First, they gave coach Calvin Davis the traditional Gatorade shower. Then they piled up on him “baseball-celebration style” on the field. Forgive Monarch’s football team for going a little over the top Monday night.
The Knights clinched their first trip to the playoffs in the school’s 11-year history by winning a tiebreaker for the runner-up spot in District 11-8A at Deerfield Beach High.
Shawn Burgess-Becker caught a touchdown pass and returned an interception for a touchdown to lead Monarch to a 21-7 win over Taravella in the second quarter of the tiebreaker. Taravella (5-4) reached the final quarter after edging South Plantation 14-12 in the first quarter.
The Knights (8-2) have finished their regular season and will make their playoff debut Nov. 15 on the road against undefeated Miramar (10-0) in the Region 3-8A quarterfinals.
“It’s a great feeling, and I can’t even describe it right now,” Davis said. “Our kids understood our game plan, and we prepared very well for both possible opponents.”
Monarch scored on two quick drives in the first eight-plus minutes as quarterback Michael Harris connected on a pair of touchdown passes. Burgess-Becker hauled in the first from 15 yards out. Harris then threw a 21-yarder to Calvin Ridley to put Monarch ahead 14-0.
Burgess-Becker sealed the outcome with a 73-yard interception return for a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Burgess-Becker and Ridley each finished with three catches for a combined 120 yards. The trio has played together since their days at Winston Park Elementary School in Coconut Creek and has given Monarch one of the most explosive offenses in the county all season.
Jawanza Evans-Morris scored on a 2-yard touchdown run for Taravella to give the Trojans their only points of the quarter. He also scored both touchdowns for Taravella in its first quarter against South Plantation.
Madre London is going to be a Spartan.
London, a St. Thomas Aquinas running back, announced his oral commitment to Michigan State on Monday, over finalists Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois, after notifying the Spartans’ coaching staff last Tuesday of his intentions.
London becomes the 17th commitment in the Class of 2014 for Spartans coach Mark Dantonio. London will compete with the two players currently committed and a roster with seven more tailbacks.
St. Thomas Aquinas, sporting warmup T-Shirts with the caption “Unfinished Business” after losing in the 2012 state finals, used its superior size, strength and athleticism to dispatch Reagan.
The host Raiders (27-2) set the tone early with four consecutive kills by Nikki Lyons and Kimeko Bennett for a quick 10-2 lead.
Although the Bison played tough, they ultimately didn’t have the personnel to counter Aquinas’ hard-hitting duo of Kara Mason (six kills, five digs) and Lyons (eight kills, four digs).
Kaylie McHugh had five digs and Mackenzie Zielinski had a game-high 32 assists for the Raiders, who advanced to face the Atlantic-Dwyer winner in the regional finals Saturday.
•Monarch d. Douglas 2-0:
Rodrigo Silva 1 goal. Juan Martinez 1 assist. Gian Scalise 1 goal. Brandon Dicken 8 saves,1 shutout. MON 1-0-0.
•American Heritage d. Cypress Bay 2-2:
Zackery Atkinson 1goal Kenn Guichard 1 goal. AH 1-0.
•Westminster Academy d. Sagemont 5-0:
Camryn Pagliaro 1 goal. Alex Pagliaro 1 goal. Lexi Kinsey 1 goal. Ashton Anderson 1 goal. Eboni Brown 1 goal. WA 1-0.
North Broward d. Somerset 4-0: Morgan Sherman 3 goals. Rachel Blow 1 goal. Sam Susi 4 saves, 3rd shutout. NB 3-0-0
Archimedean d. River 3-2: Diana Revill 1 goal. Kendra Guerrero 1 goal. Nina Torres 1 goal. ARC 2-1.
•American Heritage d. Cypress Bay 6-0:
Emily Vasquez 1 goal. Julia Jasse 1 goal. Zandy Soree 1 goal, 2 assists. Melanie Monteagudo 2 goals. Jessica Blair 1 goal, 1 assist. AH 4-0.
•Sagemont d. American High 62-59:
Jessica Black 17 points. Sinora Cole 14 points. Erica Correa 14 points. Meagan Rucker 8 points. Samantha Provenzano 5 points. Candace Smith 4 points. Samantha Provenzano 7 assists. Erica Correa 12 rebounds. Samantha Provenzano 3 rebounds. Erica Correa 3 rebounds. SAG 1-0.