FRIDAY FOCUS: Carol City & Central - It Doesn’t Get Any Better!

Larry Blustein
October 26, 2018 - 10:48 am

Larry Blustein

Even in light of this week’s ruling by the FHSAA that Miami Carol City has to forfeit two games (American Heritage and Christopher Columbus), tonight’s meeting has not lost any luster at all.

The Chiefs are still No. 1 in Florida - and among the top 10 in the country. Tonight (7:30) when they meet No. 2  Central, it will be for just about everything, and both sides are more than ready.

The Chiefs and the Rockets have more than proven that they are both head and shoulders above everyone in Florida - with victories against “elite” programs to back it up.

The Chiefs hammered two time defending 5A state champion American Heritage in the season-opener, pouring it on in the fourth quarter. They also ran the clock on once beaten Christopher Columbus by the half - and it could have been a lot worse. Oh, by the way, Southridge, a team that is in the thick of the 8A race, failed to cross midfield in a 50-0 loss.

Central is in the same boat - after crushing Cardinal Gibbons, beating nationally rated St. Thomas Aquinas by over two touchdowns at home and then slicing up every other opponent, they have earned the respect and are on a roll.

Unlike Carol City, which hasn’t come close to losing on the field, Central dropped a 5-overtime thriller to national power St. John’s Prep on the road in Washington, D.C. - and have not been touched since.

Over the years, there are always games that many fans and coaches deem as ‘the game of the century” - and while this game has a chance to live up to those thrillers of the past, there are some extra added incentives this year - with head coach Benedict Hyppolite and his Carol City team having to endure a tough week and being stripped of those two overwhelming wins.

But as much as it affected the fans and those who support this program, the team and coaches have maintained that “business approach” in every game, being pushed very seldom.

No matter how you slice it, when they kick it off at the “Mecca” - Traz Powell Stadium - everything will be forgotten. All the claims of easy schedules and recruiting over the past year will become pre-game memories - and that is the way it should be. These are brothers who play with and against each other since they put on a uniform for the first time.

Having watched these programs a number of times already this season, both are well coached, loaded with playmakers and have thick skins. If you grow up in this football culture in south Florida, you better have a tough skin or deal with the consequences. People will talk and talk - and talk some more -  so win or lose, it is something that happens.

Because the lineage of so many area athletes puts them at the next level and beyond, this rivalry is talked about for generations to come - even by athletes who are in the NFL.

All week on the internet, the comparisons have been made. Roland Smith has been in this situation tons of times as a high school star at Northwestern, collegiately at the University of Miami and as a high level football coach.

What this game comes down to is coaching. Both programs have solid staffs who have been able to control their prospects - for the most part.

In last week’s win over Northwestern, the Rockets overcame over 200 penalty yards to run away with the annual matchup with the defending 6A state champions, but that may not fly against the Chiefs, who have capitalized on opponent’s mistakes.

Central, on the other hand, have started slow against Cardinal Gibbons and St. Thomas Aquinas - before coming back and turning on the talent, which they have plenty of.

So, this much anticipated matchup has finally arrived and we will get it going this evening.

Here are the last 6 meetings between the two public school powers:  

2017 - Central, 26-13

2016 - Carol City, 34-7

2015 - Carol City, 8-7

2015 - Central, 36-8

2014 - Central 23-6

2013 - Central, 48-14

RECORD BREAKER DOMINIC TIANGA

In Thursday night’s district win by West Broward over Cooper City, there were some top performers, but it would have to go a long way to beat what senior Dominic Tianga posted against the Cowboys.

Competing in 72 plays, Tianga ran for over 300 yards and accounted for 3 TDs.  He also had 17 tackles on defense, which included 2 sacks and numerous QB pressures.

By the way, Tianga, a nationally rated rugby standout, also holds down a 4.3 grade point average.

Thursday’s Games

Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville) 29, Providence 14

Braddock 28, Coral Reef 24 

Coral Springs Charter 47, St. Andrew’s 0

Doral Academy 27, Mourning 12

Edison (Miami) 14, Homestead 11

Mater Academy (Hialeah Gardens) 35, Westland Hialeah 0

Miami Christian 25, Everglades Prep 24

Miami High 34, Coral Park 7

Northwestern (Miami) 24, Norland 14

Palmetto (Miami) 13, Killian 12 (OT)

West Broward (Pembroke Pines) 43, Cooper City 36

Today’s Games

Doral Academy at Mourning (Ives Park), 3:30

Ferguson at Varela (Southridge), 3:30

Miami Beach at Hialeah-Miami Lakes (Hendricks), 3:30

North Miami Beach at Hialeah Gardens, 3:30

Orlando Evans at Booker T. Washington (Traz Powell), 3:30

Southwest Miami at Belen Jesuit, 3:30:

Sunset at Reagan, 3:30

Monticello Jefferson County at Homestead Somerset Academy, Silver Palms, 4

No. 8 American Heritage-Plantation at Hallandale, 7 

Archbishop McCarthy at Northeast, 7

Blanche Ely at No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas, 7

Calvary Christian Academy at Fort Pierce John Carroll, 7 

No. 7 Cardinal Gibbons at Stranahan (South Plantation), 7 

No. 13 Chaminade-Madonna at Flanagan, 7

Champagnat Catholic at The Nation Christian Academy (Port St. Lucie), 7

Coral Springs at Taravella, 7

No. 5 Deerfield Beach at Piper, 7 

Dillard at Boynton Beach, 7. 

Everglades at Cypress Bay, 7

Ft. Pierce Westwood at Pompano, 7

Hollywood Hills at South Broward, 7

No. 14 McArthur at Boyd Anderson, 7

Pine Crest at North Broward Prep, 7

Stoneman Douglas at Monarch, 7

No. 15 Western at Miramar, 7. 

No. 1 Carol City at No. 2 Central (Traz Powell Stadium), 7:30. 

Coconut Creek at Miami Jackson (Curtis Park), 7:30

Coral Gables at No. 4 Christopher Columbus (Tropical Park), 7:30. 

Dr. Krop at American (Ives Park), 7:30

Gulliver Prep at Miami LaSalle, 7:30

North Miami at No. 15 Hialeah (Hendricks), 7:30. 

No. 9 South Dade at No. 10 Southridge, 7:30.

Saturday, Oct. 27

No. 12 Plantation at South Plantation, 7

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Tuesday night (8-9) on WQAM (560AM - https://wqam.radio.com/media/podcast/south-florida-high-school-sports-radio). For the past 11 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot about football recruiting!