By Gary Curreri, Special Correspondent, Sun-Sentinel
The Glades Cougars have laid claim to being a part of the best boys’ middle school sports program in Broward County this year.
When the undefeated flag football team won a 20-19 thriller over Forest Glen in the county tournament at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale recently, it marked the third consecutive boys’ sports title for the Miramar school.
Previously, the Cougars had garnered county titles in basketball and track.
“Some of the kids (in our program) have been a part of all three championships,” said Glades Middle boys’ coach Craig Kocis.
Kocis said every athlete on the flag football team played a role in the title-clinching effort.
“It was a different kid each week,” he said.
“We really didn’t have a most valuable player. There wasn’t a superstar, just a team of hard working players.”
Forest Glen’s Carter Jacob opened the scoring on a 50-yard run, but Glades Middle (9-0) charged back with a pair of scores to make it 13-6 as Brian Gonzalez completed touchdown passes of 10 yards to Lujaun Hunt and 5 yards to Nick Gonzalez, Jakari Hunt hauled in the extra point pass.
The Wildcats, which like Glades entered the championship showdown with a perfect record, tied the game at 13-13 when Nick Bennett caught a 15-yard touchdown strike from Jacob, who also added the extra point conversion.
But once again the Cougars responded as Juwan Dowles scored on a 1-yard scamper with 2:20 remaining to give Glades a 20-13 advantage. Brian Gonzalez dialed up Hunt for another extra point connection.
With just under 10 seconds remaining in the game, Forest Glen’s Davan Daily caught a 20-yard scoring pass from Jacob to pull within 20-19, but that was as close as the Wildcats would get. Forest Glen wrapped up its season with an 8-1 record.
“We were 0-5 last year, so this was a big improvement,” Coach Cliff Wiggins said. “We had more leaders on the team this year.”