Posted: 10:20 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013

Dwyer 40, Royal Palm Beach 14: Alonzo Smith leads No. 1 Panthers over No. 8 Wildcats

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Alonzo Smith photo
Allen Eyestone
Dwyer running back (21) Alonzo Smith breaks away from Royal Palm Beach (6) Charles Perry on a touchdown run in the first quarter against Royal Palm Beach in Royal Palm Beach, Florida on October 3, 2013. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)
Johnnie Dixon photo
Allen Eyestone
Dwyer wide receiver (1) Johnnie Dixon makes an acrobatic catch on fourth down and two for a first down as Royal Palm Beach (11) Derick Python defends in the second quarter in Royal Palm Beach, Florida on October 3, 2013. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

By Jeff Greer

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Dwyer football coach Jack Daniels knew his team had a secret weapon when the season started.

Six wins into the campaign, running back Alonzo Smith is no longer an undiscovered gem. He’s become the star of top-ranked Dwyer’s fully loaded offense.

His 141-yard, one-touchdown performance on Thursday night in a 40-14 win over eighth-ranked Royal Palm Beach further cemented Smith’s status.

“He’s the catalyst for us,” Daniels said. “He put us on his back.”

Dwyer (6-0) played the critical District 13-7A showdown without one of its star receivers, Clint Stephens, who has a high ankle sprain and will miss two weeks. But that didn’t slow down the area’s best offense.

Quarterback Daniel Parr completed 13 of 22 passes, two touchdowns and 161 yards. He ran for a touchdown, too, and Shawun Lurry’s winding, weaving 29-yard run added style points to the Dwyer victory.

“They’re a good football team,” Royal Palm Beach coach Willie Bueno said. “Not much more I can say. When somebody’s better you just try and hold on.”

A 14-play, 95-yard Dwyer scoring drive in the first quarter didn’t just wipe eight minutes off the clock. It knocked back Royal Palm Beach (3-2) before the first quarter had even ended.

Bueno’s squad eventually found some rhythm, with Demarcus Holloway and Jimmy Moreland scoring touchdowns on short runs, but the Wildcats never got closer than 19 points in the second half.

Royal Palm Beach played without its starting quarterback Toddy Centeio, a freshman who moved into the starting role at the beginning of the season. That completely changed the Wildcats’ playbook, and Moreland and third-stringer Josh Carr couldn’t quite carry the load.

Dwyer held Royal Palm Beach to 152 total yards.

“We had to rearrange a couple things with (Stephens) out,” Daniels said. “We had to be sound on the run and we were for the most part.”

It’s the second district loss for Royal Palm Beach, which dropped a 20-6 decision at West Boca Raton two weeks ago. The loss Thursday puts the Wildcats in a dangerous spot.

They cannot afford to lose another district contest if they want to reach the playoffs. Royal Palm Beach was considered a shoo-in for the postseason before the season began.

“I’ve been around long enough to know anything can happen,” Bueno said. “We’ve got a tough team. Hopefully we can sneak in.”


MORE COVERAGE ONLINE

For a photo gallery and video report from the game, go to PBGametime.com.

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