Still trying to work through the disappointment of a season-opening loss to DeMatha (Maryland) High School to dash their hopes of a possible national championship two weeks ago, the Miami Central Rockets moved further along that road Saturday night by mowing down Jacksonville First Coast 41-0 at Traz Powell Stadium.
Making his first start, Central quarterback Tijuane Morten played well, completing 8 of 14 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns. After the Rockets built a 20-0 halftime lead, Morten fired a 55-yard scoring strike to Darnell Solomon early in the third quarter to make it 27-0 and took the rest of the night off. Solomon had a big night as well, catching five passes for 121 yards and the score.
“Anytime you can beat a quality program that is well coached like First Coast, that’s always a plus, and our kids did a good job [Saturday],” Central coach Roland Smith said. “The DeMatha loss? I was over that the next day. We just have so much more to play for and now need to get on with things from here.”
On a day when his older brother Dalvin enjoyed a big day for Florida State, running back James Cook led the way on the ground for the Rockets with 78 yards on seven carries. Jernard Phillips (30 and 25 yards) and Carmoni Green (20 and 73 yards) each reeled in two touchdown passes.
Central (2-1) will enter district play next week with a big game Saturday against Norland at North Miami Stadium. First Coast, which played in the 7A state title game four years ago, fell to 0-3.