High School Sports

Miramar opens in fine fashion, takes aim at Aquinas

Special to the Miami Herald

Looking to end a two-year absence from the playoffs, the Miramar football team got its 2016 season off on the right foot on Friday night as the Patriots cruised past visiting Mater Academy 28-7.

The win came despite the Patriots racking up 170 yards on 17 penalties.

“We definitely looked like a week one team out there tonight,” Miramar coach Pierre Senatus said. “We did some things that were good out there tonight but a lot of things that really need some cleaning up including all those penalties. Seventeen for 170? That’s unacceptable.”

Miramar took a lead it would never relinquish when quarterback Steve Williams found Anthony Needham on a fade pass to the corner of the end zone on third-and-goal from the three with 3:31 left in the first quarter.

The score came two plays after Williams had found Needham for a 17 yard score that was nullified by a penalty and capped an 80 yard, 11-play drive.

Midway through the second quarter, Roddy Evans returned a punt 40 yards to set Miramar up at the Mater 25 and Ralph Hugh bolted around the left side on the next play for a 25 yard touchdown and 14-0 lead.

Miramar’s Chris Smith then came up with back-to-back big plays in the third quarter as he blocked Mater punts on consecutive possessions giving the Patriots a short field both times.

Davon Kendricks and Quino Mauricette scored on short touchdown runs to put the game out of reach.

The vaunted Miramar “Darkside Defense” played shutdown football for most of the night with the Lions, holding Mater to just 58 yards of total offense but watched in disgust when the Lions blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt and Jordan Silva scooped up the loose ball and rambled 65 yards for a score with just 33 left, ruining the shutout.

“Nobody was lined up in the right position and after it was blocked I was digging like crazy to track him (Silva) down,” said Miramar linebacker Devin Adams who was in on a dozen tackles with two sacks and ironically doubles as the team’s placekicker. “Our regular holder was cramping so we had to throw somebody out there and it kind of messed things up.”

But Adams was still pleased over the defense’s overall performance and understands the tradition that needs to be upheld on his side of the ball this season.

“We were flying around everywhere tonight,”?said Adams. “We talked to each other all week about how we have to stay focused because we know all about the Darkside tradition here and that we as a unit are going to have to hold up our end of the bargain this year. Tonight was a good start but it hurt to lose the shutout.”

Even though Mater is a solid team that should be in the playoffs in November, they pale in comparison to Miramar’s opponent next week, St. Thomas Aquinas.

“You always have to be looking to improve every week,”?said Miramar quarterback Steve Williams who enjoyed a solid night completing 10-of-20 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown before giving way to backup Ranny Williams in the fourth quarter.

“Our defense played just great, we just felt bad they lost the shutout late. What do we want to do this year? The bar is set high around here but when you’re playing St. Thomas Aquinas, there is nothing beyond next week.”