The Palm Beach Central High School varsity football team defeated John I. Leonard 35-25 on Friday, Oct. 19 before a capacity homecoming crowd in Wellington. It was the first football District 10-8A title in school history for Palm Beach Central.
The Broncos broke out early inside two minutes of the first quarter on their first possession, when senior Ray Wilson ran 44 yards for the touchdown. Cameron Golob’s point after put the Broncos ahead 7-0. Palm Beach Central’s defense held the Lancers to three and out, and the Bronco offense continued to operate on all cylinders. Junior running back Tommy McDonald ran 11 yards up the middle for the score, extending the Palm Beach Central lead to 14-0 after Golob’s kick.
The Lancers put together a couple of big-pass plays to get within field-goal range. Lancer kicker Danny Zamorano put up a 24-yard field goal to cut the Bronco lead to 14-3. A second-quarter John I. Leonard fumble inside their own 25 yard line gave the Broncos another opportunity to extend the lead. Senior running back Llloyd Howard ran 27 yards for the touchdown to take a 21-3 halftime lead.
The Lancers found life in the second half, outscoring the Broncos 22-14, but it was not enough to break the Bronco running game. The Lancers opened up the second half with a 50-yard touchdown pass, and Zamorano’s point after closed the gap to 21-10. On the Broncos’ next possession, McDonald ran 55 yards for the score, extending the Bronco lead to 28-10.
The Lancers refused to go down without a fight. On fourth down and 17 yards to move the chains, Lancer quarterback Adam Johnson connected on a 45-yard touchdown pass, making the score 28-17. Then, Palm Beach Central defensive back Zacarius Shepherd intercepted a Lancer pass for a 55-yard defensive score, putting the game nearly out of reach for the Lancers at 35-17.
John I. Leonard’s Johnson ran 90 yards just inside the Palm Beach Central 5 yard line, and on the next play, ran it in for the score. The 2-point conversion brought the Lancers back within 10 at 35-25. The Lancers were intercepted a second time to close out the contest at 35-25.
The Bronco ground game was relentless, with 46 carries combining for 346 yards. Howard finished with 184 yards on 15 carries and two scores, McDonald had 83 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown, and Wilson had 77 yards on six carries. The Bronco offensive line dominated the Lancers most of the night.
The Broncos next travel to Boca Raton High School on Nov. 1 for a 7 p.m. game.
Above: Bronco running back Tommy McDonald finds running room.