Miramar would not have the same letdown it had last season in another Week 10 showdown against Western with major playoff implications.
In A.J. Scott’s first full season at the helm at Miramar, the Patriots are back to playing district-championship football. After dropping the same game last season at home, Miramar got a little bit of revenge — and clinched District 12-8A in the process.
The Patriots will make their first playoff appearance since 2013 after winning a 27-25 battle against the Wildcats. They had missed the postseason by finishing third in the district each of the past two seasons, and in 2014, the Patriots qualified but had to self-impose a playoffs ban.
Running back Ralph Hughey ran for a touchdown and threw for one while quarterback Steve Williams threw for 130 yards and ran for 66. Receivers Dominick Watt and Terrence Horne each caught touchdown passes in the win.
Hughey, who ended up with 85 rushing yards, gave the Patriots a 24-17 lead late in the third quarter, bolting through a gaping hole through the middle after surging off left tackle.
After Miramar kicker Thomas Zapata kicked his second field goal to make it a 10-point advantage, Western pulled within two after a Harrison Story touchdown pass to Jaeden Fagan and two-point conversion. The Patriots recovered the ensuing onside kick and were able to run out the clock.
Western pulled even at 17 with Miramar midway through the third quarter on a short field goal from sophomore Danny Panchookian, who was on for a kick worth points for the first time all season.
Miramar took a 17-14 lead into halftime. Senior receiver Horne took a screen 55 yards down the left sideline to give the lead back to the Patriots on the first play from scrimmage after Western scored on a 7-yard plunge from senior running back Daniel Colon.
Miramar missed an opportunity to add to its lead before the half. Getting down to the Western 3-yard line after recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to Horne’s touchdown, the Patriots went for it on fourth down and were stuffed on the inside run.
The Patriots took a 10-8 lead early in the second quarter when Hughey took a handoff and threw it deep to Watt, connecting with him for a 49-yard score.
Western opened the scoring with a 1-yard sneak from Harrison Story on its opening drive and added a two-point conversion. Story hit Fagan for a key 22-yard gain on the opening play after Miramar turned it over on downs on the Patriots’ opening drive.
▪ District 16-3A – Boys’ team: 1. Belen Jesuit 15; 2. Doral 74; 3. Terra 80; 4. Mater Academy 96; 5. Hialeah-Miami Lakes 115; Individuals: 1. Joshua Collins (BEL) 15:59.59; 2. Lucas de la Hoz (BEL) 16:47.08; 3. Diego Gomez (BEL) 16:47.69; 4. Adam Magoulas (BEL) 16:49.78; 5. Cesar Aguzzi (BEL) 16:51.54; Girls’ team: 1. Reagan 41; 2. Northwestern 48; 3. Mater Academy 75; 4. Terra 100; 5. Doral 129; Individuals: 1. Valerie Lastra (MA) 18:46.09; 2. Daniela Raime (RR) 20:29.62; 3. Nina Burgos (NW) 21:03.49; 4. Ayoola Gbolade (NW) 21:16.12; 5. Jinah Mickens-Malik (MA) 21:44.95.
▪ District 16-4A – Boys’ team: 1. Ferguson 39; 2. Braddock 41; 3. Coral Reef 49; 4. Homestead 114; 5. Sunset 167; Individuals: 1. Austin Redondo (CR) 16:14.75; 2. Hunter Dobbs (CR) 16:15.74; 3. Guillermo Rojas (FER) 16:21.74; 4. Eliseo Torres (BR) 16:24.81; 5. Alejandro Morillo (FER) 16:46.55; Girls’ team: 1. Braddock 33; 2. Ferguson 41; 3. Palmetto 85; 4. Coral Reef 100; 5. South Dade 112; Individuals: 1. Maria Fernandez (BR) 19:22.89; 2. Jordan Shapiro (PAL) 19:34.26; 3. Ana Rodriguez (FER) 19:40.29; 4. Rebecca Bergnes (BR) 19:48.56; 5. Bianca Banato (FER) 19:54.70.
▪ District 13-1A – Boys’ team: 1. Kings Academy 29; 2. Lake Worth Christian 61; 3. Highlands Christian 77; Individuals: 1. Ryan Szklany (HC) 16:05.00; 8. Josiah Novick (HC) 18:50.50.