Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: Finals Reflections for American Heritage and Miami Central

(photo: Isaiah McKenzie of American Heritage finds the end zone on a 49 yard touchdown reception against Clay in the 5A state finals)


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As the only Broward school in this final, many should be proud of Plantation American Heritage.  With the exception of one loss to 6A Champion, Miami Central, the Patriots dominated everyone.  Their 66-8 victory over Clay exemplified the potent offense we saw all year.  While ESPN chose Heritage Quarterback, Torrance Gibson’s 34 yard touchdown pass to Drederick Snelson as their play of the day, this game was bombarded by great plays from the Patriots on both sides of the ball.  Gibson threw for 161 yards and rushed for 154 yards in this season clincher.  Notre Dame recruit, Isaiah McKenzie thrilled the crowd with an exciting punt return, along with 4 receptions for 88 yards.  Andre Jumper, Justin Chang and Carter Jacobs frustrated Clay’s Offense the whole afternoon.


Sony Michel finished the game with 99 yards and left the field midway through the third quarter to the salute and chant of  “So-ny” – “So-ny.”  Michel is slated to attend the University of Georgia next year. Whether or not he becomes the next Herschel Walker remains to be seen by his supporters. Nonetheless, he ends his high school career with 6,659 yards, which is the second most in Broward County history.  The belief is that had Michel played his sophomore year, he would have surpassed all-time County Rushing Leader, Tyrone Moss who outgained him by only 446 yards.



If there was ever an argument against bracketing teams by geography, this was the game.  Clay (10-5) was badly outmatched from the very first play.  The Blue Devils struggled in every area before the imposition of the running clock.  In one instance and desperate for encouragement, their loyal fans roared with excitement when the team gained 7 yards on a 3rd and 10 play which still led to a punt. With American Heritage playing at three quarter speed most of the afternoon, many felt that Clay appeared less as the number two 5A team in the state and more like the fourth or fifth place team if placed in the Patriots district.  



Dalvin Cook endzone

Dalvin Cook scores his fourth touchdown against Armwood




Miami Central (13-1), as expected, would dominate Seffner Armwood (10-5) in a game which lacked drama as the Rockets won 52-7.  Miami Central would open up an early 21-0 lead and the only time their crowd showed any emotion was when their band’s majorettes did a dance routine during halftime. Dalvin Cook, pictured above rushed for 226 yards and 4 touchdowns which fueled the offense.  Da’Vante Phillips led the receivers with 4 receptions for 51 yards.  Fans will remember Phillips hurdling two Armwood defenders on a 41 yard pass reception. Donte Thompson, Marquis Couch, Fred Jones and Javonte McLeod led the team in tackles and spent most of the afternoon in Armwood’s backfield.  While Booker T. Washington will finish as the nation’s number 1 team, the Rockets deserve to be rated no less than #2.


Dalvin Cook answers questions from reporters

Dalvin Cook answers questions from reporters


For these running backs, it was a touching moment two weeks ago when Dalvin Cook sat next to the training table with teammate Joseph Yearby during halftime of his team’s game against Palm Bay Heritage at Traz Powell Stadium in Miami.  The team had gone to the locker room but Cook remained by Yearby’s side as we knew then and now that the latter had a broken leg.  Cook remained with Yearby until his injured friend was transported out of the stadium to the hospital.  


On this day, with crutches and in excellent spirits, Miami recruit, Yearby led the team for the celebratory end-of-game handshake and received the loudest applause on the medal stand.  Cook, on the other hand, was bombarded by over 30 members of the media regarding his recruiting.  Based on his comments and the views of many, there are divergent opinions of where he may go.  This, in particular, applies to local and national media.  When asked yesterday on twitter, I thought FSU had the edge but I feel differently today. Recruiting is a fluid process and wherever this young man decides to attend we wish him good luck.




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