The Deerfield Beach Bucks held off the Atlantic Eagles 28-21 in a Class 8A regional final on Friday night at Butler Stadium. The Bucks advanced to the state semifinal game for the first time since 2007 when Denard Robinson was their quarterback.
Deerfield Beach(10-2) scored midway through the first quarter in an unusual way. They blocked a punt and Jerry Jeudy returned it 25 yards for the score at 6:41 of the opening quarter.
Atlantic(9-4) was able to tie the contest 7-7 at the 3:10 mark of the second quarter. Bucks quarterback Nick Holm fumbled the ball into the end zone for a touchback. The Eagles marched down the field on a 80-yard drive. Eagles backup quarterback Lamar Brewster was called upon and he rushed through the left side of the line from one yard away for a touchdown.
The Bucks exploded with two touchdowns in the final minute of the first half to go up 21-7. Running back Jakari Norwood dashed up the middle from six yards out for a score with 46.9 seconds left.
They got the ball back on the first play of the Eagles next possession as defensive back Cornelius Doe intercepted the ball and returned it to the Atlantic 42-yard line. Deerfield Beach struck on the first play of the drive as Holm threw a long pass down the right hash marks which was caught by wide receiver Daewood Davis in the front of the end zone with 20.5 seconds remaining.
The Eagles did not give up and picked up the momentum for most of the second half. They pulled to 21-13 with 7:42 to go in the third when running back Marquis Waters sprinted off-left tackle for a 17-yard touchdown run.
In the fourth quarter, Atlantic quarterback Zavion Thompson would sneak in on a one-yard plunge up the middle with 11:10 left. He connected on a two-point conversion pass to wide receiver Corey Gammage on the right side to tie the game 21-21.
It came down to the final drives for both schools and Deerfield Beach regained the lead 28-21 with 2:20 remaining. Norwood caught a swing pass on the left side from Holm and he rambled down the left sideline for a 44-yard touchdown.