USchool vs Miami Central
Two defending state champions will face off Saturday night in a rare late-season battle with really nothing at stake other than some serious braggadocio, as Fort Lauderdale University School travels south to take on Miami Central.
In the USA Today Super 25 high school football rankings, Central sits No. 4, while USchool is ranked No. 24, falling out of the top 15 after a loss to Bradenton Manatee.
“It’s just getting us ready and preparing us for what’s going to come in the playoffs,” USchool leading receiver Sam Bruce said. “It’s a big game, gonna be a great game, a game everybody has been waiting on. We plan on going down there and getting a win and bringing it back to Fort Lauderdale.”
There are plenty of friends on the opposing side and the chatter will be frequent, but once it’s kickoff time, it’s on.
“Oh man there will definitely be a lot of trash talk going throughout the whole game,” Bruce said, “but that’s what we’re going down there for. We’re going down there to win and have fun, but winning is most important ... I’ll have fun after the game.”
It’s just another in a long season of tough opponents both coaches Roger Harriott of USchool and Roland Smith of Central have put their teams up against. Central, with featured running backs Dalvin Cook and Joseph Yearby, has logged several impressive wins, but was upended by Miami Booker T. Washington, USA Today's No. 1-ranked team, earlier in the season.
The 7-1 Rockets open defense of their Class 6A title next week against Boynton Beach.
USchool also has just one loss, talking it on the chin three weeks ago at Bradenton Manatee. The Suns let a 21-0 lead evaporate as they lost for the first time in 19 games.
“We’re still a little upset from that loss we took at Manatee,” he said. “We still want everybody to know that University School is that deal. We just want to let the world know we’re here still.”
USchool, the defending Class 3A state champion, which also won the Class 2A state title in 2010, has moved up to Class 4A this season, so the Road to Orlando will be a even more difficult for the Suns, with teams like Booker T. and Cocoa standing in the way in the South half of the bracket.
USchool, which is led by quarterback Sean White and defensive stars Richard Yeargin and Quincy Wilson, opens the playoffs at home against Miami Gulliver Prep and a win in that game and a Booker T. win over Belle Glade Glades Central will set up a second-round showdown that many will consider to be the real state title game.
“We’re looking forward to it. We start off with a big game against Gulliver Prep and then definitely the big show that everybody wants to see is with us and Booker T.,” Bruce said.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting, Instagram at os_recruiting and on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.