South Dade Bounces Back Ahead of Playoffs - South Dade News Leader: Sports

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South Dade Bounces Back Ahead of Playoffs

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Posted: Friday, November 9, 2018 12:15 am

South Dade won its first seven games, but after dropping two straight by a total of five points the Buccaneers were in need of a victory.

Najeh Baker’s 116 receiving yards and two scores helped lead South Dade to a 34-29 win over Edison to end the regular season on a positive note.

“To be bounce back it was very, very important to us,” Baker said.

Baker, who was one of 18 seniors who were honored for Senior Day in what is likely to be their final game at Harris Field, caught all five passes in the first half on his way to a big game.

“It was a great feeling,” Baker said.

South Dade (8-2) blew the game open in the second quarter with three touchdowns over the final six minutes including a 67-yard interception return by junior Jaiden Francois to break the Bucs’ single-season, school-record with his eighth pick, and then a 26-yard fumble return by junior Tavarius Corbitt within 41 seconds of each other.

“That was real good because it was actually something we talked about,” head coach Nate Hudson said. “We told the guys, ‘Look we’ve been lacking defensively as far as scoring.’ Really, we could have capitalized on some things that happened in previous games and those things can go a long ways for us.”

Baker’s second score of the game, an 18-yard catch from Demetrius Burns, helped the Bucs take a 26-7 lead into the break and they held on down the stretch building a 34-21 in the fourth before a late touchdown in the final seconds closed the gap for the final margin and South Dade recovered an onside kick to seal the win to end the losing skid.

“It was great,” Hudson said. “I told them there’s nothing to feel bad about. We lost two games by five points against good, competitive teams in the playoffs. Obviously we’ve got a lot of work to do, reset our minds to get ready for the playoffs, but I’m pretty pleased.”

The win gives the Bucs some momentum heading into their Class 8A regional quarterfinal game against Hialeah (9-1) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Milander Park as the region’s 6-seed with Hialeah as the 3-seed.

“I feel like we’ve still got our mojo,” Baker said.

A win over Hialeah would likely set up a rematch with Southridge next week. The Spartans beat the Bucs 15-13 on Oct. 26.

“Everybody wants the same thing,” Francois said. “We’re just trying to get to Orlando in December.”

SOUTHRIDGE OPENS UP AT HOME

The Southridge Spartans (8-2) won Class 8A, District 16 and have earned the 2-seed in the Region 4 playoffs.

Southridge will host 7-seed North Miami (6-4) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Southridge-North Miami winner will play the winner of the South Dade-Hialeah game on Nov. 16.

WESTMINSTER, PALMER TRINITY PART 3

Westminster Christian (9-1) will host Palmer Trinity (9-2) in the Class 3A regional quarterfinals on Friday at 3 p.m.

It will be the third meeting this season between the two schools as Westminster Christian won 10-7 on Oct. 12 and Palmer Trinity won 29-7 on Nov. 2.

The winner will play at top-seed Chaminade-Madonna Prep (8-2) next week.

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