Revenge fuels South Dade win over Killian, 13-7

Akilah Laster | 11/28/2013, 9 a.m.
South Dade (4) Johnnie Hankins dodges Killian defenders on carry. Photo by Akilah Laster

It was a game of revenge. Revenge for snatching the district title and ending an undefeated season. South Dade atoned for their only district and regular season loss to Killian (7-5) last Saturday with a 13-7 win over the Cougars on a muddy Tropical Park field. The site that haunted the Buccaneers and where their seven-game win streak was ruined became the place where they propelled themselves to the Class 8A regional final.

Despite the sporadic drizzling and the field that had more mud pits than grass, South Dade (11-1) found its footing on the play of running back Johnnie Hankins, who finished with 175 rushing yards and a 7-yard touchdown. Hankins’ touchdown was the only one of the first half.

The Cougars, as has been their modus operandi all season, started off sluggishly but came back to tie on a huge 67-yard pass from Nigel Dillard to Anthony Olivencia. The momentum quickly, but only momentarily, shifted as the Buccaneers trudged back in the final quarter.

First South Dade’s defensive effort was unprecedented, only allowing Killian three first downs the entire game. The Bucs’ defense combined with the messy field held Killian to 18 rushing yards — their lowest of the season.

The Bucs defense jolted the offense who sealed the game on a 28-yard pass from senior quarterback Kahlil Render to receiver C.J. Worton. South Dade ceremoniously drenched Hudson with water and the players stockpiled in the middle of the field celebrating like champions. The Bucs got one step further than they did last season.

But the war is not yet won. South Dade will face Coral Gables (11-1) this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Traz Powell in the regional final. Gables is the mirror of South Dade also having only one loss on the season at the hands of Killian.

Gables coach and alumnus Roger Pollard is also in his second year as head coach like Hudson who is a South Dade alumnus. Gables is also amped after a late comeback in their game against Columbus (7-5) and will have that momentum in what will undoubtedly be a great matchup of quarterbacks.