Cornerback D.J. Crawford saw the pass coming. An errant throw from Isiah Velez landed straight in Crawford’s arms during the second quarter of the Dade-Broward All-Star football game on Friday night.
As Crawford, a standout for the Fort Lauderdale Flying L’s this past season, weaved and bobbed past potential tacklers while returning the interception, he had one goal.
“Get the touchdown,” Crawford said afterward with a smile.
And by the nose of a football, he did. It was one of several statement moments for the Broward All-Stars, who left Traz Powell Stadium with a 35-0 win over their rivals one county to the south.
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“They did what we thought they would do based off what we saw at practice,” said Fort Lauderdale’s Richard Dunbar, who coached the Broward team. “It transferred to the field.”
Crawford, who wasn’t on the initial roster, was named the game’s defensive Most Valuable Player after recording a pair of interceptions, including the pick six. Western quarterback Jesse Rivera earned offensive MVP honors after throwing a pair of touchdown passes in the win, the first a 19-yard strike to Cardinal Gibbons tight end Nik Ognenovic in the first quarter and the second to Stranahan’s Jonathan Solomon with 3:45 left in the game to force the running clock.
The Dade All-Stars, meanwhile, struggled to find any momentum throughout the game. The offense turned the ball over four times. The defense missed tackles. Penalties handicapped drives. They had one true scoring opportunity on their opening drive. It ended with Coral Reef’s Daniel Henderson missing a 31-yard field goal attempt wide right.
And then there was the chippiness. Multiple scuffles broke out in the second half. The last one, which came after a fourth-quarter kickoff once Broward went up 28-0, resulted in referees talking to both teams’ coaches near midfield. The game eventually resumed.
“It’s always competitive, everybody always wants to win,” Rivera said. “I’m not saying everybody should get chippy like that. But when it happens, it’s understandable. We’re all getting into the game.”
Some other standout performers from Friday’s game:
▪ Plantation American Heritage running back Lavelton Williams: He opened scoring with a 10-yard rushing touchdown that was set up after he broke off a 44-yard run earlier on the Broward team’s opening drive. He almost had a second touchdown in the third quarter but fumbled the ball out of the end zone.
▪ Fort Lauderdale receiver Stanley Robinson: With Dunbar opting for a bit of trickery in the second half, Robinson executed a pair of double passes to perfection, finding St. Thomas Aquinas receiver Jamal Cooney both times for 31 yards.
▪ St. Thomas Aquinas running back Nigel White: The senior finished with 61 rushing yards and a second-half touchdown.