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Jaquarri Powell (5), Stephen Dix (29) and Bryan Bell-Anderson (9) (2017)

Football advances to State Semifinal
11/25/2017 3:18:00 PM

DP Football may have been dominated statistically but the only stat that matters is the amount of points you put on the scoreboard when opportunities present themselves. With the Panthers clinging to a 21-19 lead with under 11 minutes left in the game, host Sarasota Riverview drove down to the DP seven yard line but a botched handoff was scooped up by junior linebacker Jaquarri Powell and returned 78 yards for a touchdown to silence a stunned Riverview crowd and clinch the Panthers' second consecutive Regional Championship and fourth in the last seven years. 

DP (11-2) jumped out to a 7-0 lead on their second possession after opening the drive at the Riverview 49. Quarterback BeSean McCray completed his first four passes to Michael Fox twice for 12 yards, Devon Buckhanon for ten yards and Davarius Bargnare for eight more down to the Riverview 14. Two plays later, senior running back Devodney Alford sidestepped two tackles and spun into the end zone to put the Panthers on the board. Riverview responded quickly, however, connecting on a 53-yard pass play for a first down at the DP 11 but the Panther defense was able to absorb the blow and held the Rams to a 23-yard field goal.

With a 7-3 lead, DP had difficulty moving the football on their next three possessions but outstanding punts by Sterling Stockwell, one inside the 15 as well as a 57-yard bomb, kept the field from being flipped in Riverview's favor. After missing on a 42-yard field goal attempt at the 5:58 mark of the half, Riverview drove down to the DP 18 on their next drive and connected on a 35-yard field goal to close the gap to 7-6. Opportunities were few for the Panther offense but when they were there, they capitalized. Facing third and ten from the DP 35, BeSean McCray took the snap, waited a brief moment, slipped between sensational blocks by center Michael MacNeil and guard Alesandro Martinez and took off 65 yards for a touchdown to extend the Panthers' lead to 14-6 heading into the halftime break. McCray finished with 102 yards on the ground, 97 of which came in the first half.

DP has owned the third quarter all season but Riverview wasted no time reminding everyone how they averaged over 40 points per game this year. The Rams drove 80 yards over eight plays in 3:09 and capped the scoring drive with a 16-yard touchdown run to cut the DP lead back to one, 14-13. But the Panthers counterpunched handsomely on their ensuing possession with a seven-play, 60-yard drive primarily on the broad shoulders of Devodney Alford. After Michael Fox returned the kickoff 21 yards to the 40, Alford broke off a 25-yard run, shoving away a tackler, down to the Riverview 35 and followed up with a pair of carries for another 11 yards. Brandon Fields spelled Alford for two plays and picked up 20 more yards for a first down at the Riverview four yard line. Two plays later, Devodney Alford, who finished with 108 yards on 19 carries, muscled his way across the goal line to push the DP lead to 21-13 with 6:18 left in the third quarter. Expectedly, Riverview responded well, this time with another 80-yard scoring drive to pull within 21-19, but the two-point conversion was stuffed by Jaquarri Powell. On the ensuing kickoff, Tanner Ingle gave the offense another spark with a 42-yard return to the Riverview 47 but DP was cut short on downs at the Riverview 25. The Rams had the momentum on both sides of the football and were seemingly unstoppable offensively. Seven plays and 68 yards later, Riverview had first and goal at the DP seven with the Panther defense clearly gassed from three consecutive long drives. But Jaquarri Powell was once again in the right place at the right time when the Riverview handoff was fumbled and returned 78 yards for the score. Powell's touchdown gave the Panthers a 28-19 lead but Riverview wasn't going away easily. Their offensive explosiveness continued on their next possession when they drove down to the DP six yard line in eight plays. On first and goal, though, the Panther defense dug in deeper as Jaquarri Powell and Brice Ingram stuffed a run for no gain. On the next play it was senior linebacker Joe Gulla and junior linebacker Japerri Powell cutting down a run for a one-yard loss. On third and goal from the four, senior safety Tarrie Reese dropped the Riverview running back for a huge three-yard loss to force a fourth and goal from the seven. Once again, Riverview opted for a field goal attempt but the 24-yard kick clanged off the upright with 5:59 left in the game to keep the nine-point lead intact. From that point on, DP was able to chew enough time off the clock to seal the victory.

While the game was fought hard all night and exceptional performances were turned in by both teams, the end of the game was marred by gross unsportsmanlike behavior. After DP took over on downs at the Riverview 28 with 2:31 left, Devodney Alford carried the football down to the Riverview one-yard line but was stopped short of the goal on fourth down. After Riverview's senior defensive back Brantley Seadrow fanned on the initial tackle, he then jumped on top of one our lineman and appeared to punch him on the ground. He then walked away and then turned back to the pile and literally stomped on Devodney Alford's helmet as Alford was still on the ground in the pile. The referee flagged Seadrow for a personal foul but Seadrow, who is a  New Hampshire commitment, wasn't finished with his frustration. After the flag was thrown he then turned and punched Michael Fox, which drew Seadrow an ejection from the game. While Brantley Seadrow's behavior, all caught on film, is inexcusable and hopefully will be addressed further by the FHSAA, it is by no means a reflection of the Riverview program, whose coaches were equally upset at his actions. Unfortunately, however, Seadrow's actions prevented the teams from congratulating and respecting each other in the postgame handshake.

Nevertheless, Dr. Phillips advances to the State Semifinal next week at Wekiva, who routed Winter Park, 33-6. Defensively for DP, Japerri Powell racked up a career-high 20 tackles, including five for loss, and sophomore Stephen Dix finished with a career-high 19 tackles, three for loss and a sack. Jaquarri Powell registered 14 tackles in addition to his game-saving fumble return touchdown. Double digit tackles were also recorded by Cameron Williams (15), Joe Gulla (12), Tanner Ingle (11) and Brice Ingram (10). DP has now defeated Sarasota Riverview (11-2) in all four of their meetings dating back to 2006. Tickets for Friday's semifinal will be on sale online, during school as well as at the gate for $9.00 each (additional fees apply for online purchases).

Name Attempts Yards Average Long TD
Devodney Alford 19 108 5.7 25 2
BeSean McCray 7 102 14.6 65 1
Brandon Fields 5 22 4.4 15 0
Tanner Ingle 1 7 7.0 7 0
Japerri Powell 1 -2 -2.0 -2 0
TEAM 1 -3 -3.0 -3 0
Total 34 234 6.9 65 3

Name Comps Att Yards TD Int Pct
BeSean McCray 10 17 67 0 0 58.8%
Total 10 17 67 0 0 58.8%

Name Receptions Yards Average Long TD
Michael Fox 7 39 5.6 18 0
Bobby Johnson 1 10 10.0 10 0
Devon Buckhanon 1 10 10.0 10 0
Davarius Bargnare 1 8 8.0 8 0
Total 10 67 6.7 18 0

Return Yardage
Name Total Punt Kickoff Int Fumble Bl Kick TD
Jaquarri Powell 78 0 0 0 1-78 0 1
Tanner Ingle 42 0 1-42 0 0 0 0
Davarius Bargnare 38 1-1 2-37 0 0 0 0
Michael Fox 21 0 1-21 0 0 0 0
Total 179 1-1 4-100 0 1-78 0 1

Name Punts Avg Long FGM/FGA Long XPM/XPA Pts
Sterling Stockwell 5 40.4 57 0 0 4-4 4
Total 5 40.4 57 0 0 4-4 4

Team Totals
Category Dr. Phillips Sarasota Riverview
Points 28 19
Rushing Yards 34-234 (6.9) 53-184 (3.5)
Passing/Comp/Att/Yards 10-17-67 (58.8%) 22-31-276 (71.0%)
Total Yards 301 460
First Downs 13 30
Third Down Conv % 3-10 (30.0%) 7-17 (41.2%)
Fourth Down Conv % 0-2 1-2 (50.0%)
Turnovers 0 1
Penalties 15-150 6-48
Avg. Field Position DP 41 SR 20

Dr. Phillips 7 7 7 7 0 28
Sarasota Riverview 3 3 13 0 0 19

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