Durant scores 4 TDs as Northview advances in Fla. playoffs
By JOSH FRYE
Jaheem Durant scored four touchdowns to lead Northview to a second consecutive win over Jay High, 41-21, during round one of the FHSAA 1A District 1 playoffs last Friday, November 8.
The Chiefs and Royals, who lost to Northview on November 1, matched up for a second consecutive week in a rough, emotion-filled game.
The contest started on a slow note for each school, with a combined four fumbles during the first four drives of the game.
Durant finally put points on the board midway through the first quarter, scoring on an 88-yard fumble recovery. Jamarcus Jefferson kicked the extra-point, and NHS led 7-0.
Durant scored his second TD of the night on a 66-yard scamper during the second quarter. Jefferson missed the PAT attempt, but the Chiefs led 13-0.
After a JHS touchdown closed the scoring gap, Damerion Findley found the end zone during the last few minutes of the half on a 10-yard run, and Jefferson followed up with a successful two-point conversion for a 21-7 NHS lead at the halfway mark.
Durant opened up the second-half scoring, rushing into the end zone for a third time. Jefferson’s PAT attempt fell short, but the Chiefs led 27-7.
With just over two-minutes left in the third, Jayden Jackson broke through on a 16-yard TD scamper, and NHS extended the lead to 33-7.
With the Royals reorganizing for a possible comeback, Durant broke free with minutes to go in the fourth quarter on a 51-yard kickoff return for a TD that was followed up with another Jefferson two-point conversion.
“Durant made all the difference in the world for us on Friday night,” NHS head coach Derek Marshman said. “He has over 700 rushing yards this season, and all of the talent and ability in the world. He (Durant) just exploded last Friday.”
Added to Durant’s numbers on last Friday was the wrecking ball of Trent Peebles, who had 16 carries for 108 yards.
The Chiefs will travel to face Vernon High this Friday, November 15 fin the second round of the Class 1A, District 1 playoffs.
“Vernon is a deadly team,” Marshman said. “They are really good, but we are evenly matched. Vernon will offer a test. It is going to be 12 rounds of two of the toughest teams in Florida football.”
Marshman added that the Chiefs will be looking to defensive back Keyshawn Breedlove for a jolt this week against Vernon.
“Breedlove can shut down one half of the field,” Marshman said. “He is a beast for us defensively, and we are looking to him to help contain the ball and offer big plays.”
Marshman stressed that “prioritizing the football” and avoiding penalties on big plays will be the team’s main focus going into this week’s game.