SHORT'S FG LIFTS RAIDERS
St. Thomas 10, Miramar 7
Beats Miramar With 1:44 Left
MIRAMAR -- With 1:44 to play, St. Thomas kicker Al Short eye-balled his dream at the Miramar 13-yard line. A flat tee, holder Mike Crissy waiting for the snap, and the scored tied 7-7.
“I was thinking, ‘Keep my head down and follow through,’” Short said. “I thought it was all in my hands.”
Actually it was all on his right foot. Short added a highlight to his and St. Thomas’ memory book with a 23-yard field goal that gave the Raiders a 10-7 win over the Patriots before about 2,500 fans at Miramar High.
“You wait your whole life for this,” Short said. “You fantasize as a kid for something like this to happen. When it happens, it feels pretty good.”
It was an emotional win for St. Thomas (2-0), which is seeking redemption for last year’s 4-6 record. Miramar, a team with high expectations but mistake-prone, fell to 1-1.
Short’s field goal capped an 11-play, 74-yard drive that began at the St. Thomas 20 after Miramar kicker Eddie Kwasnik hit the right upright from 40 yards with 6:35 to play.
St. Thomas had only 106 yards in total offense before the winning drive, 71 of that coming on the running of Mark Williams. Williams carried eight times for 46 yards to set up Short’s field goal.
Perhaps Williams’ biggest play on the drive came when he recovered teammate Daryl Porter’s fumble at the St. Thomas 34. Two plays later quarterback Tom Gillespie, who replaced starter Dom Congemi, threw a 32-yard completion to Chris Gross that moved the ball to the Miramar 38. Williams then carried three times to the 7.
“We were trying to get him where he could use his vision on the field instead of just running up in there,” Smith said. “I thought our offensive line played well.”
Smith was concerned his team would be overpowered by Miramar’s superior size. Miramar running back Julian Nathaniel gained 150 yards on 25 carries, but the Patriots stalled themselves with four turnovers and untimely penalties.
St. Thomas cornerback Chris Gibson had three interceptions, including one at his own 10 in the second quarter after Nathaniel ran 60 yards to the Raiders’ 17.
Each team committee three turnovers in the first half.
The Patriots scored first when quarterback George Tirone threw a 22-yard pass to Devin Hardin with 9:59 to play in the second quarter. The 7-play, 36-yard drive followed Nate Lampkin’s recovery of a fumbled punt return by the Raiders’ Keith Wilkerson.
Wilkerson redeemed himself on the opening kickoff of the second half. He took a bouncing kick at his 13, slid through a wedge at about the 20 and outran the Patriots special teamers. Short added the point after.
Miramar started the fourth quarter by moving 60 yards to the Raiders 19 on seven plays before the drive fell apart. A 5-yard equipment penalty on second-and-2 pushed the Patriots back to the 24 and forced a passing situation.
On third down, Gibson nearly got his fourth interception when he broke up a pass from Tirone to Steve Jackson in the end zone. Kwasnik’s field goal hit the upright on the next play.
Sun-Sentinel, September 15, 1990