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Norland tops Miami Central in an overtime playoff thriller between national powers

The Vikings lose a 21-point second half lead, but prevail on Noah Sidan’s overtime field goal to reach the Florida 4M state semifinals
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MIAMIA, FLORIDA – In another instant classic between two national high school football powers, based in South Florida, Norland saw a 28-7 second half lead evaporate but the Vikings held their poise and pulled out a 31-28 overtime victory over powerful Miami Central, Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium.

The Vikings forced and recovered a fumble, on a fourth-and-one play in overtime and then got a 27-yard field goal from Noah Sidan during their overtime possession to claim their second win over the Rockets this season.

Norland, the No. 22 team in the SBLive Sports Illustrated Power 25, remains undefeated, at 12-0, and will move on to the Class 2M state semifinals next Friday, where the Vikings will face American Heritage. Heritage won a high scoring battle with Cardinal Gibbons, 47-25, also on Friday night.

After failing to produce any offense for much of the first half, Norland got a game-tying touchdown with just 5.6 seconds left in the second quarter and exploded for three third quarter scores on their way to building a 28-7 lead.

Miami Central (8-4), ranked No. 25 nationally, struck first with a touchdown pass from Antonio Smith to Anjuan Coleman late in the first quarter and Norland tied it on a two-yard run by Juan Rodriguez, heading into halftime.

Norland quarterback Ennio Yapoor put his team in front with a 28-yard touchdown run on the first possession of the third quarter. The Vikings stretched their lead to 21-7 with an 85-yard punt return by Isaiah Scott and then Yapoor made it 28-7 with a 69-yard TD pass to Ivory Aikens.

Miami got back within two scores, late in the third quarter, with a 2-yard touchdown run by JC Evans. Evans continued to rally the Rockets in the fourth quarter, throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Khaleal Sterling and then scoring again on an 8-yard run to tie the game at 28-28 with less than a minute to play.

Before overtime got underway, Evans got Miami Central in position to attempt a potential game-winning field goal, but Kristin Hobbs 42-yard attempt was blocked by Norland. Unfortunately for Evans, his lunging attempt at the goal line, on the fourth down overtime play, led to the fumble that setup Norland’s winning field goal.

Below is our Live Update feed tracking each of the key plays throughout the contest.



- FIELD GOAL! Norland's Noah Sidan converts a 27-yard field goal for the win in a thriller.

- The Vikings get back to the 10 and are lining up for a potential game-winning field goal.

- Norland commits a holding penalty on first down and get pushed back to the 22.

- Miami Central fumbles and the Vikings recover. They can win the contest with any type of score as their offense comes on the field.

- After no gain on second down, the Rockets faced fourth and less than one from inside the one. A penalty call on Norland, however, brought the ball back to the two for third down.

- After a 5-yard gain, it's first and goal from the five for the Rockets.

- Miami Central will get the first offensive possession in OT.



- Kristian Hobbs 42-yard attempt is blocked. We're going to overtime.

- Miami Central lining up for a potential game-winning field goal from 42-yards. Just five seconds left in the fourth quarter.

- After forcing a quick punt, Miami Central has a chance to win it in regulation. The Rockets are at the Norland 36.

- Norland receives the kickoff and has the ball at its own 20.

- TOUCHDOWN! It's all tied up as JC Evans has taken over the game. He scores on an 8-yard run as the Rockets have erased a 21-point second half deficit. It's 28-28 with just 28.56 seconds left in the fourth.

- Rockets have advanced inside the Norland 10 on a long pass from Evans. Under three minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

- Central has crossed midfield on a long run by JC Evans. Rockets are at the Norland 42 with four minutes to play.

- This time Norland goes through with the punt. Miami Central will setup shop at their own 20.

- Vikings going backwards. It's 3rd and 22 from the 42.

- Anthony Mattison converts a fake punt with a 29-yard pass to Joquin Reid, keeping a Norland drive alive and the ball out of the hands of suddenly hot Miami Central offense. Norland is at the Rocket 30.

- Miami Central gets the ball back on a punt. Just over six minutes left.

- Norland needs to stem Central's momentum. The Vikings start at their own 24 after the kickoff.

- TOUCHDOWN! Here come the Rockets. They pull within seven with a 25-yard TD pass from JC Evans to Khaleal Sterling. Norland is up 28-21 with nine minutes left.

- Central forces a punt. Things are starting to get interesting. The Rockets have the ball at their own 45 with 11 minutes to play.



- Norland still has some work to do. The Vikings receive the kickoff and start at their own 10.

- TOUCHDOWN! Rockets get one back as JC Evans powers in from 2-yards out. Rockets back within two scores, at 28-14, with less than two minutes left in the third quarter..

- Miami Central, needing to make a big comeback, has the ball in the Red Zone.

- TOUCHDOWN! Ennior Yapoor strikes again; this time with a 69-yard touchdown pass to Ivory Aikens. The Vikings have dominated this third quarter and are turning this into a blowout, 28-7, with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter.

- Norland defense forces another quick punt. The Vikings have the ball back with six minutes to play in the third quarter.

- TOUCHDOWN! Norland is really setting off the fireworks now. The Vikings' "D" forces a punt and Isaiah Scott takes the return 85-yards to the house. Norland now has a two score lead at 21-7.

- After the kickoff Central will start at its own 30-yard line as the Rockets attempt to respond.

- TOUCHDOWN! The Vikings strike quickly in the third quarter. Quarterback Ennio Yapoor scores on a 28-yard run and the extra-point kick was good. Norland leads 14-7.

- Norland set to receive it first in the third quarter.

- We're gearing up for the start of the second half. These two great powers have just 24 minutes (and possibly overtime) to determine who moves on to the state semifinals and becomes the odds on favorite to win the Class 2M state championship.



- TOUCHDOWN! Norland ties the game with a 2-yard TD run by Juan Rodriguez, 7-7. The score came with 5.6 seconds left in the opening half.

- Suddenly, Norland is threatening. The Vikings are in the Red Zone.

- Another punt. Miami Central boots it back to Norland. The Vikings begin at their own 41 with five minutes remaining in the second quarter.

- Norland has yet to get its offense on-track. The Vikings just punted the ball back to the Rockets who have it 1st and 10 at their own 20 with eight minutes to play in the first half.



- Norland opens its next possession at its own 10 after the kickoff.

- TOUCHDOWN! Miami Central on the scoreboard first with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Antonio Smith to Anjuan Coleman. The PAT is good and the Rockets lead 7-0 with two minutes left the opening quarter.

- The Rockets have entered the Red Zone for the first time at the Norland 15.

- Jayden Ford has Miami Central threatening with a long run. The Rockets are on the Norland 29.

- With nine minutes to go in the opening quarter, the teams have traded punts. Miami Central has the ball at its own 30 with nine minutes left in the opening quarter.

- Norland has it on the tee and is set to kickoff to Miami Central to get things underway at Traz Powerll.

- Kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.