Bucks fall in State Semifinal

Posted on 08 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports120816By Gary Curreri

A week of heartbreak for the Deerfield Beach High School football team ended abruptly with a 26-7 loss to visiting Miami Southridge in the Class 8A state semifinal on Friday.

Despite forcing six turnovers, including five in the first half alone, the host Bucks were unable to generate much offense and fell to the Spartans in its first trip to the state semifinals since Denard “Shoelace” Robinson was the team’s quarterback a decade ago.

I am proud of my team,” said Bucks coach Jevon Glenn, who was back on the sidelines after spending last week in the hospital and missing the team’s regional final win over Atlantic. “We came back. The program had slipped a little bit and we definitely got the program back – last year to the regional quarterfinals and this year to the state semifinals.”

Deerfield Beach sophomore linebacker Gemon Eafford returned a fumble by Southridge’s Bentavious Thompson 5 yards for an early 7-0 lead, however Mark Pope struck for a 98-yard kickoff return on the ensuing kickoff to cut the Bucks’ lead to 7-6. Keyon Martin blocked the extra point attempt.

The Bucks missed a field goal, hurt themselves with costly penalties and were unable to protect quarterback Nick Holm, who was sacked 10 times in the game.

After Antwan Collier scored on a 19-yard TD to give Southridge a 12-7 lead, Holm was driving the Bucks to the end zone to retake the lead. Southridge’s Shawn Davis intercepted Holm at his own 1 and returned it 99 yards for the clinching touchdown with 8:51 remaining in the game that put the Spartans up 20-7 after a two-point conversion. Collier added a late score for the final margin.

We left plays on the field,” Glenn added. “It was tough. They are one of the best defenses in Florida…My hat goes off to them.”

For Alabama commit and senior Bucks wide out Jerry Jeudy, the game marked his final contest in a Bucks football jersey. It also ended a hard week personally as he had to cope with the passing of his 7-year-old sister Aaliyah to a lengthy illness. Jeudy finished the game with nine catches for 91 yards.

Highlands Christian Gridiron falls short

The Highlands Christian Academy football team recently lost the Florida Independent Football Conference (FIFC) championship contest to host Palmer Trinity Prep (Miami) 28-6 to close out its season.

The Knights (4-4) went down 14-0 in the second quarter and then was outscored 14-6 in the final quarter. The lone score came from eighth-grader Christian Opalsky, who finished the season with more than 1,000 yards on the ground.

Senior quarterback Dylan DiBello ran for 108 yards and two scores and completed 6 of 14 passes for 113 yards and one score to lead the Falcons (6-0-1) to the title. Sophomore running back Jalen Sloan also broke the century barrier on the ground with 101 yards and one score.

Highlands Christian coach Josh Harris, who completed his first year as head coach after assistant coaching stints at Miami Northwestern, Doral Academy and Somerset Academy was proud of his team’s season. The team finished 2-7 the previous two seasons.

Last year, they really didn’t have a coach,” Harris said. “They had two former players who pitched in and helped out and (Highlands) was actually thinking about shutting the program down. The kids this year were scrappy and always found a way.

I told the kids if they looked at the trophy case in the school, there was not a lot of representation of football in the gym,” Harris said. “Forty years from now, people will come back to the school and see their name or their accomplishment in there. Your kids will see your name or your legacy represented. You will live forever at the school. It is really cool. I think we’re starting to feel like we are accomplishing something here.”

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