Miami Central Rockets 48 Minutes Away from First State Football Title

Watching high school sports is a lesson in physics. On fields, courts, and diamonds, the potential energy of shy teenagers explodes into the kinetic prowess of emerging stars.

Tomorrow night in Orlando, the Miami Central Rockets will attempt to convert their Liberty City dreams into the school's first ever state football title. For some, their momentum will carry them into college careers, even the pros. For others, Saturday is a last chance at sports glory.

Miami Central will have its hands full against Orlando Dr. Phillips, who will essentially be playing at home when the two teams kick off at 7 p.m.

The Rockets have won 13 straight since a last-gasp opening game loss to Camden County (GA) Wildcats back in early September. Along the way, quarterback Rakeem Cato and running back Devonta Freeman have had stand-out seasons. Cato has thrown for 2,792 yards and 28 touchdowns this year. Freeman has run for 1,900 yards and 26 TDs, including 354 yards and three TDs in last weekend's win over Cypress Bay.

But Dr. Phillips boasts one of the most remarkable athletes in the country in tailback Demetrius Hart. The Michigan commit has dashed for 2,185 yards and 41 touchdowns. Hart has also caught 31 passes for 563 yards and seven TDs and returned two kickoffs to the house. That's a half century of trips to the endzone.

Central has had serious problems stopping talented runners this year, first against Camden and again last week against Cypress Bay.

It's too late for Riptide to change our pick, however. We're sticking with Central 35-28 over Dr. Phillips. Game Saturday night at 7 at Orlando's Citrus Bowl.

Here's to hoping the trophy returns to Miami in time for the holidays.

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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.