BY GENE NARDI
The Royal Palm Beach High School varsity football team traveled to Palm Beach Central High School last Friday for the regular season opener, besting the Broncos 7-3 in a non-district contest.
It was Demarcus Holloway’s 130 rushing yards that helped lift the No. 6 Wildcats past the No. 2 Broncos.
The Broncos came off an impressive kickoff classic performance, defeating nationally ranked Miami Northwestern, and have been predicted as frontrunners to advance through post-season play. The Wildcats also had an impressive performance against Ft. Pierce Central in their pre-season game, despite losing 21-14.
The pre-season hype delivered everything it could in this much-anticipated battle, as two of the county’s best played before a capacity crowd.
The Broncos got on the scoreboard first, as they drove to the Royal Palm Beach 20 yard line, but settled for a Jordan Acham field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. Palm Beach Central again drove to the Royal Palm Beach 2 yard line, but turned over on downs as they went for the touchdown on fourth and goal.
The Royal Palm Beach goal-line stand ignited the Wildcats’ offense. Royal Palm Beach marched down the field 98 yards to take a 7-3 lead with just under nine minutes to play in the second quarter. Charles Perry scored on the 3-yard run, with Devin Wallace making the kick.
Holloway was a thorn in the Palm Beach Central defense all night, racking up yards on the ground. Holloway missed most of last season with a hand injury and wanted to make up for it. “If it wasn’t for my offensive line, I wouldn’t have had over 100 yards. I just praise my whole line,” Holloway said. “I want to do it for my team, we’ve got to go to state this year.”
The Wildcats touchdown response to Palm Beach Central’s early push would be the final score of the game. The Royal Palm Beach defense would bend but not break, even against a Palm Beach Central drive near the end of the game.
Royal Palm Beach’s defense came up big on Palm Beach Central’s last drive, shutting down the attack. Time ran out, and the Wildcats held on for the 7-3 victory.
“We ran the ball well, but we shot ourselves in the foot with penalties, and then battled back, and that’s the character of this team,” RPBHS head coach Willie Bueno said. “Our defense had as good an effort as we’ve had here in a while.”
Royal Palm Beach freshman quarterback Toddy Centeio started the game and had impressive play.
The Broncos will travel to Glades Central High School on Friday, Sept. 6, while Royal Palm Beach hosts Pahokee High School. Both games are at 7 p.m.
ABOVE: Wildcat running back Demarcus Holloway adds to his rushing yards.