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Miami Central wins Round 1; Miami Northwestern hoping for rematch

FootballCato CorporationChicago BullsTampa Bay Buccaneers

For high school football fans in Miami-Dade County, there are two huge games each year. The first is the regular season meeting between Miami Central and Northwestern. The second meeting is in the second round of the playoffs when the two teams usually get together.

Round 1 this year goes to Central, and while Northwestern quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and his teammates are looking forward to the rematch, unbeaten Christopher Columbus still may have something to say about that!

On Friday night, FSU-bound senior running back Devonta Freeman ran for 226 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns as the Rockets knocked off No. 1 Northwestern in a thrilling 25-22 District 13-6A matchups at FIU Stadium.

The game, which many called the "6A state championship game" had four lead changes in the fourth quarter and provided plenty of action for the 11,000 fans on hand.

With Central leading 10-6 at the start of the fourth quarter, a game that had been a defensive struggle turned into a shootout thanks largely to Bridgewater, who completed 22 of 40 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown and ran for two touchdowns.

Bridgewater's 5-yard touchdown run with 11:19 left had given the Bulls a 12-10 lead. He followed it up with a two-point conversion pass to Dominique Rhymes to give the Bulls a 14-10 lead.

But Central quarterback Rakeem Cato, who completed 16 of 28 passes for 173 yards, playing on the same field he will compete at in the next level, led the Rockets back down the field. Cato connected with Charles Gaines on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 8:53 left to give Central a 17-14 lead.

Bridgewater brought the Bulls back on an eight-play, 80-yard drive capped by his 12-yard touchdown run with 5:13 remaining. Bridgewater then connected with Rhymes again, who caught a deflected pass as he was falling in the back of the end zone.

Trailing 22-17, Cato engineered the 11-play, 71-yard go-ahead drive. After Freeman's go-ahead score, Cato ran in the two-point conversion, leaving the Bulls down 25-22 and Bridgewater with 69 seconds left to attempt his own comeback.

"This is what these games are like," Bridgewater said. "The last team with the ball wins. Has always been that way!"

As thrilling as the Central-Northwestern game was, Miami-Dade had some other quality matchups in Week 6:

 

  • COLUMBUS 37, CORAL GABLES 0: Even though the Explorers ran their record to 5-0, there are many skeptics waiting out there to say, "I told you so," next week when they meet Northwestern.Dominating the first five opponents of the season, and drawing praise from all their opponents, a majority of a football fans in South Florida are giving this team absolutely no chance of beating Northwestern. That could be a big mistake!Running back Collin Alford had two rushing touchdowns, and Deon Bush returned an interception 42 yards for a score. Senior quarterback Wes Keller started the game, but Garrett Fortner had several snaps as well, including a 6-yard quarterback sneak.
  • HIALEAH 23, MIAMI BEACH 8: Junior quarterback Gerry Vanderkuyp scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and junior defense back Sony Sanon recovered a backward pass and ran 10 yards for a touchdown for the T-Breds. Vanderkuyp completed 11 of 15 passes for 119 yards and one interception.Miami Beach senior linebacker Milton Hannah picked off backup quarterback Juan Soto and scampered for a 25-yard touchdown return in the third quarter. Senior running back Jordan Adams then scored on the two-point conversion.
  • DADE CHRISTIAN 42, FLORIDA CHRISTIAND 14: Junior quarterback Bilal Marshall completed 13 of 15 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown. Terrance Alls caught eight of those passes for 144 yards. On defense, Sterling Mack finished the game with seven total tackles, including two for loss.
  • SOUTH DADE 21, PALMETTO 14: Just when the Panthers appeared to hold an edge when Anthony Brown returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, the Buccaneers (4-1) responded on the next drive as quarterback Jovani McCray connected with Demetrius Stimphil on a short slant route before Stimphil burst free to reach the end zone. It was all this team needed.Antwan Eddie came up with a pair of interceptions for the Buccaneers and the defense held the Panthers to just 19 yards on the ground..
  • JACKSON 44, EDISON 0: After watching 6A Apopka run up and down the field on them the week before, it was time for the Generals to get back to basics and play solid defense as they forced six fumbles and an interception while giving up only 27 total yards and two first downs, both on penalties.Junior quarterback Abe Coleman led the way with a 1-yard quarterback sneak. He then came back with an 82-yard completion as Coleman connected with junior wide receiver Willie Quinn. Senior running back Robenson Therezie ran in a 3-yard touchdown.
  • BOOKER T. WASHINGTON 42, KEY WEST 13: Before the meeting with the Conchs (4-1), many wanted to know how the Tornadoes would respond after a one-point loss to Northwestern. The answer came early and often!Senior quarterback Jeremiah Hay threw for 276 yards on 23 attempts with three touchdowns, and the defense came alive as defensive back Scotty McClary blocked a punt and ran it back for a 27-yard touchdown.
  • BELEN JESUIT 47, MATER ACADEMY 7: Things happened so fast in this game, the Wolverines were up 35-0 at the end of the first quarter and had only 15 yards of offense.Xavier Hines had an 8-yard interception return for a touchdown and Michael Ugarte had a 12-yard punt return to put the 5-1 Wolverines up 14-0. The Belen defense didn't give up any points until Vladimir Joseph had a 60-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.The game marked the return of junior running back Imani Davis, who had been injured in pre season.
  • NORTH MIAMI BEACH 28, CAROL CITY 20: Senior quarterback Ritchy Desir accounted for three touchdowns in a key district game.Desir finished with 139 passing yards and 62 rushing yards as NMB moved to 4-2 while the Chiefs, who were picked to win the district, fell out of the race at 0-5. Curry O'Meally returned a kickoff 66 yards for the Chargers.
  • SOUTHRIDGE 13, HOMESTEAD 0: Through the first four games of the season, senior Desmond Hollin and the Spartans defensive line didn't get the respect they felt they deserved. This week, things were different.Southridge allowed only 62 total yards and forced three turnovers as it stayed alive in the district race against the Broncos.Ole Miss bound senior defensive back Andrew Johnson returned a punt for a score – a 70-yarder in the second half that put the game out of reach.Johnson's fellow senior and Mississippi commit Gerod Holliman came up with his county-leading 6th interception. Holliman has returned two of them for touchdowns, along with a kickoff, and Johnson has eight all-purpose touchdowns, including returning two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns.
  • DR. KROP 14, AMERICAN 6: At the start of the season, head coach David Hudson was asked if his team had the chance to make the playoffs again this season. After beating the Patriots, his answer may now be yes.The Lightning moved to 4-1, playing the first half without starting running back Brandon Eldemire, but managed to hang on to win a key district game.Senior quarterback Gavin Block connected with talented junior Johnnie Durante on a 13-yard touchdown pass.
  • SOUTHWEST MIAMI 14, SUNSET 7: It was a battle of two teams that had failed to win a game in 2010. By the end of the district matchup, the Eagles used a 26-yard pass play from Andrew Rodriguez to Alain Anton with :32 seconds left for the win.Rodriguez completed three of four passes on the final drive and ran for two third-down conversions. He finished 16 of 25 for 152 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Andres Caro scored the first points of the game on a 65-yard return on the opening kickoff of the second half.
  • MIAMI HIGH 26, SOUTH MIAMI 3: The Stingarees moved to 3-3 as Andre O'Neal carried the ball 18 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns. Bruno Jean passed for 88 yards and a touchdown.Miami High's defense also was a huge player in the win. Oscar Jimenez recovered two fumbles and recorded a sack.
  • CORAL PARK 47, RONALD REAGAN 7: Don't look now, but the Rams are 5-0, and they can thank senior quarterback Sterlin Darling, who ran 57 yards for a score and added 99 yards through the air.Quincy Holliday rushed for 62 yards on eight carries while teammate Ariel Caballero accumulated 85 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries.
  • HIALEAH MIAMI LAKES 27, MIAMI SPRINGS 20: Senior Deandre Martin (137) and junior Hakeem Lawrence (136) came up big on offense for the Trojans (4-2) in a key district game.Martin's total yards came through 19 carries, while Lawrence only rushed the ball six times, though his total was inflated by a 80-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game and another 42-yard scamper late.Brandon Diaz got Miami Springs on the board when he scooped up a fumble and returned it 40 yards.
  • CORAL REEF 48, KILLIAN 7: Senior quarterback Matthias Karmmar's 17-of-23 passing for 314 yards and two touchdowns.Karmmar hit Vernon Davis with a 51-yard strike on the Barracudas' second possession, as Karmmar completed seven of his first eight attempts. David Padgett contributed with two field goals of 27 and 38 yards in the homecoming victory for the 3-2 Barracudas.
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