By: Matt Rothman
After winning the team’s first district title in 18 years, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas football team is set for their matchup this week against Miami High School.
Miami High School comes in with seven wins in 10 games, including three wins where they outscored their opponents 158-0. Their three losses came against Columbus, Jackson, and Palmetto High School.
The Eagles won their first nine games of the season before they fell at home to Plantation for their only loss of the regular season last week. They went 3-0 in district games and won their regular-season championship title since 2001.
While their offense has been strong all season, MSD has been assisted by their defense. In October, they gave up an average of seven points per game, including a pair of shutouts against West Broward and Nova High School.
As a team, they have picked off six passes with Geo Vilsaint leading the team with two interceptions. Ryan Schroy is first on the team in tackles, with 10 in the last game, and has been strong at getting pressure to the quarterback. Schroy, along with Anthony Erale, Shane Mouhica, and Ryan Belk have combined for 19.5 of the teams 27.5 sacks.
Offensively, quarterback Matt O’Dowd, in his first year with MSD, has thrown for over 1,200 yards using three different running backs this year. Brian Smith started the season as the featured back, but Alex Rodriguez and Nick Dicaprio have gotten the heavy workload with Smith not playing.
Playing in his final year with MSD, perhaps the Eagles’ most valuable player this year has been Christian Higgins. The senior has caught five touchdowns this season as well as thrown for two, including his game-winning touchdown on a botched snap against Monarch High School. He has also been both a punt and kick returner and has played heavy minutes on defense this season.
The game will be played in Parkland at Cumber Stadium on Friday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 p.m.