HIALEAH, FL – It took an extra couple of hours, but ASA College Miami opened the 2018 regular season with a victory.
Thanks to nearly three hours of lightning delays – which began during the pregame warmups – sandwiched between torrential downpours of rain, the Silver Storm had its 1 p.m. game pushed back to a 2:35 p.m. kickoff and didn’t hear the final buzzer on its 41-0 win over visiting Advance Prep Academy until 6 p.m.
Despite the wet conditions, a near-record number of fans filled the stands at Ted Hendricks Stadium Saturday and cheered proudly as the Silver Storm produced points in every facet of the game.
ASA Miami’s first touchdown of the season came late in the first quarter on a 65-yard Evan Burgess touchdown run, when he bounced off of a pair of Advance Prep defenders and rumbled down the sideline into the end zone.
The first quarter came to a halt at the 1:42 mark thanks to another lightning delay.
Once play resumed and the first quarter ended, the Silver Storm turned a Panthers punt into a points thanks to a 73-yard DeVarens Valcin punt return – taking a 14-0 lead just 12 seconds into the second quarter.
Two minutes later, ASA completed the trifecta when sophomore Darrell Malone Jr. intercepted a Jairus Johnson pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown – giving the Silver Storm a 21-0 lead with 9:22 left in the second quarter.
ASA tacked on three more scores in the second half – another scoring run by Burgess, a 1-yard plunge by sophomore quarterback Matt Winzeler, and a 12-yard, fourth-quarter scoring connection between reserve quarterback Nicholas Patrizi and receiver Marvin Robinson to give the Silver Storm its final margin of 41-0.
Silver Storm head coach Chris Boden said he felt that the slippery conditions and the altered flow of the game hampered his team’s performance Saturday, but said he was pleased with his team’s energy Saturday.
“The game took forever,” Boden quipped.
“It’s tough…we had to hustle through warmups, wet field, tough conditions, first game jitters, and we just wanted to get this game in. I felt that we played great on defense, great on special teams. I think we were sloppy on offense – we have some things that we need to clean up. But the energy and effort was there today and I felt that our guys handled themselves well when things got a little chippy.”
ASA Miami’s defense played with plenty of energy and effort Saturday.
The Silver Storm defense found its way into Advance Prep’s backfield routinely – to the tune of producing five sacks and another four tackles for loss.
Linebacker Kahmaree Williams led the way for ASA, recording four total tackles and 1.5 sacks while safety/linebacker Ryan Henry finished with a game-high two sacks along with a pair of tackles.
Defensive back Tomas Ward, linebacker Garrion Corbin, and defensive lineman William Hancock each also added four total tackles while the Silver Storm held the Panthers to just 87 yards of total offense Saturday.
Work In Progress
Where ASA Miami must improve before it rolls into North Carolina next Saturday to face nationally ranked JuCo opponent Lackawanna College is on the offensive side of the ball.
Despite jumping out to a 21-point lead, the Silver Storm offense – specifically its passing game – looked a bit out of sync.
Winzeler, who has drawn interest from N.C. State and Georgia among other schools, completed just three of his 15 passes for 17 yards while throwing a pair of interceptions.
Also, ASA’s offense had just two plays to go for 20 yards or more – both Burgess’ scoring runs – while running just 40 plays compared to the 63 run by the Panthers.
Boden said he wants to see his offensive line elevate its level of play heading into next week’s game.
“I feel like we didn’t protect as well as I think we can today,” Boden said of his O-Line – which will be bolstered by the addition of former Miami Southridge standout and Florida International University transfer Cody Bowes next week.
“Matt struggled because the pockets weren’t as clean as they should’ve been. It’s something that we have to get right as we get ready to go to Lackawanna.”
One player that probably won’t be making next week’s trip to North Carolina is defensive back William Malone.
The younger brother of Darrell Malone went down during the second half with a left arm injury.
After the game, Boden confirmed that the younger Malone had broken his arm and will likely be out for the remainder of the season.