PB Central 38, PB Gardens 32: Angelo Jean-Louis has 139 yards receiving, Tommy McDonald runs for 155
Friday, September 16, 2011
by Jeff Greer
As soon as Palm Beach Central junior Ray Wilson took off on a 78-yard kick return for a touchdown on the opening play of Friday night's game against Palm Beach Gardens, the shootout was on.
No. 9 Palm Beach Central made just enough big plays to outlast No. 6 Palm Beach Gardens 38-32.
Central (2-1) raced out to a 21-6 lead, but Gardens' two-headed running attack kept chugging along and cut Central's lead to six twice.
But the Broncos forced a critical fumble late in the third quarter that led to a back-breaking 91-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Angelo Jean-Louis that pushed their lead to 38-25.
Jean-Louis finished with five catches for 139 yards and the touchdown.
Gardens (2-1), despite an electrifying performance by running backs Roshard Burney and Alex Clark, couldn't muster a comeback in the final quarter.
"It was an outstanding game," Palm Beach Central coach Rod Harris said. "We did just enough to get a great win on the road."
Burney ran for 194 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, while Clark had 118 yards and two scores on 15 carries. But two lost fumbles were costly to the Gators.
"I thought we had the momentum but turnovers hurt us," Gardens coach Chris Davis said. "This team kept fighting. We didn't hang our heads. But there's a few things we can do better."
The Broncos got their own special running performance, but it wasn't from Wilson, who scored two rushing TDs and ran for 42 yards after running for 298 yards in the first two games.
Sophomore Tommy McDonald ran for 155 yards and iced the game in the fourth quarter on a bruising and methodical 12-play drive that wasted the final 5:39 of the game. The diminutive McDonald took 10 carries for 43 yards and three first downs.
His 68-yard run in the first quarter set up Wilson's first rushing score of the night.
"Tommy McDonald filled in and did a tremendous job of working the clock," Harris said. "He's an outstanding young player for us and has a really bright future."
Both teams have been talked about early this season as potential playoff teams, and there was chatter among both teams' coaching staffs that they could meet again in the playoffs.
If it's anything like Friday, area football fans would be in for a treat.
"Hopefully we'll see them again," Davis said.