breaking news

Winter storm effects: More than two dozen flights in and out of PBIA delayed or canceled

It was a classic, even by Muck Bowl standards


What a game.

I wrote those words at 1:15 a.m. Saturday morning because even though I’d just spent hours covering the wildest game Palm Beach County will likely see this year, I could not sleep. My adrenaline was coursing, and I didn’t even play.

Pahokee took down rival Glades Central in Friday’s Muck Bowl in an 33-27 overtime game that the word “thriller” can only begin to describe. It’s the type of game that about 5,000 people attended but 15,000 will later swear they were in the bleachers, if only they could find the ticket stub.

So much happened Friday night that I could only really focus on the last few minutes of the game in my story, so I felt the need to write this. A Division-I caliber player got ejected four plays into the game. A running back rushed for more than 200 yards. Santonio Holmes was there!

You knew Friday’s game was going to be something big right from the get-go. This year, the Muck Bowl would help decide if Pahokee and Glades Central would make the playoffs. And both teams were so obviously evenly matched.

I arrived almost two hours before kickoff. There was a line to get into the parking lot and more lines to get into the stadium.

The music was blaring, the barbecue was cooking (I had a barbecue pork sandwich; it was fantastic) and both teams were already warming up. There was no messing around.

The stands were packed by 6:45. Kickoff wasn’t until 7:30.

I picked Glades Central to win Friday night and claim their ninth Muck Bowl victory in 10 years. Technically, the Raiders won last year’s, too, because the Blue Devils had to vacate all their victories (and a state championship because of FHSAA rules violations). But no one considers that a win. We all saw it with our own eyes.

Truth be told, I had no idea what would happen in this game except that it would almost certainly be close. And it was. No team led by more than a score.

On the last drive of the game, Pahokee was poised to win. Then the Blue Devils looked finished. Then, inexplicably, they weren’t. They had a 7th grader – that’s right, a 7th grader! – kick the game-tying field goal on the biggest stage of his life to this point, and he nailed it. Just drilled it through the goalposts.

Then they turned to their horse of a running back, Jatarie Washington, to finish off the game.

Washington and Blue Devils coach Orson Walkes said the junior was dealing with some nagging injuries. I don’t know if I believe them. Washington was a blur, hitting holes so quick, I would lose track of him.

Washington sprinted to the end zone from 14 yards out, losing the ball so close to the end-zone line that players from both teams went to dive for it. It didn’t matter. The referees’ arms went up. Pahokee won.

The Blue Devils planted their flag at midfield, staking their claim to the Muck Bowl trophy, to Effie C. Grear Field and to the right to say they played in the best game this county has seen all year.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Don Budge began his quest for the tennis Grand Slam 80 years ago
Don Budge began his quest for the tennis Grand Slam 80 years ago

Don Budge, a lanky, redheaded Californian, called time in the first game of an early round match in the Australian national tennis championship. To the astonishment of 5,000 spectators in mid-January 1938, he started to escort his young and nervous Australian opponent, Everod Ballieu, off the grass court in Adelaide. “What’s the big idea?&rdquo...
Freeskier Torin Yater-Wallace candid about hardships in film
Freeskier Torin Yater-Wallace candid about hardships in film

Freestyle skier Torin Yater-Wallace has a simple picture in his mind: His family all together in South Korea for the Winter Olympics and watching him compete in the halfpipe. His journey there has been much more complicated.  The family has been through so much over the years — from dad serving time for a white-collar crime to mom dealing...
Mike Zimmer is another coach Jerry Jones whiffed on
Mike Zimmer is another coach Jerry Jones whiffed on

Of the many screw-ups committed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame general manager and president of the Dallas Cowboys over the past two decades, not giving his defensive coordinator even a cursory interview in 2007 will forever remain one of his most perplexing decisions.  In August of 2006, Jerry Jones said of his defensive coordinator, &ldquo...
It’s halftime in the NBA: Team power rankings
It’s halftime in the NBA: Team power rankings

The 34-point hammering absorbed by the Cleveland Cavaliers in Toronto on Thursday night occurred in the 615th game of 1,230 dates on the 2017-18 NBA schedule. The exact midpoint, in other words, of the regular season. So as the up-and-down Cavaliers prepare to host their old friends from Golden State on Martin Luther King’s Birthday, it&rsquo...
In this era of progress, good no longer good enough for inconsistent Wizards 
In this era of progress, good no longer good enough for inconsistent Wizards 

The Washington Wizards' dichotomy of past futility and current stability muddles what to think of this strange season. They're in the middle of a period in which they're better and more reliable than they have been in nearly 40 years, and there must be some comfort in knowing their problems aren't as onerous as they used to be. On the other hand, if...
More Stories