Opening up their 2020 campaigns, Friday night’s contest between Miami Northwestern and Miami Central was undoubtedly must-watch football.
Tied at 14 entering the half, both teams traded shots at each other, with Northwestern striking on the first two possessions of the game, thanks to the likes of a Romello Brinson receiving touchdown and Patrick Payton scoop and score. That was until sophomore quarterback Keyone Jenkins delivered two consecutive passing scores for Central to even up the game.
The Bulls ultimately got the final saying, as senior running back Siddiq Jackson broke loose for a 46-yard touchdown that notched a 21-14 lead. Northwestern’s defensive front did the job at the end, recording four sacks in the final period to limit the Rockets’ firepower and pick up win No. 1 of the season.
Here’s some notable observations from the Bulls’ rivalry win:
Northwestern’s defense superior against Central: From the start, the Bulls simply provided a presence on the front five and secondary that the Rockets struggled to outmatch. It all began with a fumble recovery touchdown by senior outside linebacker Pat Payton and continued with an interception by Miami commit Kamren Kinchens.
Even without senior linebacker and West Virginia commit Ja’Corey Hammett, who hurt his knee cap early in the first half, the Bulls managed to total 10 sacks, featuring at least 2.5 from Payton. Alongside the Nebraska commit, senior inside linebacker and FIU commit Amahri McCray and senior Timothy Bostic, among others, offered great pressure against Central’s offensive line.
Brinson is a difference maker: A verbal commit to the University of Miami, the 6-foot-2 senior wide receiver did more than catch passes in Friday’s win. With many teammates dealing with cramps and fatigue, Brinson lined up at cornerback, doing a well-done job. In fact, he picked up the game-sealing tackle on a 4th and 10 with under 30 seconds to play.
On the receiving end, Brinson had 3 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown, making himself felt at all times.
Feeding Amari Daniels is a recipe to success: Although he didn’t score for Central, the senior running back was effective and wreaked havoc when given the ball. However, the Rockets were forced to limit his touches, primarily due to time management late in the game and a rush to get the ball moving through the air. When given the ball late in the game, he rushed for 73-yards to put his squad in the red-zone. He never touched the ball again for that drive and the next one, leading to zero points for Central.
Heading into their upcoming game against Miami Edison, expect the Rockets to target Daniels, a four-star prospect, a bit more than usual.