Dameon Jones is never shy about sharing his big-picture plans for a season at Chaminade-Madonna. The coach is going to test the Lions with one of the most rigorous schedules in Florida, even if it means suffering losses early in the season and slipping in playoff positioning.
The idea is to have Chaminade-Madonna ready for days like Friday and all the games which follow. Central made the trip up to Hollywood from Miami to wrap up its regular season with a tune-up between state-championship contenders, and the Lions walked off Vince Zappone Field with one of their most impressive wins of the season — a 27-7 dismantling of the Rockets at Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School.
“It’s a big win for us,” Jones said.
The Lions (7-2) shut out Central (8-2) for the final 35:52. Star back Thad Franklin ran wild against the Rockets, piling up 182 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Star specialist Andres Borregales hit a pair of field goals from 50 yards or longer and made all three of his extra points.
Coming off a shutout loss in Vero Beach, Chaminade-Madonna handled Central in every phase in the penultimate game of the regular season.
“We didn’t worry too much about them,” said Franklin, who is orally committed to the Miami Hurricanes in the Class of 2021. “We just like focused on us.”
The Lions finally got to send their offense on to the field after nearly nine minutes of waiting. The Rockets possessed the ball until 3:04 remained in the first quarter, running 16 offensive plays — because of a muffed punt —before Chaminade-Madonna finally took over following a partially blocked field goal.
The Lions’ drive began at their own 20-yard line. Franklin immediately flipped the field.
A four-star running back in the 247Sports.com composite rankings, Franklin ripped off a 34-yard run to push Chaminade-Madonna out toward midfield. The drive stalled just on the other side of the 50-yard line, but there was never a question of what Jones would do. Borregales, also committed to Miami’s 2021 recruiting class, trotted out to the field for a 56-yard field goal.
He drilled it. The Lions took an early 3-0 lead.
“He’s tremendous,” Jones said, “and I use every ounce of him.”
The three-star kicker hit another from 50 yards in the third quarter to push Chaminade-Madonna’s lead out to 20-7.
Central’s only lead came on the first play of the second quarter, when quarterback Katravis Marsh, who is orally committed to the Utah Utes in the Class of 2020, ran in a touchdown from 7 yards out.
The 7-3 lead lasted less than five minutes. Franklin started the ensuing drive with a 50-yard run to set up wide receiver Elijah Canion, committed to the Auburn Tigers, for a 13-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Brady Kelly to put Chaminade-Madonna back ahead 10-7.
Franklin could handle most of the rest. The junior busted a 25-yard touchdown run with less than a minute left in the second quarter to send the Lions into halftime with a 17-7 lead, then scored on a 30-yard run with 1:15 left in the third to push the lead up to 27-7. Once the game was in hand, Chaminade-Madonna once again handed it to him to help run out the clock.
“If he breaks 100 yards, nine times out of 10 we win,” Jones said. “Last week, he didn’t break it. He had 98. He didn’t break it, so when he don’t hit 100 we don’t win.”