Posted: 11:54 pm Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
By Matt Porter
Thought it was far from the most heated game of the evening – that would be Northeast—Palm Beach Central, which was called in the first half over a fight – Park Vista’s 27-15 win over Lake Worth was the most unexpected result, at least to these eyes.
It was a good pre-season win for the Cobras, playing without their starting quarterback and several starting offensive and defensive linemen. In front of a large home crowd, No. 19 Park Vista saw someone step into the role vacated by Tre Mason. Meanwhile, No. 6 Lake Worth has some kinks to work out.
Click here to read the game story. After that, here’s five quick slants on the first night of the 2011 football season:
Striking similarities: There’s a playmaker wearing No. 10 for Park Vista and it’s not Tre Mason. Sophomore Qwa’darius (Qwad) Martin, a transfer from Santaluces, is about the same size (listed at 5-10, 190) as Mason but not as ripped. He doesn’t have the same breathtaking cutback ability as Mason, but he showed breakaway speed and an strong arm, running for a 12-yard TD, a 48-yard TD and throwing another.
Park Vista coach Brian Dodds said Martin will be the main ballcarrier and a quarterback in some packages. With senior Shane Bussey returning at QB for Park Vista’s season opener, Martin will see more time at corner. Like most sophomores, Martin has growing to do. He got ultra-lucky in the third quarter, back-footing a 25-yard pass with two defenders hanging on senior receiver Steven Jerome (6-1, 180). Luckily, Jerome won the jump ball. On the next play, Martin also recovered his own fumble. An unsportsmanlike call on Lake Worth brought the ball inside the 4, where junior Lekraig Bens ran in a score to make it 20-8.
The big boy: Lake Worth junior defensive tackle
Darrell Farington Darrol Farrington is an impressive-looking kid – 6-2, all of 280 pounds – and had two plays that stuck out. In the second quarter with Park Vista punting from its own 17, Farrington blew up his assignment, broke through the line and swatted the punt attempt out of the back of the end zone for a safety. He nearly turned the momentum in the fourth quarter. A few plays before Martin’s 48-yard TD, Farrington barreled into Park Vista junior Nelyja Floyd and forced a fumble, which was eventually recovered by the Cobras. “He’s strong as an ox, and I mean Babe the Blue Ox,” a Lake Worth assistant coach said of Farrington before the game.
Expect Farington to take over the defensive tackle position vacated by Western Michigan signee Junior Estelus. Junior James Looney (6-3, 250) senior Andre Lowe (6-4, 230) and senior Wilsert Odige (6-3, 250) were solid on the lines as well.
Paying the price: With 14 flags for 110 yards, Lake Worth hurt itself with penalties more than anything. On Park Vista’s first drive, senior inside linebacker Cory Moore (who was very disruptive before missing the second half with a toe injury) tackled Park Vista’s Adrian Serrano for a seven-yard loss. The next play killed the momentum. On second-and-long, a dead-ball facemask on Lake Worth got put the Cobras across the 30, and Martin hit sophomore Marques Gayot for a 25-yard gain before taking a QB draw up the middle for a 12-yard TD. The Trojans’ offense should have been on the field.
Does anyone want it? Pre-season games are rarely perfect.
OK, they’re never perfect, and this one was no exception.
Driving to start the fourth quarter, Lake Worth sputters and passes incomplete on fourth-and-11 (they went for it on fourth down five times, by my count).
Cobras capitalize, right? Nope. First play from their own 10, the Cobras give to ball to Bens, who fumbles.
Trojans passing game strikes here … only not. From the Park Vista 9, Trojans come back in the hurry-up spread, but Moore misses connections with three passes. He throws a sideline out that Bernard Davis catches out of bounds, throws a short slant through Victor Marshall’s hands, then floats one over the middle, and over Richard Seraphin’s head. On fourth down, Moore’s bullet clangs off Seraphin’s knees.
Park Vista answers: on first down from his own 9, Martin throws a pick, returned inside the 5-yard line.
Finally, mercifully, Lake Worth finishes off a one-play drive: a 3-yard TD run by Alex Hook. Whole sequence took 3:12 seconds of game time.
Quick hits: Evan Moore had an up-and-down night. At his best, he weaved his way in and out of the pocket, dancing around defenders and throwing bullets in tight coverage to senior Bernard Davis (6-2, 170). At other times, he missed connections with his receivers and took three first-half sacks. “I don’t even know what it is. We have to go back to the drawing board, sit back and watch film,” Moore said. “Some plays we’d get it right, some plays we’d lose our minds. Just inconsistency. It burns me up inside.” … Lake Worth’s new tight end, defensive end and punter is senior Chris Wimer (6-2, 215), a late transfer from Santaluces. He showed a strong leg and should be effective once the Trojans work him into the passing game … Park Vista kicker Alec Frear, a junior, is a touchback-producer … Lake Worth’s Davis and Seraphin broke some big punt and kick returns … Senior Hugens Ulysse (6-3, 190) could be a sleeper for this year’s recruiting class. He’s sure-handed, hard to tackle and caught three balls for 56 yards and a TD. On a 35-yard reception that preceded his TD grab, Ulysse caught the ball inside the 10 and bulled his way to the 5, where he was spilled by three defenders.