Friday night’s “Battle of Lucy Street” was quite a bit more than just a playoff tune-up for the South Dade Buccaneers.
On the 30th-year anniversary of one of Miami-Dade County’s top annual rivalries, the Bucs defeated the Homestead Broncos 10-0 before about 2,000 fans at Harris Field.
The City of Homestead is also celebrating its 100th year anniversary, making Friday’s game even more special to those in the community.
South Dade had a 3-0 lead on freshman Julian Garcia’s 31-yard field goal in the third quarter. Devontay Keaton’s 45-yard punt return on the first play of the fourth quarter broke the game open.
“I saw an opportunity,” Keaton said of his play. “My coaches told me that if it bounces, run it. I went to the left, first miss, and I knew I was gone.”
The win did come with some apparent bad news for the Bucs. They lost Leroy Wilson, their leading rusher, to a leg injury in the first half. He will have an MRI, and his status for the playoffs is uncertain.
Bucs quarterback Brian Stewart also limped off the field but returned to action.
Despite Friday’s result, Homestead still leads the series 18-12. But the Bucs have been catching up a bit after losing the first 10 games to their rivals.
South Dade (9-1) will start its playoffs with a Class 8A regional quarterfinal against Varela. The game is set for Friday night at Harris Field.
Homestead (6-4), which knew coming in that this would be its final game of its season, was hurt by 130 yards in penalties. The Broncos also suffered three interceptions while passing for just 34 yards.
Doyle Grimes got the last interception to seal the game, and he also recovered a teammate’s fumble earlier in the second half. The other interceptions were caught by Willie Cortes and Derek Nottage as the Bucs earned a shutout.
The scoreless first half did feature one big play: an interception by Homestead’s Jason Bodie. He zig-zagged his way 100 yards for an apparent touchdown on the return, but a block below the waist wiped out the score.
The play started with just 43 seconds left in the half, when South Dade faced a third-and-eight from the Homestead 9. Quarterback Darryl Tillman tried to connect on a slant, but Bodie stepped in front of the route, killing the Bucs’ drive.
• Carol City 26, American 7: The Chiefs (7-3) end their season on a win after defeating rival American High (7-3) at Milander Park.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get the breaks this year that we were looking for,” Carol City coach Harold Barnwell said. “The seniors provided great leadership but we got to keep the momentum for next year.”
The Chiefs lost to the Northwestern on Monday in a division tiebreaker diminishing their playoffs chances.
On the second play of the game, Chiefs quarterback Diquan Johnson (67 passing, 116 rushing) broke through the Patriots defense and ran 54 yards to set himself up for a QB sneak to score his teams first touchdown.
• Booker T. 35, Southridge 6: Treon Harris passed for 181 yards and two scores, all in the first half, and Booker T. Washington finished a 9-1, 4-0 regular season with the win at Southridge (3-7, 1-4).
The Tornadoes will take on North Broward Prep in the first round of the playoffs next week.
“I like the way the first half went, but we’re really going to go take a look and analyze the last 24 minutes,” said Booker T. coach Tim “Ice” Harris, whose Tornadoes only managed one score in the second half.
Tyrell Everett stymied two Spartan drives by intercepting Troy Cook on successive drives — leading to a pair of Booker T. scores. The reliable Everett also made all five extra points.
Krondis Larry’s workmanlike 68 yards on seven carries were crucial in setting the tone for the Tornadoes, who did not punt in the game.
• Monsignor Pace 24, Belen 13: Even though neither team is playoff bound, it didn’t keep rivals Pace and Belen from playing another intense game in a long standing series. And in the end, it was the host Spartans (5-5) who came up with enough big plays to hold off the Wolverines and avoid their first losing season since 1995.
With Pace leading by eight, the biggest play came with just over three minutes left when quarterback Kelly Benson turned a quarterback keeper into a 67 yard run down to the Belen 12 which set up Emilio Morales’ 30 yard field goal with 2:43 left to salt away the win. Belen finished 3-6.
• Norland 41, Krop 17: District winners Norland and Krop closed out the regular season with an offensive explosion. The Vikings offered the lion’s share of opportunities and began their quest to repeat as state champs as they were led by their special teams with a blocked punt, a blocked field goal and a 92-yard kickoff return by Tavies Smith to earn a 41-17 win over the Lightning at North Miami Stadium.
• Coral Park 28, Ferguson 25: Coral Park rushed for a total of 263 yards behind the duo of senior running backs Triqon Bethel and Chris Sanders.
• Miami Beach 34, Westland Hialeah 22: In an intense matchup, the Hi Tide emerged victorious over the Wildcats at Curtis Park.
Hi Tide’s Treyon Garnett was outstanding throughout, scoring two touchdowns from a defensive position on a 90-yard fumble return and a 49-yard punt return.
• Edison 28, Miami Springs 7: Even without their starting quarterback in the lineup, Edison didn’t miss a beat with backup quarterback Maurice Nelson as the Red Raiders scored four first half touchdowns on four touchdown passes from Nelson to cruise to the win against Miami Springs at Milander Stadium.
• Gulliver 41, Somerset 0: The playoff-bound Raiders gained 238 rushing yards against the overmatched Panthers in the teams’ regular-season finale at Somerset Academy.
Bo Ellis led the way for Gulliver Prep (5-5) against the Panthers (1-9) with 107 yards on seven carries. His final carry was a 65-yard touchdown at the start of the second half before sitting out the rest of the game.