After dominant wins in their first two playoff games, Chaminade-Madonna’s return to postseason prominence now just one win from being complete.
On the back of Shaun Shivers’ five rushing touchdowns, the Lions are headed to the state championship game for the first time since 2005 following a victory over Melbourne Central Catholic on Friday night from Hustler Stadium.
“This is storybook,” Chaminade coach Dameon Jones said. “I’m just happy for these kids. Forget me, it’s all about these kids.”
Chaminade (10-3) drove the field in blink on the game’s opening possession, capping an 11-play, 65 yard drive with a Shivers plunge from a yard out.
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It took Melbourne Central Catholic (11-1) just over a minute to return a scoring blow when Levi Wilson hauled in a 15-yard touchdown reception from Joaquin Collazo. The score remained tied for a mere 58 seconds after Shivers was able to burst through and pass the Hustlers defense for the 64-yard rushing touchdown.
Melbourne Central Catholic closed within four points when Lorenzo Hardy scored on a 30-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter — the closest the margin got the remainder of the contest. However, Shivers again had the answer, scoring a 9-yard rushing touchdown only 26 seconds later. The run was set up by a 71-yard run from Keyondre White.
“We were resilient,” Shivers said. “I knew we had to get a response and I’m happy with the way we came together as a team.”
Shivers put the game away following a 74-yard touchdown rumble down the sideline. Keontra Smith intercepted Hustlers quarterback Joaquin Collazo and closed the scoring with a 6-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Shivers ended his night with 260 rushing yards on 26 carries with five touchdowns.
Collazo was intercepted twice and sacked three times as the Lions defense held a previously undefeated juggernaut 32 points below their season average.
“Defense was the key,” Jones said “I had faith in our defense and that they’ll be able to handle their business. I just happy for my team, the administrators and the school.”
Chaminade will play Trinity Christian Academy for the Class 3A state championship on Dec. 10 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.