Atlantic 35, Davie-Western 22: Eagles’ defense keys victory

Look out, Miami Hurricanes. There’s a new turnover chain in South Florida, and it’s getting plenty of work.

Atlantic (11-1), whose chain has an eagle dangling at the bottom, had five interceptions in its 35-22 victory over Davie-Western (10-3) in the Class 8A regional finals in Delray Beach Friday night. The Eagles have not advanced past the regional finals since 2001, and lost in this round the past two seasons.

“I don’t want our team to be another Buffalo Bills,” said Atlantic coach T.J. Jackson, referring to the NFL team’s four consecutive Super Bowl losses in the 1990s.

Kenih Lovely, who missed a good portion of the year because of an injury, was wearing Atlantic’s turnover chain following Friday’s win. He was responsible for two of Atlantic’s five interceptions. The first came in the second quarter, and the Eagles couldn’t do anything on the ensuing drive. The second came on the first drive of the second half, and Lovely took it about 15 yards for a touchdown.

Lovely’s score gave the Eagles the momentum again and put them up 21-6.

“It felt good,” Lovely said. “Them boys … I told them, they got me here so I could play. I told them I’m going to do my part when I get back on the field.”

Lovely’s teammate in the secondary, Christian Brown, matched him with two interceptions, and he returned one for a 65-yard touchdown.

“Whoever gets the turnover chain, we’ve got to get more than one person to get it,” Lovely said.

Corey Gammage, a 2018 Florida Gators commit at wide receiver, also had an interception with a long return.

“Overall, the whole defense, the whole team has been playing great,” Jackson said.

Though the defense kicked it into high gear, a wide receiver is the one who gave the Eagles their lead.

Oyeh Lurry-Davis opened the game with a score. On a short kick, a teammate pitched the ball back to him, and he carried it 70 yards to put the Eagles on the board quickly.

Then, on Atlantic’s second drive, which came after Gammage’s interception, Lurry-Davis caught a screen pass from quarterback Antoine Williams and ran it into the end zone for a 47-yard score.

“I’ve got to do that for my team, in order to get us hyped,” Lurry-Davis said. “That’s what I’ve got to do.”

Running back Kamareon Williams ran in a 14-yard touchdown for Atlantic’s final score of the night.

Western quarterback Harrison Story tossed a pair of touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats were too far out of the game.

The Eagles will host Miami High — which upset Miami-Columbus 28-22 — in Friday’s state semifinals. If Atlantic wins, it will advance to its first state championship game since 1978.

“It’s a wonderful experience, Lurry-Davis said. “I’ve never been past the third round, or the second round.”

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