On Friday, Oct. 27, the Royal Palm Beach High School football team hosted Olympic Heights High School in a District 13-7A match-up and surrendered an early lead, eventually falling to the Lions 42-10.
The Wildcats moved the ball at will on their opening possession, capping a 74-yard drive with a Roland Tyson 26-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. But the Lions took the lead on their second play from scrimmage during the ensuing possession, with a 77-yard touchdown pass down the near sideline to inch ahead 7-3. It was the last time the Wildcats would see the lead during the contest.
The game remained tight through the remainder of the first quarter, with no change in the score. Both defensive units played aggressively, making it difficult to maintain consistency. Royal Palm Beach did put a drive together in the second quarter, with 3:09 left on the clock, that landed them at the Lions’ 31-yard line, but the Wildcats had to battle through a series of penalties that cost them the drive.
Royal Palm Beach had another opportunity to close the margin when a second field goal attempt was blocked by the Lions defense, which turned over possession and shifted the momentum. The first play from scrimmage for Olympic Heights turned into a 96-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 14-3, which the Lions held going into halftime.
Wildcat quarterback Ricardo Rosier tallied nearly 75 yards rushing in the first half, but Royal Palm Beach at least equaled that in penalties. Rosier often relied on receivers Curtis Bunche and Ketron Hadley, but could not add to the score.
The second-half momentum swing turned in favor of the Lions. The team came out with smoking guns. Quarterback James Micioni completed 13 of 22 passes for 348 yards and five touchdowns on the night. Running back Reis Clark racked up 149 rushing yards on 15 carries for the Lions.
The Lions added four more scores in the second half to pull away from the Wildcats (0-8). Royal Palm Beach did manage to add a single touchdown in the second half, but were unable to go toe-to-toe with the Olympic Heights.
Royal Palm Beach has been unable to get into the win column this season, and it does not get any easier from here. They finish out the season as they travel to take on Seminole Ridge High School on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.