Special teams returner Antonio Spencer and junior quarterback Brody Palhegyi spearheaded a 27-point third quarter as Cardinal Gibbons rolled to a 41-16 victory over Fort Lauderdale in a nondistrict game on Friday at Cardinal Gibbons High.
Spencer had 223 return yards, including a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half.
Palhegyi threw a pair of touchdowns, a 14-yarder to Elisha Edwards and a 12-yard pass to Jackson Marseille. The junior quarterback, who was 13 of 20 for 134 yards, also ran for a 4-yard touchdown with 1:45 left to play in the third quarter
The Chiefs outscored the Flying L’s 27-3 in the third quarter.
The victory was the seventh in a row for Gibbons (3-1) over Fort Lauderdale (2-1), and it leads the series 13-4 dating back to 1981. It was the first meeting between the schools since 2012.
“It was sloppy game, but we’ll go back to the drawing board before we play Heritage-Delray next week,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Matt Dubuc said. “I’m happy with the way the defense played tonight.
“I’m glad we came out of a game like this against a quality team like Fort Lauderdale.”
In an uneventful and somewhat sloppy first half, Gibbons escaped with a 14-3 lead at the break.
Gibbons, the defending Class 5A state champ, was fortunate to have a lead as two Brody Palhegyi interceptions could have resulted in Flying L’s touchdowns.
Aramis Smith had the first pick and returned it the Gibbons’ 21. But Fort Lauderdale turned the ball over on downs at the Chiefs’ 13.
Demetri Fields made an interception for 97 yards to the Gibbons’ 2. The Chiefs defense held, however, and Fort Lauderdale settled for a 21-yard field goal by Cali Canaval-Ejem with 10:52 left in the half.
Gibbons answered as senior running back Tajae Davis scored on runs of 7 and 4 yards for the 14-3 lead. He had 77 yards on 10 carries at the half, and finished with 80 yards on 11 carries.
Fort Lauderdale cut the deficit to 14-6 as Canaval-Ejem kicked a 42-yard field goal. He added a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Tonio McGowen added a 1-yard scoring run for the Flying L’s with less than a minute to play to finish the scoring.