Royal Palm Beach 13, Glades Central 9: Wildcats pull off kickoff classic upset
Friday, August 24, 2012
by Matt Porter
BELLE GLADE -- The faces are new at Glades Central. The team is comprised mostly of unknown, unproven players.
What's also uncertain: If Friday night's contest was a one-game problem, or the beginning of something more serious.
Any team coming to Effie C. Grear Field is considered an underdog, and Royal Palm Beach pulled off a 13-9 kickoff classic upset.
Royal Palm's defense was good on all three levels. Junior safety Jimmy Moreland had an interception along with his six carries for 45 yards. The defensive front was dominant, sacking Glades Central quarterback T.J. Abrams six times.
The Wildcats' offensive line push was overpowering. Sophomore running back Demarcus Holloway (18 carries, 109 yards and a touchdown) sliced through the Raiders' inexperienced defense.
Glades Central's offense came from its kicker, sophomore Giovanni Lugo. He had field goals of 32, 37 and 23 yards.
But for as nervous and overmatched as Glades Central's offensive line was, for as shaky as its passing game was, much as the team relied on running back Aaron Baker (16 carries, 150 yards), for all the penalties (14 for 95 yards), the Raiders were in the game late in the fourth quarter.
Down 13-9, Glades Central senior defensive back Jesse Brown knocked the ball loose from the grip of Royal Palm sophomore running back Charles Perry, setting up the Raiders with 37 yards to go and less than eight minutes on the clock.
That led to fourth-and-4, 6:06 left. Coach Roosevelt Blackmon called a timeout. Baker got the ball. He didn't get enough.
But the Wildcats' ensuing drive stalled, thanks in part to the penalties that hurt them all game (12 for 125 yards).
Glades Central's top playmaker, senior Will Likely, then took a short pass over the middle, waited for his block, and turned on the jets. Thirty-eight yards. Next, Baker powered ahead for 9, then to the edge for 10.
Royal Palm's defense looked gassed but bulled Baker backward once, then sacked Abrams. On third-and-goal from the 11, senior Jake Wuerhle sacked Abrams for his third time, and the sixth time overall.
On fourth-and-goal from the 21, Abrams scrambled, and heaved it up. Incomplete.
"That's a very good football team," said Wildcats head coach Willie Bueno, who coached the Raiders to a pair of state championships earlier last decade. "They'll be all right."
Fans leaving the parking lot weren't so sure.
Cardinal Newman 14, Glades Day 7: Devonte Brown rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns as the Crusaders held off the Gators in Belle Glade. Kelvin Taylor had 152 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown for Glades Day.
Wellington 22, Suncoast 0 (susp.): The host Wolverines had a kickoff return, a fumble return and a long run for touchdowns as they shut down the Chargers in a game called in the third quarter because of rain.
Park Vista 7, Lake Worth 0 (susp.): The visiting Cobras led the Trojans in the second quarter when rain halted play.
Vero Beach-St. Edward's 13, Boca Raton Christian 6: Joseph Lewis had a 62-yard reception, but the Blazers fell to the Pirates in Boca Raton.
In other contests, visiting Forest Hill shut out Spanish River 14-0, Jupiter Christian handled host Vero Beach-Master's Academy 40-7, visiting Pope John Paul II routed Marathon 61-14 and host King's Academy beat Benjamin 27-14. South Fork topped Clewiston 36-29, and Centennial routed Fort Pierce Westwood 31-0. Fort Pierce Central shut out Treasure Coast 35-0, and Vero Beach dropped Jensen Beach 41-6. Atlantic's game against Deerfield Beach was stormed out, while North Miami Beach defeated Boca 35-0. Seminole Ridge edged South Plantation 35-20.