After a one-year hiatus, Deerfield Beach is back in the playoffs as a district champion.
Behind the running game early, big plays later through the passing attack and a defense that was relentless throughout, the Bucks secured the District 11-8A title over previously unbeaten Piper 38-0 with Alabama assistant and former FIU coach Mario Cristobal watching on their home field on Friday night.
It didn’t take long for coach Jevon Glenn to return Deerfield to prominence, getting the program back atop the district in his first season in charge.
“Our first goal was to bring that district championship back home,” said Glenn, drenched from a Gatorade bath after the game. “We started December 26, the day after Christmas, and have been grinding ever since.
“We’ve got some lofty goals ahead of us. We’re really dialed in. One thing I’m really excited about is that we can get better. There’s more room for growth, and our kids are very hungry to reach that.”
Deerfield Beach (8-1, 5-0) will host District 12-8A runner-up Plantation in the regional quarterfinals after wrapping up its regular-season schedule next Friday.
Piper (8-1, 4-1) finishes with the District 11-8A runner-up postseason berth and will pay Flanagan a visit in the first round.
Although unable to come away with the district title, the Bengals are not to be slighted on their success this season, clinching their first playoff berth since 2003.
The Bucks started fast, taking advantage of a short field to score a pair of quick touchdowns in the first quarter.
Deerfield’s first three touchdowns all came on the ground with Kobe Farrish scoring two of them and quarterback Teddrick Moffett scoring the first. Farrish finished with 63 rushing yards, and Giavante Evans led the ground game with 75 hard-earned yards.
Moffett tossed a pair of touchdowns — one to senior receiver Cavin Ridley and another to running back Alton Allen.
Ridley, the Alabama target who had Cristobal watching, recorded two catches for 48 yards but had several other big plays called back for holding on the line.
The Bucks began running the clock late in the third quarter.
The Deerfield defense held Piper to 93 total yards of offense and forced four turnovers — a fumble recovery from Ashtan Pierre and interceptions by Simeon Brown, Rosendo Louis and James Pierre.
“It was like the matrix,” said Pierre, a UNC commit. “It was coming slow to me, so I saw it and I got it.”
Deerfield will play Cardinal Gibbons next week, and Piper squares off against Cooper City as the two prepare for postseason play.