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The Miami Dolphins Weather the Storm In Season Opener

Patrick Ales, Staff Writer

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The Miami Dolphins kicked off the National Football League (NFL) season on Sep. 3 at 1 P.M. against the Tennessee Titans. The much-anticipated return of starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, after missing all of last season due to injury, was taken aback following the torrential downpour that plagued much of the eastern U.S. coast. After all was said and done, the Dolphins’ season opener became the longest game in NFL history, lasting seven hours and 10 minutes.

The first rain delay of the game came with one minute remaining in the second quarter; at about 2:10 P.M. the Dolphins carried a 7-3 lead into this grueling two-hour delay. Much of the first half had been plagued by rain, so both teams relied heavily on their running backs, allowing for several rushing plays to be made.

“The game was intense at the moment of the delay and the Dolphins had just come back. All the fans were disappointed when we heard play was called off,” senior Adrian Laithert said.

The game would resume for about 30 minutes until lightning struck again and both teams were forced to return to the locker room. At this point in the game, the Dolphins held a 10-3 lead following a field goal by kicker Jason Sanders, and seemed poised to build on their advantage. Although rain delays typically drain the life out of a team, the entire roster remained energized and eager to get back on the field.

Five hours after kickoff, the game resumed for a second time. The fourth quarter was an unexpected reward for fans that weathered the storm within Hard Rock Stadium, as both teams scored 17 points in the final period. Tannehill threw his second touchdown of the day to receiver Kenny Stills with 10 minutes left in the game, capping an impressive 200 yard, two touchdown performance. His debut instilled hope in many fans, who were worried about his ability to perform coming off an injury. All the action resulted in a 27-20 win for the Dolphins and represents an ideal start to the season, despite the circumstances they were faced with throughout the game. The Titans sought to build on a season that saw them contend in the playoffs but fell short as the underdogs from Miami defended their home field during the season opener.

“It was really reassuring to see the Dolphins play so well after all the changes that were made in the offseason. The team looks poised to make a run for the playoffs, even with such a different roster from last year,” senior Angelle Garcia said.

A solid win over a team with playoff aspirations surely serves as a building block for Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, who faces an uphill battle this year after losing two of his best players in the offseason: receiver Jarvis Landry and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Expected to take on bigger roles after the departure of these stars are receiver Kenny Stills, who finished the game with an impressive two touchdowns, and defensive end Charles Harris. The latter is coming off a stellar rookie season and is looking to develop into one of the elite defensive players in the league.

Getting off to a good start is crucial for a team as inexperienced as the new-look Miami Dolphins, and their season-opening performance did just that. Despite having to sit through the longest game in NFL history, the team never let their guard down. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the game is the collective intensity that the Dolphins maintained throughout the entire seven hours, rather than the play of any one individual player. As for Week Two, the Dolphins will fly to New York to face the Jets on Sunday, Sep. 16, at 1 P.M. Go Fins!

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About the Contributors
Patrick Ales, Staff Writer

Patrick Ales is a senior in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Coral Gables Senior High School. This is his first year in CavsConnect and will serve as a staff writer for the 2018-19 school year. Ales has been on Varsity Volleyball since his freshman year and has been a captain since his junior year. He is an active member in many clubs, such as Future Business Leaders of America, the IB Honor Society, Gables Earth and National Honor Society. He is also a Student Council Treasurer and hopes to take an active role in planning many activities for the student body.

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Jesse Zambrano, Spotlights Editor

Jesse Zambrano is a junior in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. When she arrived to the US, it was clear to Zambrano how important it was to emerge herself into a new culture and its customs. She quickly picked up the English language allowing herself to better understand her classes and school work. After she began to master the language, Zambrano quickly rose to the top of her class and did not stop there. In high school, she began to join clubs and sports while staying on top of her school workload. She is currently Vice-President of the IB Honor Society, Treasurer of her Junior Class Board and Junior Representative for Key Club among other things. However, her passion for writing brought her to CavsConnect where she will continue to work on the staff as Spotlights Editor. She is greatly looking forward to continuing balancing her academic life and extracurricular activities as her high school years progress. Zambrano has learned she enjoys being involved and claims it to be the highlight of some of her days. She loves lending a helping hand wherever it is needed as she takes pride in always being kind, compassionate and helpful.

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The Miami Dolphins Weather the Storm In Season Opener