Belle Glade Sun

Pahokee Blue Devils falls to Vero Beach

PAHOKEE — The Pahokee Blue Devils are preparing to face the Boyton Beach Tigers at 7 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 29, at Pahokee High School.

The Blue Devils are looking to rebound after a tough 28-13 loss to the Vero Beach Indians. Coming into the game all eyes were on Indians quarterback Nicholas Celidonio, who had put up big numbers the previous week against Wellington. But it was Vero Beach running back Akeem Dixon who ran over the Blue Devils defense on game day, racking up 230 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. Pahokee coach Orson Walkes gave credit to the Vero Beach senior for having a good game.

“He ran wild,” Walkes said, “I think that kid is still running. Pretty sure I woke up on Saturday morning screaming ‘Somebody please tackle him!’ I think it was a good adjustment on Vero Beach’s behalf. They seemed to dumb their offense down a little bit, kept it simple with running the ball. If they had came into Pahokee and threw the ball around, they probably would’ve thrown a few interceptions. It was a good job on their part.”

Pahokee hadn’t played a game since August before playing Vero Beach. Hurricane Irma and a bye week kept them off the field for almost a month, which could’ve effected the preparation it would’ve taken to deal with such a physical running attack that the Indians had on the field.

“One positive we take from the game,” explained Walkes, “is that the kids now know that there is no flipping on and off the switch, no just moseying along in practice. After the game I had a few captains stand up and talk about our lack of true preparation. And the kids seemed like they understood. We don’t want to be devastated, we want to understand what happened to us. If nothing else it’s an eye opener for our kids and re-energized our coaching staff. Even though we lost this game, in a couple weeks we could be thanking Vero Beach.”

Often times the true test of a team comes with how they respond to adversity. And the Blue Devils will have an opportunity to respond when they play Boyton Beach this Friday, Sept 29.

“Watching the film on Boyton I’ve seen that they’ve struggled a little bit,” said Walkes, “but everybody approaches us a little differently. We just need to refocus and get back to doing the things that made us successful last year.”