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October 19, 2013
BELLE GLADE - They came, they saw and they conquered.
The Suns (3-0 in District 7-4A; 8-0 overall) were held to a 23-yard FG that was made by K Andrew Dirocco with 8:25 left in the first quarter. The Raiders (1-1 in District 7-4A; 3-4 overall) forced two straight incomplete passes from White in the red zone to prevent an early touchdown.
After Glades Central's first offensive drive stalled on its own 40-yard line, Giovanni Lugo punted the ball to University. As Lugo punted the ball in the air, University WR Sam Bruce signaled for a fair catch. But Bruce dropped the ball as he was stretching his hands out to complete the routine special teams play.
The ball rolled into University's end zone and Glades Central LB Jarvis Philibert dived on it to secure a 6-3 lead with 6:19 left in the first. Lugo's extra point made it 7-3 in favor of Glades Central.
The Raiders lead was cut to 7-6 after Dirocco nailed a 35-yard FG with 3:48 left in the opening quarter. Up until the 10:13 mark in the second quarter, the Suns were playing from behind.
That's when White connected on a 25-yard strike to Bruce, who used his speed to outrun a host of Glades Central defenders en route to the end zone. With Dirocco's extra-point kick, University took a 13-7 lead and never looked back from there.
The only other first-half score came late in the second quarter, when White found WR Chris Taylor for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 1:59 left. University was up 20-7 at the point and went into halftime with that 13-point lead intact.
It was more of the same in the third quarter, as White handed off the ball to Suns WR Jarius Brown, who extended his team's lead to 26-7 on a 6-yard scoring run at the 10:32 mark. Dirocco's extra point made to 27-7 in favor of University.
Later in the third, University's defense strip sacked Lugo at Glades Central's 19-yard line and recovered his lost fumble with 1:19 left. The turnover set up a scoring opportunity for University on the very next play.
Scarlett scored his first of two touchdowns on a 19-yard run to the end zone, which extended the Suns lead to 33-7 at the 1:00 mark. Dirocco connected on the extra point to make it 34-7.
Glades Central's only offensive score came on a 18-yard touchdown pass from ATH Jonathan Istache to WRJamarious Way with 10:40 left in the game. A failed two-point conversion try by the Raiders made the score 34-13.
The game's final two scores came from Scarlett (49-yard TD run with 10:07 left) and RB LaJuan Hunt (54-yard TD run with 7:31 left).
"Glades Central has an exceptional program regardless of what the final score says," University head coach Roger Harriet said. "They played us tough and put us in some bad situations at times. We didn't have a great start, but we were able to pull it together and execute on all three facets of our game. We'll use this game as a learning experience as we prepare for our next opponent."
University School, which will face off against No. 3 Manatee next week, has clinched the District 7-4A title as a result of its win over Glades Central. The Suns will probably host Miami Gulliver Prep (District 8-4A likely runner-up) in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs next month.
Glades Central, on the other hand, must beat fellow District 7-4A opponent North Broward Prep in two weeks in order to qualify for the postseason. Should the Raiders take care of business at home, they'll likely have to go on the road and play No. 1 Miami Booker T. Washington in the first round.
If the Raiders lose their final district game in Week 10, then they'll be eliminated from the playoffs.