Palm Beach Gardens 41, Lake Worth 20: Gators romp in playoff tuneup
Friday, November 09, 2012
by Steve Dorsey
Palm Beach Gardens closed out the regular season in impressive fashion Friday night. Now it's time for the Gators to get ready for the rematch.
Gardens routed Lake Worth 41-20 in a tune-up for the first round of the Class 8A playoffs next Friday, when the Gators will meet Palm Beach Central in a rematch of an early-season game that Gardens won 10-6.
"They've been dominating everybody lately," Gardens coach Rob Freeman said of Central, the District 10-8A champion. "Hopefully, we come out with renewed energy."
The Gators (7-2) had more than enough energy to handle Lake Worth, which finished with a 1-9 record.
Gardens scored on four of its six first-half possessions to take a 28-6 lead at the intermission. It quickly extended the lead in the third quarter to force a running clock.
Gardens' running game, a staple of the Gators' program, produced 187 yards, but the Gators also had a productive game passing the ball.
Junior quarterback J. P. Caruso threw two touchdown passes and also ran for a score. Caruso connected with senior wide receiver Frank Brown on scoring passes of 13 and 14 yards before adding a 10-yard rushing touchdown just before halftime.
"I thought J. P. threw the ball as well as he has all season," Freeman said of Caruso, who completed 6-of-10 passes for 121 yards and no interceptions. Caruso also had 44 yards rushing.
Lake Worth's defense did a commendable job limiting Gardens standout senior running back Jermaine Carn, among the county's leading rushers, to 39 yards on 12 carries. But sophomore Tommy Monday showed that Gardens is not a one-man backfield by rushing for 78 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.
"Monday has really come on the last few weeks," Freeman said.
Carn reached the end zone midway through the third quarter on a 2-yard run that gave Gardens a 34-6 lead, and senior Noah Harris completed the Gators' scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run for a 41-6 advantage with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter, initiating the running clock.
James Jones caught a pair of 10-yard touchdown passes from Lake Worth quarterback Jermer Braswell. Richard Seraphin had 93 yards rushing, including a 15-yard touchdown run, for the Trojans.