Western wins District 9-6A
2 years in A ROW

By Christy Cabrera Chirinos
Staff Writer
Posted November 2 2004
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 Weston · After it won the District 9-6A championship by defeating Cypress Bay and Miramar in one-quarter tiebreaker games, the Western football team sat on a small set of bleachers in the end zone to see which of those teams would be the district runner-up.

The Wildcats ended up watching 11 minutes of lackluster football dominated by turnovers and penalties as Miramar defeated Cypress Bay 8-7 to claim a spot in the regional quarterfinals. Moments after Cypress Bay's Preston Jezek picked off a Marcel Dougles pass and returned it 60 yards for a Lightning touchdown, Dougles led the Patriots (4-4) back onto the field with less than a minute to go and 50 yards to the end zone.

After a 21-yard run by Dougles put them inside the Cypress Bay 20, Dougles had only moments to work. With 1.9 seconds on the clock, he scrambled and ran towards the sideline. Dougles noticed Chris Thomas in the corner of the end zone and threw him a 19-yard touchdown pass that put the Patriots on the board and forced Miramar coach Rodney Gray to make a decision.

Gray said there was no other option than to put the ball, and the fate of his team, in the hands of the player he has relied on all season.

Dougles took the snap on the 2-point conversion and missed the handoff to his running back. He looked up, saw empty field before him and surged into the end zone.

"I knew I had to do it, and I knew it was on me," said Dougles, who celebrated his birthday Monday. "Nobody believed in us all season, but we worked hard all last week to get here. The first quarter loss to Western was devastating, but we had no time to think about it and just went out there expecting to win this game."

For Cypress Bay, who could have won the district championship four days ago with a win over Western, the playoffs remain a possibility. Two teams from the region will receive at-large bids and its 7-1 record could help put them into the regional tournament.

Like Miramar, Western carried plenty of emotion off the field Monday night. After being 3-4 to start the season, the Wildcats (4-4) defeated Cypress Bay Friday to force the tiebreaker. They then defeated Miramar 13-0 in the first quarter and needed a last-second play to preserve a 7-6 victory over the Lightning on Monday night.

Jason Lovingshimer, who gave Western a 7-0 lead with a 12-yard touchdown run, blocked the extra point as Cypress Bay went for the tie. And then on an untimed down after Western was called for roughing the passer on the Lightning's last possession, Lovingshimer intercepted Adam Lickstein and sealed the win.

"This was teamwork and it was all of us," Lovingshimer said. "I was covering the guy that got into the end zone for them and I just wanted to make a play for my team. This is tiring, but we knew on Friday that we weren't done."

Copyright © 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


Western wins first district championship

By Steve Gorten, Sun Sentinal
Posted October 31 2003

Davie· Running back Josh Kalb and defensive back Jason Lovingshimer were the difference in a wild fourth quarter as Western beat Cypress Bay 21-15 at home to capture its first district title Thursday.

Kalb rushed 36 times for 179 yards and three touchdowns, including the winning score with 3:15 left, and Lovingshimer had two interceptions and a pivotal kickoff return.

Western (5-4) and Cypress Bay (4-5) entered tied for first in District 9-Class 6A, and predictably, they traded the lead three times in the final 10 minutes.

"They gave us a good fight. A little better fight than we thought," Kalb said. "But when push comes to shove, we came out on top."

"We've been a great second-half team," said first-year Western coach Doug Dutton. "This isn't the first game that we've been behind in the fourth quarter. We've kind of turned into the cardiac kids."

Kalb gave Western a 13-9 lead on a 4-yard run with 10 minutes left after Lovingshimer returned an interception 26 yards to Cypress Bay's 34-yard line at the end of the third quarter.

The Wildcats, who held Lightning back Chris DeCaro to just 87 yards on 25 carries, appeared to have control at that point. Cypress Bay's offense wasn't moving in steady rain and faced third-and-11 from its own 24. So coach Bill Hobbs turned to trickery.

Backup quarterback Adam Lickstein took the snap, pitched to DeCaro, who handed off to receiver Scott Urbanek, who flipped it back to Lickstein, who fired downfield to wide-open Eric Hjartnes for a 76-yard touchdown pass. Cypress Bay missed the extra point and led 15-13 with 5:41 left.

"It's something we worked on all week," Hobbs said. "When you come into these kinds of games, you've got to have a few special plays and we thought it was the right moment. It was, but [Lovingshimer] turned the tide against us returning the next kickoff."

Lovingshimer ran back the ensuing kickoff 55 yards to Cypress Bay's 20 and Western pounded the ball into the end zone with five consecutive runs by Kalb, the last a 3-yarder up the middle. Western won despite committing five turnovers, including a fumbled handoff in the third quarter that set up a 24-yard field goal to give the Lightning a 9-7 lead.

"I can't say enough about Kalb and Lovingshimer," Dutton said. "Josh gets a lot of yards after contact and Jason comes up with big plays week after week."