Deerfield Beach started the season 0-3.
Behind a three-touchdown performance by Brandon Powell, the Bucks are riding high on a five-game winning streak — including a 21-14 upset over previously undefeated South Plantation on Friday night at Deerfield Beach.
The Bucks (5-3, 4-1) entered the game needing a win just to have a chance to make the playoffs. Now, they have a chance to win the District 11-8A championship on Monday night. The win has put them in a three-way tie with South Plantation and Taravella. The tiebreaker will be held at South Plantation. Taravella will face Deerfield Beach first.
The winner will play South Plantation. If South Plantation loses, it will play the loser of the Taravella-Deerfield Beach quarter.
“It’s unbelievable. After that Taravella game, we kind of went back, we had a coaches meeting and the players had a players-only meeting and we said we had to get back to basics and we got back to basics and just grinded it out,” Deerfield Beach coach Allen Jackson said.
With the score tied at 14, the Bucks forced a fumble from the hands of South Plantation running back Alex Collins. Brandon Powell recovered the fumble at the Paladins’ 18-yard line and scored on a 2-yard run five plays for a 21-14 lead with 5:44 to play.
The Paladins (8-1, 4-1) turned the ball over on downs at the 49-yard line with a minute to play.
Deerfield Beach opened the game strongly behind the rushing of Powell.
The Bucks immediately marched down the field behind a 35-yard run by Powell and scored on a 1-yard run by Powell for a 7-0 lead less than four minutes in.
Early in the second quarter, Powell found a seam up the middle and scored on a 52-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 lead. Powell rushed 20 times for 137 yards.
South Plantation cut it to 14-6 midway through the third on a pair of 44-yard field goals by Zack Leatherman and seemed to have taken all the momentum when Collins scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and converted on a two-point run tying the score at 14 with 11:54 to play.
After forcing a punt, the Paladins took possession on their own 8-yard line, but Collins fumbled fighting for extra yards while being hit on all sides by multiple defenders. Collins finished with 23 carries for 144 yards.
Now South Plantation, which was looking at a district championship, will have to regroup to try to get it done on Monday.
“We put ourselves in that situation,” South Plantation coach David Gatewood said. “We played on Monday. So Tuesday, we’re banged up, we watched film, jogged a little bit, but we didn’t hit all week. Everything we did in terms of prep was walk-through and you don’t get ready for that kind of speed in walk-through. It took a quarter for us to realize the speed in which it was being played and how we were going to have to play it. We [were] inside of the 20 and come away with no points twice. We hurt ourselves.”