Miami High junior quarterback Makai Lovett spoiled Douglas High’s first home playoff game in school history.
Lovett ran and passed his way through the Eagles to lead the Stingarees to a 28-3 win in a Class 8A regional quarterfinal game on Friday.
Miami (8-3) will play its regional semifinal game Thursday against Columbus, which defeated Coral Gables 50-14.
Lovett nearly defeat Douglas all by himself. He was responsible for 156 yards and three touchdowns passing and 176 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
Lovett’s rushing touchdown was for 59 yards though the gut of the Eagles defense early in the fourth quarter to seal the game.
The Stingarees advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the second time in three years. They reached the state semifinals in 2017.
As for Douglas, the memories of the tragedy nearly two years ago were still fresh.
“We talked about this game this week after all that has happened here,” said first-year Douglas coach Quentin Short. “We’ve talked about leaving a legacy for this class. We had hoped a win tonight would have changed the program.”
Douglas was playing its first playoff game since 2007.
“Everyone at the school has embraced us this year,” said Short. “There’s been a lot of positive things going on in the community and the school to play a home playoff game.”
The Stingarees scored on their second possession when Lovett found Samaurie Dukes for a 35-yard touchdown with 2:31 left in the first quarter. Lovett’s conversion run made it 8-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Douglas drove to the Miami 11 before the drive stalled, settling for a Mason Hall 29-yard field goal.
The Eagles (8-2) defense struggled to slow down Lovett as his 51-yard QB draw put the ball at the Douglas 11. He connected with Ghana Oboh two plays later for an 11-yard touchdown, which was followed by another Lovett conversion run for a 16-3 advantage.
The Stingarees offense kept pressing, which resulted in another scoring pass to Dukes, this time for 26 yards and a 22-3 lead at the break.
Eagles running back Brian Smith, who returned after missing five games due to an ankle injury, was held to 30 yards on 13 carries.
Douglas appeared to have cut the lead midway through the third quarter, Matt O’Dowd’s 29-yard scoring pass to Christian Spencer was called back for holding.