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Patriots surge past Hallandale to claim district title

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The Patriots (9-0) capped off their undefeated season with a dominant 40-6 win against the Hallandale Chargers (2-6). With the win, the Patriots became champions of District 5A and exacted revenge on the team that knocked them out of the playoffs just one year ago.

The first quarter was uneventful and ended with no points on the scoreboard for either team. However, when the Patriots came out for the second quarter, they could not be stopped.

The Patriots went into halftime with a 33-0 lead, thanks to five touchdowns from junior running backs Jordan Johnson and Abraham Alce (two), senior wide receiver Laress Nelson and senior linebacker Brandon Mincey. In the second quarter, junior wide receiver Anthony Schwartz, who scored a 75-yard rushing touchdown last week against Cardinal Gibbons, also made an interception.

The halftime statistics showed the Patriots’ domination. On 18 carries, the Chargers were held to –8 yards and only completed three of seven passes.

Early in the third quarter, junior cornerback Pat Surtain Jr. put the nail in the coffin with a tricky, 40-yard punt return for a touchdown. The extra point made the game 40-0, so the running clock rule took effect: Because the Patriots were leading by more than 35 points, the officials did not stop the clock for the rest of the game.

Many younger players, including Edwin Rhodes, Tyler Jones and Anthony Brown entered the game, providing spectators with a taste of what is to come in the next seasons. Jones ended with a respectable 24 rushing yards on six carries.

Even without senior cornerback Will Allen III, senior wide receiver Darnell Fleury and junior running back Miles Jones, the Patriots utterly dominated the Chargers and showed they are ready to make a formidable run in the playoffs. The defense continued its strong play, allowing only 65 offensive yards and five first downs to the Chargers offense.

The Patriots have a bye week next week and will play their first playoff game Nov. 11. The playoff schedule will be released after other games in South Florida have been completed and district champions have been crowned.


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