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State championships: 8A preview and 6A recap

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On Thursday night Class 6A held its final game between Pensacola Escambia and Miami Central. The Rockets have been to the final’s multiple times in the past 10 years while Escambia was making its first appearance in over two decades.

Miami Central ran for a state title record last night, rushing for more than 400 yards in a 62-27 victory at Daytona Beach.

They were led by junior running back Amari Daniels, who took his first carry for over 70 yards and a touchdown. He had four touchdowns on the night.

Not to be outdone Kejon Owens capped the night off with a long touchdown run. He had more than 100 yards and multiple touchdowns.

Escambia’s DT Gideon had 12 catches for over 200 yards and a touchdown. His big night was overshadowed by what the Rockets did on the ground.

We will be in attendance again tonight as Miami Christopher Columbus faces off against Apopka High School in the Class 8A championship game.

What to look for from Columbus:

Columbus is lead by senior running back Henry Parrish. He has over 2,300 yards and he is a major reason why Columbus is back in the state finals. They came up short last year against Jacksonville Mandarin and after a slow start to the 2019 season, Columbus has come on strong to finish 2019. They also have one of the premier receivers in Florida, Xavier Henderson. The talented receiver had a 90-yard catch and run for a touchdown against Deerfield Beach, which pretty much ended that game.

On defense the Explorers are led by senior defensive end Elijah Roberts. The gifted lineman, who is going to Miami, has dominated these playoffs. He is constantly in the backfield and is one of the main reasons why Columbus’ defense has turned it around this season. Jabari Ishmael is on the opposite end of the line and he has also dominated these playoffs. These two are going to be a handful for Apopka. Look for the defense of Columbus to come up big if they are going to pull off the upset.

What to look for from Apopka:

For Apopka they have rushed for close to 3,ooo yards. It will be imperative for Columbus to shut down the Blue Darters rush attack if they are going to win this game. It is going to be a battle between Apopka’s offensive line and Columbus’ defensive line. The star on both sides of the ball will be Jalen Carter. The University of Georgia commit is dominant up front. He is used as both a tight end and defensive tackle. This is a team that tries to physically beat you up front.

Final Comments:

Columbus has been to the state finals twice in the past five years and have come up short both times. Last year Mandarin passed all over the Explorers secondary. This year is a much different battle. With the way Columbus has played, and who they have beaten to get to the finals, we give them a great chance to pull the upset. Their ability to create the big plays with be the difference as Columbus wins 38-24.

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