It started last year when they beat Southridge and gave Miami Central a run before losing three rounds deep in the 6A state playoffs. This year, South Dade has a chance to really shock some football purists.
While much of the attention has been paid to programs such as unbeaten Columbus, Central and Northwestern, there are many who have paid little attention to head coach
, but that could be a huge mistake.
South Dade has the speed, size, talent and coaching to play with anyone in the state, and after beating previously unbeaten Braddock 35-0 to end the regular season, a first-round playoff match with Varela shouldn't get in the way of making a serious run at Orlando.
"We have the talent on this team," said Dentino. "Now we have to play one game at a time and see what happens down the road."
While he won't tell you that he can match programs such as Central and Columbus player for player, Dentino knows that the speed and athletic ability his Buccaneers have, can turn the 9-1 record they currently have into 14-1 -- quickly.
"Last year, nobody figured we had any chance to beat some of the big boys, which is understandable. We lost early to a very good Columbus team, but a lot has changed since that game some 9 weeks ago."
This week, junior running back
had 151 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries before giving way to senior
Martin ran for 49 yards on nine carries, but the big story was on the other side of the ball.
South Dade's defense, which started the season with many questions, pitched its fourth shutout of the season. The defense emerged with five takeaways and limited the Bulldogs (8-1) to just 121 yards total offense.
The Bucs' secondary showcased itself in the second half, intercepting two passes, including one when the Bulldogs were driving down field.
caught the first pass and returned it just a few yards before being tackled, but it was
who sealed the win with his interception.
The senior defensive back returned the intercepted pass, giving South Dade quality field position for its last touchdown, a 17 yard scamper by Clayton.
South Dade (9-1) plays host to Varela in the opening round while Braddock plays host to Southridge.
In other Miami-Dade action in the final week of the regular season: