P.B. Central’s Season Continues After Big Win Against Jupiter

Palm Beach Central on the left and Carol City is on the right at the line of scrimmage. Photo by Robert Williamson

The beat goes on for the Palm Beach Central High School varsity football team. After completing the regular season with a 9-1 record — which included a 41-14 district-clinching win against Wellington High School on Oct. 28 and an exciting regular-season-ending 34-28 victory over Miami Carol City on Nov. 4 — the Broncos advanced to the first round of the Florida High School Athletic Association’s (FHSAA) Class 4M, Region 3 playoffs.

In the first playoff game, which was delayed to Monday, Nov. 14 due to Hurricane Nicole, the Broncos hosted Jupiter High School. It didn’t take long for Palm Beach Central to establish its dominance.

The Broncos took an early 3-0 lead on a field goal by placekicker Ethan Dagostino, to conclude their opening drive. The Jupiter defense was able to hinder Palm Beach Central’s offense by intercepting two of quarterback Ahmad Haston’s passes in the first half. But Haston eventually connected with receiver Javorian Wimberly on a 79-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, which gave the Broncos a 10-0 halftime lead.

The third quarter featured an explosive offensive display by the Broncos, as they outscored the visiting Warriors 30-7. That third-quarter barrage featured a rushing touchdown by Haston and a pair of touchdown passes from Haston to Wimberly and to Luby Maurice Jr. The star of Palm Beach Central’s defense and special teams was senior safety Justin Bostic, who grabbed an interception, returned a punt for a touchdown and recovered an onside kick. The Broncos, now 10-1 and the top seed in Region 3, cruised to a 46-7 victory.

The Broncos’ next game will be played Friday, Nov. 18 at home against Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from Parkland. The visiting Eagles (8-3), ranked as the fifth seed in Region 3, will be riding a seven-game winning streak. The game is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. With a victory against Parkland, the Broncos will host the Region 3 finale on Friday, Nov. 25, which will pit the Broncos against either the Monarch Knights from Coconut Creek or the Palm Beach Gardens Gators. To win the state championship, the Broncos need to win five postseason games.

Two other area high schools — Wellington and the King’s Academy — also had FHSAA regional playoff games on Monday, Nov. 14.

Wellington traveled north to Palm Beach Gardens High School to play the Gators in a Class 4M, Region 3 first-round matchup. After the first quarter, the game was tied 7-7, but Palm Beach Gardens responded with 23 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a commanding 30-7 lead at halftime. While Wellington kept the Gators scoreless in the second half, the visiting Wolverines could only respond with six points in the fourth quarter, eventually falling 30-13.

Wellington’s leading player was quarterback Ryan Anthony who ran for 79 yards, passed for 169 yards and threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Vincent Soriero. Wellington running back Garrens Catul scored Wellington’s first touchdown on a first-quarter run. The Wolverines concluded their second season under head coach Danny Mendoza with a 6-5 record.

The Lions from TKA also had a first-round regional game in Class 2M, Region 3. The Lions played the Tigers from Boynton Beach High School. The Lions entered the game with an 8-2 record, having won seven out of their last eight games. With TKA as the number-five seed in Region 3 and Boynton Beach as the number-four seed in Region 3, it was expected to be a closely contested game — and it was, with Boynton Beach winning by three, 29-26.

The Lions established early control in the game as they led 20-7 at halftime. In the second half, the Tigers used a rushing attack led by brothers Bobby “Fat” Smith and Bobby Smith Jr. to tie the game late in the fourth quarter and eventually take the lead, 26-20.

The Lions scored a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter to knot the score, 26-26, but a successful two-point conversion attempt by TKA was negated by an “assisting the runner” call by the officials, which was questioned by first-year TKA head coach Ben McEnroe.

Without the penalty, the Lions would have taken a potentially game-winning 28-26 lead. In the end, the difference was a fourth quarter, game-winning field goal by Boynton Beach placekicker Derek Cole. With that season-ending defeat, the Lions finished with an 8-3 record.