Miami Central Clashes with Carol City Tonight in Battle of the Freemans

If you're looking for Florida's most exciting, high-octane offense, forget the Hurricanes, Gators, and Seminoles. And you sure as hell better skip the Dolphins.

The most electrifying show in the sunshine state is none other than Miami Central Senior High School. The Rockets have averaged over 50 points per game so far this season.

That's unlikely to change much when Central (3-1) takes on the Carol City Chiefs (0-3) at 7:30 tonight at Traz Powell Stadium.

Although Central is strongly favored, the game probably won't be a blowout like last week's mauling of Miami Springs 70-0. Carol City came into the season as contenders for the District 12 title, but has dropped all three games so far, including a competitive 40-18 loss to powerhouse Northwestern and last week's backyard brawl of a defeat to North Miami, 12-8.

Central comes in on a hot streak, winning its last three after a heartbreaking loss away to Camden County, Georgia to open the season.

An interesting subtext to tonight's game is the duel at running back: Carol City's Ernest Freeman vs. Central's Devonta Freeman (they are unrelated). Both players are workhorses. Both are 5'11" and just under 200 pounds. And both have worked like hell to bulk-up for the season.

Over the summer, Devonta Freeman would often sprint the eight blocks from his house in Brownsville to Miami Jackson High School late at night after football practice. There, he would hop the fence and run through another set of drills entirely his own: sprints around the empty track, push-ups, and agility drills in the sand pit. Then he'd run the eight blocks back, often arriving home well after midnight.

"I know I got better," he says. "Now I just want to show all my fans."

Ernest Freeman is equally masochistic. A knee injury last year forced him to spend most of the season in the weight room. He now benches 280 to go along with his 4.51 40-yard-dash, the Herald reports.

But Carol City just doesn't boast the same type of double-barreled offense as Central. Even if Devonta Freeman has an off-night, the Rockets are likely to near a half-century in points thanks to their deadly-accurate quarterback, Rakeem Cato, and handful of top wide receivers. Central has so many of them, in fact, that one of their best -- senior Durell Eskridge -- has been playing corner and punt-returner.

Riptide predicts Central's defense to bend but not break against the Chief's running game, with the Rockets coming out on-top tonight 42-21.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.