BY GENE NARDI
The Seminole Ridge High School varsity football squad rallied in the fourth quarter to edge District 9-8A foe Palm Beach Central High School 14-9 on Friday, Oct. 16 before a capacity homecoming crowd at Callery-Judge Stadium.
Hawks quarterback Jeremiah Brown led the way, with just under two minutes left in the game and his team down 9-7. Brown scored on a 72-yard touchdown for the 14-9 win.
Both defenses made it difficult for much to happen on offense. The Hawks managed to get on the scoreboard first. Quarterback Mike Adeyanju threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to running back Justin Allie. Tristan Howell’s point after gave Seminole Ridge a 7-0 lead to close out the first half.
Palm Beach Central found offensive light on the special teams. Kick returner Jose Calvo took the opening kick of the second half 96 yards for a touchdown. The kick was no good, however, so the Broncos trailed 7-6.
Both teams struggled through the second half to find the back of the end zone. Palm Beach Central managed enough offense, led by quarterback Jordan Travis. Travis brought the Broncos to the Seminole Ridge 27-yard line, but a stingy Hawks defense forced the Broncos to attempt a field goal. Palm Beach Central kicker Giovann Torres-Pinto launched a 34-yard field goal through the uprights to lift the Broncos to a 9-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Seminole Ridge, down by two midway through the fourth quarter, attempted to convert on a fourth-and-10. Brown took the ball up field on a quarterback keeper but fell shy by a yard, turning over possession to the Broncos.
The Palm Beach Central offense took over possession on the 50-yard line, but a stubborn Hawk defense denied them the ability to move the chains. The Hawks also executed time management from the sideline, using time-outs to provide a minute and a half to work some offensive magic.
Brown became the magician of the night. On the first play, he rolled left, looking to throw deep, saw a seam in the Bronco defense and took off 72 yards for the touchdown run, lifting the Hawks. Howell’s kick gave the lead back to the Hawks 14-9.
On the Broncos’ last possession of the game, Travis threw deep, looking for the winning connection down field, but fell short, giving the Hawks a 14-9 homecoming victory. Seminole Ridge is (2-5, 1-2) for the season.
“They didn’t quit,” coach Scott Barnwell said of his team. “That’s the most difficult part as a coach, when you might be out of the playoffs can they keep fighting, and they did.”
Adeyanju threw for 12 of 21 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Brown had two rushes for 90 yards and the game-winning score. Calvo is credited with the 96-yard touchdown return for the Broncos.
The Hawks host Glades Central High School on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., while Palm Beach Central hosts Jupiter High School at 7 p.m.
ABOVE: Seminole Ridge head coach Scott Barnwell hugs quarterback Jeremiah Brown after his winning touchdown.