CORAL GABLES AT MIAMI CENTRAL
Miami Central rushed for 2277 yards and an 8.6 average, junior Brandon Gainer led the way with 1340 yards and 14 touchdowns. Quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey showed why he has been coveted as a recruit for over two years. The junior threw for 1691 yards, ran for 592, and accounted for 28 scores(19 passes, 9 runs). His leading targets were Joshua Reese(36-608), Charles Gaines(29-569), and Lazaro Diaz(12-125). Gainer also has soft hands out of the backfield. The offense was particularly explosive in the 2nd quarter.
The Central defense yielded 14.7 points per game. They gave up a little more vs. the run(1104) than the pass(971). It is not a shutdown defense, but they get stops and with the offense, that is usually enough. The unit really struggled in the first three games(all losses), but went on a five game tear where seven was the most points they gave up. They finished the season with two wins, but gave up 25 and 30 points in the process. A week off to get healthy and work out the kinks might be a blessing.
Interesting notes: Lost to Edison(21-20), BTW(44-39), and Killian(14-12) to open the season. They rebounded for district play with the big win over MNW(27-25) to win the district title.
Coral Gables averaged 28 points per game. Running back Jarvis Bridge was electric with 132 carries for 1099 yards and 12 touchdowns. Edward Smith provided depth with 445 yards on 67 carries and the two combined for 19 touchdowns. Junior QB Patrick McCain had his moments, but was inconsistent in throwing for 965 yards with 12 touchdowns. Andre Guitierrez(20-347), Gerald Snell(16-183), Miguel Fuentes(19-153), and Bridge(10-105) were part of a balanced receiving core. McCain will need to be on top of his game to make a run in the playoffs.
The Coral Gables defense gave up 17 points per game and allowed over 1000 yards passing(1149) and rushing(1256). The 2nd quarter was not kind: they gave up 24, 28, and 29 total points in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th quarters respectively, but 72 in the 2nd. In the playoffs, they are going to see some explosive offenses, starting in game one with Central. This defense will need to step up with some big plays and turnovers.
Interesting notes: The lone loss was to Columbus(35-3). They won all three close games they were in.
MIAMI NORTHWESTERN AT COLUMBUS(at FIU)
Jakhari Gore grabs the headlines, but junior QB Garrett Coloa had a fine year. He threw for 1224 yards with 16 touchdowns. He has two great targets in Erik Lora(22-500) and Gary Bush(20-379). Gore led the team in rushing with 991 yard and 8.8 yards per carry. The offense averaged a stout 38.1 points per game and was very balanced with 1546 rushing yards and 1385 passing yards.
The defense pitched three shutouts and had three more games where they surrendered 2, 3, and 6 points. Add it up and they only gave up 5.6 points per game. In run heavy Dade, they only gave up 335 yards rushing for the year. If the numbers can get better, that was a paltry 2.07 yards per carry. A large part of that is senior DT Antwan Lowery. The 300 pounder is a space eater inside and has great athleticism.
Interesting notes: Columbus was knocked out of the playoffs by MNW last year.
Despite losing almost everyone from their back to back state championship teams, the MNW offense has averaged 35.9 points per game. They have been more run-oriented, senior Daquan Hargrett leads the way with 786 yards and 13 touchdowns. There is a lot of depth in the running game with Tyresse Jones(280), Israel Linder(189), and Corvin Lamb(171). Wayne Times started most of the season at quarterback, but it was sophomore Teddy Bridgewater who broke a school record for passing yards in the loss to Miami Central. Plenty of talent at wide receiver with Michael Harris and Tyrell Lewis. Both Bridgewater and Times can play WR as well. Lamb has returned five kickoffs for touchdowns.
Defensively the Bulls allowed 12.2 points per game. The defense gave up 872 rushing yards and 860 passing yards. Defensive tackle Todd Chandler missed some time with a knee injury. Junior cornerback Khalid Marshall and senior Tevin McKaskill headline a solid secondary. Miami Central was able to put some yards and points on the board which should allow some adjustments to be made.
Interesting notes: Lost to California Long Beach Poly in a game amongst two national powers. Big win over BTW 31-29.
MIAMI PALMETTO AT SOUTHWEST MIAMI
Southwest Miami averaged 33.6 points per game. Two highly coveted junior recruits led the way: Hosey Williams and Lamarcus Joyner. Williams rushed for 746 yards with an 11.1 average. He added 153 yards receiving on just 3 catches showing his big play ability. He is a player who is as dangerous as anyone in space. Joyner is an elite athlete who will be a national recruit at the CB spot. He hauled in 17 catches for 436 yards and 6 touchdowns. Williams is not the only running back as senior Laz Herrera chipped in 564 yards and six touchdowns. Osvaldo Castillo had a very consistent year at quarterback completing close to 60% and throwing for 1289 yards with 16 touchdowns. He is also a threat to run with 323 yards. The running totals are eye popping when you add them up, the offensive line deserves a lot of the credit.
The defense gave up 10.3 points per game and shut down the run(492 yards), but was surprisingly vulnerable against the pass(1246 yards). It should be noted that they were way ahead much of the time and forced teams to abandon the run. They created 13 turnovers.
Interesting notes: Lost the opener to South Dade by one point. Undefeated in district play.
Palmetto has an elite running back in Jamaal Berry. Unfortunately, the Ohio State commit was injured much of his senior year and only ran for 284 yards (6.8 ypc). They turned to Jeremy Williams who registered 639 yards and three touchdowns- he was also the leading WR. Wilfred Butler is a second option and he chipped in 412 yards. Overall, the offense averaged 14.3 points per game, but the return of Berry(expected for the playoffs) should make a big difference.
The defense picked up the slack and only gave up 13.7 points per game. It should be noted that 49 of those points came in a first game loss to Columbus. They are slightly better vs. the pass than the run. One of the big keys was the defense was very opportunistic, registering 23 turnovers and that is usually a formula for success in the playoffs.
Interesting notes: Lost a heart-breaker to Homestead(14-13) and were shutout by two playoff teams: Columbus and Killian.
MIAMI SUNSET AT MIAMI KILLIAN
Killian averaged 32.8 points per game and a large part of that was RB Lamar Miller. Miller, a Miami commit, is extremely fast and put together an outstanding senior season with 1341 yards and 18 touchdowns. Quarterback Ricky Rowe keeps defenses honest with close to 700 yards and nine touchdowns while only throwing one interception. A massive OL allowed Killian to register over 2000 yards rushing for the season.
The defense yielded 10.9 points per game and created 24 turnovers. Equally adept against the run and pass, they are capable of holding explosive offenses in check. They only gave up 32 points in five district games.
Interesting notes: Only loss was on the road vs. 5A power Lakeland(27-21). Quality win over Miami Central early in the season
Sunset averaged 22.4 points per game. Junior RB Carlos Campos was sensational with 1163 yards and 12 scores. Michael Rivadeneira is a second option with 459 yards and five scores. They are going to need more production from QB Steven Fonticella who threw for only 523 yards and had six interceptions.
The defense is where Sunset makes a living. They gave up only 10.2 points per game and pitched a shutout in the first quarter for the YEAR(one game remaining). They are better vs. the pass than the run yielding only 634 yards. They created 14 turnovers.
Interesting notes: Lost the opener to Coral Gables(20-19) and also lost to playoff bound Southwest(20-6).