One of Varela’s goals in the offseason was to find some playmakers to replace the large number of starters lost to graduation.
The Vipers found some candidates Thursday afternoon during a 24-7 season-opening win over South Miami at Tropical Park.
Senior running back Eddy Arocha ran for 109 yards on 10 carries and scored two touchdowns to lead the Vipers (1-0).
Senior Nick Chirino made a game-changing play early on defense recovering a fumble and racing 91 yards for the game’s first touchdown. The score came moments after the Cobras (0-1) had moved the ball inside the 10 following a Varela fumble.
Chirino and Alejandro Hernandez (one interception) led Varela’s defense, which forced three turnovers and recorded five sacks. Bryce Holliday’s 26-yard TD pass to Gerand Turner in the third quarter accounted for South Miami’s only score.
The game was called with 5:14 left in the fourth quarter because of lightning in the area.