Dolphins High school Media day at Hard Rock Stadium
With an offense that had struggled out of the gate in the first two weeks of the season, Central finally got things cranked into overdrive on Saturday night.
Led by a ground attack that totaled 295 yards, Central, ranked No. 3 in the Miami Herald’s Top 20 poll, opened things up and rolled to a 49-26 victory over No. 5 Carol City at Traz Powell Stadium.
“It was just a matter of practicing hard everyday and staying with the process,” said Rockets running back Kejon Owens, who led the way with 131 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. “We knew we have the talent to get things done and it was just a matter of having the faith that our O-line could get it done up front and they did tonight.”
Owens was just one of a three-headed rushing monster for the Rockets, as Amari Daniels ran for 94 yards on a dozen carries with two touchdowns and Juan Henry added 71 more on just four carries, scoring twice.
Quarterback Katravis Marsh also played a clean game, going 8 of 14 for 138 yards and a touchdown without throwing an interception. The Rockets rang up 433 yards of total offense and 23 first downs.
“We knew offensively we hadn’t played well coming into tonight and had to find a way to get things going and we did a pretty good job of that,” Daniels said. “Now we need to just keep things going in a positive direction.”
Central (2-1) broke free from a 28-20 halftime lead with a pair of scoring drives, one in the third quarter and another midway through the fourth. The Rockets put together a seven play, 50-yard drive late in the third capped off by Daniels 3-yard score before basically putting the game away one drive later.
Despite five consecutive penalties that ultimately put them in a third-and-35 jam at the Carol City 47-yard line, it didn’t matter. Marsh first found Chamon Metayer for 30 yards. On fourth-and-five, the Chiefs (1-2) were called for pass interference giving Central a first and goal on the eight and Owens scored on the next play to make it 42-20 with 8:01 to play.
Despite the nice offensive output, coach Roland Smith was cautious. Even though Carol City is a very good team, the Rockets defense gave up a bushel full of big plays and also committed a total of 16 penalties for 123 yards.
Chiefs freshman quarterback Keyone Jenkins moved the ball effectively on the Central defense most of the night, completing 18 of 22 passes for 251 yards and a touchdown.
“We still have a long way to go and need to continue to get better in all areas,” Smith said. “We played a great Carol City team tonight and knew it would be a challenge for us. We ran the ball well which was good to see but we gave up too many big plays and had too many penalties and those things will really hurt you later on if you don’t get it cleaned up.”
The first half was practically a score-a-thon as both teams went up and down the field as if the defenses weren’t even there.
Carol City was on the board just seven plays into the game on a Katravis Geter 1-yard run, capping a 68-yard drive, the big playing being a 40-yard hookup from Jenkins to Thaiu Jones-Bell.
The Rockets then put three consecutive touchdown drives together. Marsh scored on a 12-yard keeper before firing an 11-yard touchdown strike to Geovanni Ribalta on the first play of the second quarter.
Following the strangest play of the night when the Chiefs, on fourth-and-inches from their own 29, went for and threw an incomplete deep pass, the Rockets took advantage of the short field and scored in just four plays. Daniels went over from the eight to make it 21-7.
The Chiefs came right back with an answer as Jenkins found Earl Pope III for an 18-yard score to make it 21-13. Then it was Central’s turn. Thanks to a long kickoff return by Markeith Thomas to the CC 30, the Rockets were back in the end zone in just two plays, Henry bolting in from 23 yards out 2:36 before halftime.
That was more than enough time for Jenkins to lead the Chiefs back downfield, going 75 yards in just four plays. Following a 34 yard hookup with Jones-Bell to the 1, Geter scored 49 seconds before halftime.