DAVIE — Visiting Coconut Creek capitalized on two of four turnovers and topped a penalty-prone Western 20-15 on Friday night.
Jamarie Hostzclaw carried 30 times for 102 yards and helped the Cougars (2-1) rally from a two-point halftime deficit and then hold off a late charge by the Wildcats (1-1).
Coconut Creek coach Johnnie Sloan said he was proud of the team’s win despite the sloppy play. The Cougars were also flagged nine times for 90 yards in penalties.
“I just know if we play our game we are going to be successful,” Sloan said. “I felt we played our game for the most part, but I also think we left some points on the field. I still give my props to Western; they have a good squad.
“We will go back and review the tape and see what we could do better and prepare for Plantation next week,” added Sloan, whose team bounced back from a 30-22 loss to Gainesville (Georgia) on the road. “I told our guys that last week’s loss was just preparation for this game. We learned last week how to come out and weather that storm.”
Western (1-1) was penalized 14 times for 127 yards and despite blocking two punts, its offense had a difficult time moving the ball throughout the evening. For the second game in a row, the Wildcats played without Kentucky commit Tovani Mizell, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL.
“It’s football,” said Western coach Adam Ratkevich. “Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. That’s a good football team, so give them credit for the win. Our defense and our special teams blocked two punts, so they played well enough to win. Offensively, we just didn’t execute.
“Some of the mistakes we made, there was a miscommunication by the receivers on their routes, and put Davi (Belfort) in a bad situation, and other times Coconut Creek put good pressure on him. And there was probably too much pressure on him because we couldn’t get the running game going. At the end of the day, we lost to a good football team, and you go back to work.”
Coconut Creek (2-1) opened the scoring as it drove 50 yards in 11 plays as Hostzclaw did most of the legwork carrying eight times for 38 yards. Cougars quarterback James Hayes capped the drive with a 5-yard run for a 7-0 lead with 4:43 remaining in the first quarter. Hayes finished with 11 carries for 36 yards and passed for 81 yards.
Western answered as they took the ensuing kickoff and marched 75 yards in just three plays. Belfort, a Virginia Tech commit, completed back-to-back passes to Koby Howard, the second covering 60 yards for a TD with 3:32 left in the first quarter to knot the score at 7-7. Belfort finished the night 15 for 25 for 167 yards and three interceptions.
The Wildcats picked up a safety in the second period with 5:19 left to seize a 9-7 lead when Zyon Pressley broke through to block a punt by Coconut Creek’s Godson Sinelien as the ball rolled through the end zone. Pressley also had a fumble recovery to halt a Cougars drive with 2:42 left in the first half.
Western missed a chance to pad its lead when Elijah Cannon broke through the line to block a 37-yard field goal attempt by Nicholas McCarthy with a little over one minute remaining.
Coconut Creek opened the second half driving 70 yards in nine plays capped by a 4-yard scoring run by Nimari Brantley with 8:26 left in the third period to take the lead for good at 13-9. The Cougars failed to capitalize on an interception by Belfort that gave them the ball on the Western 21. Western had the first of two goal-line stands to keep the visitors off the scoreboard.
On the next series, Belfort was intercepted again and Jahar Brown took it to the house from 18 yards out to extend the lead to 20-9 with 4:03 left in the third period.
On the next Western play from scrimmage, Belfort fumbled, and Coconut Creek’s Martin Montero recovered on the Wildcats’ 8-yard line. Western’s defense held again on a fourth and goal from their six-yard line to thwart the drive.
Western forced another blocked punt when Sinelien was unable to field a botched snap giving the Wildcats the ball on the Cougars’ 43. Belfort hit Calerbe Hermane with a 30-yard pass to convert a fourth-and 9 from the 32. Belfort scored on a 2-yard run on the next play with 7:55 left in the game to pull Western within 20-15. Logan Juste was stopped on his 2-point conversion try as it was the closest the Wildcats would get.
It was the first win by the Cougars in three meetings between the two teams. Western won 23-0 in 2021 and 10-3 in overtime last year.
Week 3 scoreboard
St. Thomas Aquinas 37, Cocoa 36
St. Andrew’s 10, West Boca Raton 7 (OT, final)
South Broward 33, Piper 12
Coconut Creek 20, Western 15
Pahokee 42, Palm Beach Lakes 0
Seminole Ridge 24, Forest Hill 0
Boca Raton 21, Boynton Beach 6
Westminster Academy 34, Bradenton Christian 10
Fort Pierce Westwood 12, Inlet Grove 7
Plantation 49, Stoneman Douglas 3
Martin County 17, Jupiter 7
Blanche Ely 43, Boyd Anderson 8
Boca Raton Christian 46, Central Florida Christian Academy 0
Spanish River 48, John I. Leonard 14
King’s Academy 40, Somerset Canyons 10
Jensen Beach 42, Wellington 0
St. Edward’s 35, Berean Christian 0
Benjamin 27, Clearwater Academy International 21
Key West 44, Oxbridge Academy 16
Lake Placid 22, Nova 18
Chaminade-Madonna 61, Bergen Catholic (New Jersey) 21
Stranahan 32, Deerfield Beach 14
Cardinal Gibbons 38, Dillard 14
Miramar 61, Coral Glades 0
Coral Springs 22, Hollywood Hills 20
LaSalle 28, Somerset Academy 13
University School 41, Marathon 7
Avant Garde Academy 19, Westland Hialeah 7
Monarch 52, Hallandale 0
Pembroke Pines Charter 19, North Broward Prep 14
South Plantation 46, Northeast 0
Taravella 27, Pompano Beach 6
Jupiter Christian 48, Glades Day 20
Atlantic 36, North Miami Beach 13
Santaluces 48, Olympic Heights12
Royal Palm Beach 21, Suncoast 7