American Heritage running backs Lavelton Williams and Tyler Jones pounded the interior of Chaminade-Madonna’s defensive front and it wasn’t good for the Lions. The pair combined for 231 yards on 40 carries and a pair of Williams’ scoring runs as Heritage defeated Chaminade 31-21 in a non-district game between two defending state champions Friday at Chaminade-Madonna Prep.
Williams finished with 131 yards and Jones 100 yards, each with 20 carries.
But it was a big pass play, set up by the running game, that created the separation the Patriots (4-1) needed.
Senior quarterback Edwin Rhodes completed a 60-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Douglas Emilien on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 28-14 lead.
Rhodes finished the night with 202 yards on 11-of-17 passing.
“That’s a hell of a big win,” Heritage coach Patrick Surtain said. “The thing about it is we got back to playing our brand of football in smashmouth football.”
The game was only the second in Broward County history played between defending state champions from the previous year.
The other was St. Thomas Aquinas versus Flanagan in 2016.
Williams scored the first of his two first-half touchdowns on a 24-yard run through the gut of the Lions’ defense giving the Patriots a 7-0 lead. Chaminade-Madonna tied the score on sophomore running back Thaddius Franklin’s 6-yard run with 6:04 left in the first half.
Williams added his second score just before the break with an 8-yard run for a 14-7 lead. That completed a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took just under five minutes off the clock.
The Lions (3-2) tied the score at 14 when Diedrick Stanley returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown with 7:20 left in the third.
The Patriots went back to what they have been doing best and that was running the football.
Rhodes completed a nine-play drive on a 4-yard run for the go-ahead score late in the third quarter.