With a pending showdown with Hialeah for the District 13-8A championship looming next week, North Miami could not afford to look past an upset-minded Hialeah Gardens team on Thursday afternoon.
The Pioneers certainly did not.
They blitzed the Gladiators with four first-quarter touchdowns, blew out to a 49-0 halftime lead and then emptied the bench in a running-clock second half to record a 49-16 victory at Hialeah Gardens High School.
“We’ve had a tendency to play down to the competition at times this season and we did a good job of not letting that happen today,” said North Miami head coach Pat Colon, who saw his team improve to 5-3 overall and 4-0 in district play. “We preached to our kids all week long to stay focused on one opponent at a time now matter who it is. They were focused when they came out today and it showed early on. Now we’re looking forward to our big game with Hialeah next week.”
Colon watched with delight as his freshman quarterback Deon Parker enjoyed a huge first half, completing 11 of 15 passes for 275 yards and four touchdowns. Two of those went to Ronald Fanfan from 68 and 18 yards and two more to Richard Sam from 47 and 53 yards.
Rayjae Grant had touchdown runs of 9 and 5 yards. Defensive back Augustin Lorfils had a 32-yard scoop and score touchdown of a Gardens fumble to complete the scoring for the Pioneers. After winning their first three games of the season for the first 3-0 start in program history, Thursday’s loss marked the fifth straight for the Gladiators who slipped to 3-5, 0-4.
North Miami and Hialeah will meet on Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Milander Stadium with the winner assured of the district title and a playoff berth.
▪ Miami Springs 42, Mourning 0
Anthony Walker Jr. scored three times to lead Miami Springs to a running-clock rout of Mourning in a District 16-7A contest on Thursday afternoon at Ives Estates Field.
Springs, which is seeded No. 5 in Class 7A, Region 4, improved its overall record to 6-2, 6-1. With Doral having already wrapped up the district, Springs will now get ready to take on South Miami next week with a possible wild card playoff spot on the line.
Mourning dropped to 1-7, 1-5 and fill face district champion Doral next week.
▪ Belen defeated Schoolhouse Prep 7-0: High scorers: Jacob Wutzler (BEL) 188, Fernando de la Lama Guzman (BEL) 172, Bryan Amador (SP) 141. High series: Jacob Wutzler (BEL) 477. Belen 4-2.