Deerfield Beach got a 44-yard touchdown pass from Nick Holm to Jakari Norwood with 2:20 remaining to beat visiting Delray Beach Atlantic 28-21 to advance to the state semifinal next Friday.
The Bucks (10-2) will host Miami Southridge (10-2).
“I was told to wait and be patient on the call,” Norwood said. “Once I caught it I took advantage because we need a big play and I made it happen.”
“We [Atlantic] was jump those slants off the top so everybody’s eyes were on Jerry Jeudy,” Deerfield Beach coach Derek Lewis, who was filling in for head coach Jevon Glenn who was ill. “We knew the back out of the backfield would be a weapon for us.”
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Deerfield let a 21-7 halftime lead slip away as Atlantic scored the tying touchdown with 11:10 to play. The final 46.9 seconds of the first half should have been the turning point the Bucks.
Norwood scored on a 6-yard run for a 14-7 lead over Atlantic. After the ensuing kickoff Deerfield cornerback Cornelius Doe intercepted Eagles quarterback Cadarius Gaskin and returned it 23 yards to the to the Atlantic 42.
One play later the Bucks were up 21-7 when Holm found a streaking Daewood Davis for the score.
All this came on the heals of Atlantic driving 80 yards to tie the score at 7-7 following a recovered Holm fumble in its own endzone.
Deerfield Beach had a 7-0 lead on a 31-yard blocked punt return by Jerry Jeudy.
The Bucks did lose linebackers Brion Byrd with a shoulder injury and Ashtan Pierre with a knee injury.
Byrd was taken to a local hospital for observation, Pierre was held out the second half, but is expected to fine.