- Faith & Family
The Norland Vikings stole a 20-19 overtime victory out of the hands of the Coral Reef Barracudas last Thursday night in a game that started off with underwhelming play but ended with clutch defense and primetime play.
A game that was scoreless two quarters and almost ended in another loss for the reigning Class 5A state champion Vikings (5-1) was saved in the final few plays of the game.
Specifically a clutch blocked extra point kick by Norland receiver, Kendrick Edwards, sent the “Cudas” and Vikings into overtime tied at 13.
During the game, both teams struggled to pull away from the other and both scoring only 7 points by halftime. Norland’s initial score came on a 4-yard run by runningback, LaKeith Stafford.
The “cudas” (2-3, 0-1), whose passing only earned 7 yards in the first half, dominated the ground game in the first amassing 112 yards by halftime. Just opposite, Norland struggled on rushing and gained only 7-yards, but were spurred by their passing for 106 yards during the first half.
Norland quarterback, Taron James, finished the night with 172 passing yards on 7 of 18 completions, while Coral Reef quarterback, Nicodem Pierre, led in rushing yards with 54, including an 18 yard touchdown run.
But in the overtime, each team scored off plays they struggled with during regulation. Coral Reef who had first possession, scored on a 10-yard pass from Pierre that connected with tight end Bryan Bradshaw on the first play. However, their excitement was short-lived after a missed extra point by kicker Thomas Padgett, his second blown opportunity of the night.
Norland answered back in two plays, both carries by LaKeith Stafford, who tied the game on 4-yard rush. Norland sealed the deal with an extra point kick by Rockly Pharisien, who was 2 for 3 on the night.
“Hats off to Coach Clements for preparing his team,” said Daryle Heidelburg, Norland head coach. “His team has pushed us to the limit the last two years.”
Next up, the Vikings play Southridge (2-4) Friday at 7:30p.m. at North Miami Stadium. Coral Reef faces Varela (2-2) on Friday at 4p.m. at Southridge.
By Akilah Laster
Miami Times writer