Monarch High School Wins Wild Game For 1st Victory in Broward County National Football Showcase
Monarch High School Football. {Courtesy)

By: Matt Rothman

The Monarch High School football team built an incredibly tough schedule in the non-conference part of the season. 

After facing Coconut Creek High School in the Kickoff Classic, they played one of the top teams from Georgia in their first regular season game and beat Cedar Grove High School 50-42. 

“I thought our guys did a great job of not quitting,” Head Coach Calvin Davis said. “We talked all week about finishing and starting fast strong and finishing fast. I think we started fast, and in the end, our guys really came through with some big plays defensively that kind of put the game away.”

Brite Cannon II returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and then caught a 69-yard pass from quarterback AJ Hairston for a second score. Samari Reed and Jabari Brady also caught touchdown passes for the Knights, who converted three of their four two-point conversions to take a 30-21 lead at halftime. 

Monarch High School Wins Wild Game For 1st Victory in Broward County National Football Showcase
AJ Hairston. {Top Shot Media}

Cedar Grove responded with 21 unanswered points to take the lead, but Hairston connected again to Cannon and Brady for two more touchdowns to cut the deficit to four in the third quarter. Monarch recovered an onside kick, and Malik Kelsey scored from a yard out to make it 44-42; the Knights added six more after Antonio Ward returned a fumble for a touchdown. Cannon finished off the win with a fumble recovery. 

Hairston, committed to Umass, finished the game with 15-26 with five touchdown passes. He also rushed five times for 43 yards and was named ITG  Next Male Athlete of the Month of August.

“Starting off with this game big for us,” Hairston said. “We were down but came back together and fought as a team. I believe it puts a tone to the start of our season, and we need to keep building off of that.”

Monarch is coming off their second District Championship and moved to 1-0 for the the second straight season. They will remain home and face Atlantic High School on Friday, September 1, following the Eagles’ 28-12 win last year. Atlantic finished 8-4 in 2022 and played Palm Beach Gardens in their first game.

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Matt Rothman
Matt Rothman
Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.