Dillard ends four-game skid against Ely, wins Soul Bowl


Special to The Miami Herald

The Dillard football team finally got it done. It brought the Soul Bowl Trophy back home with a dominating 22-6 win over arch rival Ely on Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium.

It was the Panthers’ first win over Ely (5-5) since 2008 and ended a four-game losing streak to its hated rivals.

After sparking Dillard (5-5) on Monday in a pair of 6-0 tiebreaker wins over Hallandale and Cardinal Gibbons to secure a playoff spot, Dre’Sean Nelson was at it again, rushing 21 times for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The speedster had never beaten Ely and had never made the playoffs. He accomplished both in the same week.

“It [has] been three years, and we worked too hard for this. I’m glad we came together and pulled it through,” Nelson said. “When we went up 22-0, I seen they started to lay down.”

Nelson found the end zone on a four-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead with 5:13 to play in the first.

Then in a span of just under three minutes late in the first half, Dillard turned it into a blowout. The Panthers scored again on a Nelson one-yard touchdown run with 3:11 to play in the first half.

Lee Martin hit LaDarion McBride with a 9-yard touchdown pass for a 22-0 lead going into the break.

The Tigers scored in the third on a one-yard touchdown run by Terrance Blands, but never threatened again.

Now, the Panthers must put their great week aside and get ready for their playoff game against defending state champion Miami Norland.

“It’s a great experience. Since I took over the program, our first goal was to get the guys in the playoffs. Then the next thing was we had to beat Ely,” Dillard first-year coach Lorenzo Davis said. “It’s the seniors’ first time in the playoffs. As long as they keep believing, we’re going to get it done.”

• Late Friday - Calvary Christian 35, Highlands Christian 15: The Eagles scored four touchdowns thanks to their defense and special teams to pull off the road win.


• Region 4-1A: As first-year cross-country runners go, it doesn’t get much better than Calvary Christian eighth-grader Nicole Taggart basking in her improbable Region 4-1A victory.

Taggart, who gave up soccer for full-time cross-country training, left the Westminster Academy Sports Complex abuzz when she shaved an incredible 29 seconds off her previous personal-best, on one of Florida’s toughest courses, to claim the region title in 20:43.

Although Westminster Academy’s Amanda Baker and Florida Christian’s Victoria Camargo were billed as the runners to beat by , Taggart and Westminster Christian sixth-grader Hailey Mira, the surprise runner-up, turned those projections upside-down.

Baker dropped out with a quadriceps injury and Camargo finished fifth.

The top 15 individuals and top six teams advance to the FHSAA State Finals at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee on Nov. 17.

Mira’s second-place finish in a career-best 20:51 helped the Warriors win its first region girls’ title.

King’s Academy’s Scott Simpson held up his No. 1 rank by winning the boys’ individual title in 16:35.

Brandon Bejarano led a 3-7-16 finish with Casey McCracken and David King, to help the Lions edge Calvary Christian by two points for its second consecutive regional boys’ title.


Boys’ top 6 teams: 1. Westminster Academy 98, 2. Calvary Christian 100, 3. Westminster Christian 123, 4. Dade Christian 140, 5. Archbishop Curley 155, 6. Miami Country Day 163. Boys’ individual results: 1. Scott Simpson (KA) 16:35, 2. Ramos (DC) 16:57, 3. Bejarano (WA) 17:10, 4. Otto (BRC 17:13, 5. Guilbert (CalvChr) 17:20, 6. Bradford (JC) 17:20, 7. McCracken (WA) 17:28, 8. Matese (Ben) 17:36, 9. Nevils (SFH) 17:37, 10. Witzke-Bellarosa (PJP) 17:43, 11. I. Williams (DC) 17:54, 12. Mauger (Ben) 17:56, 13. Acuna (JC) 17:57, 14. Tchividjian (CalvChr) 17:58, 15. McLaughlin (DC) 18:00.

Girls’ top 6 teams: 1. Westminster Christian 57, 2. King’s Academy 84, 3, Westminster Academy 104, 4. Dade Christian 157, 5. Wellington Christian 160, 6. Calvary Christian 171. Girls’ individual results: 1. Nicole Taggart (CalvChr) 20:43, 2. H. Mira (WC) 20:51, 3. Sullivan (PJP) 20:53, 4. Camp (PS) 20:56, 5. Camargo (FC) 21:04, 6. Hoppe (WC) 21:09, 7. Selbach (WA) 21:17, 8. Romero (DC) 21:18, 9. Slupecki (CSC) 21:27, 10. Richardson (KA) 21:32, 11. Gumpel (WC) 21:36, 12. Strump (WC) 21:39, 13. G. Gumpel (WC) 21:40, 14. Ahkee (KA) 21:58, 15. Sweeney (CalvChr) 21:59.

• Region 3-4A: The St. Thomas Aquinas girls, led by individual champion Alexa Cruz, won the team title with 21 points finishing comfortably ahead of runner-up Spanish River’s 82 Saturday morning at South Regional Park in Boca Raton.

Cruz ran a time of 18:09.24 to win the race followed by teammate Christina Kalis’ 18:27.29 that helped her finish second. Matthew Butler finished fifth and St. Thomas’ boys placed three runners in the top 15 to secure the boys’ title with 55 points. Coral Glades’ Anthony Deleva won the boys’ individual title by running a time of 15:48.77.

Boys’ team qualifiers: 1. St. Thomas Aquinas 55; 2. John I. Leonard 94; 3. Park Vista 109; 4. Douglas 118; 5. Spanish River 150; 6. Coral Springs 191. Boys’ individual results (Top 5 plus Broward qualifiers): 1. Anthony Deleva (Coral Glades) 15:48.77; 2. Salvador Medrano (JIL) 15:53.25; 3. Caleb Rader (SR) 16:08.26; 4. Charlie Bengston (JIL) 16:14.01; 5. Matthew Butler (STA) 16:16.63; 6. Francisco Baglieri (Monarch) 16:22.23; 8. Nassor Whitehead (Cooper City) 16:25.36; 9. Joel Lacy (South Plantation) 16:25.65; 10. Tyler Bell (CS) 16:26.25; 12. Anthony Cruz (STA) 16:28.10; 14. Avonte Boykins (Flanagan) 16:31.62; 15. Alexander Haugen (STA) 16:32.78.

Girls’ team qualifiers: 1. St. Thomas Aquinas 21; 2. Spanish River 82; 3. Park Vista 93; 4. Cypress Bay 126; 5. Dwyer 152; 6. Douglas 176. Girls’ individual results (Top 5 plus Broward qualifiers): 1. Alexa Cruz (STA) 18:09.24; 2. Christina Kalis (STA) 18:27.29; 3. Ellyn Snider (SR) 18:36.28; 4. Katherine MacNeal (CB) 18:38.37; 5. Megan Schloss (STA) 18:47.23; 6. Marina Braynon-Moore (STA) 18:54.82; 7. Brianna Rischar (STA) 18:57.23; 9. Jade Fungquee (Monarch) 19:31.04; 14. Lily Kloepfer (STA) 19:58.05.


• Girls – Pine Crest 3, Ransom Everglades 1: Jennifer DeFaria goal. Autumn Clark goal. Jordyn Elliott goal. PC 2-1-2.

• Girls – American Heritage 5, Estero 0: Alyssa Robinson 2 goals. Nia Gomez goal. Mel Monteagudo goal. Megan Menacol goal. AH 4-0.

• Boys – American Heritage 3, Estero 2: Donald Tomlinson goal. Philip Delvaille goal. Julian Bentincur goal. AH 4-0.

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