King’s Academy Triumphs Over Inlet Grove In District Showdown

Cody Tillman runs for Seminole Ridge in the game against Park Vista. Photo by Richard Areyzaga

On Friday, Oct. 28, the King’s Academy varsity football team visited Riviera Beach to play Inlet Grove High School (6-2, 1-1) in an all-important district showdown. Entering the game, Inlet Grove was 1-0 in the three-team district, which includes Glades Central High School and TKA.

Glades Central has a 1-1 district record based on a 14-7 win against TKA back on Sept. 1 and a 10-6 loss to Inlet Grove on Oct. 13. TKA entered the game with a 0-1 record in district play, based on that early loss to Glades Central. The game against Inlet Grove was a must-win for TKA. Fortunately for the Lions, they were ready to play and returned home with a 21-7 victory. It was their seventh straight win.

The fireworks for TKA (8-1, 1-1) started early in the game against the host Hurricanes. On Inlet Grove’s second play from scrimmage, Lions cornerback Jermaine Council intercepted a pass from Inlet Grove quarterback Reese Adams. Council caught the ball at Inlet Grove’s 15 yard line and returned it to the one yard line. Moments later, TKA quarterback Joe Dailey fumbled the ball into the end zone but was able to recover his own mishap for the touchdown. The other TKA touchdowns were scored by Dailey and running back Marion Victor.

According to TKA head football coach Ben McEnroe, the reason for the team’s overall success has been the play of Lions’ staunch defense and opportunistic offense.

“We have played great defense. Over the course of the seven-game winning streak, we’ve allowed 50 total points, which is just over one touchdown per game,” McEnroe said. “This included a stretch where we did not allow a TD for 12 consecutive quarters and had two shutouts. On the offensive side, we’re taking care of the football and taking advantage of opportunities presented by our defense and special teams.”

McEnroe added that his squad is blessed with talented leaders on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

“Our defense has been led by our three linebackers — junior Daniel Johnson, sophomore Cory McEnroe and senior RJ Tolbert. Those guys are extremely versatile and allow us to play multiple looks and can get after opposing quarterbacks,” McEnroe said. “On the back end of the defense, junior Nick Cueto and senior Turner Lacy get us lined-up correctly, and two of our cornerbacks — junior Jermaine Council and sophomore Javian Jones — have played well against some highly touted competitors. The defensive line is a group with some depth, and we’ve been able to play quite a few guys up front. Offensively, junior Marion Victor has been a horse for us in the backfield, and the offensive line has been solid. Sophomore quarterback Joe Dailey has done everything we’ve asked him to do, and senior tight end Jackson Worley has lived up to some pretty lofty expectations.”

With Inlet Grove, Glades Central and TKA tied with identical 1-1 district records, the winner of the district will be made based on the FHSAA rankings. Right now, TKA has a higher ranking than both Inlet Grove and Glades Central. The FHSAA will announce the winner of the district on Sunday, Nov. 6.

In other recent games for local teams, back on Friday, Oct. 21, Palm Beach Central High School defeated Palm Beach Gardens High School, 35-14. That improved the Broncos’ record to 7-1. That record became 8-1 on Friday, Oct. 28 with its 41-14 Wellington Cup win against Wellington High School.

Wellington won its senior night game on Friday, Oct. 21 at home against Palm Beach Lakes High School, 35-0, before falling to the Broncos on Friday, Oct. 28. The Wolverines (5-4) close out their regular season on Friday, Nov. 4 when they play at Seminole Ridge High School.

The Seminole Ridge Hawks have had two close games in recent weeks, defeating Park Vista High School, 8-7, on Friday, Oct. 21 and then losing a close game to William T. Dwyer High School, 20-17, in a key district encounter on Friday, Oct. 28. Seminole Ridge, which began the season with four straight wins, will be looking to conclude its regular season with a winning record when Wellington visits on Friday, Nov. 4. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

The Royal Palm Beach High School Wildcats continue to rebuild the football program under the direction of new head coach Chuck Kenyon. While Royal Palm Beach has a losing record (2-7), Kenyon is proud of the spirit and commitment to excellence of his squad.

That was on display on Thursday, Oct. 27, when the Wildcats hosted Palm Beach Lakes High School. After being down 16-7 and losing their top running back, senior Donovan Grier, who had scored the team’s first touchdown, the Wildcats rallied and won 20-16.

After the season-ending injury to Grier, which stopped the game for roughly 45 minutes while medical staff attended to him, Kenyon told his players that they had two immediate choices.

“We had two different directions to go,” Kenyon said. “We could have started to go downhill and let Donovan’s injury hurt us, or we could rise up and play inspired for him. Our players decided to rise up. We scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and we won.”

The Wildcats conclude their regular season at John I. Leonard High School on Friday, Nov. 4.

“We are heading into the final game on an upswing,” Kenyon added. “I am very proud of our players and the uphill road they have been traveling on this season.”

To give you an idea of how much the football program has improved under Kenyon’s leadership, this year’s team has scored 75 points in nine games, whereas last year’s team only scored 29 points in 10 games. Defensively, last year’s team gave up 483 points in 10 games, while this year’s Wildcat squad has given up 228 points in nine games.

“Our team’s attitude is upbeat, and this team enjoys practicing and playing football,” Kenyon said. “We easily could have and should have two more wins this year.”

The Berean Christian School Bulldogs (1-8) closed out their season with a pair of losses. The Bulldogs lost 35-0 to Pompano Beach High School on Oct. 20. Then, Berean played a Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoff game on Friday, Oct. 28 against the First Academy Eagles of Leesburg. The Eagles defeated the Bulldogs, 14-8.