Rams got a taste of that Thursday afternoon when they held off Varela in the closing minutes of a 13-12 victory at Tropical Park.

Coral Park (2-1) picked up its second consecutive win after breaking an 11-game losing skid last week.

“It just shows these kids are learning what it takes to persevere and win tight games,” Coral Park coach Ralph Jimenez said. “We still have a long road ahead of us and we understand the challenges in front of us, but if we continue to believe in each other, we’ll become an even better team.”

Rams running back Marcus Ruiz capped a 60-yard drive for the Rams with a 1-yard, go-ahead touchdown that put Coral Park (2-1) ahead 13-6 with 5:46 left.

The Vipers (1-1) answered with a long drive of their own and scored on a 20-yard touchdown by Eddie Arocho with 3:15 remaining.

Varela chose to go for two and the lead, but linebacker Juan Gonzalez surged through and grabbed Giovanny Matos’ leg to help bring him down short of the goal line.

The Rams, who ran for 163 yards overall, recovered the ensuing onside kick and picked up a pair of first downs that allowed them to run out the clock.

“Everybody comes in every day and puts in the work and you see the strides of the program,” Ruiz said. “Our coach is incredible and a great man. He cares for us and is there for us in whatever we need.”