University 44, Glades Central 21: Rain hurts Raiders in loss


After losing its season opener 13-7 at home to NSU University School at home, Glades Central’s offense seemed to be sending a message in the rematch with an opening-drive touchdown Friday night.

But after that, the offense faltered in the rain, the defense couldn’t contain the Sharks offense, and the Raiders saw their season end in a 44-21 loss in a Region 4-4A semifinal.

The Raiders (6-4) were ranked No. 4 in the state in Class 4A. Next week, the No. 3 Sharks (8-1) will play host to No. 5 Miami Gardens-Monsignor Pace, which beat Key West 31-7.

The Raiders began the game by marching 80 yards in eight plays for a 7-0 lead. Jymetre Hester scored on a 44-yard catch-and-run after he took a short pass and broke a tackle near the 35-yard line. Davius Richard, who wound up with three touchdown passes, completed 5-of-5 passes for 68 yards on the opening drive, plus runs of 10 and 9 yards.

But the Raiders punted on their next two drives after reentering Sharks territory. By the time their pass-heavy offense started clicking again, they were down 37-7 in the third quarter.

“The rain came and kind of broke our rhythm,” Glades Central coach Jessie Hester said. “I thought it let them get caught up to what we were doing.

“I thought we had a good game plan going on and kind of caught them a little bit confused, but the rain came … and from that point on, they were able to put on the pressure. … We’re just not a real good running team, so the rain really hampered us.”

The Sharks, whose run-oriented offense is more suited to rainy weather, turned the tide with touchdowns on their second and third possessions. They tied the game on an 11-play, 73-yard drive that ended when George Bubrick found Christian Wells in the end zone for a 12-yard score with 8:49 left in the half.

Minutes later, Kenny McIntosh’s 70-yard punt return for a touchdown was wiped out by a block in the back, but four plays later, he ran 29 yards down the right sideline to put University ahead 14-7 with 5:30 remaining in the half.

University broke the game open by scoring touchdowns on its first four drives of the second half, including another McIntosh 29-yard score. The Sharks also scored a safety when they blocked a punt and the ball rolled out of the end zone.

Because the Glades Central defensive line couldn’t get much penetration, University suffered losses on only three snaps through the first three quarters.

“Our defense is built to stop the run, and to those guys’ credit, they did a really good job of creating nice running lanes,” Hester said. “Once those guys got a full head of steam, it was really difficult getting them down.”

Jymetre Hester’s second touchdown reception — a 72-yard catch-and-run — got the Raiders within 37-14 with 53 seconds left in the third quarter. Desna Washington closed the scoring with a 7-yard touchdown grab with 12 seconds remaining.

Despite a disappointing end to the season, which included a loss in a thrilling Muck Bowl last week, Jessie Hester was pleased with the 2017 season and is looking forward to 2018.

“For the most part, I thought the kids played hard. I can see that the program is going in the right direction. We’ve got a lot of kids returning, so we should be a real hard out next year for certain.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Her Olympic dream almost died, but she's heading to Pyeongchang after all
Her Olympic dream almost died, but she's heading to Pyeongchang after all

Her Olympic dream was years in the making, but even when Haley Skarupa finally received the long-awaited news, it took some time to process. For months her journey felt like it was both pointed in the right direction and also filled with trap doors. "It was sort of a whirlwind. I didn't know what to feel at the time," she said. "It was...
Mets’ Adrian Gonzalez has plans to tutor Dominic Smith
Mets’ Adrian Gonzalez has plans to tutor Dominic Smith

Adrian Gonzalez, the New York Mets’ new first baseman, played the most games in the major leagues from 2006 to 2016. Yet Gonzalez never reached the World Series, and when his Los Angeles Dodgers finally made it last fall, he watched most of it on television in a suite. A back injury had knocked him out of the postseason. “Somewhat of a...
A crowded Cubs outfield has plenty to prove in 2018
A crowded Cubs outfield has plenty to prove in 2018

After Ben Zobrist earned his second straight ring and was named the World Series MVP in 2016, you can't blame him for taking some time to relax last offseason. But that's old news. Zobrist, who turns 37 in May, is coming off a subpar season and doesn't know how he will be used this year in Joe Maddon's revolving-door lineup. So Zobrist took only 10...
Freestyler Voisin returns to Olympics after breaking ankle
Freestyler Voisin returns to Olympics after breaking ankle

Maggie Voisin was determined. She was going to walk in the opening ceremony.  So, with her freshly broken ankle in a freshly fitted walking boot, she did — choking back the emotion from a day that could only be labeled as devastating.  Hours earlier, in a practice on the slopestyle course, the 15-year-old freeskier bailed out of a rail...
US aims to groom tennis champs at national campus in Florida
US aims to groom tennis champs at national campus in Florida

Drive past the strip malls with their fast-food chains, past the fast-rising McMansions, past the palm trees lined up just so along green, green grass about 25 miles east of Walt Disney World, and eventually a sign arises, announcing in capital letters, "USTA National Campus, the home of American tennis."  Welcome to the 65-acre, 100-court...
More Stories