BY GENE NARDI
The Royal Palm High School varsity football team traveled to Seminole Ridge High School’s Callery-Judge Stadium for the annual “Best of the West” game Friday, Nov. 8, and shut out the host Hawks 35-0 to earn local bragging rights.
The No. 6 Wildcats entered their season finale playing for pride. Royal Palm Beach, boasting an impressive 8-2 finish, will not make an appearance in the post-season.
The Hawks (6-4, 2-1), however, will face Palm Beach Central High School for a second time as post-season play begins. The Broncos defeated Seminole Ridge 37-13 in their regular season game.
Wildcat running back Charles Perry scored on the opening drive with a 16-yard touchdown just three minutes into the game, and Devin Wallace’s point after gave the Wildcats an early 7-0 lead.
Demarcus Holloway scored in the second quarter from 10 yards out, and Wallace’s point after extended the Royal Palm Beach lead to 14-0.
It was Wildcat senior Jimmy Moreland that put the exclamation point to the finish of his high school football career with three touchdowns, two on offense and one on defense.
Moreland caught a 17-yard pass from Toddy Centeio to close out the first half 21-0.
In the second half, Moreland made his mark defensively with an interception from a Zach DeCosta pass, and returned it 36 yards for the touchdown to extend the Wildcat lead to 28-0.
Moreland would tally one more score before the final whistle to lift the Wildcats to the 35-0 victory.
The Royal Palm Beach defensive unit limited the Seminole Ridge offense to just 109 total yards. The Hawks could not seem to operate on all cylinders after the interception and a costly fumble following a second-half, six-minute drive into Royal Palm Beach territory.
The Wildcats compiled 331 yards of total offense. Royal Palm Beach finishes its season on a high note with the “Best of the West” title.
Despite Seminole Ridge’s disappointing regular-season finish, the Hawks will continue into post-season play, traveling to Palm Beach Central in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs Friday, Nov. 15 for a 7 p.m. game.
ABOVE: Jimmy Moreland tries for more yardage after a short catch.