High School Sports

Columbus, Hialeah, Deerfield Beach, Belen win district football titles

Columbus Explorers’ Henry Parrish (4) runs the ball against Booker T. Washington Tornadoes during the football game on Friday, September 14, 2018 at Curtis Park Stadium in Miami
Columbus Explorers’ Henry Parrish (4) runs the ball against Booker T. Washington Tornadoes during the football game on Friday, September 14, 2018 at Curtis Park Stadium in Miami For the Miami Herald

Running back Henry Parrish scored three touchdowns, tight end Michael Cruz-Bustillo added two more and the Columbus defense made pivotal plays throughout the night as the Explorers defeated Coral Gables 36-21 on Friday night at Tropical Park to win their second straight District 14-8A title.

Columbus, which is now a perfect 10-0 in the regular season after Carol City had to forfeit its Sept. 7 win over the Explorers, jumped out to a 21-7 halftime lead bookended by a pair of Parrish touchdown runs and never looked back despite Coral Gables (5-4, 3-1) pushing to within one score twice.

On defense, the Explorers forced a safety in the third quarter and Xzavier Henderson intercepted a pass in the end zone that set up Parrish’s third touchdown of the game.

Hialeah 30, North Miami 21: The Hialeah T-Breds did more than post one of the best seasons in program history under first-year coach Gary Sanchez.

On Friday night, they became District 13-8A champions after defeating North Miami.

The T-Breds (8-1, 5-0 district) jumped out to a 20-6 halftime lead before holding off a second-half rally from the Pioneers (5-4, 4-1).

Hialeah, despite having a young team and a new coach, made a statement all year. It opened with a 42-0 shutout of Miami Springs and then, after a loss at Gulf Coast, has rattled off seven consecutive wins with only Friday’s game against North Miami being decided by fewer than 10 points.

Deerfield Beach 35, Piper 0: It was a good run by the Piper Bengals this year, but District 11-8A belongs to the Deerfield Bucks.

Deerfield Beach (9-1, 5-0), an annual contender to make it to state whose lone loss this year is to St. Thomas Aquinas, made quick work of Piper (6-3, 4-1) to close out district play undefeated.

Outside of the St. Thomas Aquinas loss, the Bucks have outscored opponents 314-62 this year. That includes a 13-10 win over defending Class 3A state champion Chaminade-Madonna to open the year and a 19-14 win against annual Georgia powerhouse Buford.

Belen Jesuit 56, Southwest 20: Belen wasted no time locking up its fifth consecutive District 15-8A title.

The Wolverines (7-2, 5-0) were led on Friday by Donald Chaney Jr. who ran for 284 yards on 15 carries and had 3 touchdowns. Daniel Esteban also contributed 10 carries for 124 yards and Dorian Gonzalez had 2 touchdown runs.

The Wolverines once again made quick work of their district competition, winning all five games by a combined score of 219-52. Their lone losses this year were its season opener to a good Class 3A Delray American Heritage and 8A state contender Columbus.

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