Even though it’s not even October yet, with Booker T. Washington such a heavy District 8-4A favorite, Friday night’s district contest between host Monsignor Pace (2-2, 0-1) and Gulliver Prep (2-3, 2-0) had a showdown flavor to it with potentially sizeable playoff implications.
And when it was over, despite a slow 0-3 start to the season, it was Gulliver that came up with the big plays and ultimately the big win knocking off the Spartans 21-20 when running back Bo Ellis went over from three yards out with 2:57 left in the game and placekicker Grant Kurzner coolly knocked the extra point through. The score capped off a clutch had-to-have-it seven play, 48 yard drive that started with 5:22 left. The loss not only crippled Pace’s playoff chances but ruined their Homecoming as well.
“You can’t say enough about the character of this football team to come back tonight the way we did,” said Gulliver coach Earl Sims speaking of Gulliver’s 20-7 third quarter deficit. “That was two great teams out there tonight really battling it out and we have a lot of respect for Pace and their program so it makes it that much more special to get a win like this on their field.”
• Florida Christian 21, Tavernier Coral Shores 10: Michael Irwin caught four passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns to lead Florida Christian to victory in Tavernier Friday.
Julian Seekins had 11 carries for 37 yards and scored the other touchdown.
After battling it out with an undefeated Palmer Trinity volleyball team the Coral Reef girls went on win 25-19, 27-29, 21-25, 25-21, 15-9 on Friday night at Palmer.
The Barracudas defense made a huge impact in the match, according Coral Reef coach Yasmin Ortiz.
“The second set was a battle. We were down by seven at one point. Our defense really made the difference,” Ortiz said.
The defense was led Paulina Persson with 25 digs and five aces.
This season, Ortiz wanted to prepare her girls by bringing in a higher level of competition and that is what she has done by scheduling her girls in tougher tournaments and setting up matches with teams like Palmer that has had five consecutive district championships.
The Barracudas (11-4) took several losses in the elite division of the Winter Park and Lake Highland Tournament in Orlando and a loss from Palmer earlier in the season.
“Palmer is a great team, but today we were the better team,” Ortiz said.
Contributing to the win team captain and 2011 Miami Herald All-Dade recipient Daniela Leal had 25 assists, 17 digs, five aces, six kills and five blocks.
In their district, the Barracudas will have to face rival Palmetto next week.
COREY W. CAMPBELL
• Palmetto d. Benjamin School 27-25, 25-17 (at Palm Beach Classic): Tiffany Batten 7 kills, 5 digs. Jamie Comendeiro 18 assists. Patricia De La Iglesia 6 aces. PAL 7-2.
• Palmetto d. St. Andrews 17-25, 25-23, 15-12 (at Palm Beach Classic): Erika Jacobs 7 kills, 11 digs. Makayla Stephens 3 blocks, 3 kills. Jamie Comendeiro 24 assists, 6 digs. PAL 8-2.
• Mourning d. Hallandale 25-6, 25-10, 25-13. ATM 10-1.
• Late Thursday — Ransom d. Carrollton 25-14, 25-19, 19-25, 25-18: Caroline Sklaver 14 kills. Erika Sklaver 10 kills. Tere Bernace 30 digs.
• Late Thursday — Varela d. Killian 25-22, 15-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-10: Valeria Ibarra 39 assists, 5 aces, 10 digs. Maria Estupinan 23 digs, 9 kills, 6 aces. Becky Garcia 33 digs, 3 aces. VAR 4-6.