Saturday’s Florida state 6A final could not have started much better for No. 24 Armwood (Seffner, Fla.)
The Hawks stopped Miami Central on fourth down on a game-opening 15-play drive and then scored on a 90-yard touchdown run by Erin Collins. Yards away from another score on its next possession, Armwood fumbled and Allen Jones went 90 yards for a Miami Central TD for a 7-6 lead.
Thanks to a series of Armwood miscues, special teams struggles and a costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, Miami Central was up 29-6 at halftime on its way to a 48-13 victory and its fourth consecutive state title.
Armwood (15-1) had not allowed more than 20 points in a game this season, but Miami Central had that total by the second quarter.
The Rockets (12-2) were ranked in the top 5 in the Super 25 preseason but lost 38-14 to DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) in a nationally televised season opener. After four straight wins, Miami Central suffered an 8-7 loss to Carol City. But from there, the Rockets ran the table, including beating Armwood in the state final for the third consecutive year.
Freshman James Cook ran for three touchdowns and Jerrod Thomas threw two touchdown passes in the victory. Cook, the brother of Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, finished with 178 yards on 15 carries.
Thomas completed 13 of 19 passes for 156 yards and threw TD passes to Carmoni Green and Darnell Salomon for Miami Central, which gained 461 yards and recovered three Armwood fumbles.
Colins ran for 141 yards and caught a 33-yard pass for Armwood.