When the season began, most prognosticators had Flanagan and Miramar picked to finish 1-2 in District 12-8A. One week in, the Falcons and Patriots are both looking up in the standings.
Plantation, the newcomer to the district and perennial playoff team the past few years in Class 7A, did its part Friday. The Colonels forced three turnovers, rode their running game and then held on late for a 20-12 win at Miramar.
The Patriots (1-3, 0-1) had one final shot at the end zone when quarterback D’Angelo Fulford heaved a Hail Mary as time expired. But senior safety Darius Young (5-10, 170 pounds) was there to bat the pass away from 6-3, 185-pound receiver Brian Edwards and preserve the victory for the Colonels (3-1, 1-0).
“Our whole purpose was to come down here and get a victory,” Plantation coach Steve Davis said. “We knew in this district it’s going to be tight all year long. I don’t know how you pick anybody to be the favorite in this district. Every week you’ve just got to be ready to play.”
On Friday, it was the Colonels who came out ready. Plantation’s defense held Miramar to minus-6 yards rushing at the half and rode the legs of its three-pronged rushing attack of Maurice Lawrence, Jordan Johnson and Deonte “Porkchop” Wright to a 7-0 halftime lead.
The trio combined for 217 of Plantation’s 252 yards rushing on the night. Lawrence scored the first touchdown on a 3-yard run with 4:06 remaining in the first half.
Wright then made it 13-0 when scored on a 3-yard run with 11:17 remaining in the game. Down 13-0, Miramar’s offense finally got rolling behind Fulford.
He connected on a 35-yard scoring strike to Karon Brown and later found Aundrey Henley on a 6-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter to trim Plantation’s lead to 20-12 with 6:13 remaining. But Lawrence’s 25-yard scamper with 9:32 left proved to be the difference.
Fulford finished 22 of 45 with 236 yards passing.
“We just got some key turnovers that got us real good field position early and our running game was outstanding tonight,” Davis said. “And defensively, that’s the style we play and we want to play. Now, we’ve got to focus on next week and Cypress Bay.”