Posted: 4:22 pm Friday, August 24th, 2012
By Jeff Greer
The season’s opening night started with a bang — and tons of points (at least at Palm Beach Central).
Central, led by Lloyd “Bam” Howard, ran for close to 500 yards with six different ball carriers en route to a 68-44 win over Village Academy. For my dispatch from the sidelines, and lots more on Howard and Village Academy quarterback Larry Brihm, click here.
A game of meaning
The game served two purposes for Central: (1) The Broncos showed they could have one of the best offensive lines in the county and a lethal rushing attack and (2) they showed their secondary needs some work.
For Village, it served three: (1) The Tigers learned they can throw on anyone, although last year’s numbers imply they knew that already, (2) Larry Brihm produced big-time against a much larger school (by about 2,000 students) and (3) the athletes at Village could pose major trouble for any defense in Class 2A.
Central gave up 374 passing yards and five passing touchdowns, plus at least one 2-point conversion pass. With defensive backs like Ray Wilson and Trint Hanson, Central believes it has a top-notch secondary. And maybe that’s still the case — it’s hard to make judgments off one game — but the Broncos have to find ways to keep receivers in front of them. Pass-first teams like Boca and John I. Leonard, both district rivals, could put up some points on Central in a shootout.
Alas the defensive woes existed last season, but the offense wasn’t as explosive (or one-dimensional). I’m not overly worried that Central ran 40-plus times and threw six; with the offensive line it has (averaging 6-foot-3, 231 pounds), there’s no reason not to run iso-trap-stretch-pitch like it did last night. It’ll be fun to see that rushing attack against Seminole Ridge’s rushing defense next week.
Another test vs. a big school
Treasure Coast isn’t the same kind of imposing team that Central is, but Village will have another big group to handle next week when it starts the 2012 season in earnest. Brihm should pose a major problem for T-Coast, but don’t overlook Erich Maine, Rurel Allen, Wesley Michel and Ronel Lawson — this team is loaded at skill positions. You can read more about Brihm in my game story, but I can’t stress this enough: Kid can play. He was 15-of-25 for 374 yards and five touchdowns, and he ran for another score.