Posted: 7:56 pm Saturday, November 9th, 2013
By Anthony Chiang
Playoff spots had already been decided, but Week 11 still provided us with some fun matchups.
Before the postseason begins next week, Palm Beach Central made sure to keep its winning streak going in a victory over Palm Beach Gardens. These two teams could see each other again in the Class 8A regional semifinals. Royal Palm Beach’s season is over, but the Wildcats showed they are just as good or better than some of the teams that made the playoffs with a convincing win against Seminole Ridge. And Santaluces fell just short in a loss to Vero Beach on Thursday in Daryl Drinkwater’s final game as the Chiefs’ head coach.
Here are the headlines from the action in Week 11:
* Palm Beach Lakes senior Stephen Louis put together a school-record performance on the ground to carry the Rams to a victory over Boca Raton. (Game Report)
How did the Post’s Top 10 teams do?
1. Dwyer (10-0): Idle.
2. Fort Pierce Central (8-1): Lost to Daytona Beach-Mainland 31-28.
3. American Heritage (6-3): Beat Miami-Gulliver Prep 14-12.
4. Palm Beach Central (7-3): Beat Palm Beach Gardens 20-13.
5. Park Vista (8-2): Forfeit victory over Olympic Heights.
6. Royal Palm Beach (8-2): Beat Seminole Ridge 35-0.
7. Palm Beach Gardens (6-4): Lost to Palm Beach Central 20-13.
8. Boynton Beach (9-1): Idle.
9. Cardinal Newman (7-3): Beat Spanish River 47-7.
10. West Boca Raton (7-3): Idle.
Fort Pierce Central lost its first game of the season. So, which team will move in to the No. 2 spot? American Heritage beat Gulliver Prep, but the Stallions were the team that did not come out of Monday’s three-way tiebreaker with a playoff spot. Will American Heritage drop because of this? Does Palm Beach Gardens still deserve a spot in the Post’s final Top 10 of the season? Find out Monday.
1. Ready for the playoffs?
It has been a fun regular season full of surprises. Dwyer recorded its first 10-0 regular-season record in school history, and Palm Beach Central rebounded from an 0-2 start to win the district title. American Heritage didn’t make the playoffs for the first time in over a decade, and West Boca Raton clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2013. Pahokee is in the postseason for the first time since 2009, and Boynton Beach surprised the county with a 9-1 regular-season record. Cardinal Newman turned in a good season to win a stacked District 7-3A, and Glades Day made the postseason under first-year head coach Eric Pitts. If that wasn’t enough, the playoffs are about to start. Are you ready?
2. Is Tommy McDonald the best running back in Palm Beach County?
If you go by the numbers, yes. And after watching McDonald lead Palm Beach Central to a victory over Palm Beach Gardens on Friday, he also passes the eye test. The senior ran the ball 51 times. You read that right, 51 times! McDonald finished with 242 rushing yards and a touchdown, getting stronger as the game went on. After that incredible performance, McDonald ended the regular season as Palm Beach County’s leading rusher with 1,378 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. Still, he has not received any offers from colleges. Some Division II schools are starting to show interest in McDonald, but his stellar senior season has not caught the attention of any big time programs yet. If he can lead the Broncos deep into the playoffs, it could help McDonald out in the recruiting process.
3. Successful Muck Bowl
After safety concerns pushed the annual rivalry from Friday night to Saturday afternoon, it was nice to see a successful Muck Bowl. Although there was a heavy police presence and spectators were forced to pass through metal detectors, the contest featured the same lively atmosphere as always. The smell of barbecue filled the air, as fans from both sides filled the stands to make it a good day in the Glades.
4. No injuries
With all of the playoff spots already locked up, Week 11 was just for bragging rights. So, an injury is the last thing you want to see in the final week of the regular season. With wet fields all over the county and games being played in the pouring rain Friday, some coaches took a cautious approach. Palm Beach Central sat quarterback Kemar Downer and Palm Beach Gardens did not play running back Tommy Monday. Thankfully, it looks like playoff teams escaped the week without any major injuries.
How’d Anthony do?
Anthony’s predictions record: 19-4
Best pick: In my first Muck Bowl with the Palm Beach Post, I almost nailed the final score. I predicted that the Raiders would win 24-20, and Glades Central ended up beating Pahokee 23-21. So close.
About the Author
Anthony Chiang began his writing career in Gainesville at the University of Florida’s student-run newspaper. At The Independent Florida Alligator, he covered the school’s golf, volleyball, baseball, and football teams. The Miami native has also written for the Sun Sentinel and MLB.com, following the Tampa Bay Rays.