On Friday, Nov. 3, the Seminole Ridge High School football squad hosted rival Royal Palm Beach High School, with the winner claiming the “Best of the West” cup.
The Hawks retained the cup another year, shutting out the Wildcats 20-0. With the win, Seminole Ridge ended the regular season 8-2 (3-1 in the district) and held the No. 8 spot in Palm Beach County’s top 10. The Wildcats finished the season 0-9.
The Hawks logged two touchdowns before the end of the first quarter. Ty’korian Brown and Justin Allie each scored to lift Seminole Ridge up 14-0 early. Kicker Daniel Friere added to the tally with a 30-yard field goal to give the Hawks a 17-0 halftime lead. The Seminole Ridge defense was relentless on the Wildcats through the first half.
Things did not get much better for Royal Palm Beach in the second half, despite putting together a drive early in the half. The Wildcats drove into Hawk territory but could not sustain enough momentum to get on the scoreboard. Wildcat quarterback Ricardo Rosier kept the ball most of the half, grinding out yards for the Royal Palm Beach offense, but had difficulty connecting through the air.
Seminole Ridge marched down the field but ran into a motivated Wildcat defense that forced them to settle for a 27-yard Friere field goal. The kick added three more points for the Hawks, taking a 20-0 lead in the third quarter.
The Wildcats finally collected some fuel for a drive that landed them at the Hawks’ 29-yard line, but a turnover stalled the drive. Brown intercepted a Rosier pass in the corner of the end zone to give the Hawks possession at the 20-yard line. It was on the ensuing play from scrimmage that the Wildcats recovered a Hawk fumble at the 25-yard line. It was another opportunity that Royal Palm Beach could not cash in on.
Friere was called to the turf again for the Hawks in the fourth quarter, this time from 44 yards out, but the kick sailed wide. The Hawks relied on a tough defense, which has given up fewer than 100 points on the season, for the remainder, to carry them to the 20-0 shutout victory.
The Hawks now enter the post-season for the first time in three years. Second-year head coach James Parson was thrilled during a post-game rally at midfield.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” he said. “We finally got things rolling right; we’re really proud of the boys. It’s really the boys and the assistant coaches. I’m just reaping all the benefits.”