On Friday, May 19, the Palm Beach Central High School varsity football team hosted Port St. Lucie West Centennial High School and bested the Eagles 24-6.
The 20-day spring season is typically capped by a spring game to gauge the players’ progress and to let coaches determine what the focus for improvement should be entering the fall season.
The first half ended scoreless. While both teams managed to move the ball on occasion, neither could capitalize and cross the goal line. Penalties and occasional miscues were a major contributor to the lack of scoring in the first half.
Halftime proved to be the break the teams needed before they took to the field for the second half. Fewer mistakes and a regrouped offense put points on the board for both squads. The Bronco defense was impressive, limiting the Eagles to one score.
Quarterbacks Nick Atkins and Michael Moreland both had equal playing time, alternating possessions. The two combined for 260 yards passing and led scoring drives in the second half. If that was not impressive enough, the Broncos racked up 202 yards on the ground.
C.J. Stewart had two touchdowns, and Jeremiah Anderson had a rushing touchdown. The Broncos also converted on all three two-point conversion attempts.
Receiver Bryan Robinson reeled in 89 yards on five catches; Gen’Taris Oliver had 73 yards on six receptions; and Fornoris Roberts had two catches for 59 yards. There is no question that the Broncos were able to move the ball, but defensively, they were virtually flawless. Linebacker Marcus Cushnie totaled 19 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Cornerback Tre Jackson had eight tackles and two pass deflections. Free safety Justin Kolnick was the nemesis for the Eagle offense all night, with four tackles, two pass deflections and a first-half interception on the Bronco 10-yard line that nullified a potential Centennial scoring drive. The second-half surge proved too much for the Centennial defense, and the Broncos cruised to the 24-6 victory.
Palm Beach Central did have three touchdowns nullified by penalties during the second half.
“I was happy with the way the boys performed, but we had too many penalties, and that came from a lack of conditioning,” Bronco head coach Tino Ierulli said. “We’ll fine-tune the corrections needed, eliminate the penalties, get in better condition, tighten up the discipline, and we’ll be where we need to be to compete at a high level.”
ABOVE: Bronco running back Jeramiah Anderson looks for running room.