Christian Bouie of Dillard was supposed to be a running back.
He grew up dreaming of playing the position, and at a speedy 5-8 and 170 pounds he certainly could carry the ball for the Panthers if they ever run out of options. It’s probably wise to keep him at linebacker at this point in his career though.
On Friday night at Deerfield Beach, Bouie was everywhere and led a stout Dillard defense to an impressive 25-9 victory. Dillard is now 2-0 after beginning last season with consecutive losses.
Bouie said he made a personal sacrifice and switched to defense to help his team and also give him better odds of landing a college scholarship.
“This is where I make the plays and make the money,” Bouie said.
He might be undersized, but Bouie is pound-for-pound one of the best football players in Broward County.
“Christian is the key to our defense,” Dillard coach Lorenzo Davis said. “He’s the leader, and when he talks the guys listen. He’s a great student in the classroom, and I wish I had a thousand Christian Bouies.”
With Deerfield Beach’s starting quarterback unable to play because of an injury, Bouie and Dillard’s defense forced two interceptions in the first half and focused on shutting down the run. Deerfield Beach and its stable of running backs managed just 106 rushing yards on 33 carries.
Other Dillard defenders had impressive games as well, including junior linebacker Kenneth Ruff.
“I know they were going to have the second string in, and we took advantage of it,” Bouie said. “We’re playing team defense this year.”
Bouie’s total number of tackles hovered around 20 in the fourth quarter, when he helped stuff Deerfield Beach on fourth down. Dillard quarterback Jason Collins then led the Panthers on a quick 35-yard touchdown drive, which ended with a 15-yard pass to Basil Spencer. The touchdown catch gave Dillard a 25-3 lead with 8:21 to play.
Spencer is just one of Dillard’s talented receivers. Slot receiver Jordan Merrell had caught two touchdown passes, and receiver Demetrius White is a clever route runner.
Collins finished with 238 yards passing and three touchdowns, and completed 9 of 13 passes in the second half. He was 13-of-27 passing for the game.
“Everybody got better and had fun,” Jason Collins said. “We did a lot of work in the summer with 7-on-7 camps and that helped out a lot with the timing.”
Collins also rushed for 55 yards on eight carries.
“He gives us a lot of options,” Dillard coach Lorenzo Davis said. “He can get us in the end zone, and he can make it happen with his feet if he needs to.”
Dillard running back Tajue Williams gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead after an impressive offensive drive on the Panthers’ first offensive series. Williams rushed for 56 yards on nine carriers.
Dillard had 21 first downs to just 10 for Deerfield Beach.