Christian Ramirez kicked a 20-yard field goal with 32 seconds remaining in the game to give Doral Academy a dramatic 6-5 victory over host Dwyer in a 7A regional semifinal.
“Oh my gosh. This is my first year kicking, I never thought it would come down to the last kick like that,” Ramirez said. “I just kept thinking in my head that I gotta do it for my team.”
Trailing 5-3 with 3:47 to play, the Firebirds (10-2) offense took over at the Doral 15 after their defense stopped Dwyer (9-3) on fourth-and-two.
Firebirds senior quarterback Miles Hayes connected on a pair of huge completions, 30 and 43 yards, to Baron Grant on the game-winning drive to set up the winning kick and a regional final birth against St. Thomas Aquinas.
The score was tied 3-3 entering the final quarter before Dwyer took a 5-3 lead with 8:40 to play as D’Andre Ruiz tackled Doral’s Shemar Paul in the end zone for a safety
The first half, which featured nine punts, was scoreless and the closest either team came to scoring was when Doral Academy’s Christian Hernandez nearly returned Dwyer’s Trevor Omans screen pass. However, Hernandez was tackled inside the Panthers’ five-yard line and Doral failed to score on its ensuing possession.
Dwyer took the first lead of the game midway through the third quarter as Jeffrey Martini kicked a 24-yard field goal. The Panthers score was set up on a 34-yard screen pass from Omans to Andrew Kasten earlier in the drive.
Doral answered the Dwyer field goal with a 29-yard field goal from Ramirez later in the third quarter. Ramirez’s field goal was set up by a 36-yard completion from Hayes to Brieon Fuller in triple coverage.