Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: Miramar Eliminates Cypress Bay


(Photo Source: Jim Rassol, Sun-Sentinel)


Cypress Bay knew it would be a tough week. In a season which has appeared for them to be an injury-plagued, rebuilding year, the team from Weston knew they would have to beat Miramar to have any chance to make the playoffs.  The Lightning were hammered by district foe Pembroke Pines Flanagan earlier in the season and since Miramar beat the Falcons last week, the Patriots controlled their own destiny.  In addition, since the inception of 8A, this district has always had a state finalist and Miramar at this stage had been playing at a level which made one think they could return to Orlando.

The Lightning would also miss key players on both sides of the ball due to injury.  With running back, Dylan Rupert out with a torn ACL from 2 weeks ago, freshman Mike Epstein would have to carry the run oriented offense against Miramar’s notorious Darkside Defense.  Miramar also had a good memory.  Last year they lost to Cypress Bay twice. During the regular season at home in 2012, the Patriots lost a close battle to the Lightning on what many consider a botched punt return. Most recently, eleven months ago on the same field as tonight, Miramar would lose to Cypress Bay by three touchdowns in the playoffs, ending their season. As a result, it was evident that this game would have special meaning for all involved.


As expected, Miramar (9-0, 5-0) gracefully eliminated Cypress Bay (4-4, 3-2) from playoff contention with a 38-2 victory.  The game was never in question. Miramar quarterback, Nick Jeanty would connect with Kwasim West for a 57 yard touchdown on their first offensive play to set the tone for this one sided affair.  Moments later, Jeanty would throw a 19 yard touchdown pass to Kevin Purlett and David Campbell would kick a 32 yard field goal to make it 17-0 and the route was on.


On the defensive side, Ryan Samuels would involve himself with three turnovers, including a 23 yard fumble recovery in the 2nd quarter to increase the Patriots lead to 24-0. Gernald Hawkins would close the first half of scoring for Miramar with an 11 yard touchdown run.  The Patriots would enter the half with a 31-2 lead.  Using their backups for much of the 2nd half, Miramar would add a late touchdown by Alex Anderson to force the running clock.


For Miramar, they have the opportunity to host the first 3 rounds of the playoffs if they can keep winning in the post season.  Coach Damon Cogdell seems to have the team in the right place to challenge for the state title.  Compared with their special 2011 team, I see this 2013 group as having better balance on both sides of the ball and more talent in most positions they place on the field. In particular, while the 2011 team had many stars on the field at a given time, this team seems to have fewer weaknesses.  I have watched Miramar play four times this season and they seem more disciplined every week.


For Cypress Bay, this season could not end fast enough.  They will leave this year with lots of questions, beginning at the skill positions. In the presence of the school’s 2010-2012 quarterback, Jaranta Lewis last night, the Lightning used three quarterbacks which seemed to be a difficult formula for the players and anybody watching this game. Coach Mark Guandolo always figures a way to maximize his talent.  This should be an interesting offseason in Weston, FL.



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