Miami Central Conquers Miami Springs 70-0 in Cato's Revenge

In ancient Rome, Cato was a farmer whose skill on the battlefield caught the eye of the emperor. He was called to the capital and became a powerful politician.

Local quarterback Rakeem Cato played three seasons at Miami Springs, where his record-breaking passing skills attracted attention from college scouts.

Last night, Cato the QB played against Miami Springs for the first time since transferring to powerhouse Miami Central. The Rockets rolled 70-0.

"I got a statement out tonight," he said after a Caesar-like performance.

While not the truest test of Central's mettle, the game was a sign that the Rockets are back on track. The win at Traz Powell Stadium was their third in a row since a painful last-second loss to Camden County, Georgia in their season opener.

Cato threw for three touchdowns and roughly 130 yards, while also breaking out for several long runs. The quarterback decided to leave Miami Springs after a humiliating loss to end last year's season.

"No one else was showing any character," Cato told Riptide earlier this season about his transfer. "One man can't play football by himself. It takes a group effort."

He certainly got a group effort from his new Central teammates tonight.

Running back Devonta Freeman had a solid game, despite playing few minutes. He carried the ball three times for 70 yards and two touchdown.

The real star of the night, however, was Durell Eskridge. The senior wide receiver caught a slant pass for a 60-yard touchdown and later ran a punt back 85 yards for another. He even broke up several passes playing corner.

"Durell had a break-out night," said head coach Telly Lockette after the game. "Honestly, I didn't even know he was that fast."

Miami Springs looked hapless without Cato and fellow transfer Tommy Shuler, who also got in on the revenge by returning a punt 55 yards for a touchdown against his former team.

Like the Carthaginians before them, Miami Springs was soundly routed on Thursday night. Just when they looked capable of finally scoring in the game's dying minutes, Central defensive lineman Toree Boyd ran a fumble 50 yards for the Rockets tenth and final touchdown.

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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.