It was unfortunate for Coral Reef that it had to face Central after the Rockets lost to Booker T. Washington in last week’s battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the nation.
Behind three touchdown runs from Dalvin Cook, Central pummeled Coral Reef 49-0 Thursday night at Traz Powell Stadium in a game where it appeared the Rockets let out some built-up frustration .
Before any of his touchdown scampers occurred, Cook found the end zone three other times — two on runs and one on a punt return — in the first quarter, but they were all called back on penalties. His three official touchdown runs came from 21, 67 and 37 yards out. He finished with nine carries for 162 yards on a night where his future college coach, Florida’s Will Muschamp, was on the sideline watching.
Knowing Muschamp was on the field certainly played into Cook’s mindset.
“I felt his presence tonight,” Cook said. “Coach Muschamp came by to see me play, and I gave him what he wanted.”
Once Coral Reef (2-1) keyed in on stopping the running game, Central quarterback Keith Reed was able to gain yardage through the air, finding Tavius Brown and Da’Vante Phillips for touchdown passes and later running in a one-yard sneak that was set up by a 63-yard pass to Brown.
Despite the touchdown callbacks, Central led 42-0 at halftime and most of the second half was played with a running clock.
“We did a good job of attacking and taking away what they were giving us with the running game,” Central coach Roland Smith said. “Then we had some looks and matchups when they came out with no safety, so we took advantage of the one-on-one matchups we had outside. We played good Rocket football and defense tonight.”
Cook’s counterpart in the Rocket backfield, University of Miami recruit Joseph Yearby, was not to be outdone. Yearby had a 37-yard touchdown of his own and finished with 14 carries for 149 yards.
“We got the two-headed monster, like we say,” Cook said. “We just work.”
Central (2-1) will now make its way up to New Jersey to face storied football powerhouse Don Bosco Prep on Saturday, Sept. 21 as the Rockets’ gauntlet of a schedule continues.
“We want to represent Dade County and the whole South Florida area next week,” Smith said.