Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: American Heritage Ready To Meet Clay in 5A State Final

(Photo Source:  – Twitter Follow: @akosnitzky

For Plantation American Heritage (13-1) they are approaching a sense of closure. They knew they had a special team but after consecutive years of playoff failings and under achievements, followed by changes among the coaching staff, the Patriots have found their groove. For the second time in school history, the Patriots will challenge in the state finals.  They will meet Clay County (10-4) in the FHSAA 5A Final at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Friday, December 13 at 1:07 p.m.  EST.  As the only Broward school in Orlando look for the Patriots to get added exposure this week.  


Through the leadership of Head Coach, Mike Rumph, American Heritage operates a high potent offense which scores an average of 38 points per game.  The Patriots have scored 189 points in four playoff games, including a 48-16 victory at Lake Wales last week.  Quarterback, Torrance Gibson provides a dual threat to the team’s balanced attack.  With approximately 1,800 yards passing and 800 yards rushing, Gibson complicates matters for any opposing defense.  


Running Back, Sony Michel has maintained his national dominance with 1,737  yards rushing which occurs mostly in the first half of games. Michel, as a receiver, also has three touchdowns.  Isaiah McKenzie provides additional support with over 1,500 all purpose yards, in addition to his role as the leading receiver on the team.  On the defensive side, American Heritage only allows 15 points per game. Defensive Back, Carter Jacobs leads the team with 62 tackles as he assists with many of the run packages used by the defense Linebacker, Anthony Flory covers the other side of the defense with over 7 tackles per game. 


Located 40 miles southwest of Jacksonville,  Clay started  the season 0-2.  However, they were able to finish the regular season 6-4 and also capture the District 5-5A Title. Under the leadership of Head Coach, Josh Hoekstra, the Blue Devils playoff run has been much more dramatic than most teams.  In their regional semifinals, they edged Bishop Kenny 74-73, only to narrowly defeat Pensacola Catholic 9-7, the following week.  


Quarterback Wes Weeks controls an  offense with a “run-first” approach.  His nearly 1,200 rushing, coupled with and additional 1,200 rushing by Shannon Asbell is the focal point for Clay’s ability to find the end zone.  Defenders Ryan Trossevin and Chris Sakomoto are the Blue Devil’s leading tacklers who will need to have additional support if Clay is to have a chance this week. 


In the end, American Heritage has escaped the challenges of year’s past. Their opponent from the north is on a seven game winning streak and has thrived by keeping the other team off the field through ball-control.  The Patriots have looked dominant throughout most of the year.  For them to succeed this one last time, it may be less about Clay and more about themselves.  




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