The Royal Palm Beach High School football team participated in the Suncoast High School spring jamboree on Wednesday, May 22. Facing the host Chargers and the John I. Leonard High School Lancers, the Wildcats came out on top, winning both games.
Teams played two 12-minute halves. Spring football typically concludes with either a full game between two teams or a jamboree-style competition where several teams collect at a host venue to play two quarters.
According to second year coach Dave Lowery, the Wildcats have not won a game in a long time, but things seem to be swinging in a positive direction. “I’m so proud of this team,” Lowery said. “They’re learning that everything comes with character. Character is our foundation. That’s what we preach.”
Royal Palm Beach first bested the Lancers 14-0. The Wildcats’ defense shut John I. Leonard down on their first possession and went up early 7-0 when quarterback Peyton Mainolfi connected with Akeam Woodley on a 42-yard touchdown.
The Wildcat defense created rough conditions for the Lancer offensive crew, pressuring the quarterback. Royal Palm Beach extended its lead to 14-0 to start the second quarter when running back Victor Gutierrez scampered off for a 31-yard touchdown after breaking multiple tackles up the middle.
The Wildcats recorded back-to-back sacks, continuing to trouble the Lancer offense and eventually secured the 14-0 win in the first game.
The Wildcats won their second matchup against Suncoast 7-0, shutting out both opponents. Both teams struggled with reaching the red zone most of the contest.
Royal Palm Beach attempted a 41-yard field goal to end the first quarter, but the kick fell short. Mainolfi found Woodley on another 42-yard touchdown pass down the sideline with less than two minutes to play. The lone score would be all the Wildcats needed to lock in a victory over the Chargers.
Royal Palm Beach put up a total of 21 points and surrendered none on defense.
“I’m really proud of our coaching staff,” Lowery said. “I thought our defense was key because it allowed us to do things on offense that we really wanted to work on. We wanted to work from the inside out.”
Woodley is credited with two touchdown receptions from Mainolfi. Andy Petite Homme had two interceptions, and Avrian Gilbert recorded four tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.