Glades Central turns up defense in fourth quarter to ignite Raiders' offense
Monday, September 05, 2011
by Matt Porter
Photo by Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post
Neither team had put on much of a show for the national television audience or the packed grandstands at Effie C. Grear Field.
Then Glades Central did what it planned to do all along - it stole the spotlight.
In the Raiders' 24-10 win over Dwyer, things were sleepy until the start of the fourth quarter.
Then the Raiders put together a furious charge that left the stands shaking and the visitors reeling. As it was in so many of their games last season, when they averaged less than a touchdown allowed, it was the Raiders' defense that made their opponent doubt themselves.
"We let 'em feel too comfortable, thinking like they can win," Glades Central safety Crevon LeBlanc said.
On the first play of the final quarter, Dwyer's Faton Bauta dropped back to pass on third and 11, rolling out to his left.
Standing at midfield, Raiders linebacker Jatavis Brown took off like a jet. After sprinting 15 yards, he launched himself into Bauta, who hit the ground and threw a pass that was nearly intercepted.
The home crowd went crazy. Though Dwyer had a 10-7 lead, the Panthers were seeking their first win over Glades Central in six tries.
Senior quarterback Greg Davis hit junior William Likely for a 45-yard gain, and senior quarterback Tanner Redish found senior Jaime Wilson in the corner of the end zone. Less than two minutes after the big hit, Glades Central was on top for the first time.
"We gave up one big play, and the kids hung their heads," Dwyer coach Jack Daniels said.
The crowd chanted 'de-fense,' and Dwyer went three-and-out. On the Raiders' first play, Davis went to the end zone, and Likely hauled in another 45-yard pass, this time for a touchdown.
Now down 21-10 with 9;22 left, it all fell apart for Dwyer. Bauta lost the ball on the first play when Brown stripped him, and junior Paul Whyte recovered the fumble. The Raiders turned it into a 35-yard field goal from freshman Giovanni Lugo.
"We should have won that game," Daniels said. "Coaches didn't have the kids ready to play. Not for four quarters."
LeBlanc and his teammates were ready. Even in the heat of the fourth quarter, the senior was thinking about finishing off the Panthers.
After Lugo's field goal, LeBlanc tapped senior Dominique Gibson on the shoulder.
"I said 'Boobie, we gotta make a play, they think they're better than us,' " LeBlanc said.
On second-and-8, LeBlanc saw Dwyer sophomore receiver Johnnie Dixon ready to make a catch over the middle.
"The first thing that came to my mind was destroy," LeBlanc said. "Because on Facebook and all that, they've been talking: 'We're gonna beat y'all on ESPN.' So I was thinking, destroy, destroy."
LeBlanc, playing with a bruised left shoulder, turned and laid his right side into Dixon. The ball spilled away. LeBlanc danced in front of his teammates as the crowd went wild again.
"We always plan stuff like that," LeBlanc said.
For Glades Central, the ending couldn't have been better.