Javian Mallory and the Bulls Defense Lifts West Boca Past Deerfield Beach in a Crucial District Showdown


Isaac Edelman, Reporter

On Monday night, the West Boca Bulls travelled to Deerfield Beach to take on the Bucks.

It wasn’t easy, but led by freshman running back Javian Mallory and the fierce defense, the Bulls defeated the Bucks 21-17.


This was a game originally scheduled to be played on Friday night. However,  Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in Southwest Florida on Wednesday, caused postponement of the game until Monday for the safety of the players.

Despite the change to the schedule, both teams, specifically the defenses, were on their heels from the start.

In the first quarter, both teams were held scoreless, despite a ton of penalties.

In the second quarter, the offense picked up. West Boca moved all the way down the field to set up a Javian Mallory one-yard rushing touchdown. Mallory found an open seam down the middle thanks to the Bulls’ terrific offensive line. The extra-point was good making it 7-0 West Boca.

Three minutes later, Romanas Frederique Jr. of Deerfield Beach had a three-yard rushing touchdown, tying the game up at seven.

The Bulls were not happy with their defensive performance prompting another offensive surgance. A minute later, freshman quarterback Mason Mallory found himself under pressure. However, he stayed calm, cool, and collective, throwing a check-down/screen pass to Javian Mallory, who ran about 83 yards to the house. The Bulls took a 14-7 lead.

Five minutes later, with a minute remaining in the first half, Deerfield Beach tied the game up thanks to a 65-yard punt return touchdown.

The third quarter started slow, despite a tie game. Deerfield Beach broke the scoreless second half with a 37-yard field goal that went through the uprights. Therefore, the Bucks took a 17-14 lead.

At the end of three quarters, the Bucks still held on to their 17-14 lead. The Bulls did not give up, though.

With six minutes remaining in the game, WR Elijah Gonzales scored a short rushing touchdown to the outside to give the Bulls a 21-17 lead. This touchdown was set up in large part to Javian Mallory’s 25+ yard reception (off another screen pass).

WR Tyler Cordero did not haul in any catches during the game, but he still had an effect on the game, drawing two defensive pass interference calls to help extend drives. Photo Credit: Isaac Edelman

With a few minutes remaining, needing a touchdown, the Bucks received the ball.

The Bucks had nothing going on offense, as the Bulls defense stood strong in the final minutes.

It seemed like the Bulls had the game sealed when Michael Gonzales recorded an interception on a deep throw by Deerfield Beach quarterback Jaxson Jewell. However, Maddox Haase was called with defensive pass interference nulling the interception and bringing the Bucks in prime field position. It was exactly what Deerfield needed, and exactly what West Boca aimed to prevent.

West Boca’s defense during a timeout in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Photo Credit: Isaac Edelman

Luckily, the defensive front stood strong while forcing a fourth down with a minute left. Instead of passing to convert on fourth down, Deerfield elected to get a chunk of yardage by running the ball, but defensive end Ioannis Michalakelis tackled the running back short of the first down marker. The West Boca sideline cheered as it was evident the Bulls had won the game (all they needed to do was run out the clock in victory formation).

When asked about the win, Head Coach Dylan Potts said the following:

“The kids came out all week and they practiced very hard. They bought into what we were doing offensively and defensively and special teams and they just came out and executed the game plan just like we ask them to. At the end of the day, if they just do what we ask them to do and do it at like that, we’re going to be in every ball game so I couldn’t be more proud of the way they played.”

The Bulls, once again, played turnover-less football.

Quarterback Mason Mallory completed four of 10 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown. While throwing four passes over the course of an entire game isn’t ideal, it is ideal to average a lot of yards per play. Mason had a ton of success doing just that, averaging 45.3 yards per pass.

The running game was successful yet again. Both freshman running backs, Javian Mallory (20 rushes for 60 yards) and Elijah Gonzales (eight carries for 45 yards), combined for 105 yards.

In addition to being the Bulls leading rusher, Javian Mallory was the Bulls leading receiver, catching two screen passes for 120 yards. Zach Walls had a great 45 yard reception, his only catch of the game, too.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior Ryan Wise had a team-high five tackles. Speaking of Ryan, he had a fumble recovery on a forced fumble by Aaron Ford. Sophomore Cruz Baeza also had five tackles.