By Gene Nardi
The Palm Beach Central High School varsity football team hosted cross-town rival Wellington High School on Friday, Sept. 28, and the Broncos shut out the Wolverines 49-0. The Broncos improved their record to 2-2, while Wellington’s record is now 3-2.
Palm Beach Central put up two quick scores inside the first five minutes of play. Senior running back Lloyd Howard had a 48-yard run, which set up junior running back Tommy McDonald’s 10-yard score. On Wellington’s first possession, Bronco senior Ray Wilson intercepted a Wolverine pass, returning it 10 yards for the touchdown and an impressive 14-0 start.
Wellington struggled offensively throughout the first half, managing to scratch out only one first down. This gave the Wolverine defense little time to rest. Wellington did find themselves in Palm Beach Central territory when the Broncos mishandled a punt. The Wolverines regained possession on the Bronco 45 yard line and moved the ball inside the 10 yard line. The Bronco defense held Wellington to a field-goal attempt that went wide.
Wellington’s defense seemed to find a little spark when they held the Broncos and then intercepted a Kyle Shafer pass, but the Wolverines were unable to muster anything from the turnover. Palm Beach Central continued to run right at the Wolverine defense. McDonald punched in a 2-yard run, extending the Bronco lead 21-0. Palm Beach Central’s defense shut down the Wellington offense, adding insult to injury by blocking the Wolverine punt and regaining possession on the Wellington 20 yard line. Shafer threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Blake Cassandra for the 28-0 lead.
Shafer was intercepted for the second time when Wellington defensive back Shamar Jackson stepped up for the pick, but Wellington closed out the half unable to convert.
Wellington received the kickoff to start the second half. Jackson had a 60-yard return, setting up what appeared to be the start of another Wolverine comeback. Wellington put together their best drive of the night but came up empty when they turned over the ball on the Bronco 1 yard line. The Broncos capped off a 99-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Kamar Downer for the 35-0 lead. The Broncos’ Wilson and junior Jhnard Dorsett added scores to finish out the game 49-0.
The victory earned the Broncos local bragging rights and the Wellington Cup for another season. The Broncos tallied nearly 300 yards rushing on 40 carries and held Wellington under 150 yards of total offense.
“We played a good game from start to finish,” Bronco coach Rod Harris said, noting that the Bronco defense was a thorn for the Wolverines in the battle for the cup. “Defense created turnovers for us, and Howard is one of the most explosive backs in the State of Florida.”
The Broncos travel to take on unbeaten Park Vista on Friday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. Also on Friday, the Wolverines will hold their homecoming match-up against Cardinal Newman at 7 p.m.
Above: Bronco running back Kamar Downer scores in the second half.