After giving up a touchdown on the first play of the game, American bounced back to trounce North Miami 45-12 and give Anthony White his first win as head coach in a battle of two defending district champions on Thursday night at Traz Powell Stadium.
American (1-0) scored three return touchdowns in the first quarter. Joshua Dinson had a 100-yard interception return, brother Jeremiah scored on a 95-yard kick return, and after a safety, Karon Jackson took the ensuing kickoff 55 yards the other way.
"Those are great kids. They're model kids," said Anthony White, who came over to American after holding the offensive coordinator position at Norland. "Jeremiah gets overlooked. This was his coming out party."
Jackson scored a second touchdown in the third quarter on a 14-yard scamper, and quarterback Joshua Cartwright ran for 70 yards on eight carries and a touchdown.
North Miami quarterback Hilton Joseph went 14 for 24 for 172 yards and two scores, but his two interceptions proved costly in shifting momentum.
Every team expects adversity over the course of a season, but Miami High got its first dose in the opener at Curtis Park.
Despite the Stingarees’ starting quarterback missing the game with an allergic reaction to shrimp, Miami High routed Hialeah-Miami Lakes in a nondistrict matchup.
Senior backup quarterback Keith Johnson, who was playing injured, went 6 for 10 with 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns — both to junior Keyshawn “Pie” Young in the first half. Young added 90 yards on the ground.
Juniors Trent Gordon and Watraie Jones ran for scores. Sophomore kicker Kelvin Flores connected on all three field-goal attempts.
The Stingarees held the Trojans to just 90 total yards of offense and forced three turnovers. The Trojans also turned the ball over on downs three times. Last year, Miami beat HML 19-13.
“I was really proud of our guys,” coach Ivan Rosales said. “We came out, defense pitched a shutout and our backup quarterback stepped up big. We all rallied behind him. They were able to face adversity in the face and overcome it and succeed.”
CHRISTINA DE NICOLA
•Miami Beach 33, Mourning 0:
Junior quarterback Randle Jones ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as Miami Beach High defeated Mourning at North Miami Stadium.
Jones scored on runs of 2 and 23 yards to lead the Hi-Tides. He finished the night with 50 yards on 10 carries. He also completed three of 12 passes for 47 yards and a score.
“I saw the defensive end move late on the snap and after that it was a race to the end zone,” Jones said of his 23-yard scamper around right end. “I knew no one would catch me once I hit the corner.”
Senior tailback Markel Anderson finished with 98 yards on 17 carries. He also scored twice. Anderson scored on a 10-yard run and a 45-yard punt return in the fourth quarter.
Mourning was penalized 14 times for 110 yards and managed only 32 yards of offense and three first downs, including zero net yards rushing.
Miami Beach coach Aaron Harris earned his first victory as coach of the Hi-Tides.
•Miami Springs 21, Hialeah 14:
Johnny Rembert scored two touchdowns, including the decisive 4-yard end around with 5:10 to play in Miami Springs’ win over Hialeah in the season opener.
Hialeah backup quarterback Jose Palau led two second-half scoring drives, capping the second on a 1-yard run as time expired, but the Thoroughbreds didn’t get another opportunity.
Darryel Bethune Jr. scored the game’s first touchdown on a 19-yard run with 7:17 to play in the opening quarter. Hialeah linebacker Jessie Lemonier tackled a Golden Hawks ball carrier in the end zone later in the first for a safety, accounting for the Thoroughbreds’ only scoring in the first half.
Miami Springs quarterback Gerald Anderson connected on four big-play strikes — all over 33 yards, including a 58-yarder to Rembert in the second quarter.
•Coral Reef 24, Varela 7:
Coral Reef fell behind early, but fought back to win its season opener at Southridge Park.
The Vipers (0-1) put together a strong scoring drive on its second possession that concluded with a 5-yard touchdown run by quarterback Justin Vargas.
The Barracudas (1-0) scored on the following drive when receiver Isaac Readon caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jeremy Fernandez. On the following drive, running back Jawon Hamilton scored on a 34-yard run. Hamilton rushed for 101 yards on nine carries in the first half.
“The offensive line did good,” said Hamilton, who finished with 115 yards and 13 carries. “We’re going to keep working and get better and better.”
Minutes after the touchdown run, the Barracudas added another score when defensive back Levarence Gilliard returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown.
A 26-yard field goal by Carter Rodriguez in the third quarter was the final score. Julian Harris ran for 81 yards on 14 carries to lead Varela.
•Hillel 24, Miami Country Day 12:
Quarterback Bradley Moskovitz threw three touchdown passes and rushed for one more to lead the Lions over the Spartans. 1 to Albert Dichy and 2 to Bram Osman.