South Dade’s new era got started on the right track.
Senior quarterback Kelvin Durham threw three touchdown passes and five different players reached the end zone as the South Dade Buccaneers rolled to a 37-0 win over Doral Academy in their season opener.
“This is what we really expected,” South Dade head coach Nate Hudson said. “I told them we needed to make a statement.”
Durham, a transfer from Killian, completed 7 of 12 passes for 112 yards with his touchdown passes going to three different receivers—Jermaine Hawkins, Tyler Ladaker, and Trevon Sanders—in one half of action with the Bucs building a commanding 35-0 lead at halftime.
“The first half is what we expected,” Durham said. “We expected to come out here and put points on the boards easily. We have a top offense so it was kind of easy.”
South Dade (1-0) outgained Doral Academy (0-1) 295-54 in total yards. Behind a running clock in the second half.
“We checked off on a lot of the boxes on any of the concerns, but we know this is just game one and we want to build off of that,” Hudson said.
Hawkins, a junior who missed last season with an injury, got it started with a 25-yard touchdown grab on a pass over the middle and then beating the Firebirds into the end zone on the Bucs’ third play of the game.
Then it was senior Willie Thomas who broke free for a 24-yard touchdown run to the left. Edward Moreno’s extra point gave the Bucs a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Durham kept the Bucs’ attack going when he connected for a 20-yard touchdown to senior Tyler Ladaker.
“I like the energy, K.D. has had a bounce for a while and you could tell now he’s really gravitating to what we’re doing offensively and the receivers did an outstanding job,” Hudson said. “I like that we’re playing with energy across the board.”
Senior Trevon Sanders ran in a 2-point conversion on a fake kick and
then hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Durham for a 29-0 lead after the extra point.
South Dade’s onslaught continued late in the second quarter despite facing a 2nd-and-24. Senior Chezy Mathews weaved his way through the defense with a 19-yard run and continued the momentum carrying the ball, capped by a 2-yard plunge into the end zone with 16 seconds left before the break.
Mathews rushed for a team-high 59 yards on eight carries. He also had a nine-yard reception.
“I got a great o-line,” Mathews said. “They block every day, they’re consistent. We’ve got new receivers and it just opens up the field for everybody. Everybody eats.”
The Bucs’ starters were pulled in the second half, but the defense held on for the shutout, tacking on a safety in the fourth quarter and junior Kendrick Williams intercepting a pass.
“The communication was there and it was all hats to the ball,” senior defensive back Jaiden Francois said. “Everybody hustled to the ball, played to the whistle, everybody was on task with the plays and we had a great game.”
South Dade played without junior defensive end Tyler Johnson who is also expected to miss the next game. Junior defensive end Carl Dunklin suffered a knee injury in the first quarter and did not return.
South Dade will face Homestead (0-1), which lost 30-0 to Miami High, on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Harris Field.
“We expect them to play very competitive,” said Hudson, whose team won 27-7 last year. “It’s always been that way whether they change the coach or not. We understand that, we respect that, we are looking forward to it, and we understand it’s going to be a big emotional game.”
South Dade has won eight straight over Homestead, which last won the annual Centennial Cup in 2011.
“It’s going to be a blowout,” Francois said.
Doral Academy (0-1) 0 0 0 0 - 0
South Dade (1-0) 14 21 0 2 - 37
South Dade – Hawkins 25 pass from K. Durham (Moreno kick)
South Dade – Thomas 24 run (Moreno kick)
South Dade – Ladaker 20 pass from K. Durham (Sanders run)
South Dade – Sanders 17 pass from K. Durham (Navia kick)
South Dade – Mathews 2 run (kick failed)
South Dade – Team safety (Moreno kick)
RUSHING — Doral: Cordero 2-6, Arellano 1-5, Carter 3-0, Burton 3- -6, Martinez 2- -8.
South Dade: Mathews 8-59, J. Durham 7-49, Coney 1-34,
Thomas 1-24, K. Durham 4-19, Urrea 2-0, Tad. Shropshire 1-0.
PASSING — Doral: Arellano 7-12-1, 48, Martinez 4-7-0, 31. South Dade: K. Durham 7-12-0, 112, Urrea 0-3-1, 0.
RECEIVING — Doral: Jester 4-39, King 2-18, Walker 2-10, Carter 1-6, Burton 1-5, Davis 1-1. South Dade: Hawkins 2-41, Ladaker 2-29, Sanders 1-17, Bruce 1-16, Mathews 1-9.