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Boca Raton High School defeated Palm Beach Gardens friday night in their Spring Jamberee football game.


Clinton, young Bobcats beat Palm Beach Gardens


Team depth was a big concern for Boca Raton football head coach Rick Swain this spring.

The Bobcats lost running backs Mike Fields, Daniel Studdard and Justin Morales, quarterback Matt Brooks, linebacker Joey Rumph, offensive lineman Ryan Schmidt and defensive back Marcus St. Phard.

The Bobcats? depth looked fine in a 16-14 win against Palm Beach Gardens in their spring jamboree game at home Friday night.

Boca Raton sophomore quarterback Cody Clinton was 6-of-11 for 106 yards, and had one touchdown to go along with an interception. Clinton showed his accuracy and arm strength connecting with three different receivers to begin the game. Cameron Abdullah caught two balls for 47 yards, Cleveland Hankerson had two catches for 35 yards and Sherman Lang had one catch for 20 yards.

?I feel like the team came out and played hard,? Clinton said. ?The whole offensive line, the backs and the defense stepped up. I think I played good until the end, until the interception. We ended up winning the game and that was good.?

Swain was impressed with the performance of Clinton considering the amount of practice time he got in this spring.

?We wanted to let Cody throw it,? Swain said. ?He?s only had five days of practice since he came out of baseball. We wanted to see what he could do and he?s a real fine athlete. He threw the ball well except for that interception at the end. But he made some good reads tonight and threw the ball well.?

Although the Bobcats do lack experience at the skill positions, Swain couldn?t have been happier with the performance of his team.

?We had a lot of big shoes to fill,? Swain said. ?We lost an entire backfield last year and these guys stepped it up. Our strength and experience was our line and they did a fine job tonight. The thing that I am seeing is a lack of overall team depth. We?ve got seven or eight pretty good lineman and as long as we can keep them healthy we are going to be okay. We had freshmen catching balls with one hand out there and we had a lot of young kids doing some fantastic things. The future is bright for us from the skill positions, but there is real inexperience.?On the ground, sophomore Paul Baker had 10 carries for 46 yards and one touchdown. With the score tied 7-7 and 11 minutes on the clock, Baker bulled his way through the Gators? defensive line and scored from four yards out.

With the loss of Fields, who finished with 1,000 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns last season, Baker had big shoes to fill. Swain thinks of his new back as the silent assassin.

?If you don?t focus on him he?ll kill you,? Swain said. ?He?s gonna be an outstanding runner for us.?

On the defensive side of the ball linebacker Kendall Mason sacked quarterback Justin Jacob in the end zone for a safety. Reco Jackson and Bryan Bartlett both turned in good performances for the Bobcats.

Brad Rice got the Gators on the board with a nine-yard touchdown reception to even the score at 7-7. With three seconds left and the Gators down 16-7 Rice leaped into the end zone, but there was not enough time for another drive.

?I think our kids played hard,? said Palm Beach Gardens head coach Tim Tharp, who had eight returning players from last year. ?We executed some things the way we wanted and we didn?t execute some things the way we wanted. But that?s what you expect in a spring game. We are going to take a hard look at the film. You like playing somebody tough to give you an evaluation of what level you?re at. Overall, we were pleased.?

After the game, Swain referenced the lack of depth once again, but felt confident at the same time after the win.

?Our goal is to get to Gainesville somehow,? Swain said. ?We?re gonna take it one step at a time and try to build that depth.?


Any other schools with Spring Football results?

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