ACTIVITIES & CLUBS
Surprising South Plantation has a chance at district title
November 1, 2013Deerfield Beach High School
By Steve Gorten, Sun-Sentinel Staff writer
After losing its top two players and returning just eight total from last year, South Plantation coach Doug Gatewood says his 2013 team simply wanted to be "relevant late in the season."
They're certainly that
The surprising Paladins have won five consecutive games since a 1-2 start, putting them on the verge of a playoff berth and – believe it or not –a district championship.
A win Friday night at home against Deerfield Beach (8-0, 6-0) would give South Plantation (6-2, 5-1) the District 11-8A title. Deerfield, which has already clinched one of the district's two playoff spots, would secure the title with a win. In that scenario, South Plantation would find itself playing a three-way district tiebreaker Monday if Monarch and Taravella win Friday as expected.
"We were really young, but we've matured and we've grown," said South Plantation coach Doug Gatewood, whose team lost its opener, 42-7 to Miramar, and third game, 20-14 to Taravella, but upset Monarch 19-13 last week to preserve its postseason aspirations.
"I'm not telling you we're ready for Deerfield, Gatewood added. "But we've shocked some people. We shocked ourselves a little. We're flabbergasted that we're in this position. The kids and everyone knew it was a rebuilding year. …I can't believe we're actually playing for a district championship."
The key for South Plantation has been a strong defense led by junior linebacker Roger Archer and a shutdown secondary, which hasn't surrendered more than 14 points to the past seven opponents.