- Faith & Family
The Southridge Spartans met the Coral Reef Barracudas for the third time this season last Friday at Harris Field. It was definitely Black Friday for Coral Reef as their playoff hopes ended in a lopsided loss, 21-3. It was the third time this season that Southridge had Coral Reef’s number.
After a season of being overlooked and underrated based on win-loss record, the Spartans have legitimized their talent and battled their way to the Regional 8A Finals to face the Columbus Explorers (9-3). The road has been anything but easy for the Spartans (6-5), who had a series of early season losses at the hands of Killian, Region 5A playoff contender Norland, Northwestern and upcoming opponent Columbus. The Spartans rebounded, however, to win four of their last five games. Southridge Head Coach, Pat Burrows, in his fourth season, said that while it is not a major concern for his team, the only way to garner any reverence in Miami-Dade County is to win.
“The only way to get notoriety is to keep winning more games,” Burrows said. “Respect will come with it.”
To prove the point, the Spartans held the Barracudas to a mere 39-rushing yards and pressured the QB all game long including two sacks from senior defensive end Donaldson Roosevelt.
“You don’t get trophies based on the regular season wins,” Burrows said. “We just went in as if they were trying to take away the third round from us and forgot we beat them twice before.”
Senior quarterback, Jeremiah McKinnon, threw for just two completions with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Mike Samuels. This marks the first time that the Spartans have advanced past the second round since Burrows took over as head coach. And while the passing game sputtered, the Spartans got a big lift from sophomore running back Jamal Adjamah who scored on a big touchdown run to begin the fourth quarter. Burrows said that losing the last two years in the second round was the biggest motivational factor.
“I had former players come back to practice,” Burrows said. “They talked to the team and stayed with them the whole game and I think that made a difference.”
Burrows said he has not had time to let the success sink in emotionally, but he is focused on preparing for his next opponent.
Other football scores:
Norland (12-0 ) defeated Jackson (8-4) 59-40: Though Jackson was ahead at the end of the first quarter, Norland, led by running back Randy “Duke” Johnson and assisted by running back Charles McCall, scored on big plays to seal the win. Norland will travel to Belle Glade Glades Central Friday for the Region 4-5A final.
Booker T. (11-1) defeated Gulliver (8-3) 48-13: The Tornadoes plundered through Gulliver on Friday at Curtis Park making them Regional 4-4A champions. Booker T. ran for 380 yards, 181 of those gained by sophomore quarterback Treon Harris, who also added four touchdowns to the score. It was a great gift for the quarterback to give to his father and head coach, Tim “Ice” Harris Sr. on his birthday. Booker T. faces three-time state champions Cocoa in the state semi-finals on Friday.
By Akilah Laster
Miami Times writer