MSD varsity football team falls short on homecoming night against Plantation High School


Carolina Ochoa Lozano

Tackle Jeremy Fishkin (75) lines up with the rest of the Eagles defense before the Colonels’ snap. The Eagles’ defense held off the Colonels throughout the game; however, it was not enough to prevent the 40-26 loss.

Ryan Shimony, Sports Editor

On Thursday, Sep. 8, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School varsity football team hosted the Plantation Colonels. This was the Eagles’ second game of the season as they hoped to remain undefeated and advance to 2-0. Meanwhile, the Colonels were hoping to improve to a winning ratio of 2-1.

This was not just any ordinary home game for the Eagles as this was also their Homecoming game. With MSD having their Homecoming dance on Saturday, Sep. 10, the game was one of the many festivities held throughout the week.

During Homecoming week, MSD had a bunch of events planned to increase the school spirit. Earlier on Thursday, MSD had a pep rally to bring excitement and cheer towards Eagles players and clubs. In addition, teachers and students dressed up in different styled outfits every day. On the date of the game, students wore different colors representing their class. All freshmen wore green, sophomores wore blue, juniors wore red and seniors wore black.

Once 7:00 pm hit, the Colonels kicked off the ball to the Eagles. The fans were extremely excited as they were dressed up in their class colors, not seeming to care about the pouring rain. The rain rarely stopped throughout the game and made it much tougher for both teams.

The Eagles first possession resulted in a quick three-and-out. The defense came out strong with a sack by defensive and tight end Ryan Cruz (99) getting a sack on the first play of offense by Plantation. The Colonels drove the ball all the way down the field. However, the Eagles defense remained strong and forced Plantation to turnover on downs.

“I did a great job of containing the quarterback,” Cruz said. “I made sure he didn’t release outside the box, allowing my teammates or I to get the tackle.”

The game did not remain scoreless for much longer as the Colonels scored on an Eagles muffed snap during the punt. The punter dropped the snap and then got hit hard by Plantation as he picked it up. The Colonels’ return ended up going into the end zone. The Eagles then trailed 8-0 following a successful two point conversion attempt by Plantation.

The Eagles did not allow that special teams touchdown to daunt them. The following drive, running backs Clayton Cannon Jr. (1) and Justin Spano (3) had big plays that brought the team into the other side of the field. Then, quarterback Ryan Spallina (15) threw a deep pass to Clayton Cannon (2) in the end zone for an Eagles touchdown. Kicker Robbie Alhadeff’s (8) extra point shrunk Plantation’s lead to just one point.

The Colonels did not waste any time to retake their eight point lead as they returned the following Eagles touchdown. The Colonels led 15-7.

Despite another three-and-out for the Eagles following the Plantation touchdown, MSD recovered a fumble at midfield. They moved the ball down near the red zone and were unsuccessful to score after the takeaway. This led to another Colonels touchdown as they led 21-7 with a missed extra point. The score remained the same as the game entered halftime. The Eagles had another opportunity to score right before half, but the field goal attempt came up just short.

The Colonels offense did not stop scoring as the second half began with a long touchdown for them. A missed extra point gave them a 27-7 favor over the Eagles.

It looked like Plantation was going to take over the game as the Eagles were forced into another fourth down early in the drive following the touchdown. However, Spano ran across the field in a fake punt, and picked up way more than the first down for the Eagles and moved the ball deep down the field. The drive resulted in a touchdown as Cannon Jr. scored his first of the game. The Colonels led 27-14.

A Colonels fumble that was recovered by the Eagles gave MSD a chance to narrow the lead to just one score. Cannon did just so, as he had his second receiving touchdown of the game. The point after the attempt was blocked, so the Colonels led 27-20.

“We were down 27-7 and our offense kept fighting,” Spallina said. “Our offensive line kept blocking, receivers kept making plays and we made it a one score game.”

The Colonels did not waste much time bouncing back from the Eagles 13-0 scoring run. Plantation’s drive following the previous Eagles touchdown went into the endzone and increased the lead to 34-20.

The Eagles bounced right back as Spallina connected with wide receiver JT Spadavecchia (5) for a huge pickup. Cannon Jr. finished out the drive with his second rushing touchdown of the game. The Eagles narrowed down the deficit to eight points.

Following an Eagles defensive stop on fourth down, the offense had a chance to tie the game up for the first time of the day. They moved the ball downfield, but were unsuccessful as they also turned the ball over on downs. Giving the ball back to the Colonels, gave them the opportunity to extend the eight point lead. They did just so and led 40-26.

The score remained the same for the final six minutes of the game and the Eagles took their first loss of the season. This was a tough game for the Eagles, as they had to battle with the pouring rain throughout the entire game.

“[We need to] touch up on some mistakes that we had, and we are going to win every game that we play moving forward,” Spallina said.

The Eagles play Jensen Beach High School on Friday, Sep. 16. This will be the Eagles first road game of the season as they hope to take a step back in the right direction with a victory.