It’s probably safe to say Thursday night was one Davion Sullivan won’t be forgetting for some time.
Higgins’ senior receiver finished the night, which also served as homecoming for Higgins, with five catches for 78 yards and the game-winning 11-yard touchdown catch with 37 seconds left as the Hurricanes (1-4) took a 56-52 win over Riverdale (3-2) at Hoss Memtsas Stadium.
“We came out and fought today. We had an unfortunate first few games, but I just wanted to come out here and fight for my teammates,” Sullivan said. “Before the play started, I told (Higgins coach Craig Laborde) that I was feeling it, and that I wanted the ball. I told him to give it to me, he gave it to me and I put on a show for my teammates.”
After the score, Riverdale quarterback Christian Smith hit wide receiver Darius Bovie on the first play from scrimmage up the left sideline for 55 yards. But on the next play, Sullivan, who also plays on the Higgins basketball team, showed off some of those basketball skills, snatching Smith’s throw for an interception to ensure the victory.
“The great thing about (Sullivan) is that this is his first year playing football (for us),” Laborde said. “We tried to get him out and it wasn’t really until we came back to school before he decided to play. To come up big like this in a homecoming game, it’s a big moment for him.”
Higgins quarterback Daniel White finished 22-of-42 for 267 yards, had eight carries for 26 yards with three total touchdowns and one interception. Wide receiver Romalo Ford followed up a his huge performance against Shaw last week (10 catches, 118 yards and two touchdowns) with another huge day, finishing with eight catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
“We started to see our offense move the ball against Shaw last week and got a few points,” Laborde said. “We got stopped in the red zone a few times last week, and we converted them this week and that turned out to be the difference.”
The game shifted in Higgins’ favor late in the fourth quarter after a 12-play, 64-yard drive ended with White running in from 9 yards out for a touchdown and converting the two-point attempt to cut Riverdale’s lead down to 45-42. Three plays later, defensive end Craig Burns sniffed out a screen pass from Smith, intercepted it and returned it for a touchdown to give Higgins a 49-45 lead.
“We went in, and we challenged our defense to come up and make a play,” Laborde said. “We were sitting on that screen pass, and we were able to pick it off and get it in the end zone. We just made the plays when we had to.”
Smith finished 11-of-25 for 223 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. Donte Jackson, the 20th-ranked athlete in the nation according to ESPN, finished with 12 rushes for 105 yards, one catch for 26 yards and a 78-yard touchdown pass. Bovie added 18 rushes for 113 yards, four catches for 91 yards and four touchdowns.
Higgins will try to carry the momentum of it first win into a district matchup against Helen Cox next Friday. Riverdale will face their first district opponent when they play at East Jefferson next Friday.