Posted: 9:15 am Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Weekend Rewind: 4 takeaways from the first round of the playoffs 

By Anthony Chiang

We started the playoffs with 14 local teams playing for a state title. But after the first round, only seven local teams are left.

Palm Beach Central beat Seminole Ridge on Friday to advance to the Class 8A regional semifinals. (Photo by Allen Eyestone)

Palm Beach Central, Palm Beach Gardens and Fort Pierce Central advanced to the regional semifinals in the Class 8A bracket. Dwyer is the only team from the area left in the Class 7A bracket. Boynton Beach lost, leaving no local teams playing for the Class 6A title. There were no schools from the area that qualified for the Class 5A playoffs. Clewiston moved to the second round in the Class 4A bracket. Cardinal Newman will play in next week’s Class 3A regional finals. Glades Day won its first round game in the Class 2A playoffs. Finally, there were no local teams that advanced to the postseason in Class 1A.

Here are the headlines from the action in the first round:

* JP Caruso threw four touchdown passes to lead the Gators to a comeback victory over Park Vista in the Class 8A regional quarterfinals. (Game Report) (Photos)

* Palm Beach Central used another great performance from running back Tommy McDonald to get past Seminole Ridge and advance to the regional semifinals. (Game Report) (Photos)

* West Boca Raton fell to Pompano Beach-Ely in the first round of the playoffs. (Game Report)

* Dwyer breezed past Lauderdale Lakes-Boyd Anderson to move on to the Class 7A regional semifinals. (Game Report)

* Daniel Cole threw for three touchdowns, leading Cardinal Newman to a victory in the first round. (Game Report)

* Glades Central fell to Miami-Washington, the No. 1 team in the nation, in the Class 4A regional semifinals. (Game Report)

* Oxbridge Academy ended its first varsity season with a GAFC title … You can find the recaps from the rest of the first-round games in a full roundup.

In addition to all of that coverage, we have a new and improved mobile PBGametime site, which you can check out on your phones at

Here are the local teams that are still alive in the FHSAA playoffs after the first round:

Dwyer (11-0): Beat Lauderdale Lakes-Boyd Anderson 35-8.
Palm Beach Central (8-3): Beat Seminole Ridge 35-20.
Fort Pierce Central (9-1): Beat Sarasota-Riverview 45-0.
Palm Beach Gardens (7-4): Beat Park Vista 34-31.
Cardinal Newman (8-3): Beat Hollywood-Chaminade 40-13.
Glades Day (8-3): Beat Miami-Dade Christian 20-7.
Clewiston (10-1): Beat Cocoa-Space Coast 63-21.

How many do you see advancing past the second round of the playoffs? At least one will be knocked out, as Palm Beach Central and Palm Beach Gardens face off with a trip to the regional final on the line. Dwyer will be favored in its matchup against Pompano Beach-Blanche Ely next week. But Fort Pierce Central will have a tough time in the second round, as the Cobras will take on Bradenton-Manatee.

4 takeaways

1. Where does Park Vista go from here?

The Cobras looked like one of the best teams in Palm Beach County throughout the regular season. But Park Vista’s season ended very early, as it fell to Palm Beach Gardens in the Class 8A regional quarterfinals. Turnovers really hurt the Cobras on Friday. Quarterback Qwad Martin ran for 106 yards, but he negated that effort with four interceptions in the loss. Now, Park Vista enters the offseason with a lot of question marks. The Cobras will graduate Martin, running backs Emmanuel Smith and Jametrius Bentley, and star safety Marques Gayot, leaving plenty of holes. Will the Cobras take a step back next season, or will they find a way to make it work?

2. Boynton Beach deserves some love
The Tigers had their doubters from the start of the year. But Boynton Beach kept proving them wrong, finishing with a 9-1 record in the regular season. And on Friday, the Tigers lost, but they put up a valiant effort against one of the best teams in the state. Miami Central is the favorite to win the Class 6A title and Boynton Beach hung tough with the Rockets. The Tigers fell 55-37. To put it in perspective, Central had not allowed more than 28 points this season. Boynton Beach quarterback Lamar Jackson was incredible, showing that he will be a force to be reckoned with in his senior year. Jackson threw for 248 yards and also rushed for 194 yards and four touchdowns. The Tigers will be good next season and nobody should be surprised this time.

3. Will Dwyer lose?
The Panthers probably won’t lose this week against Pompano Beach-Ely. But next week, Dwyer faces the possibility of a matchup against Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas in the regional finals. This is the game that people have been waiting for. The Raiders have already lost twice this season, but they are still better than any team Dwyer has faced this year. However, Dwyer must make sure to take care of business this week before looking ahead to St. Thomas Aquinas.

4. Tough first round for the Muck
For the first time since 2009, each of the three teams from the Muck made the playoffs. But after the first round, only Glades Day is still alive. Pahokee played without quarterback Rashuan Croney and running back McArthur Bernett, losing to Miami-Westminster Christian on Friday. And Glades Central finished with a losing season for the first time in at least 20 years, falling to Miami-Washington in the regional semifinals. But Glades Day is still kicking, earning a victory over Miami-Dade Christian to advance to take on Hialeah-Champagnat in next week Class 2A regional finals. Will the Gators bring the Muck a state title?

How’d Anthony do?

Anthony’s predictions record: 11-3
Best pick: I missed a couple of games by just a few points, but the closest I got was in the Palm Beach Central-Seminole Ridge matchup. I predicted the Broncos to win 35-17 and Palm Beach Central ended up winning 35-20.