The Homestead Broncos’ defense kept it close, but the offense was unable to break through for a much-needed score.
The Broncos were shut out for the fourth time this season, falling 20-0 to South Miami in a game that was close until the final four minutes when the Cobras broke it open with a pair of touchdowns.
“Obviously the end score doesn’t reflect how the game really went and we’re not really focused on that part, but the reality is I think we’re fine,” Homestead first-year head coach Philip Simpson said. “We’ve just got to figure it out on offense and we’ll be fine.”
The Broncos (1-4) were held to 121 total yards on offense. Junior Armoni Hall-McCants rushed for 39 yards on 13 carries and caught two passes for 13 yards to lead the way.
Trailing 8-0 early in the fourth quarter, the Broncos took over at the South Miami 40. Sophomore Gregory Byrd reeled off a 21-yard run on the second play of the drive to put the Broncos inside the red zone. After Hall-McCants was stuffed behind the line, the Broncos faced a 4th-and-7 from the 16. Antoine Lafleur caught a pass that went for minus-10 yards resulting in a turnover on downs.
However, moments later the Broncos got the ball back at the South Miami 43 when junior Mike Andrews intercepted his second pass of the game.
Runs got the Broncos to the 29, but a bad snap, a holding penalty, and a sack backed the Broncos up to the 50. They punted the ball away and on the Cobras’ first offensive play, junior Niejay Cobb scored on a 34-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead with 3:36 left.
“We have to become more diverse,” Simpson said. “We have to be able to do more than run the ball inside. We have to do more things and create more opportunities for the offense. We’ve got to figure it out. We’ve got to figure out ways to move the ball.”
On the first play of the ensuing possession Griffin threw an interception, which was returned 38 yards for a touchdown by junior Tavoris Miller, who also caught a 39-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring, for a 20-0 lead.
“They competed,” Simpson said. “We’re asking so much.
We are still enforcing the new wave, the new culture. We had to suspend three starters on the offensive side of the ball and that didn’t play in our favor, but we are seeing the greater good of what we’re doing. Kids are competing more.”
Homestead senior Albert Carbonell had a 35-yard field goal blocked in the first quarter that would have given the Broncos an early lead.
Homestead forced three turnovers and held South Miami (2-3) to 46 yards rushing on 25 attempts and 11-of-25 passing for 134 yards.
“Defense is fine,” Simpsons said. “We come in two weeks before school starts to take over a program defense is always going to pick it up a little bit faster than the offense. They’re playing fast, they’re running to the ball, they’re believing in what we’re doing. The defense is totally fine. I like what we’re doing.”
Homestead’s next game is against North Miami (1-3) at North Miami Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
South Miami (2-3) 0 8 0 12 – 20
Homestead (1-4) 0 0 0 0 - 0
South Miami – Miller 39 pass from Raigoso (Wright pass from Luna)
South Miami – Cobb 34 run
South Miami – Miller 38
interception return (run failed)
RUSHING: South Miami: Cobb 2-36, Bernadin 13-35, Miller 1-6, Green 4-5, Turner 1--1, Ferrell 1--5, Wright 1--7, Raigoso 2--13. Homestead:
Hall-McCants 13-39, Byrd 4-39, Griffin 10-33, Mitchell 3-4, Lafleur 5--8.
PASSING: South Miami: Raigoso 11-25-2, 134. Homestead: Griffin 8-16-1, 14.
RECEIVING: South Miami:
Miller 2-72, Turner 6-56, Luna 1-6, Bernadin 2-0. Homestead: Hall-McCants 2-13, Mitchell 2-6, Forbes 1-1, Welch 1--2, Lafleur 2--4.