Two of the oldest schools in Miami-Dade County squared off for the newest trophy on Wednesday night when Jackson and Miami High met in the first GMAC flag football championship game.
And when it was over, it was the Stingarees hoisting the big trophy as Miami High, thanks to a terrific performance by senior Jeri Richard, shut down Jackson 20-0 at Traz Powell Stadium to keep its record perfect at 10-0.
Richard took off on a pair of long, bobbing and weaving touchdown runs in the first half, including a 52 yarder with no time left on the clock to close out the half. It staked Miami High to a 13-0 lead at the break.
Richard also had an interception on defense from her free safety position and could have had three had it not been for one that was called back by a penalty and another that she dropped.
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“This is awesome to be the first team to do it [win a GMAC title], and now we want to keep things going,” said Richard, who played her first three years of flag football at Mater East Academy and SLAM Academy and now had 22 touchdowns on the season. “This is just the first step. We don’t want to stop until we get all the way to state.”
Said Miami High coach Miriam Yanes: “She’s one of the best players in the county and showed it out there [Wednesday]. Not only is Jeri incredibly talented but plays with good sportsmanship and is a great leader playing on both ends of the field. I’m really proud of the girls, and it’s a privilege to be the first flag team to ever win a GMAC championship.”
Miami High put the game on ice on its first drive of the second half when Richard, on fourth-and-3 from the Jackson 23, found Onalis Garcia over the middle for 22 yards to the 1-yard line before Andresia Sweeting went over the from the 1 on the next play to complete the scoring.
The score could have been more lopsided were it not for interceptions in the end zone of Miami High passes from Jackson’s Cashay Hadley and T’nieya Dotson in the first half.
In the two earlier semifinals, Miami High staved off a late rally to hold on and defeat Hialeah 21-18, and Jackson defeated Ferguson 20-7.