The Miami Central Rockets are state champions again, though it didn’t come without a scare.
Central, the No. 7 team in the nation, held off a ferocious challenge from No. 23 Daytona Mainland in a 31-21 victory. The win pushes Central to the Class 6A title game, where it will take on Seffner Armwood at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
PHOTO GALLERY: State football champions in every state
Central scored on a late fourth quarter touchdown on an Anthony Jones fourth down plunge from the 1-yard-line by to finally take control of the semifinal, pushing out to a 10-point lead with just 2:19 to go.
The win is the latest for a Rockets club that has plenty of talent but has shown some susceptibility to top-tier opponents. The team’s only loss thus far has come against Booker T. — for the second straight year — but it has had to fight off stirring attacks from the likes of Hoover (Ala.), Stephenson (Ga.), Carol City (Fla.), Heritage (Fla.) and, now, Mainland.
In the end, the Rockets continue to have enough, and now they’re just one more win away from celebrating another state crown.
PHOTOS: Check out state champions from every corner of the land in our comprehensive U.S. high school football champions gallery