PLANTATION — Jeremiah Smith, an Ohio State commit, scored twice within a two-minute span as Chaminade-Madonna jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and held off host American Heritage in a battle of two nationally ranked teams at Heritage Stadium on Friday night.
The Lions, bidding for a third straight state state title, extended their regular-season win streak to 19 games, with their last loss in the regular season a 26-24 defeat to American Heritage on Sept. 3, 2021.
“This has been great,” said Smith, whose team has knocked off two nationally ranked out-of-state teams and two nationally ranked teams from South Florida to open the season. “We get to play good competition each and every week.”
The Lions travel to Traz Powell Stadium Thursday to take on No. 5 ranked Miami Central (2-1), winners of four straight state championships.
“We got so much to clean up after tonight,” said Chaminade-Madonna coach Dameon Jones. “(American Heritage) is a good football team. The thing is, and I tell them every week, that nobody stops us, but us….we didn’t take our foot off the gas, we shot ourselves in the foot.”
“We play a tough schedule, and it is good to play every week,” Jones added. “We got Miami Central next week, and we just have to show up like we did these last four games. We got to put it all together. They are a good, physical football team. We usually get cooking game six or seven every year. We are priming up right now.”
After being stymied on its first offensive series, Chaminade-Madonna capitalized on the game’s first turnover when Curtis Janvier returned an interception 49 yards for a score off a deflected pass from Patriots’ quarterback Dia Bell just two minutes into the contest.
The Lions, ranked No. 6 in the nation, extended their lead to 14-0 when quarterback Cedrick Bailey capped a six-play, 70-yard drive with a 13-yard scoring toss to Smith.
The Lions scored on their next possession when Bailey and Smith teamed up again, this time from 26 yards out to give Chaminade-Madonna a 21-0 lead with 3:53 remaining in the first quarter.
Smith, who had a 68-yard punt return earlier in the contest nullified by a penalty, padded his county-leading scoring total with his seventh touchdown of the year. He finished the night with four catches for 56 yards and two TDs.
American Heritage’s defense stiffened, and it led to their only score of the first half. The Patriots’ Xavier Thomas intercepted an underthrown pass by Bailey and returned it 23 yards to set up a 25-yard field goal by Gavin Harvey to trim the lead to 21-3 with 10:41 remaining in the first half.
American Heritage’s DeAndre Desinor returned the second half kickoff 50 yards to set up a 1-yard plunge by Byron Louis to slice the advantage to 21-10 with 6:42 remaining in the third quarter.
On the next series, Bailey escaped disaster when the Patriots defensive back dropped what could have been a pick-six.
Chaminade-Madonna muscled its way to a 17-play, 86-yard drive to get some breathing room at 28-10 as Davion Gause scored from 7 yards out with 8:44 left in the game.
The Patriots, ranked 15th in the country, answered quickly on their ensuing drive on a 1-yard run around left end by Desinor with 6:05 remaining to cut the lead the 28-16 as Bell’s 2-point conversion pass was incomplete. Lewis, who finished with a game-high 17 carries for 114 yards, had a 40-yard run to spark the drive.
American Heritage held the Lions on downs and got the ball back with less than two minutes remaining, however, Bell’s pass in the end zone with 1:42 to go in the game was intercepted by Gavin Shepard and the Lions ran out the clock.
Patriots coach Mike Smith said his young team is going through expected growing pains.
“This is a process that we are going to have to go through,” Smith said. “We have a group of young kids and kids starting for the first time. The first two (wins) were smooth, but there will be some ups and downs here and they have to learn from it. We kind of needed this tonight.”
“We gave them momentum early with the pick six, but we kept battling,” Smith said. “They are an explosive team, and you can’t get down 21-0 with them. We put ourselves in a hole and battled back, but it was too much. We got to learn from this and get better.”
Week 4 scores
Chaminade-Madonna 28, American Heritage 16
King’s Academy 39, John Carroll 13
Boca Raton Christian 27, Berean Christian 0
Westminster Academy 42, Somerset Key 14
Inlet Grove 41, Somerset Prep 6
Glades Day 61, Marco Island Academy 6
Cardinal Newman 35, Catholic Memorial (Massachusetts) 2
Camden County (Georgia) 51, Somerset Canyons 7
John Curtis Christian (Louisiana) 55, Santaluces 21
Valdosta (Georgia) 54, Deerfield Beach 0
Calvary Christian Academy 42, Clewiston 7
University School 14. St. Andrew’s 6
Palm Beach Central 33, Pahokee 27 (F/OT)
Cardinal Gibbons 38, Northeast (St. Petersburg) 16
Benjamin 49, Gulliver Prep 0
Spanish River 28, Park Vista 20
West Broward 23, Dwyer 3
North Broward Prep 45, Northeast 0
American Heritage-Delray 23, Pine Crest 14
West Boca Raton 42, Port S. Lucie 3
Hollywood Hills 22, Nova 6
Atlantic 44, Boca Raton 14
Palm Beach Gardens 35, Glades Central 0
Jensen Beach 28, Stoneman Douglas 0
St. Thomas Aquinas 48, Western 22
Jupiter 49, Suncoast 0
Coconut Creek 36, Plantation 6
Lake Worth 24, Olympic Heights 8
Wellington 16. Royal Palm Beach 15
Seminole Ridge 34, Palm Beach Lakes 0
Miramar 50, Flanagan 0
Monarch 32, Piper 6
Pembroke Pines Charter 21, Taravella 0
Dr. Joaquín García 28, John I. Leonard 6
South Broward def. Hallandale (forfeit)