The offense may have been sputtering for No. 4 American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), but the Patriots’ defense kept Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale) at bay in a 23-19 win Friday night.
The Patriots, playing the only other unbeaten team in Region 5A-16, had three big plays on offense. Tyler Jones’ 25-yard run with four minutes left put the game away. Heritage’s other big plays were a four-yard touchdown run by Jordan Johnson with 11 minutes to play and a 95-yard kickoff return by Miles Jones in the first half.
Afterward, American Heritage coach Pat Surtain Sr. was not pleased with the officiating.
American Heritage’s other score came on a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The Chiefs pulled to within 16-13 when quarterback Nik Scalzo found Carlos Sandy for a 30-yard touchdown catch with seven minutes to play. Scalzo really made the Patriots sweat when he scored on a five-yard run with 37 seconds left. Heritage recovered the ensuing onside kickoff and the game was over, however.
The Patriots led only 7-6 at halftime. Both of Cardinal Gibbon’s scores in the first half came off the foot of Griffin Cerra, who hit on field goals of 21 and 31 yards.
A key play in the half was a touchdown-saving hit by Patriots linebacker Kamryn Giles that forced a fumble out of bounds on what would have been a touchdown catch by Lavontae Decius.
American Heritage (5-0) plays next Friday vs. Jackson (Miami). Cardinal Gibbons (6-1) will play next Friday at Hallandale.