By: Matt Rothman
Marjory Stoneman Douglas football continued their perfect season moving to 6-0 with a 36-0 win during their homecoming game.
The Eagles have three games left, hoping to complete a perfect regular season.
Even without their starting running back, Brian Smith, and no practice this week due to the rain in Parkland, the Eagles managed to win easily from contributions from the entire team.
I’m thrilled for the victory on homecoming,” said head coach Quentin Short. “Our defense got a shutout. There is some stuff we need to clean up. Hopefully, we can get some practice in next week and work on some stuff.”
Early on, it was the defense and special teams that sparked MSD as they had an early sack. Senior Ryan Belk blocked a punt leading to a relatively easy field goal for Mason Hall. Soon after, with the Bobcats punting again, senior Christian Higgins returned a punt for a 70-yard touchdown.
Higgins, who is normally a wide receiver, has done it all in his final season for MSD. He has caught multiple touchdowns as well as return punts and threw for the game-winning touchdown earlier this season after a botched snap on a field goal to defeat Monarch.
“This year our whole culture has changed,” said Higgins, who wears number 17 to remember those who lost their lives in the school shooting.
“We are playing more as a unit this year. We are playing more as a team this year. It’s not just me. It’s everyone else on this team that has contributed.”
The lead continued to grow as running back Alex Rodriguez scored from one yard out. They were then able to score as the defense forced a safety, as the Bobcats were unable to get anything working offensively in the first half.
Belk then added a touchdown from Matt O’Dowd in the final minute before halftime, as MSD went into the locker room up 26-0. Desperately looking to change the direction of the game, West Broward opened the second half with an onside kick, but Rodriguez was ready for the recovery. They used the short field to their advantage with Hall converting a 42-yard field goal to increase the lead to 29.
The defense continued to preserve their shutout, as Shane Mouhica had a sack, and Mark Dorsett picked off a pass setting up another touchdown run from Rodriguez.
“If I can thank anyone, it would be my offensive line,” Rodriguez said. “They are the real reason why I can run all over the place. They have really great chemistry together and talk all over the field. They get the job done.”
Up next: the Eagles will face Nova High School, who have not won a game this season, on Friday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. Following that, MSD will play Coral Glades before facing off against a very strong Plantation High School team. Like MSD, they came into the weekend unbeaten but lost 35-0 to St. Thomas Aquinas Friday night.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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