The Rivals Face Off Yet Again: Gables and Columbus

The Coral Gables Cavaliers and the Christopher Columbus Explorers square off to start one of their many famed rivalry games.

Cavalier Football Team

The Coral Gables Cavaliers and the Christopher Columbus Explorers square off to start one of their many famed rivalry games.

Allegra Sharp, Staff Writer

Gables versus Columbus: the legendary rivalry that excites a high school crowd unlike any other. The Cavaliers and the Explorers faced off for the final time during the 2019 fall season on Nov. 7. Having qualified for the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 8A playoffs, the Cavalier Football team was striving to push for a state title. Both Columbus and Coral Gables came ready to play, each with a victory against each other prior to the face off.

Gables’s competition during their season finale, the Christopher Columbus Explorers, has had a very successful fall season. They have been exceptionally dominant on the field, winning seven of their 11 games on the season.

The first two quarters of the season finale were rather slow on Columbus’s part, however it was in these quarters that the Cavaliers dominated the game. In the early minutes of the game, Coral Gables was winning with a score of 6-0. Soon after, they scored their second touchdown and were still winning leading into the third quarter. However, the second half of the game is were the Cavalier’s success was outmatched to that of the Explorers.

With ten minutes to go in the third quarter, the Cavaliers had the first down with the football on the 35-yard line. It was truly a moment of excitement since the Cavaliers had the opportunity to cut the lead. Unfortunately, they could not score in wake of the Explorer defense.

“The team has practiced hard, and even though we had our ups and downs this season, I will always love the game and this team,” freshman Jorge Cascudo said.

With four minutes to go in quarter three, Columbus took advantage of the Cavalier defense, scoring an 11-yard rushing touchdown, lifting the Explorers by an additional seven points.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Columbus turned over the  possession and, with ten minutes left in the final period, the Cavaliers had possession of the ball at the 19-yard line with yet another chance to cut the lead. The Explorers would stop the Cavaliers on every run and, inevitably, the ball was turned over.

The Explorer offense was just too much as they scored a 12-yard rushing touchdown with five minutes remaining in the game. Columbus was in the lead with 43 points and the Cavaliers were running out of time.

Having reached the two minute warning, Columbus made a 5-yard rushing touchdown, which gave the Explorers 49 points, a significant advantage over the Cavaliers’s 14 points.

Both teams fought all the way up until the end. With one minute left in the game, Columbus scored the final point of the game, beating the Cavaliers 50 to 14.

“It was obviously a very rough game, but the team fought hard and did their best to play hard, but it unfortunately was not enough to beat Columbus,” freshman Grace Urbita said.

The varsity football team is focused on training hard and building upon what they have started this season. Although the team has had a rollercoaster of a season, this bitter ending will inevitably fuel the team to train harder to sit atop the standings during next year’s season.