Central’s first-round opponent in its run for a fourth state title in five years was a Boynton Beach team that came a last-second field goal from a perfect regular season.
The Rockets’ 49-6 victory at Traz Powell Stadium was just about as close to perfection.
Central (10-1) advanced to the regional semifinals, where the Rockets will visit Hallandale.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
After giving up a touchdown on the opening drive to Boynton Beach (9-2), a team that averaged 49.2 points per game coming in, Central’s defense went back to looking like its dominant self.
The Rockets had five takeaways, including two interceptions from junior cornerback Jamel Cook — one which he returned 35 yards for a touchdown.
Central flustered Louisville quarterback-commit Lamar Jackson all night. He finished 3-of-9 passing for 36 yards, two interceptions and was sacked nine times.
“We felt like if we could contain him and not allow him to have any explosive plays, we’ll be fine,” Central coach Roland Smith said. “Our game plan was to make sure he doesn’t beat us and to make somebody else beat us.”
Anthony Jones rushed for two touchdowns and caught a 30-yard pass for another score. Backfield mate Cedric Miller ran for 89 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
Quarterback Jerrod Thomas finished 7-of-12 passing for 111 yards and two touchdowns.