Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: Miramar Ends Deerfield Beach’s Dream Season

In Broward County, Florida there was a game among undefeated district champions which we hoped would offer a positive experience for all participants. Deerfield Beach Bucks traveled to Branca Stadium to challenge the Miramar Patriots with something to prove. In recent times, 11-8A teams like Deerfield Beach took a back seat to neighboring 12-8A teams such as Miramar and Cypress Bay.  


The Bucks escaped last week in round 1 of the playoffs with a 14-7 overtime victory over 12-8A foe, Pembroke Pines Flanagan.  Many felt a district title for the Bucks was special but others felt a win at Miramar would signify a season of greatness while they would proceed in their pursuit to state in Orlando.   Miramar knew that from the offensive side they can thrive on a balanced attack through their two quarterbacks,  Nick Jeanty and Gernald Hawkins.   On the other side, their Darkside Defense had to stop the run.  Knowing that Deerfield Beach’s offense functions around running backs Aeron McNeal and Brandon Powell, the Pats would have to control the line of scrimmage to close the ground game.


To the surprise of some,  Miramar (12-0) would dominate every aspect of the game, defeating Deerfield Beach (11-1) 43-6.    The Bucks looked out of sync from the point where they arrived only 30 minutes before the kickoff until the Patriots would force a running clock at 8:23 minute mark of the fourth quarter.  When Miramar opened up a 20-0 lead on their first three possessions, it was quickly realized that Deerfield Beach’s dream season would come to an end.  With only 45 yards of total offense in the first half and one first down, the Bucks were overwhelmed by Miramar’s Darkside Defense.  


For Deerfield Beach’s running backs it was a tough night.  While  Powell made a nice 14 yard catch in the first quarter, he may be more remembered  for the hit he put on Jeanty to force a third and long for the Pats.  McNeal will be remembered for his 19 yard run in the first half and a 2 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter.   That only score for the Bucks occurred long after Miramar had pulled their starters midway through the 3rd quarter.  


For Miramar, Jeanty, who only played one half  was able to throw for two touchdown passes and run for another in securing the victory.  I was particularly impressed with his accuracy and ability to seek alternative receivers when needed.  Hawkins, who played in the second half, showed great poise and looking for his receivers and only ran the ball as a last resort.  Kahlil Lewis showed his skills as a receiver by catching the ball on the open field, as well as, through traffic which led to a touchdown.  Eric Pittman brought his “A” game on this evening.  Aside from his 71 yard run into the red zone and a 12 yard touchdown run, I was more impressed with him breaking seven tackles on a punt return in the second quarter which brought the Patriots away from their own goal line.  Of course, the play of the night was Herbert Miller’s 107-yard interception return through traffic which would be the final points of the night.


For Miramar, they left a huge statement as they are one step closer to making the trip to Orlando. Next week, as strong favorites they travel to Palm Beach Gardens (8-4) next Friday for the Region 3-8A Title. Regardless of the outcome from this point forward, they played their last game on their home field for this season.  For Deerfield Beach, they will end their season with mixed emotions.  Despite their season coming to a crashing end, they can be proud of adding a district title, an unbeaten regular season and a victory over St. Thomas to their resume.  



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