- Faith & Family
It’s been a banner year for local high school football here in Miami-Dade County. Of course, not all roads have lead to victory at the “big dance.” Columbus’s dreams of capturing a state title ended last Friday night in a tight Class 8A semi-final matchup against nationally-ranked and undefeated Miramar, 14-6. It was a game in which Columbus’s offense was held to a mere 90 yards while Miramar’s senior quarterback Cameron Hudge threw for 244 yards on 22 of 25 passes. Columbus ended the season with an 11-3 record, making it to the state semi-final game for the first time since 1982.
Norland advanced to the Class 5A state final game which takes place in the Citrus Bowl on Friday, Dec. 16 in a 1 p.m. match between Crawfordville Wakulla. It was Norland’s super tailback Duke Johnson who made the difference in their dramatic 35-27 come-from-behind victory. At one point Norland was down 20-0 but when the dust settled, Johnson had run for 375 yards on 27 carries, scored three touchdowns and even played defense late in the fourth quarter. Johnson says he never worried about the score, even when his team was trailing and remarked that he “could have played all night.”
Finally, an estimated 6,000 fans went wild as the clock ran out with Central leading Daytona Mainland, 17-7. Fans and players are hoping it will be a repeat performance for Lockette’s Rockets as they seek to win their second straight Class 6A state title. But it won’t be easy. Central, ranked No. 2 in Class 6A will play Seffner Armwood, ranked No. 1 in the Orlando Citrus Bowl this coming Saturday, Dec. 17.
Sophomore running back Joseph Yearby ran for a game-high 160 yards had two touchdowns, carried the ball 25 times and even scorched the defense with a 77-yard touchdown run at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Lockette’s players turned the water cooler on their coach at the end of the game and it was high-fives and hugs for everyone.
“We’re going back to the big dance,” Lockette said with a smile.
By D. Kevin McNeir