The Seminole Ridge High School varsity football team stifled the Palm Beach Central Broncos 31-7 on Friday, Nov. 23 at Callery-Judge Stadium.
The Hawk defense came through in the contest, limiting the Broncos’ blustered rushing attack to just 91 yards and seven first downs. Equally effective was the menacing Seminole Ridge run game, headed by running back Silas Spearman. Spearman finished with 148 yards on 23 carries, and E.J. Elien contributed 124 yards on 10 carries. Turnovers at crucial points prevented the Broncos from getting back into the game. With the emotional intensity of this rivalry, it was not surprising to see 173 combined yards in penalties.
The opening kickoff indicated a slow start for the Broncos as the ball was mishandled, causing them to eventually punt from their own end zone.
The Hawks, on a fourth and short, ran directly into the heart of the Bronco defense to move the chains. Seminole Ridge running back Omar Pierre-Louis scored on a touchdown run from 3 yards out. Derek Falk’s point-after kick gave Seminole Ridge the early lead 7-0.
On the ensuing drive, the Hawks recovered a Palm Beach Central fumble on the Bronco 35 yard line but were unable to muster anything from the turnover. The Broncos appeared as if they were on their way to the drive that may tie the contest, but in mid-field, the tough Hawk defense would not break. With 1:38 left in the half, Spearman darted off to the left sideline and ran 47 yards for the score. Falk’s point-after kick doubled the Hawk lead to 14-0.
Falk added an 18-yard field goal late in the third quarter, extending the Hawk lead to 17-0. Early in the fourth quarter, the Broncos finally reached pay dirt, when running back Ray Wilson caught a short screen pass in the center, broke several tackles and raced 64 yards for the score. Cameron Golob’s point-after kick brought the score to 17-7. The Bronco defense came up big, holding the Seminole Ridge offense and regaining possession. A block in the back call and then a costly interception for the Broncos ended their hopes of chipping away at the Seminole Ridge lead. The interception gave the Hawks the ball on the Bronco 22 yard line. Spearman eventually scored on a 2-yard run, and Falk’s kick put the Hawks up 24-7.
Again Palm Beach Central moved to mid-field on a Lloyd Howard 30-yard run but turned over on downs, after another stifling Hawk defensive stand. Hawk fullback Alberto Hidalgo took in the final Seminole Ridge score on a 4-yard run to make the final score 31-7.
Seminole Ridge recorded zero passing yards but apparently none were needed with 326 yards total rushing on 51 carries and 16 first downs. The Broncos combined for 223 total yards on offense to end their post-season play, and in their course, managed to earn the school’s first playoff victory with a win over Palm Beach Gardens a week ago.
Seminole Ridge will host Broward County Cypress Bay in the Class 8A regional final game Friday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Above: Hawk running back Silas Spearman runs around the left side for a 47-yard touchdown.