Butler throws three touchdown passes as Palm Beach Central pulls away in Boca Raton

BOCA RATON — Palm Beach Central sophomore Caleb Butler won the quarterback competition entering the season and is making the most of his opportunity as a first-year signal-caller. Butler delivered another impressive performance and passed for three touchdowns to lift the visiting Broncos to a 37-21 victory against Boca Raton in a non-district matchup on Thursday night.

Butler previously tossed four touchdowns and rushed for another score in a 55-48 season-opening victory against Creekside.

Despite steady rain throughout the entire first half,  Butler threw for two scores prior to halftime and added another scoring pass in the third quarter. He also tossed two touchdowns that were called back on penalties in the contest.

“I am making a statement and it’s been pretty good,” Butler said,”I just got to make sure I stay humble and stay calm and do my job.”

Palm Beach Central junior Nedrick Boldin scored two touchdowns to lead the Broncos. Junior Waden Charles and junior Kamare Williams both added scores. Junior Tony Williams led the Broncos defense with two interceptions. Junior Ethan Dagostino connected on three field goals in the first half. The Broncos  also were able to run the ball effectively in the rainy conditions with senior Leon Williams and junior Zequan Wright.

“We are playing better,” Palm Beach Central coach Kevin Thompson said. “We are starting to figure out the little things to be a championship team. Yes, we are far away from it as you can see with the ups and downs of how we play some time.They’re a lot of guys who have bought in and understand and are trying to get better. I am excited about that.”

Palm Beach Central (2-0) led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. Boca Raton (0-1) stepped up with a blocked punt and later had possession inside the Broncos 30-yard line on their opening drive, but they failed to convert on fourth down. The Bobcats committed a penalty after running into the punter later in the first to help extend a drive for the Broncos. Dagostino converted a 20-yard field goal for the first score of the game.

Dagostino drilled a 30-yard field goal to extend the lead in the second. The Broncos jumped out to a 13-0 advantage after Butler connected with Williams as he turned upfield for a 32-yard touchdown with 6:35 left in the first half.

Boca Raton rallied after senior Kevin Clerval rushed for 35 yards on a fake punt deep into Broncos territory. Sophomore quarterback Chance Routson fired a 15-yard scoring pass to junior Jordan Davis to cut the deficit to 13-7 with 3:37 left in the second.

The Broncos quickly answered back and scored just 18 seconds later. Senior Britton Holmes had a 68-yard return on the ensuing kickoff. On the next play, Butler tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Boldin.

Routson marched the Bobcats downfield on their next possession. Routson rushed for a 2-yard score to make it 20-14 with 1:24 left in the first half.

Dagostino converted a 26-yard field goal with 18 seconds left in the first half to increase the lead to 23-14.

The Broncos were able to pull away in the third quarter. Butler fired a 16-yard scoring pass to Charles in the left corner of the end zone to push the lead to 30-14.

Boldin bounced out to the right and added a 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Routson, who passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another score in the loss, fired a 13-yard scoring pass to senior CJ Bloomfield late in the fourth.

Boca Raton played their season opener under head coach Alex Savakinas, who is in his first season after previously serving as an assistant,

The start of the game was delayed for approximately one hour due to lightning.