- Tyler Harden
IMG Academy makes statement with dominant win over Miami Northwestern
Photo Credit: @mikejanesphotography (MaxPreps)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA—IMG Academy is the number one high school football team in the country, according to MaxPreps. The Ascenders play a national schedule, facing some of the best teams from around the country, and also the best teams in their home state of Florida. The Ascenders were set to take on Miami Northwestern, who is ranked 6th in the country (according to MaxPreps), and is arguably the one team in Florida that could give IMG a run for their money. But it’s not often that IMG is tested, and tonight was no different.
IMG started the game showing why are the best team in the country, as running back, Lovasea Carroll, ran 91 yards down the field for a touchdown. However, the play was called back due to a holding penalty. The Ascenders didn’t flinch, as they marched down the field, and Kaytron Allen capped off the drive bouncing off tackles to put IMG up 7-0 (PAT good). Miami Northwestern couldn’t answer with their first offensive drive, as OJ Burroughs intercepted a pass and returned it to the Northwestern 47-yard line. The Ascenders took advantage. J.J. McCarthy found Shawn Miller for a deep 47-yard touchdown to make the game 14-0 (PAT good).
The IMG offense kept going after a punt by Northwestern. J.J. McCarthy found wide receiver, Malik McClain, for a 51-yard touchdown to give IMG a 21-0 lead. McClain is currently committed to Florida State. On their next drive, the Ascenders did what they’d done all game, as McCarthy found Kaytron Allen wide open in the flat for a touchdown (PAT good). With IMG controlling the overwhelming majority of the game, the Ascenders had a 28-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.
Miami Northwestern wouldn’t go away, however, as Zuberi Mobley ran 20 yards to the IMG 40-yard line. Shortly after, Mobley ran the ball again, this time up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown to give the Bulls their first points of the game (PAT good). IMG answered back, as Ari Allen returned the kickoff to the Northwestern 13-yard line. However, IMG faced 4th and 25, and the Ascenders went out to attempt a field goal. But IMG had a trick up their sleeve, as they faked the field goal, and quarterback, Jackson Zager, found a wide open Ari Allen in the end zone to give the Ascenders a 35-7 lead. The Bulls couldn’t answer, as they missed a 36-yard field goal attempt, and the Ascenders went into halftime with a 35-7 lead.
Miami Northwestern came out of halftime looking to prove a point, that they wouldn’t give up no matter the score. The Bulls marched down the field, as quarterback, Taron Dickens, completed back-to-back passes to bring Northwestern to the IMG 20-yard line. Steve Augustin capped off the drive with a touchdown catch from Jalen Rogers to make the score 35-14. IMG couldn’t answer on their next possession, and was forced to punt. The Ascender special teams came up big, as Northwestern muffed the punt, and IMG recovered on the Northwestern 30-yard line. IMG took advantage once again, as J.J. McCarthy found Shawn Miller for a 20-yard touchdown (PAT good). By the time the 3rd quarter ended, IMG had a 42-14.
IMG wanted to increase their lead as much as possible going into the final quarter. Lovasea Carroll, who is currently committed to Georgia, started the quarter off with a 29-yard carry to the Northwestern 47-yard line. Carroll then ran the ball again for a big gain for 33-yards to the Northwestern 16. Kaytron Allen then reached for the pylon for a touchdown, and secured the win for IMG. When the clock hit zero, IMG had knocked off one of the best teams in Florida, 49-14.
IMG Academy moves to 7-0, and remains the number 1 overall high school football team in the country, according to MaxPreps. IMG’s next opponent is to be determined, as the Ascenders have a bye week next week. Northwestern suffers their first loss of the season, and falls to 1-1. The Bulls’ next matchup will be against Miami Palmetto next week on Thursday, November 5th, at 7:00 PM ET.