It only figured that after 47 minutes and 58 seconds of offensive utility, that it would ironically come down to a spectacular offensive play that would decide Wednesday afternoon’s key District 16-7A contest between South Miami and Miami Springs.
And that’s exactly what we got. After both teams had battled to a scoreless tie, the game appeared to be headed to overtime. But someone forgot to tell South Miami quarterback A.J. Wright and his freshman wide receiver Gabriel Nealy that.
Wright dropped back and heaved a classic Hail Mary bomb towards the Miami Springs end zone. And after a Springs defender deflected the ball in the air, Nealy was there to snag the rebound for a 44-yard touchdown giving the Cobras a dramatic 6-0 walk-off win over the Hawks at Tropical Park Field.
And a huge win it was for South Miami which currently occupies the eighth and final playoff spot in Region 4-7A heading into this week’s action and moved their overall record to 6-2. The Cobras will be looking to lock down their first postseason berth since 2011 when they take on Mater Academy at Milander Stadium next week.
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“I’ve been playing and coaching for a long time and never been a part of something as wild as this,” said a euphoric South Miami coach Rick Munne. “All the credit goes to our kids for hanging in there all day and finding a way to get this win. It’s a real credit to them and my coaches for getting this program turned in the right direction.”
“It’s incredible because I’ve seen Hail Mary plays on television so many times and never actually thought I would be a part of one,” said Nealy. “I just saw the ball coming down and was hoping for a deflection and I got one. What a big win for us.”
Miami Springs (4-4) entered the game with an outside shot at the No. 8 spot if it had won but was eliminated with the loss.
District 14-1A –
Boys’ Team results: 1. Westminster Academy 18, 2. South Florida HEAT 58; 3. Sheridan Hills Christian 69; Posnack 96; Individual: 1. DeAngulo, Joshua (WA) 19:17.70; 2. Edouard, Saahr (WA) 19:27.80; 3. Alday, Cason (WA) 19:40.80; 4. Castellvi, Joseph (SFH) 19:41.20; 5. Rowe, Nicholas (WA) 20:23.80; 6. Sheyda, Ian (SFH) 20:40.30; 7. Beaupied, Brandon (WA) 20:47.50; 8. Miller, Christian (SFH) 20:48.00; 9. Brown, Matthew (WA) 21:28.10; 10. DeAngulo, Benjamin (WA) 22:15.90; 11. Kastritis, Daniel (WA) 22:25.40; 12. Chipman, TJ (SHC) 22:25.60; 13. Anding, Ethan (SHC) 23:10.00; 14. Kuyper, Jacob (CSC) 23:24.40; 15. Cunningham, John Paul (SHC) 23:45.40.
Girls’ team results: 1. Westminster Academy 22; 2. South Florida HEAT 33; 3. Posnack 77; Individuals: 1. Hincapie, Jasmine (WA) 21:49.30; 2. Forrester, Rebecca (WA) 23:47.30; 3. Simonson, Hayley (SFH) 24:57.50; 4. Saville, Paige (SFH) 25:35.10; 5. Franta, Drew (WA) 25:56.60; 6. McCormick, Meghan (WA) 26:00.70; 7. Allison, Gracie (SFH) 26:06.50; 8. Jacaty, Ragan (WA) 26:15.50; 9. Anderton, Cecily (SFH) 26:48.50; 10. Nork, Margaret (SFH) 27:10.40; 11. Neilen, Reagan (WA) 28:49.40; 12. Cohen, Oreen (POS) 28:49.50; 13. McGee, Grace (SFH) 29:13.20; 14. Demydenko, Daria (SHC) 30:07.70; 15. Yehezqel, Isabel (POS) 30:09.10.