- Faith & Family
The South Dade Buccaneers defeated their longtime rival, the Killian Cougars, in a back-and-forth 23-21 district battle last Saturday night at Harris Field.
The Cougars (4-1, 1-1) fresh off of a bi-week entered the game undefeated and tied for first place in District 16-8A, alongside South Dade (5-1, 2-0). Killian head coach, Cory Johnson, expressed concerns a couple of weeks ago about his team’s dismantling after last year’s bi-week, where they loss three out of four remaining games and had to participate in a district tie-breaker.
“There’s no added pressure,” Johnson said before the game. “I’m just waiting to see how things unfold.”
Unfortunately, those same ghosts seemed to be back as Killian was unable to maintain a lead after Cougar senior quarterback, David Felipe-who finished with 93 passing yards-was sacked three times and threw two interceptions during the game.
However, South Dade, under first year head coach Nathaniel Hudson, Jr., came out ready to wipe away last year’s 22-7 loss to the Cougars and last season’s 5-5 overall record.
“These guys are tough,” Hudson said. “We had to keep focused, but we’d been through this before.”
South Dade got off to a quick start, taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter led by senior quarterback Bryant Stewart, who connected on a 16-yard pass to junior receiver C.J. Worton and 22-yard pass to senior running back Terry Edwards, both for touchdowns.
Stewart finished with 94 yards (79 yards in the first half) on 7 of 11 completions and an interception but was removed from the game after an injury on a sack. And though Dade’s running game struggled during the first half, only earning 16 yards, it was their ground game that led them in the second half amassing 112 yards on 19 carries.
Killian fought back in the second quarter to tie the game at 14 by halftime after a huge end zone interception by sophomore middle linebacker, Bruce Davis, who then pitched the ball to sophomore strong safety, Jaquan Johnson, who ran all the way down the field for a touchdown. Felipe added a touchdown on a 30-yard pass to Johnson. Killian came out strong in the third quarter scoring again on a 4-yard scamper by Felipe that put them ahead 21-14 and held the Buccaneers to a field goal.However, a punt fake on a fourth down during the final quarter earned receiver Devontay Keaton and the Bucs 47 yards and led to a 2-yard scurry into the end zone by senior running back, Willie Cortes, for the win.
“[This win] was real emotional,” said Hudson, whose team is now first in the district. “I’m proud of these guys.”
South Dade faces Miami High (1-4) on Thursday at Harris Field at 7p.m. and Killian faces Sunset (1-5) on Friday at Tropical Park at 7:30p.m.
By Akilah Laster
Miami Times writer