The “Patriot Bowl” is the annual battle for neighborhood bragging rights between the two schools, and a big crowd at Traz Powell Stadium came out to watch. When it was over, the fans from Miramar went home a happy bunch following their team’s impressive and lopsided 34-6 victory over American.
While the win is not official, it was still big for new Miramar coach Pierre Senatus, the former Booker T. Washington assistant who took over a program that was mired in turmoil and controversy last season.
“A humongous event [Saturday night], and a great performance by this football team and a great job by my coaches preparing the kids,” Senatus said. “Nothing like playing a class team in American in a great environment like this. We’ve got all-state-quality kids who came out here and got the job done, and the Darkside defense hasn’t gone anywhere.”
Senatus watched as his defense, led by defensive end Terrell Lucas, who had a pair of sacks and double-digit tackles, showed that it has the potential to live up to famous Darkside defenses of the past, holding American to less than 100 yards of offense.
Miramar fell behind in the first minute of the game when, after Korel Smith fumbled the opening kickoff away, setting American up at the 31, quarterback Ranny Williams scored from 17 yards to make it 6-0.
But Miramar would control the rest of the first half, and it was thanks mainly in part to American’s inability to get a punt off. Three different snaps were either high or low, forcing punter Jamal Smith to take off running. He didn’t get far, giving Miramar short fields.
Miramar took advantage of the situation twice. First, when on fourth-and-two running back Gergori McCrae bolted 15 yards for a touchdown with 1:06 left in the first quarter.
With just over a minute left until halftime, Miramar was set up at the American 17 following another muffed punt attempt. Two plays later, sophomore running back Kyeshaad Pennywell showed why he’s going to get plenty of looks from college scouts. He literally pushed a pile of five American defenders into the end zone to complete a 6-yard touchdown run 42 seconds before halftime.
Miramar wasn’t done. After a long American kickoff return set it up at the Miramar 40, quarterback Steve Hollingsworth was jarred from behind while attempting to run.
The ball popped out, and Miramar’s Korel Smith grabbed it in mid-air and took off down the sidelines for a 65-yard scoop and score to make it 21-6 at the half.
▪ Westminster Christian Preseason Tournament — Westminster d. Killian (25-21, 25-19): Nikkia Benitez 9 kills, 5 digs. Priscilla Hernandez 5 kills, 9 digs. Tiffany Jones 4 kills. Ingrid Savola 11 assists, 5 digs
▪ Westminster Christian Preseason Tournament — Westminster d. Southwest (25-10, 25-14): Cici Hernandez 5 kills, 15 points, 6 digs. Quinn Blanco 21 assists, 4 kills, 4 aces. Gaby Miller 5 kills. Sophia Poveda 3 aces, 6 digs.