Miami Central cruises past Lake Minneola to win 6A State Championship
Photo Credit: Miami Herald
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA— An unusual season for Miami Central ended in a familiar fashion. The Rockets, who are arguably the best high school football program in the state of Florida, made it back to the 6A State Championship after winning it last year. However, the team they would face isn’t so used to being in the state finals. The Lake Minneola Hawks were set to play in the school’s first state championship, and they had to battle in multiple overtimes in the semifinals to get there. But in order to win state championships, you need experience, and it’s safe to say Miami Central used that in their favor.
Miami Central showed their dominance right from the start of the game, as the speedy defense forced a three and out. But the Lake Minneola defense answered, as cornerback Kyeaure Magloire intercepted a pass and returned it to their own 40-yard line. However, the Hawks couldn’t take advantage, and were forced to punt.
The Rockets weren’t phased, as running back Amari Daniels broke free for a long run all the way to the Lake Minneola 30-yard line. Quarterback, Keywone Jenkins then found Zaylan Reese for a 20-yard touchdown (PAT no good). After another Lake Minneola forced punt, the Rockets continued to march down the field all the way to the Lake Minneola 24-yard line. Jenkins then capped off the drive with a touchdown pass to Robert McMinn to make the score 12-0 (2-point conversion no good).
The Miami Central defense came up big once again, stopping the Hawks on 3rd and 1 to force a 4th down punt. The Rockets went back to the run game, and Amari Daniels and Ghana Oho led Miami Central all the way to the Lake Minneola 10-yard line. Amari Daniels ended the quarter for an untouched 10-yard touchdown run (2-point conversion no good). Miami Central had an 18-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Lake Minneola started the second quarter with some offensive momentum. Quarterback, Robbie Sanders, ran for a first down to their own 38, and on the next play, Sanders completed a deep pass to JoJo Smiley to the Miami Central 44-yard line. However, the Rockets defense stayed true to themselves, and forced the Hawks to turn the ball over.
Daniels and Oho picked up where they left off for Miami Central, as the two speedy running backs led the Rockets to the Lake Minneola 8-yard line. Keywone Jenkins then found Yulkeith Brown wide-open in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown (2-point conversion no good). On the Rockets’ next possession, Amari Daniels, who is committed to Texas A&M, continued to dominate, as he ran for a 42-yard gain all the way to the Lake Minneola 20-yard line. Ghana Oho did the rest, as he ran 6 yards into the end zone to make the score 32-0 (2-point conversion good). When the clock ran out in the second quarter, Miami Central had a 32-0 lead at halftime.
Miami Central continued to execute to start the second half, as Keywone Brown found Robert McMinn for a deep pass down at the Lake Minneola 15-yard line. Daniels then led the Rockets to the Hawks’ 5-yard line, and he also capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown to make the score 40-0 (2-point conversion good).
Lake Minneola was met with even more adversity midway through the third quarter, as their starting quarterback, Robbie Sanders, was forced to leave the game due to a knee injury. Isaiah Shannon came in, and the Rockets’ defense took advantage of the situation with an interception at their own 14-yard line. Miami Central had a 40-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Most of the starters exited the game for Miami Central to start the fourth quarter, but the Rockets continued to dominate. Quarterback, Dylan Tulloch, found Lamar Seymore in the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown to make the score 46-0 (2-point conversion no good). After the Rockets stopped Lake Minneola and turned the ball over, they ran the clock out, and won the 6A State Championship 46-0.
Miami Central ends their season with a record of 8-1, and will remain not only one of the top teams in the state of Florida, but the entire country. Lake Minneola will end their best season in school history at 11-2.