First-year South Dade coach Nathaniel Hudson inherited a unit that last season lost three of its four district games en route to a 5-5 record.
After a 21-20 win at Southridge, in which South Dade bounced back from a 13-point deficit, the Buccaneers (8-1, 4-0 District 16-8A) completed a sweep of their district foes and are district champs.
“It’s unbelievable,” Hudson said. “All the time we’ve been talking about this, and the time has arrived. It’s time to rise to the occasion”
Down six in the fourth quarter, quarterback Darrell Tillman, who was subbed in for starter Brian Stewart, found C.J. Worton open over the middle for the 19-yard decisive score.
The South Dade defense would not surrender the one-point lead on either of the two ensuing Southridge drives. Linebacker Tremaine Brock intercepted Troy Cook on the Spartans’ final opportunity to finish them off.
“We understood that we had some things we needed to work on — one thing was trying to create more turnovers for ourselves,” Hudson said. “It couldn’t have come at a better moment, in championship fashion.”
On top of Brock’s interception, Antwan Cordy picked Cook off twice, and the Buccaneers had five sacks as a team.
Terry Edwards led a dominant South Dade rushing attack with 129 yards and a touchdown off 22 carries.
The Bucs now face nearby rival Homestead before diving into the playoffs.
Southridge (3-5, 1-2) is now eliminated from playoff contention, meaning Killian has clinched the District 16-8A runner-up spot.
The Spartans had a devastating injury midway through the third quarter.
Harry Davis, who earlier in the game blocked a punt and recovered a fumble, was blindsided in a collision on a kickoff.
After laying motionless on the field for 10 to 15 minutes, he was taken in an ambulance to Jackson South Hospital. Sources from Southridge say he was able to move his arms and legs and was responsive to doctors.
• Booker T. Washington 49, Gulliver 6: The Tornados dominated the Raiders, scoring 29 points before the end of the first quarter.
Quarterback Treon Harris ran for two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass to Nicholas Norris.
Booker T.’s defense forced four fumbles, two safeties and blocked several key punts to hold the Raiders to one touchdown.
Linebacker Akeem Jackson recovered a blocked punt and ran the ball 45 yards for a defensive touchdown.
Gulliver’s Cornelius Floyd scored the only touchdown for the Raiders.
With this win Booker T. clinched their 10th consecutive district title.
COREY W. CAMPBELL
• Southwest 43, Ferguson 12: Southwest is in control of its playoff fate after defeating district rival Ferguson.
The Eagles improved to (7-1) and are undefeated in district play.
Southwest was led by the sophomore tandem of quarterback D’under Pickett-White and running back Trevon Sands.
Pickett-White made it a double-digit lead right before the half, as he threw a 15-yard slant down the middle to Alexis Machado.
Pickett-White had 190 yards passing, 104 yards rushing, two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.
• Barrington 14, Champagnat 0: Barrington Falcons (2-6) shut down Champagnat (1-7) at Harris Field.
The sloppy game was dominated by penalties as the teams combined for 196 yards. .