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South Dade demolishes rival Palmetto 43-0

Akilah Laster | 9/26/2013, 9 a.m.
From left J. Dean, P. Manyou, D. Nottage, D. Betts, M. Mezier; So. Dade Defense each recorded int. against Palmetto. Miami Times photos/Akilah Laster

What can Palmetto be proud of after being shutout 43-0 by district rival South Dade last Thursday night at Harris Field? Maybe they can be grateful the score wasn’t higher.

Fortunately for the Panthers (2-1), the Buccaneers’ Achilles’ heel was their kicking — South Dade only converted on one of four extra-point attempts and flailed on all three two-point conversions. Perhaps the Panthers should be excited that they exposed last season’s district 16-8A champ’s weakness. Other district opponents, Killian, Southridge, and Coral Reef, will undoubtedly appreciate the heads-up.

But while the kicking game was shaky, launching to a 25-point lead in the first quarter against any opponent will compensate for that. Senior quarterback Khalil Render connected on four touchdown passes to receivers CJ Worton, Mateo Walker, Tyre’ Brady, and Nathaniel Terry all within four minutes left in the first quarter. Render earned 175-yards passing by the end of the first.

“It’s time for those dividends to cash in,” said Head Coach Nathaniel Hudson. “This is our first shut-out game and it was something we were looking forward to.”

Seven different players scored for the Bucs (4-0) by the end of the game. The defense inexplicably held the Panthers to an embarrassing three rushing yards for the game. Daunted by four interceptions, including two pick-six’s, Palmetto quarterback Matt Coll finished with only 110 yards.

South Dade (4-0) who is favored to win the district again, especially with a struggling Killian, needs to keep the momentum going. They play non-district opponent Varela on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Harris Field, which should be another easy win. Palmetto has a short-lived celebration, third in the district and ahead of Killian and Southridge. They play against Lake Gibson (1-1) on Friday in Lakeland.