Thursday Night Lights: Santaluces defeats Lake Worth 31-28

FNLWell, this is new. Due to the Jewish holiday, it was Friday Night Football — Thursday edition. I was in Lantana for Lake Worth vs. Santaluces, which proved to be a nail-biter in the final seconds. And I found myself praying for the home team to hold on so that I wouldn’t have to face overtime with deadline looming. Lucky for me, it worked out.

My story from the Palm Beach Post:

LANTANA — Santaluces is known for its defense, but it was the offense that helped the Chiefs hold off Lake Worth for a 31-28 victory Thursday night.

Santaluces, which led the entire first half, trailed with less than six minutes remaining after two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns by Lake Worth running back Donte Fils-Aime gave the Trojans a 28-24 lead.

Running back Bernard Eberhardt’s 22-yard touchdown run with 3:39 remaining gave Santaluces the lead back and the defense was able to hold on to improve to 2-0 on the season.

“It shouldn’t have been that close,” Santaluces coach Daryl Drinkwater said. “But we came back in the fourth quarter. I was real happy to see the offense come back and score, and then the defense held them twice. I told them, ‘A win’s a win. Great job finding a way to win.’ ”

Lake Worth (1-2) took an early lead when Jeremy Kennedy returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.

Santaluces answered immediately with a touchdown drive of their own, capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Luis Martinez. The Chiefs scored again on an 8-yard run by running back Bernard Eberhardt. In the second quarter, Martinez hit receiver Darrell Langham deep for a 57-yard touchdown to put the Chiefs up 21-7.

Fils-Aime gave the Trojans their first offensive points with a 3-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the first half. Santaluces added a late field goal in the final seconds to lead 24-14 at halftime.

Cause I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday night

Not really. I’d actually been waiting seven months for Sunday afternoon for the Chicago Bears season opener — a 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

But I’d actually been really excited for Carrie Underwood to take over Sunday Night Football singing duties for Faith Hill. And Carrie killed it…in a good way… unlike the New York Giants who killed any chance they had to beat the Dallas Cowboys after six turnovers (and they only lost by 5. Well, they were playing the Cowboys).

Friday Night Lights: Royal Palm Beach defeats Pahokee 21-14

FNLAfter missing Week 1 of the high school football season due to my covering Florida Atlantic’s defeat to the Miami Hurricanes last Friday, I found myself in Royal Palm Beach for a matchup between the Wildcats of Royal Palm and the Pahokee Blue Devils.

There were so many penalties between the two squads that I made up a drinking game in my head in the second quarter. It’s safe to say that if I had been playing said drinking game I’d have been wasted before halftime. Anyway…

My story from the Palm Beach Post:

ROYAL PALM BEACH — In a matchup plagued by penalties, Royal Palm Beach outlasted Pahokee for a 21-14 victory Friday night. There were well over 300 penalty yards between the two teams.

“They’re happening after big plays and it’s momentum killers,” Wildcats coach Willie Bueno said about the penalties. “We’ve got to figure that out and get better at it.”

After a sloppy and scoreless first quarter, the Blue Devils struck first early into the second quarter. A fumble by Wildcats running back Demarcus Holloway on the Royal Palm Beach 8-yard line led to a 5-yard touchdown run by quarterback Rashaun Croney to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead.

The Wildcats swung the momentum in their favor in the final minute of the first half.

That’s when Royal Palm Beach (2-0) took advantage of a Pahokee pass interference penalty. Freshman quarterback Toddy Centeio then connected with receiver D’vonte Burden for a 22-yard touchdown with 43 seconds remaining in the half to tie the game at 7-7.

Royal Palm Beach added to its lead in the third quarter with a pair of touchdowns. It took agamble deep in Blue Devils territory in the third quarter on a drive marred with penalties on both sides. On 4th-and-17, Jimmy Moreland hit Alon Sims for a 25-yard touchdown to give the Wildcats a 14-7 edge.

“We just needed something to get momentum going,” Bueno said.

After a poor punt by the Blue Devils, the Wildcats took advantage of great field position. Charles Perry ran for a 13-yard touchdown to put them up by two scores with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Pahokee (1-1) scored late in the fourth quarter when Croney connected with Malik Thompson for a 6-yard touchdown. Pahokee had a chance to tie the game in the final minutes, but its rally fell short.

“It’s a good win,” Bueno said. “We’ve just got to keep getting better.”

Book Review: ‘Clockwork Princess’ is a fitting end to an epic trilogy

CP2coverClockwork Princess

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 570

Release Date: March 19, 2013

Synopsis: A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Review

Saying goodbye is hard to do. Especially when it comes to an epic trilogy with beautiful characters that have touched your heart and a story that has captivated you for the past three years.

I’ve never been scared to read a book before. Anxious and nervous, yes, but never scared. Leading up to Clockwork Princess, I found myself worried for the fates of my favorite characters in their final act in this Victorian London Shadowhunter tale.

But it wasn’t just worry for the characters, it was the sad realization that the series was coming to an end and this is the last time we would see these characters except in re-reads.

Clockwork Princess was all I was hoping for and more. There was so much hype and anticipation leading up to the final installment of The Infernal Devices, and I can say with complete and utter confidence that it did not disappoint. It far exceeded  my expectations as all of Cassandra Clare’s books tend to do.

I believe Clare has outdone herself with Clockwork Princess. It’s easily my favorite book of hers and provided everything a fan of this series would like to experience, even things they didn’t know they’d want to experience.

I’ve never cried more while reading a book than I did reading Clockwork Princess. Sad tears, happy tears, laugh-til-you’re-silly tears. I cried them all. It was the culmination of a truly special trilogy with truly unforgettable characters that feel so alive that sometimes you forget you’re reading their story instead of watching it unfold in front of you.

There were moments where I was crying on one page and laughing on the next. It’s that emotional journey that makes the end result of the book and the series so meaningful and so deserving.

This book had it all—action, adventure, love, sadness, surprise, tension, danger, enchantment and so much emotion.

Cassie has created such an incredible love triangle between Tessa, Will and Jem. Most of the time, love triangles come off as forced and don’t make much of an impact. But this triangle that Cassie has weaved has taken readers on the ultimate journey and it is wrapped up in such a touching way.

What I’ve grown to enjoy in Cassie’s books over the past few years is the crossover between series. It’s something that is always present but especially evident in Clockwork Princess. Questions about The Infernal Devices’ connection to The Mortal Instruments that hadn’t been answered yet are answered and it’s a satisfying moment when it clicks in your mind.

There were moments when the characters would reflect on past events that readers had read in Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince and it was something that really struck a chord with me. With Clockwork Princess being the final book in the series it was like those moments of reflection were paying homage to the previous books in a sort of montage throughout. A character would remember something and readers can go, “I remember that.” It was a great way to connect the readers to the story even more so than they already are and it definitely triggered an emotional reaction in me.

One of the things I really appreciated was that everything came full circle. The story, the characters, everything. The ending was the perfect way to wrap up the stories of this generation of Shadowhunter Chronicles characters.

Keeping with the ending—it was by far the best ending to a book I’ve ever read. It’s hard to explain without getting into spoilers, but I can’t imagine it ending another way. Everything was wrapped up perfectly and there was a definitive sense of closure for the series.

One of the concerns fans face heading into the final book of a series is whether or not they will be left asking questions or if they will feel satisfied with the ending.Clockwork Princess didn’t leave fans hanging, instead it wrapped up everything in the utmost perfect way.

When I finished Clockwork Princess, I placed my iPad to the side and just sat there for a moment letting everything sink in. It was a special moment that I feel all fans will experience, be it right after they finish the book or when they’re going about their day when the sudden realization that the series has come to a close hits them.  And it will likely happen more than once. Every now and again when the memories of this story and the characters come to mind, fans will be able to look back and smile. And it will be beautiful, heartbreaking and meaningful; everything that this trilogy was.

I feel extremely honored and thankful to Cassie for sharing this world and these characters with us. For the past three years these characters have touched me with their struggles and their overcoming of adversity. They have made me laugh, cry, yell and care beyond belief. I can’t imagine not knowing them.

The hardest thing for me is saying goodbye to these characters. But these characters will never truly be gone. They will live on in our memories. Whenever we see a duck, hear a violin, spot a copy of A Tale of Two Cities or hear a familiar name, we will be transported back into that world. While we won’t get to experience new adventures, this story and these characters will live on forever in our hearts. Because when you love something that is this special, it can never be forgotten.

Ave atque vale.

Grade: A