Homestead’s long snapper wasn’t quite long enough, and an early Broncos gamble backfired.
Central took advantage of those situations and cruised to a 38-20 victory over Homestead on Friday night at Harris Field.
The Rockets, who played a brutal early season schedule, improved to 3-2. Homestead fell to 4-1.
Homestead scored on its first possession, capping a seven-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Johnny Hankins.
The Broncos were looking to build on that lead when they tried to convert a fourth-and-1 from the Central 45. But Hankins was tackled for a 10-yard loss.
Central capitalized with a five-play, 45-yard touchdown. Keron Bell capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run around right end.
The 7-7 tie was snapped after Homestead’s first special-teams mistake. A low snap on a punt attempt resulted in Central gaining possession at the Broncos’ 5.
Central lost yardage on second and third downs but gambled on fourth-and-5 with a run around left end. Joseph Yearby made the gamble look good, outracing Homestead to the corner.
A 70-yard run by Central’s Dalvin Cook was wiped out by a holding penalty, but the Rockets kept coming. Central’s third touchdown was also set up by a bad snap, which resulted in a hurried 8-yard punt by Uriel Hernandez.
The Rockets turned that short field into a 9-yard touchdown run by Cook.
And a field goal just before halftime gave Central a dominating 24-7 lead at the half.
The teams traded two touchdowns each in the second half, but the Rockets, who went to their reserves in the fourth quarter, were never seriously threatened.
• Trinity Catholic 28, Pace 14: The Spartans made the five-plus-hour trek to Ocala to take on the 2010 Class 2B state champion Celtics and found the going rough as Trinity Catholic won.
Usually reliant on its speed and a needing good field conditions for its fast-paced offense, Pace instead, thanks to days of heavy rain, got treated to a near mudfest as field conditions were extremely sloppy.
Down 17-0 late in the third quarter, the Spartans (2-3) made a game of things when, following a blocked punt deep in TC territory, Kelly Benson found Guy Lemonier for a 14-yard touchdown to make it 17-7.
Just four minutes later, the Pace punt block team came through again when the Celtics punter couldn’t handle the snap in his own end zone, Lemonier fell on the loose ball for a touchdown and it was 17-14 with 9:34 left in the game.
• Goleman 28, Miami Springs 7: Goleman used a bruising running game to push Miami Springs around at Milander Park.
The Gators (2-4, 1-0 16-7A) ran for 237 yards in a ball-control offense that limited Miami Springs (1-4, 0-1) to nine plays in the first half.
Jeremiah Oyetunji had 105 yards on 18 carries, and O’Bryan Anderson ran for 98 on eight carries.