Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: Experienced Miami Central and Armwood Prepare For The 6A Final

(Photo Source: FHSAA.org)
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As the Miami Central Rockets (12-1) enter this year’s 6A State Final against the Seffner Armwood Hawks (14-0), there are no surprises.  As the only returning state champion, the Rockets have an established routine when they come to Orlando. This may in part be due to the fact that this is their fourth straight year in this big game. Armwood, on the other hand, will play for their 6th title in 11 years.

 

These teams met not long ago but it in the end it would be considered a mere exhibition.  In the 2011 6A Title Game, with the help of early scores by the defense and special teams, Armwood would beat Central 40-31. Unfortunately, after it was founded that both schools used ineligible player(s), they would both be stripped of their wins, including the Hawks’ State Title.

 

This year, Central enters this contest as a 19 point favorite. While an early season, close loss to what is expected to be the crowned national champion, Booker T. Washington Tornadoes, the Rockets have dominated elite opponents. These include Palm Beach Dwyer (preseason), Plantation American Heritage, Davie University School, and Don Bosco Prep (NJ).

 

As an offense, Central gains nearly 70% of its yards on the ground.  With the loss of star Running Back, Joseph Yearby for this game, his teammate and equal ground gainer, Dalvin Cook will look to add to his 1,644 yards and 30 touchdowns. Malik Adams will take some of the carries intended for Yearby. Cook will also return most of the punts and kicks during the course of a game. Quarterback, Keith Reed has nearly 1,500 yards passing with 14 touchdowns and looks to Tavius Brown, Da’Vante Phillips, Lenwood Joyner and Malik Virgile through the air. Donovan Thomas, Rasheed Blatch, Fermin Silva and Carlin Clark help lead the defense.

 

Armwood, while undefeated, squeaked passed Bartram Trail in triple overtime last week.  Led by Quarterback, Noah Johnson, the Hawks rushing and passing yardage is comparable. The Hawks also involve more players with their offense than typical high school programs which shows their depth as a team. Johnson has thrown for nearly 1,980 yards with 19 touchdowns.

 

Johnson also leads the team with 810 yards rushing but Craig Carrington, Caylan Holloway, and Greg Newton have helped this team’s rushing attack all season. Trevor Laurent, Talvin Bailey, Austin Gallon and Newton have nearly 20 receptions or more on the season and have aided the Hawks in complementing the run on a weekly basis. Jordan Griffin leads the team in tackles.

 

Armwood has improved dramatically from last year and had a great season. Central was not #1 in the country when they lost to the Tornadoes. However, they may be the best team in the country now. Armwood’s balance may keep the Rockets on their toes early but Central’s Cook and receiving group will find ways to score. The Rockets’ Offensive Line will insert their will early and often. If Armwood cannot control the line of scrimmage, the question on this day may be less who will win and more about how dominant Central may be in this game. 

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