BY GENE NARDI
On Friday, May 20, the Palm Beach Central High School Broncos football team hosted Boynton Beach High School for its spring game and fell to the Tigers 17-7 in a close battle.
The game was in doubt due to inclement weather, which delayed the start time by more than an hour. The contest closed out the short spring session, and despite the score, the Broncos have much to be positive about. Spring games serve as a gauge to determine where the team stands prior to the fall season and what needs to be improved upon.
The Broncos could clearly move the ball on the ground behind a strong offensive line anchored by rising senior Michael Garofalo. The Broncos relied on workhorse Anthony Wynds to carry the rock. Wynds tallied 138 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown.
On the Broncos’ opening drive, Wynds consistently powered through the Boynton defensive line, setting his team up at the 8-yard line, but a fumble stalled the opportunity to draw first blood on the Tigers. The Broncos’ 75-yard opening drive consumed nearly seven minutes off the first-quarter game clock.
Three plays later, Boynton Beach scored on a 3-yard run to take an early 7-0 lead. The Bronco defensive players were getting themselves grounded after giving up a couple of big plays, to hold the Tigers to just one score. The offense, plagued by penalties, would move the ball but could not find the end zone.
The second half opened up with the Broncos finally getting on the board with Wynds’ 12-yard touchdown run, but Boynton Beach also found the back of the end zone one more time, including a field goal to close out with the 17-7 win.
“We could have had over 200 yards rushing if we didn’t have a running clock in the second half due to the start delay,” Broncos coach Tino Ierulli said,
The game still provided light at the end of the tunnel for the Broncos, who finished 2-8 last season. Quarterback Matt Smith showed leadership behind center, and Wynds was solid on the ground for the Broncos.
“Our secondary needs some work and needs to get more disciplined, then we’ll be tough to beat,” Ierulli added.
The Broncos closed out the spring on a high note despite the outcome on the scoreboard. Last season, the Broncos moved into District 9-8A with Jupiter, local rivals Wellington and Seminole Ridge, and defending district champion Palm Beach Gardens.
The Broncos and their coaches remain confident they will compete for the district crown in the fall and make a return to postseason play.
ABOVE: Bronco running back Charles Stewart finds running room up the middle.