Western shocks top-ranked bucks

Posted on 16 November 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Adam Ratkevich couldn’t have picked a better spot to coach Western High School to the first win in school history.

Ratkevich exacted a little bit of revenge against his former school as the Wildcats football coach piloted his team to a stunning, 20-17 victory over host Deerfield Beach in the regional quarterfinals last week.

We ended our season on this field last year and we had t-shirts printed up with ‘Unfinished Business’ and that was about the playoffs,” said Coach Ratkevich, whose team lost 27-13 to the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs in 2016.

I told our seniors last year they built this thing and we are gonna stand on their shoulders and I promised the juniors if we saw these guys again we’d do it.”

Ratkevich, who coached the Bucks in 2009 and 2010, left the program after making the playoffs despite finishing with a 2-9 record. It was the first losing season since finishing 4-6 in 1989 and only the sixth losing season in the 40 years of varsity football at the school. Ratkevich finished with a 9-13 record at the school.

Western’s Harrison story tossed two touchdowns to Jordan Smith, including a 7-yard score with 3:19 to go to clinch the team’s victory over the state’s top-ranked Class 8A team by the Associated Press.

The Wildcats (9-2) defense recovered four fumbles of the night to keep Deerfield Beach (8-3) at bay.

Deerfield Beach running back Jaylan Knighton led all rushers with 126 yards on 21 carries, including a 34-yard touchdown that gave the Bucks the early, 7-0 lead. Story tied the game at 7-7 with a 2-yard run before Linden Rivera gave the Bucks a 10-7 halftime lead with a 30-yard field goal.

Deerfield Beach Coach Jevon Glenn said his team just couldn’t overcome turnovers and penalties. The Bucks were whistled 16 times for 120 yards.

Story gave Western a 13-10 lead on a 3-yard touchdown pass to Smith with 8:54 left in the third quarter; however, the Bucks wouldn’t go down without a fight as Kyle Kaplan hit Donte Banton for a 34-yard touchdown with 2:50 left to play.

The Bucks, making their 16th playoff appearance since 2000 and 26th overall since 1977, could get no closer.

Pompano’s Christensen finishes 11th

Pompano Beach High junior Thomas Christensen tied for 11th with a 155 (80-75) at the Class 2A state tournament at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills last week.

He was medalist at the

regional tournament and helped the Golden Tornadoes to a third place team finish. Pompano Beach also finished an impressive 10-1 this season.

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