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Carol City defeats Homestead 23-20

Miami Carol City Chiefs win in second half battle

Akilah Laster | 10/24/2013, 9 a.m.
Sports Homestead (blue) defense gets ready for Carol City offense (white). Photo by Akilah Laster

The Homestead Broncos received every sign that their district game against Carol City would end auspiciously. They were coming off of a dominating road win against Palmetto, and their star receiver Ermon Lane was ruled eligible after facing a possible suspension. For a moment, it seemed as if all the stars had aligned and the football gods were smiling down on the Broncos. And what a brief moment it was. Unable to capitalize on their advantages, including having more depth than the Chiefs, the Broncos (4-3, 0-3) succumbed to “rookie mistakes” and allowed Carol City (5-2, 2-0) to skate by with a 23-20 win, eliminating any postseason hopes.

“[We knew] there were no more tomorrows, today [was] the day,” said Homestead coach Larry Coffey.

The score ping-ponged throughout the first half, but Homestead pulled ahead by a point at halftime after an impressive extra-point block and subsequent score on a 10-yard pass and catch from Maurice Alexander to Lane. Alexander finished with 323 passing yards and three touchdown passes, two to Lane. Despite Homestead jumping out to a 20-13 lead shortly after halftime, Carol City trudged back with a 14-yard run by quarterback Trayon Gray to tie the game at 20. Gray previously scored on a 63-yard run, the longest of the night. Gray, who only threw for 58 yards, destroyed the Broncos defensive line picking up 205 rushing yards on 20 carries. Carol City capitalized on an undisciplined Homestead, drawing them offsides more than seven times. But it was the bobbled passes by Lane that caromed into the hands of Carol City defenders that swung the momentum to the Chiefs.

“The second half was a fight,” Carol City coach, Aubrey Hill said. “We kept saying ‘just one more play.’”

The Chiefs will need that momentum to face Central on Friday, but have likely already solidified a place in the playoffs. Both the Rockets and the Chiefs are undefeated in district and are battling for first place; a win for Carol City will put them in first, but a win for Central will solidify another district sweep.

“We really talk about our goals,” Hill said. “Our direction is [now] a little bit clearer.”