- Faith & Family
The Central Rockets defeated the Columbus Explorers 28-17 last Friday night in a ground game powerhouse battle at Traz Powell.
Both Columbus (3-2) and Central’s passing game struggled; both teams finished with less than 90 yards and were left to rely on their run game.
It would be to Central’s advantage with fresh legs coming off of a bi-week and with the explosive tandem of junior running backs Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook-who were integral to Centrals comeback victory against Booker T. and combined for 251 yards against Columbus.
Both teams were scoreless in the first quarter, but Cook and Yearby each ran for a touchdown during the second to give Central a 14-0 lead. Columbus who never made it to the end zone during the first half finished the quarter on a 37-yard field goal by senior kicker, Matt Freixa. However the momentum did not swing as the Central defense forced a fumble that led to a touchdown by senior defensive linebacker De’Vante Duclos in the third quarter stretching the lead to 21-3. Columbus fought back at the hands of their senior running backs, Lorenzo Woodley and Daryl Chestnut who combined for 157 yards, including a late touchdown by Chestnut in the fourth, but it would be to no avail.
Cook scored again giving Central (2-2) an insurmountable edge.
“We are just starting to gel,” Central head coach, Telly Lockette said. “The boys should be commended for their effort, but we’re still grinding.” Both Lockette and Cook commended Columbus for their aggressive play. “I had a smile on my face during the game,” Cook said, “[but] they wore the defense down.”
“Their running game is incredible,” Lockette added. “It wore us down; we got tired.”
Central has been off to an unusually slow start with two losses early in the season, but they have faced three nationally top ten nationally ranked teams.
Lockette said that his team did a lot of soul searching during their off week that helped them against Columbus.
“We try to get ready for the unknown and unseen,” Lockette said. “We got back to the basics.”
Central faces district rival Homestead Friday night October 5th at Traz Powell at 7:30 p.m.
By Akilah Laster
Miami Times writer