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Randolph’s TD Helps South Dade Win a Thriller

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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 12:00 am | Updated: 2:21 pm, Fri Sep 14, 2018.

South Dade’s nine-point lead at halftime had evaporated after two touchdowns by Northwestern.

The Buccaneers needed a spark.

Demetrius Randolph delivered in a big way hauling in a 50-yard touchdown pass from Demetrius Burns late in the third quarter, which proved to be the game-winner as South Dade held on for a thrilling 20-18 win over Northwestern.

“It’s easy,” Randolph said.

Randolph’s touchdown put South Dade (3-0) on top, but the Buccaneers needed a late defensive stand to fend off Northwestern (1-2), which put together a drive in the closing minutes getting to the 5-yard line with 3:06 left in the game.

South Dade stopped Northwestern on first down with a 5-yard loss on a run by quarterback Isiah Velez, but then gave back the yardage on an offsides penalty. A 3-yard run by Jacob Baptiste set up a 3rd-and-goal from the 2, but then Baptiste was stopped for a 2-yard loss.

“It was tough, but we just had to step up,” said Jaiden Francois, who recorded his fourth interception of the season earlier in the game. “Everybody just had to come together as a team to get the outcome.”

Northwestern’s Arien Navarro then missed a 20-yard field goal wide right as the Buccaneers ran off the field to celebrate still clinging to a 20-18 lead with 1:11 left.

Burns picked up five yards on consecutive runs on the ensuing possession and South Dade was able to run out the clock for the win.

“I’m speechless,” head coach Nate Hudson said. “At the beginning of the game I kind of felt it was going to build up to this. (Northwestern coach Max) Edwards did a great job with his scheme and to see the team respond especially out of the gates down 5-0 we kept our composure. When we got up 14-5 going into halftime I told the team that we have to get ready to take their best shot, and then watching the whole drama unfold going back and forth, ultimately at the end it was a sigh of relief.”  

Burns completed 13 of 23 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. He also ran in a score and has accounted for 10 of the Buccaneers’ 11 touchdowns this season.

Frank Ladson caught Burns’ other touchdown reception scoring from 64 yards out to take a 6-5 lead in the second quarter.

“We knew they were playing us man and I told (Burns) the safety was back there sleeping so I told him to just throw it out there,” Ladson said.

Randolph finished the game with 75 yards on four receptions with his final one being the toughest as he caught it while being draped by a defender and then racing down the sideline the final 30 yards for the score.

“I almost stepped out of bounds, kept my balance, and scored,” Randolph said.

Next up for South Dade is a contest against Homestead (2-0) at Tropical Park on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

“When you have an opportunity to play your rival it’s for bragging rights and just knowing that there’s an opportunity to brag across the community knowing that you were the better school, the better team, you’ve got to enjoy the moment,” Hudson said.

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