MONDAY TAKE: Columbus, Deerfield Jump Into The Spotlight

Larry Blustein
September 03, 2018 - 11:11 am

Larry Blustein

Each week, we will find out a little bit more about the football programs in south Florida.

In the first week, we saw a few teams start to turn heads and show that they will be a force in the race for the playoffs. This past week, we started to see the elite programs beginning to flex some muscle.

Highlighted by two local matchups, and five other games on the road in Georgia, where south Florida certainly put its best foot forward, finishing 4-1. 

What did we learn from Week 2? Well, St. Thomas Aquinas is loaded, and truthfully, this is a team with enough talent and a schedule that now plays into their favor that national title is now coming into the conversation.

We also saw Miami Central, who has a date with St. Thomas in the fifth week of the season, showcase as much talent as you can possibly have on one football team in a 41-5 win over rival 

With two huge wins to open the season, head coach Jevon Glenn and his Deerfield Beach Bucks are considered a team that could be very dangerous with a big time defense and enough playmakers to make a serious run at Orlando and the 8A state championship game.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the second week is Christopher Columbus. Coach Chris Merritt’s Explorers finally got over the hump – beating defending 6A state champions Northwestern, which is huge.

As we all know, Northwestern and Central have always been major obstacles for this program, and finally breaking through with a win.

Part of the reason for the success is that this program is the schedule has gotten much tougher over the past few years, and even though they have always had the athletes to compete, the talent level in 2018 is as good as it has been – with a solid defense and playmakers on offense.

With Mater Academy and Northwestern behind them, the Explorers still have a schedule that features Miami Carol City, Booker T. Washington and Lakeland Lake Gibson.

JACKSON, TARAVELLA  OFF TO A 2-0 START

What a difference a year has made for two south Florida programs.

Last year, Coral Springs Taravella and Miami Jackson were struggling to win games. Fast forward a year, and both programs have certainly changed the culture, winning the first two games of the year.

In a convincing win over Hialeah-Miami Lakes, first year head coach Scott Daniels saw his program come of age. Dominating on both sides of the ball, the Generals have started to turn heads.

Part of that head turning is coming from district foes American Heritage, Cardinal Gibbons and Coconut Creek – all who figured this program was a year away from being at this point, but a number of new faces have changed all of that thinking, and with North Miami coming up this week, the process continues.

One of those new faces is senior running back. The talented prospect Trenod Desrosier ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries in a convincing win.

For head coach Charles Hafley and his Trojans, turning the corner has been the objective since he took over the job.

Year round exposure and competing against the best has helped this team jump into the mix to gain an 8A playoff spot at the end of the year.

After two solid wins to start the year, Hafley and his team head to Georgia this weekend to take playoff power Coffee County in a game that will test this young program.

In this past week’s win over Nova, senior receiver Vantravoues Williams came up with 2 touchdown receptions. On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Jacquez Russ came up with 11 solo tackles and 2 tackles for loss.

PROSPECT WATCH

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2021 – Emile Aime, LB, NSU University School. The gifted standout had 16 tackles, forced a fumble and broke up a pass in a win againt Immokalee.

2020 – Patrick Bowens, RB, Fort Lauderdale Dillard. Ran for 128 yards, including the game winner in an upset win over Top 15 team Western.

2019 - Sam Brooks, OLB, Miami Northwestern. Had a sack and forced a fumble that was recovered and taken 37 yards by Calijah Kancy in a 23-14 setback against Christopher Columbus.

2019 – Nico Casares, Miami Palmer Trinity. Accounted for 250 all-purpose yards and 4 TDs (3 Pass/Rush) in a win over Somerset Silver Palms.

2019 – James Darr, DL, Pembroke Pines West Broward. Finished with 7 tackles, 2 for loss, in a win over Coral Glades.

2019 – Malcolm Denbow, RB, Pembroke Pines West Broward. The talented athlete ran for 200 yards in a win over Coral Glades.

2019 – John Dunmore, WR, Chaminade-Madonna. The Penn State-bound standout caught 8 balls for 177 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a win against Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

2020 – Derohn King, QB, Deerfield Beach. Threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns – two of them to Dashaun Davis and one to Donte Banton in a win at nationally rated Buford, Georgia.

2019 – Jimmy Lowery, PK, Plantation, American Heritage. Booted a 20-yard field goal with no time remaining to give the Patriots a huge win on the road.

2019 - Daelen Menard, QB, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna. Was 18 for 23 for 317 yards and three touchdowns in a win against Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

2019 – Kenny McIntosh, RB, Fort Lauderdale NSU University School. Ran for 165 yards and 3 scores in a win over Immokalee.

2020 – Gerald Nesbitt, QB, Plantation. Threw for 2 scores and ran for 2 more in the first half of a win against Blanche Ely. Has scored 9 times in less than two games.

2019 – Frantz Nicolas, DB, Coconut Creek Monarch. Has 7 tackles and 1 interception for a TD in a win over Hollywood Hills.

2019 – Cornelius Nunn, Athlete, Miami Palmetto. The Syracuse commit caught four passes that resulted in 2 TDs for 170 yards and 1 interception in a win at Naples.

2020 - Henry Parrish Jr., Miami Christopher Columbus. Finished with 214 rushing yards on 23 carries in a 23-14 win over Northwestern.

2019 – Keith Ramos, LB, Miami Springs. Returned a fumble for a score and came up with several other key plays in a district win over Miami Sunset.

2019 – George Roberts, DB/WR, Homestead Everglades Prep. Finished with 8 tackles and 1 pass deflection in a game against Gulliver Prep.

2019 – Dominic Tianga, RB, Pembroke Pines West Broward. Added 130 yards on the ground in a win over Coral Glades.

2021 – Jaylon Tolbert, QB, Weston Cypress Bay. Threw for one score and ran for another to lead the 2-0 Lightening to a win at Coral Springs.

2019 – Willie Webb, Jr., OLB, Pembroke Pines West Broward. Ended with 9 tackles, 5 solo, in a win over Coral Glades.

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Saturday morning (10-11) 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!