Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: Hardee and American Heritage Clash in a 5A Regional Final

(Photo Source: Marco Daily News)


As the Wauchula Hardee Wildcats (11-1) travel 165 miles to meet the Plantation American Heritage Patriots (11-1), they come in as 28 point underdogs. Much will be at stake in this Region 4-5A Final this Friday night at 7:30 p.m.. To add to the intrigue both teams have succeeded through different paths.


Aside from a loss to Fort Meade, Hardee has relied on a consistent ground game led by Quarterback, Kris Johnson who has nearly 1,100 passing and 12 touchdown passes. However, the Wildcats clearly rely on their two running backs, Keyonte Holley and Timmy Steedley, who combined for over 1,800 yards and over 6 yards per carry. The Wildcats ball control offense is supported by their stifling defense. Led by Georgia commit, Keyon Brown, Hardee’s opponents have scored 10 points or less in 8 of their contests. Creating sacks and forcing turnovers has proven a successful formula for the District 13-5A Champions.


Unlike, the deliberate approach used by Hardee, American Heritage runs a high octane offense. Including an early season loss to 6A State Champion, Miami Central, the Patriots have found ways to get the ball into the end zone early and often. While Hardee has not allowed more than 20 points in a game this year, American Heritage has scored 20 points or more in 11 out of their 12 games.  The Patriots, in their poorest offensive performance of the season, defeated Daytona Mainland 6-0. However, it should be noted that the Patriots had three touchdowns called back for penalties on that evening.


The Patriots balanced offense attack is led by Quarterback, Torrance Gibson who has approximately 1,400 yards passing and 800 yards rushing. Running Back, Sony Michel has maintained his national dominance with 1,400 yards rushing which occurs mostly in the first half of games. Isaiah McKenzie provides additional support with over 1,500 all purpose yards.


For Hardee, a win would enable him them to host a state semifinal game next week in the role of favorite.  They will benefit from a low scoring game. For American Heritage, the demons of Miami Jackson have left them. This Plantation school has maintained its peak performance all season. Many expect a continuation of the big plays we have seen from them all season.



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