- Faith & Family
“Keeping is more difficult than winning.”
The South Dade Buccaneers, the district 16-8A champions, realized that after being shutout in the regional semifinals by their in-district rival, the Killian Cougars (24-0), last Saturday night at Harris Field.
The Bucs (10-2), who delivered the Cougars their only loss of the season 23-21, could not keep the same momentum that kept them undefeated for eight consecutive games prior to Saturday.
The Cougars’ defense staunched the Bucs’ offense, holding them to only two first downs in the first half. The Bucs only earned 59 rushing yards.
“We had solid defense the whole night,” Killian head coach, Cory Johnson said. “The kids just played hard.”
The Cougars (10-1) staggered at the beginning, but were able to put points up at the end of the first quarter on a 35-yard field goal by Christian Cepede to put them ahead 3-0.
The Bucs were able to stay in the game, keeping Killian scoreless in the second quarter, but it did nothing to shake the Cougars’ momentum going into the a 21-point second half.
Cougars’ senior halfback, Jamaal Burgess led the Cougars with 111 rushing yards and two touchdowns, including a 78-yard touchdown run, the longest of the night, to put them ahead by 17.
Quarterback David Felipe snuck in to end zone on a 1-yard scamper to give Killian its first touchdown of the night. Felipe finished with 82 yards on 5 of 14 passing.
South Dade had an opportunity to score on a passing play, but it was nabbed by Cornerback Cortez Benjamin at the 1-yard line.
The Bucs, in their first season under head coach Nathaniel Hudson Jr., improved from last year’s 5-5 record that disallowed them to make the post season.
Unfortunately for the Bucs, the Cougars won when it mattered most and will play in the region 4-8A finals against Columbus on Friday at FIU South.
By Akilah Laster