Coming off a disappointing loss to Daytona Beach Mainland last week, in which the Patriots blew a 30-28 lead with 36 seconds left in the game, the varsity football team was determined to get back into the win column. The team started off strong and never took its foot off of the gas, beating district 5A-16 opponent Miami Jackson 45-16. The game was called final midway through the fourth quarter due to lightning in the area which caused a power outage at the stadium.
“Our No. 1 goal was not to focus on Jackson – no offense – but to focus on what we needed to get better at,” said head coach Mike Rumph. “That made a hell of a difference as far as preparing and getting ourselves better.”
Senior quarterback Torrance Gibson accounted for five touchdowns, three passing and two rushing, along with 305 yards passing and 80 yards rushing. The team was without sophomore running back Kyshaun Bryan, who injured his leg last week. Senior Travis Jackson carried the majority of the running back load on the night and rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
Junior wide receiver Brandon Johnson started the scoring off for the Patriots, catching a 35-yard touchdown with 4:45 left in the first quarter. The Jackson Generals’ defense responded on the Patriots next possession. The Generals blocked the Patriots’ field goal attempt and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown. Jackson converted on the two point conversion and took its first and only lead of the game. Gibson rushed for two touchdowns before halftime and the Patriots headed to the locker room leading 24-8.
Gibson connected with Johnson for the second time on the the night to begin the second half. The Patriots then blocked a Generals’ punt and capitalized with a touchdown pass to senior Blair Barrow.
“We just executed,” Gibson said. “I’ve got to thank the o-linemen and the coaches. Everybody was on their A-game. We’ve got to keep it up to the playoffs.”
Senior defensive lineman Keith Seymore was injured midway through the third quarter and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to West Broward Medical Center. Coach Rumph said Seymore was fine following the neck injury and has full movement. He has been diagnosed with a concussion.
The Generals narrowed the score to 38-16, but senior Tyler Gordon came up big on the next defensive drive with a key interception to give the ball back to the Patriots. With the win well out of the Generals reach, sophomore Jason Brown took over quarterback duties in the fourth quarter.
The Patriots are now 3-2 on the season. The team travels to Jacksonville next Friday to take on Bolles (4-1).