To say the least, I was far more impressed with Miami Central’s performance Friday against Palmetto (FL.). For a chance to compete in Tallahassee, FL for their second consecutive Class 6A state championship, the Rockets came out aggressive early and ultimately ran away with a 47-20 victory.
During their blowout efforts, Central showcased something they didn’t really utilize in their season-opener versus Miami Northwestern. Everybody knows the capabilities of their rushing attack, headlined by Texas A&M commit Amari Daniels. Every game is a show for Daniels, added alongside fellow Aggies commit Yulkeith Brown, a legitimate threat at any given position.
Central’s win over Palmetto displayed more than that, and open the eyes to many – including myself – that this team has a special quarterback at their services.
Sophomore signal-caller Keyone Jenkins was at his best Friday at Traz Powell Stadium, completing 16 of his 23 passes for 366 yards and five touchdowns. Jenkins, a Miami Carol City transfer, added a scrambling score off a read-option play as well.
From his decision-making to his awareness to target a number of his receivers – Brown, Robert McMinn, Trent Henry, Zaylan Reese – Jenkins seems to be much more comfortable and accustomed to playing at a high stage.
Central was run by dual-threat quarterback Katravis Marsh last season, who led them to a 12-3 record and the Class 6A title. Now at UAB, the keys to the offense were handed off to Jenkins, and he’s making his magic work.
Along with Jenkins’ superb performance, here are some other takeaways from Central’s win.
1. Central’s LB duo of Terrence Lewis and Wesley Bissainthe is top-notch.
The 1-2 punch of Lewis and Bissainthe daunted Tigers quarterback Josh Siplin all night, holding him and his squad to just 20 points. Bissainthe was more aggressive early on, getting to Siplin and his tailbacks on multiple occasions. Then came Lewis, who always kept an eye out and was able to garner a plethora of tackles, including a crucial one on fourth down.
Both linebackers lived up to their expectation Friday.
2. Yulkeith Brown is intriguing to watch.
Specifically lined up at wide receiver versus the Tigers, Brown was stellar at creating his own space, which led to his two touchdowns. He seems to be one step ahead of his defenders, putting himself in the right position to make a play.
Brown’s essentials helped Central put points on the points early and expand their lead later on in the game.
3. There’s no overlooking this team: Central is legit.
Now in a position to take on Lake Minneola (FL.) this upcoming Friday, the Rockets will have an opportunity to notch its seventh state title in program history. That would tie them with Miami Northwestern for the most accounted for in Miami-Dade county.
A chance to make program history will be something coach Roland Smith and his group take seriously heading into the game. Expect another noteworthy game from the Rockets as they close out its 2020 campaign.