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The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

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The Hail Mallory Gives West Boca Their First-Ever Playoff Win

The+Hail+Mallory+Gives+West+Boca+Their+First-Ever+Playoff+Win

It was a miracle in Palm Beach County on Friday night.

With just eight seconds remaining, the No. 7 West Boca Bulls found themselves down by six against the No. 2 Atlantic Eagles in Delray. At the 32 yard line, the Bulls needed a last-second heave to win the game.

“Just believe,” head coach Dylan Potts said before the final play. “We’ve practiced these situations all year.”

Quarterback Mason Mallory threw the hail mary (or hail Mallory) to Zach Walls, the intended receiver. Walls could not make the catch, but kept the ball alive by tipping it in the air. The luck was surely in the air as Kyle Andrews was in the right place at the right time. He dove for the ball and made an insane catch to tie the game at 22. John Farfan’s extra point went through the goal post as West Boca stormed the field with a 23-22 win.

“It’s just an amazing moment… I’m going to enjoy it and go home,” Andrews said after his historic catch.

West Boca has now won their first-ever playoff game. And it’s thanks to one of the best plays ever in Palm Beach County.

“Our kids came through in the clutch and it’s just a credit to them to keep playing until the final whistle,” Coach Potts said after the game.

While it won’t show up on the stat sheet, Walls’ tip of the ball during the hail mary was a major factor in the play getting completed. On a hail mary, if you can’t catch the ball, you have to keep the ball alive by tipping it. That’s exactly what the sophomore did; he had the biggest assist in West Boca history.

“At the moment, I don’t really know (what I was thinking),” Walls stated postgame. “I just jumped up. I tipped the ball. Kyle was behind me. He came up, scooped the ball, touchdown. But I can’t really be a selfish player. It’s a receivers spot. That’s the most unselfish spot on the field. I’m thankful.”

While the spotlight is on the final play, as it should be, the Bulls had to overcome a lot of adversity during the course of the game.

The Bulls first found themselves down 7-0 after Jayden Parrish, the FSU commit, scored a rushing touchdown for Atlantic.

Atlantic could have dug a deeper hole by making it 14-0 but quarterback Lincoln Graf threw an interception to Aaron Ford of West Boca. Ford has an offer to Liberty.

West Boca’s four star running back Javian Mallory converted the turnover into points by scoring a 37 yard rushing touchdown at the end of the first half, tying the game at seven.

Parrish scored his second touchdown of the game in the third quarter, putting West Boca down by a touchdown once again.

West Boca tried to push the ball down the field, but Mason Mallory threw an interception on a deep pass. Atlantic was tackled at their own five yard line.

On Atlantic’s first play of the ensuing drive, running back Damarion Alberic was tackled in the endzone by Chase Quarterman for a safety, cutting the Eagles’ lead to 14-9. So, Mason’s turnover actually gave West Boca two free points. Turnovers are supposed to hurt a team, but this was a rare occurrence in which the Bulls took advantage of.

With 6:38 remaining in the game, West Boca took their first lead of the game (16-14) after a short rushing touchdown from freshman running back Anderson Gracilien.

So, Atlantic got the ball back down by just two. They had five minutes to get into field goal range to capture a victory.

With around three minutes left, Atlantic was forced to go for it on fourth and two at midfield. West Boca stuffed the play, but a debatable holding call gave Atlantic a huge break. So, instead of the Bulls getting the ball back to ice the game, Atlantic’s drive continued.

The Eagles drove down the field with ease after momentum switched to Atlantic’s sideline. With just 30 seconds left, Atlantic said they wanted more than a field goal. Graf threw a touchdown pass to Jadarius Patterson to make it 22-16 (the Eagles made the two-point conversion). It appeared to be the dagger, but the phrases “just believe” and “never quit until the final whistle” proved to be motivational.

“Once we got scored on, everyone’s head was down, even me,” Mason Mallory said postgame. “I realized that 30 seconds was plenty enough time. I believe in our offense. I believe in our coaches that we can go down the field and score. I knew once we got on the field that we are going to score on this possession. I believe in my wide receivers. And you know they believed in me. They ran their routes as hard as possible. At the end of the day, Kyle Andrews, a class of 2026 wide receiver, came down with that. People think that if Walls didn’t tip that ball, there’s no touchdown, time runs out, and we lose.”

So, West Boca had just 30 seconds left to drive down the field. We know how it ended; history was made at West Boca.

Atlantic ought to be looking back at what transpired, however. Two huge penalties, including a penalty against Atlantic’s sideline, allowed West Boca to pass midfield. The penalties set up Mason Mallory’s hail mary, which ultimately won West Boca their first-ever playoff game.

Obviously, West Boca’s hail mary was the best play of the season in Palm Beach County, and likely the best play in West Boca’s history. But even better, West Boca beat arguably the best team in Palm Beach County. Atlantic was 9-1 during the regular season.

The win over Atlantic should silence the people who doubted West Boca.

“They are now (going to give us credit),” Coach Potts said postgame. “I promise you we will get our credit now. I don’t know how many teams we need to keep beating but we’ll keep beating them to show why we are one of the best.”

Mason Mallory finished 11-of-15 passing for 132 yards while his cousin, Javian, rushed for 127 yards on 15 carries. Walls was West Boca’s leading receiver with 69 yards on six catches.

West Boca will now face Coconut Creek for a second time this season in round two of the FHSAA Playoffs. In their last matchup on October 13th, Creek won 42-28, despite Javian Mallory’s three touchdowns.

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Isaac Edelman, Editor-in-Chief
Howdy! I’m Isaac Edelman and I’m a senior at West Boca Raton Community High School. I’m an aspiring sports broadcaster and reporter, always seeking to improve my craft. I love sports writing and public speaking. In the future, I would like to become a beat writer or/and a reporter for a professional sports team. I would also love to be a play-by-play announcer or news anchor. As part of The Bullseye, I write many sports articles, run our social media pages (@wbhsbullseye), and make sure everything runs smoothly on the technology part of the site (behind the scenes). I hope to provide students with the best and latest sports news. I am excited to be an Editor-in-Chief for The Bullseye this school year!
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