Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: Through a Storm, South Dade Beats Coral Gables


When the South Dade Buccaneers and Coral Gables Cavaliers met in the Region 4-8A Final, it was more about reaching new territory.  In a local classification which in recent times was dominated by Columbus and Southridge, it was refreshing for both schools to have an opportunity for greatness. Historically, South Dade had no state titles while Coral Gables won their last title in 1968 in an era with few schools in a vastly different time predominated by civil rights and the Vietnam War.  To add to the drama, both teams entered with only one loss which was to Killian.  South Dade would avenge their defeat from Killian with a win last week and enter today as an 18 point favorite.


The strategy for the Bucs was simple.  Stop Cavs Running Back, Gregory Howell who entered this contest with over 1,500 yards rushing.  While Cavs Quarterback,  Dijion Smith had 1,300 yards passing, there was no question that South Dade would have to stop the run.  On the offensive side  South Dade benefited from over 2,200 passing by  Quarterback Kahlil Render and the Coral Gables defense would need to provide a secondary who could stop receivers, C.J. Worton and Tyre’ Brady.


In reality, none of this would matter.  With wind gusts of 30 miles per hour and pouring rain throughout most of this contest, the slated game plans would change for both teams.  South Dade (12-1), would end Coral Gables (11-2) season with a 6-0 victory. Render would connect with Running Back, Johnnie Hankins on a center screen from the 7 yard line with 24 seconds remaining in the game to silence the Cavaliers. Ironically, after a botched extra point, the rain would stop and the wind would slow down but the 15 remaining seconds on the clock was not enough for Gables.


For Coral Gables, this was their first regional final in 30 seasons.  They had a great year and should feel proud of their success.  For South Dade, much has changed in the past 24 hours.  With Miramar being upset last night they will now instead host Palm Beach Gardens (8-4) next Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Harris Field in Homestead, Florida. Mentally the Bucs had prepared themselves for Miramar in the role of underdog.  Instead, they will serve as the favorite.  With Apopka and Tampa Plant looming, South Dade could be 48 minutes from making the trip to Orlando.



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