If there was any doubt who the Cinderella story of the season is in high school football for Miami-Dade County, there isn’t anymore.
The Miami Springs Golden Hawks, a team just two years removed from an 0-10 season, arrived Friday night when they delighted a homecoming crowd with a thrilling 35-34 overtime victory over Mater Academy at Milander Stadium in a key District 16-7A showdown with major playoff implications.
Springs running back Malik Thomas scored on a 6-yard run and David Torres stroked the extra point in for the game-winning series, sending the Hawks in celebration onto the field.
Just a minute earlier, the Lions scored when Malik Brown fell on a Jamal Adjamah fumble in the end zone. But Bobby Stinson knifed through Mater’s defense from the outside and blocked Orlando Hayes’ extra-point attempt, leaving Mater’s lead at 34-28.
The win moved Springs’ overall record to 6-2 and 4-1 in the district while Mater, which could have clinched its first playoff berth in the 10-year history of the program with a win, fell to 6-2, 4-1.
Springs will play Mourning on Thursday and can guarantee no worse than a three-way tiebreaker playoff with Mater and American with a win. American and Mater will square off Friday, and the Lions would need to win to force the playoff.
“What a game, what a moment for this program,” Springs coach Darryel Bethune said. “I can’t be more proud of our kids for overcoming all kinds of obstacles tonight to find a way to pull this out. We’ve been gaining confidence every week and even though we had a tough setback against American last week (a 16-13 loss on a last-second field goal). I knew these kids had the heart of a Lion to bounce back.”