Central got a good warm-up Friday night for one of the toughest starts to a season in Miami-Dade County history.
The Rockets, who will enter the season ranked No. 1 nationally by USA Today, rallied from an early deficit to beat Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer 15-7 at Traz Powell Stadium.
Central will open the regular season next Friday at Grayson (GA), ranked 6th nationally, and face No. 9 Booker T., and No.3 Bradenton Manatee the following two weeks.
“It gives our kids motivation to try and take the next step,” Central coach Telly Lockette said. “I think we’ve got a big challenge ahead.”
Central running back Joseph Yearby scored on a 15-yard touchdown run out of a Wildcat formation in the third quarter to give the Rockets their first lead. Kicker Emilio Nadelman went 3 for 3 on field goals and averaged over 40 yards a punt, but had one extra point blocked.
Central fell behind 7-0 after Dwyer scored on its first drive.
But the Rockets’ defense forced four Dwyer turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles) from that point on.
Andre C. Fernandez
• Pace 30, Barrington Christian 6: Garrett Jones rushed for 114 yards on nine carries and scored a pair of touchdowns to lead Monsignor Pace at home.
Pace led 7-0 at halftime but, after the Spartans recovered a Barrington fumble on the second-half kickoff, Jones scampered 20 yards for a touchdown to stake the Spartans to a 13-0 lead. Jones scored his second touchdown late in the third quarter on a 23-yard run in which he broke five tackles.
• Hallandale 28, Blanche Ely 14: After leading 7-0 at the half, freshman Deion Jackson’s interception of 85-yards gave the Chargers a 14-0 lead. Ely countered on the ensuing kickoff as Rashard Robinson returned the kickoff 96-yards to the end zone to cut the Tiger’s deficit to 14-6 midway in the third quarter.
With the Tigers backed up inside its own 10-yard line, Jackson picked off his second pass and returned it 26-yards for the deciding touchdown for the visiting Chargers.
• Jackson 13, Coral Gables 0 (postponed): Miami Jackson and Coral Gables only played 19 minutes before the game was stopped because of thunder at Coral Gables Senior High.
• Taravella 31, Chaminade 26: Special teams made all types of special plays as the Trojans prevailed against the visiting Lions.
Taravella’s Robert Miller blocked Chaminade’s extra-point kick to keep the Trojans ahead 21-20 early in the third quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Jawanza Evans-Morris returned it 86 yards for a 1st-and-goal.
Quarterback Lorenzo Jerome scored on the following play.
On the ensuing kickoff, Chaminade’s Calvin Ridley went 90 yards on the return for a touchdown, closing the gap to 28-26.
• Miramar 28, McArthur 0: The Patriots defeated the Mustangs in front of a crowd of about 400 in a penalty-heavy preseason matchup at Miramar.
It was Miramar junior quarterback Nick Jeanty’s debut who transferred from Archbishop McCarthy. He finished the night 11 for 19 for 124 yards and one touchdown.
• North Miami 28, Edison 6: The Pioneers jumped out to a three-touchdown halftime lead in a preseason meeting with the Red Raiders Friday at Curtis Park.
North Miami’s Charles Romane scored four touchdowns, including a 35-yard scamper to seal the deal in the fourth quarter. His 16 carries went for 89 yards.
MORE PRESEASON FOOTBALL
• Dade Christian 24 Sebring 14: QB Gary Sampson went 5 for 8 for 105 yds, had 17 rushes for 128 yards and scored 3 TDs
• Champagnat 40, Pembroke Pines Charter 0.
• Cavalry Christian 14, Florida Christian 9: Nguyen and Fifelski scored in the second and fourth quarters to clinch the victory over the Patriots
• Late Thursday — Coral Springs 31, West Broward 28: West Broward’s Keenan Thompson and Derek Victory picked up over 200 receiving yards each, but it wasn’t enough to secure a win over Coral Springs on Thursday.