CLASS 5A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: American Heritage rolls over Rickards to win first title since 2017

American Heritage (Plantation) celebrates their first state championship over Rickards since 2017 at Doak S. Campbell Stadium on Fri. Dec. 18, 2020 in Tallahassee, Fla. [Joshua Wilson/FloridaHSFootball.com]

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — South Florida is 2-0 on the day with the American Heritage Plantation (11-2) win over Rickards (9-1). The Patriots’ top-to-bottom execution left the Raiders unable to make big moves.

Game Recap

The Patriots found the end zone quickly, thanks to this Mark Fletcher run. The running back flashed early and maintained his dominance throughout the game.

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Next came WR Nick Whitton, nearly wide open on the route.

While the first two scores were impressive, this Oronde Gadsden Jr. catch gives a glimpse at why he will play at the next level. Yesterday, Gadsden Jr. signed with Syracuse.

The final score was 21-0 at the half. However, Rickards kept pushing through.

A 2-yard Michael Townsend touchdown run put the Raiders on the board for the first time in the third quarter. The final score ended up 21-6.

American Heritage Plantation won its first State Championship since 2017.

Quotes

American Heritage Head Coach Patrick Surtain

  • “[The win] is special… What the kids have been through, with COVID, with not having spring football, hurting their recruitment for college… They’re reaping the benefits of their hard work.”
  • “We created a little bubble for the kids… We did things the right way, and we got through it. We’re state champs, man, can’t take that from us.”

Players of the Game

Patriots quarterback Blake Murphy went 8-of-16 for 132 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Additionally, he added 26 rushing yards. RB Fletcher stole the show with 127 yards on 21 carries, plus a touchdown. Receivers Whitton and Gadsden added touchdowns, going for 49 and 17 yards on the night. Safety Boogsie Silvera registered a whopping 15 tackles on the night, and DE Marvin Jones totaled two sacks.

Rickards’ quarterback Townsend went 3-of-10 for 41 yards. But, he added 25 rushing yards plus a touchdown. RB De’andre Francis amassed 113 yards during the game. Defensively, OLB Terrance McPherson, Jr. notched 13 tackles.

College Roundup

For American Heritage Plantation, WR Oronde Gadsden Jr. will attend and Syracuse, S James Williams will attend Miami. However, a group of other Patriots seniors also have offers and could sign in February.

For Rickards, CB Malik Franklin will attend South Alabama. But, a group of other Raiders also have offers and could sign in February.