The Rockets are alive and well. Not so for one of their neighbors in Florida and the USA TODAY Super 25.
In a pivotal second round playoff game, Super 25 No. 24 Miami Central used a late surge to drop No. 19 Miami Carol City, 30-21 and avenge an earlier loss. The Rockets scored the final nine points of the game after a back-and-forth contest in which both teams at times looked like they were in control.
After Carol City jumped out to a 7-0 lead, Central immediately responded with a long drive that was capped by a touchdown run from FIU commit Lexington Joseph. Joseph eventually book-ended his team’s scoring with a 79-yard touchdown scamper in the final two minutes to salt away the victory.
Between then the Rockets were paced by quarterback Maurice Underwood, who giveth and taketh away on this Friday. With the clock running down on the first half, Central was driving with an eye on a lead at the break. Instead, Underwood forced a throw toward the end zone, where Carol City defensive back Marcel Williams picked off the pass to sent the teams in tied 7-7.
It wouldn’t stay that way in the second half, thanks again to Underwood. First he connected with wide receiver Anthony Frederick for a beautiful touchdown pass to the right corner to give Central a 14-7 lead.
Then, after Carol City tied the game again, Underwood took matters into his own hands, scoring on a keeper up the middle to re-establish a 21-14 lead.
That all set the stage for a late field goal, a red zone interception by UCF commit Tatum Bethune, and the aforementioned long Joseph touchdown and a Central celebration that was three weeks coming, following Carol City’s 36-28 victory on October 26.
The win advances Central to the third round of the Florida Class 6A state playoffs, where they’ll play another local rival, Miami Northwestern.