On Friday, Sept. 22, the Palm Beach Central High School football squad hosted Palm Bay in a non-conference matchup and fell to the Pirates 30-28, despite scoring 22 points in the second half.
The game weathered a very damp first half and a lightning delay. The Broncos seemed primed to take an early lead when kick returner Aaron Pierre-Aime set his offense up with a big opening kickoff return.
The play set up a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Lincoln Bohn to lift the Broncos to an early 6-0 lead. Shortly after that, lightning struck, causing the delay.
It was the delay that seemed to stall the Broncos. Palm Bay responded with two unanswered touchdowns, a 1-yard run and a 16-yard rushing score, to hold a 14-6 lead to the end of the first half. By the final whistle, the Pirate running game combined for 263 yards rushing.
The rain had faded, but the hazards remained as both teams had to battle with dampened field conditions. Palm Bay added to its tally and extended its lead to 21-6 early in the third quarter.
The Broncos came out the second half throwing the ball, with Nick Atkins and Michael Moreland combining for 205 yards. Moreland ignited the rally for Palm Beach Central. He connected with receiver Fornoris Roberts on a 34-yard pass, which set up a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Lakevious Simmons to close the margin to 21-12 at the end of the third quarter.
The Pirates answered back early in the fourth quarter to continue to hold on 27-12. Moreland capped a 65-yard drive with a score when he connected with receiver Bryan Robinson. A two-point conversion helped close the deficit for the Broncos, 27-20.
The Palm Beach Central defense came up big when the ball was stripped and outside linebacker Emanual Rocque returned to the 6-yard line. The turnover gave the Broncos a chance to reclaim the lead they had early in the game. This time, running back C.J. Stewart drove in the score from 1 yard out, and the team posted another two-point conversion to recapture the lead with a one-point advantage, 28-27.
With five minutes left on the game clock, the Pirates chipped at the time, driving into Bronco space. The drive set up an 18-yard field goal. The 3 points stole the lead back from the Broncos 30-28, with one minute remaining.
The Bronco offense could not put together enough of an attack, going three-and-out, and Palm Bay ran out the remaining seconds to secure the victory.
The Broncos fell to 1-2 on the season and went on the road to face Boca Raton High School on Thursday, Sept. 28, but results were not available by press time.