American Heritage won every game that counted last season on its way to a state championship.
The Patriots didn’t forget the preseason defeat that propelled them to that 14-game winning streak.
A year after Booker T. Washington beat American Heritage on its home field in a preseason kickoff classic, the Patriots returned the favor with a 42-27 victory Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium.
Heritage entered the game ranked No. 12 nationally by MaxPreps and forced seven turnovers, including five interceptions by its vaunted defense to take down the Tornadoes, who came in ranked 11th by USA Today.
The Patriots’ vaunted secondary led by Patrick Surtain, Jr. and Tyson Campbell broke up several first-half passes and put constant pressure on Booker T. Washington quarterback Daniel Richardson.
Heritage built a 35-7 lead late in the first half after a pair of interception returns for a touchdown by Anthony Schwartz and Andrew Chatfield, both major FBS recruits.
Booker T. turned the ball over in the red zone three times in the first half.
Schwartz picked off a pass over the middle and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown to give Heritage a 21-7 lead.
With the Tornadoes pinned deep in their territory on the ensuing possession, Chatfield picked off Richardson and made a quick 10-yard trot to the end zone for another touchdown.
Surtain Jr., rated the No. 1 cornerback in the country, left the game with an injury in the first half and was kept out for precautionary reasons. His father, Heritage coach Pat Surtain, said he suffered a mild MCL injury likely a sprain to his right knee.
Heritage receiver and Vanderbilt commit Miles Jones broke loose early in the game for a 49-yard touchdown run and later caught a 61-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cameron Smith.
Booker T., which had its state-record four-year run of state championships snapped by Cocoa in the state semifinals last year, struck first when Richardson found Jovan Ferguson in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown.
Richardson set up the play with a 54-yard strike to Tyquan Thornton over the middle on the game’s first play.
Richardson threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second half to Ferguson and Zahir Turner to cut the deficit to 35-27. But Heritage put the game away on a 3-yard touchdown run by Jordan Johnson.
Richardson threw for over 450 yards and four touchdown passes as well as the five interceptions.
▪ Coral Gables 24, Mater Academy 0: Gilbert Frierson caught two touchdown passes to lead the host Cavaliers, who enter the season with high hopes following an appearance in the Class 8A regional finals.
Williams passed for 132 yards on 6-of-8 passing and threw one of the touchdowns to Frierson, and Harrison Easton threw the other. Frierson caught three passes for 81 yards.
▪ Champagnat Catholic 35, Hialeah 12: A few weeks after the University of Miami, following their Canes Paradise Camp, made an official offer to Champagnat wide receiver/safety Marc Britt, the Lions sophomore made the Canes look awfully smart on Friday night.
That’s because not only was Britt in on some big defensive plays, but caught five passed for 85 yards and reeled in two touchdown passes, both in the fourth quarter as the Lions pulled away to beat the crosstown rival T-Breds in a Preseason Kickoff Classic at Milander Stadium.
“The Canes showed their confidence in me and I want to go out this season and let them know they’ve got the right guy,” said Britt who doesn’t plan on making any decisions on where to go for awhile in anticipation of other offers. “Tonight was a big win because we wanted to get the season off on the right foot.”
Leading just 7-6 early in the fourth quarter, Britt reeled in a 5 yard touchdown pass from Kervin Dessources.
One play later, the T-Breds cut the lead back to 14-12 when Jyzion Wade hit Jason Lubin in a quick slant over the middle that turned into an 80-yard catch-and-run touchdown. But Champagnat answered right back as the Lions put together an eight play, 93-yard drive and when Britt went up high and reeled in a 25-yarder in spectacular fashion, Champagnat led 21-12 with 5:44 left.
The Lions, who are looking for a return trip to Orlando where they were the Class 2A state runnerup last season and certainly looked the part, recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and tacked on two late scores to complete the scoring.
Led by bookend defensive ends UM commit Greg Rousseau and Alabama-bound Jesus Machado, the Champagnat defense dominated for most of the night.
Other than the 80-yard score, they gave up very little. Hialeah’s other touchdown as set up by a special teams gaffe when the botched punt gave Hialeah the ball at the Lions two yard line early in the second quarter
Machado sacked Wade three times while Rousseau had six solo tackles, two blocked passes, three quartberback pressures, a sack which resulted in a forced fumble.