BY GENE NARDI
The Royal Palm Beach High School varsity football team won its homecoming game in front of a capacity crowd Friday, Oct. 12, defeating the West Boca Bulls 57-27 in a District 13-7A match-up.
The Bulls held Royal Palm Beach (3-0, 4-1) to four-and-out on their first possession. West Boca then capped off a 70-yard drive with a short touchdown run to take an early 7-0 lead. It was to be the only Bulls lead in the game.
The Wildcats responded immediately when running back Alon Sims cleared the right sideline and ran 65 yards for the score. Running back Charles Perry added the 2-point conversion to take a 8-7 lead. Throughout the rest of the first half, both teams managed to put together offensive drives that would put points on the board. Royal Palm Beach quarterback Ant McGrew threw three touchdown passes, with two going to Jimmy Moreland, totaling 61 yards. Sims caught an 18-yard touchdown pass. West Boca managed two of their own to close the gap by 8 points, as the Wildcats closed out the first half with a 28-20 lead.
The Bulls struggled to get anything going to start the second half. Royal Palm Beach put up 22 unanswered points in the third period. Wildcat defenders tackled the Bulls ball carrier in the end zone for a safety, making the score 30-20. Wildcat wide receiver De’Andre Simmons then ran back the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for the score, extending the Wildcat lead to 36-20. West Boca would manage one more score before the final whistle. The Wildcat offense continued to produce points nearly every possession, finishing out their homecoming victory 57-27.
“We had to make plays tonight,” coach Willie Bueno said. “It has been pretty consistent, even though we struggled defensively. McGrew carried us and showed big leadership out there.”
McGrew was 18 of 24 for 236 yards and had a rushing touchdown, with 60 yards on the ground. The Wildcats also managed to grind out 262 yards rushing. Moreland finished with five catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns. Sims had two scores, Simmons and Telvis Lawler each had a score.
Royal Palm Beach will host Lake Worth on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.
Above: RPB wide receiver Jimmy Moreland breaks tackles running the ball.