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Bryan Bell-Anderson returns one of his two interceptions for a touchdown in DP's 28-7 victory over Wekiva in the 2017 State Semifinal (Courtesy Steven Ryzewski)

Football buries Wekiva in State Semifinal
12/2/2017 9:57:00 AM

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson once said "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth," and that's exactly what the Dr. Phillips Panthers did on the first play from scrimmage Friday night. With all the attention focused on the dominating defense of the host Wekiva Mustangs, sophomore running back Brandon Fields took the opening handoff, charged through sensational blocks by Michael MacNeil and Jecquari McKnight and turned on the jets for a 73-yard touchdown as DP (12-2) delivered a knockout blow in a 28-7 victory over upstart Wekiva to send the Panthers back to the State Championship. Earlier in the season, Wekiva shut out the Panthers on a rain-soaked night that saw DP unable to generate any offense at all. But last night, DP averaged nearly ten yards per carry on the ground and turned the tables on Wekiva with a punishing defense of their own that limited the Mustangs to just 205 total yards. Junior cornerback Bryan Bell-Anderson's two interceptions, including one returned for a 40-yard touchdown, highlighted a season-high four interceptions by the Panthers that kept their dreams of a state title alive for one more week.

After Fields' opening touchdown run, Wekiva had an opportunity to respond on their opening drive, moving the football down to the DP 30. On second and six, however, senior Bobby Johnson stuffed a run for a three-yard loss and two plays later, junior Jaquarri Powell and senior Joe Gulla drilled the running back in the backfield on fourth down for another loss of three resulting in a turnover on downs. DP took over at their own 29 and moved the football well with a 32-yard pass from BeSean McCray to Devon Buckhanon and a 25-yard pass to Devodney Alford that gave the Panthers first and goal at the eight. The offense stalled at the two, though, and a short field goal attempt sailed wide right to keep the score at 7-0. Both teams exchanged a pair of possessions but after Wekiva gambled again on fourth down at the DP 28, an incomplete pass put the ball back in the hands of McCray. On first down, McCray set momentarily in the pocket, broke right to the outside behind tackle Brian Velez, picked up a perfect block from Devodney Alford and sprinted 72 yards for another touchdown to double the lead to 14-0. A stunned home crowd watched as Wekiva came back on the field for one final drive before the half and it ended as miserably as the previous four as Jaquarri Powell sacked the quarterback for a six-yard loss on fourth down as time expired.

With their ground game in neutral and down by two touchdowns against a hungry DP defense, Wekiva went to the air and found equal frustration. On second and ten of the opening drive of the second half, senior safety Tarrie Reese sparked the defense with his first interception of the season and returned it 12 yards to the Wekiva 32. Two plays later, BeSean McCray found a wide-open Devodney Alford down the middle of the field for a 30-yard touchdown and the rout was on. Up 21-0, the defense stepped up again on Wekiva's next drive. On second and five, Bryan Bell-Anderson stepped in front of a pass and darted 40 yards down the right sideline for another DP touchdown to make it 28-0, but the Panthers weren't done making statements. Braxton Clark's leaping, acrobatic interception on Wekiva's next possession was DP's third consecutive pick of the half and after the Mustangs capitalized on DP's only turnover, resulting in a ten-yard touchdown run, the Panther defense struck again. Wekiva went on a 13-play drive spanning nearly seven minutes but on second and goal from the eight, Stephen Dix delivered a devastating sack for a loss of ten. With their season dissipating quickly, Wekiva went to the air again on fourth and goal from the 18 and Bryan Bell-Anderson picked off his second pass of the night, returning it 36 yards out of the end zone to seal DP's second consecutive trip to Camping World Stadium.

Defensively for DP, junior Cameron Williams led the squad with 15 tackles, including two for loss; Jaquarri Powell and Stephen Dix each finished with 13 tackles and a sack; Brice Ingram collected 12 tackles and Bobby Johnson and Japerri Powell finished with ten tackles apiece. 

Dr. Phillips will take on Delray Beach Atlantic (12-1) Saturday night at 8:00 pm in the State Championship. The Panthers will be the home team on the scoreboard and occupy the west stands. Tickets are already on sale online at https://t.co/VXEUvr8az1 . We will be getting tickets to sell on campus for $12.00 each (no service charge) by Tuesday. More information to come!


Name Attempts Yards Average Long TD
Brandon Fields 8 96 12.0 73 1
BeSean McCray 7 83 11.9 72 1
Devodney Alford 9 69 7.7 35 0
TEAM 1 -4 -4.0 -4 0
Total 25 244 9.8 73 2

Name Comps Att Yards TD Int Pct
BeSean McCray 3 5 87 1 0 60.0%
Canaan Mobley 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 3 5 87 1 0 60.0%

Name Receptions Yards Average Long TD
Devodney Alford 2 55 27.5 30 1
Devon Buckhanon 1 32 32.0 32 0
Total 3 87 29.0 32 0

Return Yardage
Name Total Punt Kickoff Int Fumble Bl Kick TD
Bryan Bell-Anderson 76 0 0 2-76 0 0 1
Tanner Ingle 26 0 1-26 0 0 0 0
Tarrie Reese 12 0 0 1-12 0 0 0
Total 114 0 1-26 3-88 0 0 1

Name Punts Avg Long FGM/FGA Long XPM/XPA Pts
Sterling Stockwell 3 39.7 47 0-1 0 4-4 4
Total 3 39.7 47 0-1 0 4-4 4

Team Totals
Category Dr. Phillips Wekiva
Points 28 7
Rushing Yards 25-244 (9.8) 41-116 (2.8)
Passing/Comp/Att/Yards 3-5-87 (60.0%) 9-21-89 (42.9%)
Total Yards 331 205
First Downs 9 15
Third Down Conv % 2-7 (28.6%) 5-13 (38.5%)
Fourth Down Conv % 0-0 2-6 (33.3%)
Turnovers 1 4
Penalties 8-85 7-33
Avg. Field Position DP 34 W 30

Dr. Phillips 7 7 14 0 0 28
Wekiva 0 0 7 0 0 7

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