Posted: 11:36 pm Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
By Jason Lieser
No. 9 Royal Palm Beach won a sloppy game at Palm Beach Central 21-14 to kick off the 2009 high school football season. Here are five keys to take away from that game:
1. Wildcats WR Jared Dangerfield is a legitimate weapon and has great hands. Royal Palm Beach was shaky on offense and had no running game, but Dangerfield (6-3, 172, No. 36 on The Big Board) got open for five catches for 63 yards. He caught a 14-yard fade in the back of the end zone with 8:05 remaining to seal the win. His best play of the game was a leaping grab over the middle for 22 yards, but it was called back because Royal Palm Beach had an ineligible receiver downfield. Dangerfield currently does not have any scholarship offers, but there was a scout from Florida International at the game.
2. Palm Beach Central has a gem in freshman RB Richard Simmons and the Broncos used him exactly the right way. I met Simmons (5-5, 135) this summer and he advised me to remember his name, which is pretty easy since his name is Richard Simmons. The Broncos played him in small doses and he was electric, racking up 81 yards on eight carries. Because of his frame and his inexperience, that seems like the perfect amount of work for him at this point. He would be a great option as a return man on punts and kickoffs.
3. If Broncos QB Torrance Kearney thought Thursday was rough, he is in for an even bigger nightmare next week against Glades Central. Kearney completed just 2 of 11 passes against Royal Palm Beach and never looked comfortable. The Raiders’ pass rush is significantly better than Royal Palm Beach’s and Kearney won’t be able to breathe in the pocket.
4. Royal Palm Beach is nowhere near the team it was last year, but it could get there eventually. Yes, the Wildcats won Thursday, but it’s pretty fair to call them a disaster on offense. QB Malcolm Pendergrass had a few nice plays but was mostly mediocre and RB Javonti Greene ran for 37 yards on 15 carries. The good news is, like last year, the defense has the potential to be great. Other than Simmons’ 81 yards, the Wildcats held Palm Beach Central to 74 rushing yards on 32 attempts.
5. Palm Beach Central’s defense is surprisingly good up front. As mentioned above, the Broncos locked down Greene, who is a good back. Palm Beach Central got good push from its defensive line and great play from the linebacker corps. The Broncos did not let Royal Palm Beach’s backs get outside the tackles very often. The Wildcats averaged 1.5 yards per carry.