Patriots blaze by Conchs, advance to regional semi-finals

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Rhodes (12) snaps the ball in Friday’s contest against Key West. Despite only playing three quarters, the senior quarterback finished the night having broken three school records: career completions with 253, career passing touchdowns with 53 and most touchdown passes in a single game with 6. (Photo/Kayla Rubenstein)

The Patriots held Key West in check Friday night in the regional quarterfinals, finishing off the Conchs by a score of 53-15. 

The Conchs received the opening kick and drove the length of the field for the early score and their only lead of the game. Their advantage was short-lived, though, as senior QB Edwin Rhodes quickly responded with a strike to senior WR Douglas Emilien with 3:30 to go in the first to tie the game at 7. With seconds to go in the first quarter, Rhodes would connect with Emilien again for a 55-yard touchdown to extend the Patriot lead to 14-7.

The Patriots continued to rack up points throughout the second quarter, courtesy of touchdowns from Rhodes to freshman RB Mark Fletcher and junior WR Vinson Davis to push Heritage’s lead to 28-7 at halftime. 

After the break, Rhodes picked up right where he left off, finding junior WR Oronde Gadsden for the 25-yard score with eight minutes in the third and again for the 35-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive to give the Patriots the 40-7 lead. 

With 12 minutes to go in regulation, backup freshman QB Blake Murphy faked the handoff and burst down the sideline for the 53-yard touchdown, bumping the lead to 46-7. Murphy later tossed a score of his own to Davis before the Conchs snuck in a final touchdown with one minute to go.

“We played for each other,” Fletcher said. “We knew it could be our last game of the season, and we were not trying to go home, so everybody pitched in.” 

Heritage would close out the contest 53-15 to win the regional quarterfinals and secure a spot in the regional semifinals next Friday Nov. 15 at Heritage field versus North Miami Beach.

(Photos/Kayla Rubenstein)

Sammy Rosenthal is a junior at American Heritage School in Plantation Fla. and is entering his third year writing for the newsmagazine; his first year as the publication’s Sports Editor. Sammy takes pride in being a die-hard Miami Heat and Dolphins fan as well as dedicating his Sunday to watching football.

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