(1) Miami Central (5-0) vs. (17) Carol City (2-2)
Friday at Traz Powell Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Here’s a game that I circled on my calendar as soon as the Miami-Dade schedule was released.

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This matchup became exponentially more intriguing after last week’s happenings.

Carol City won its second straight game – after opening the season 0-2 – with a shutout against Southridge. The Chiefs appeared to have righted the ship and found an offensive formula that works. After scoring just 20 total points in the first two games of the season, Carol City has outscored its last two opponents by a score of 58-7.

Defense has never been the problem the Chiefs. Associate head coach and defensive coordinator Damon Cogdell’s fingerprints all over Carol City’s defense and he’s bringing the best out of his playmakers.

With that being said, Central put everyone on notice that it is the top team in Miami-Dade County. It’s hard to argue otherwise – given the Rockets are four-time defending Class 6A state champs and just manufactured a 42-14 victory over rival and fellow four-time defending champion Booker T. Washington.

Central is a complete team that can make life difficult for opposing teams – on either side of the ball.

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Looking at the matchup this time around, I will be interested in seeing how Carol City plans to attack the Rockets’ defense.

The Chiefs have a good – not great – offensive line and a pair of very talented running backs in Camron Davis and Nayquan Wright. Carol City will have to get creative in how they get Davis and Wright the ball, though. Perhaps the Chiefs will watch the film from the Norland game and try to replicate what the Vikings did to create running lanes.

If Carol City is unable to run the ball and sustain drives, it’ll put the Chiefs defense in tough situations having to be on the field for extended series’ colliding with Central’s big offensive line. Eventually, Carol City’s defensive unit will wear down and give up a handful of those “back-breaking” runs by one of the Rockets’ many running backs.

Ultimately, I think that’s the theme of this game. Carol City will show early that it is – despite its record – still one of the better teams in South Florida, however, Central will start to wear down the Chiefs on both sides of the ball.

And don’t think that winning a district championship doesn’t mean anything to the Rockets. They were reminded – a lot – about how Carol City won the district crown in 2015 and it’s something that’ll be in the back of their minds Friday.

Bald Prediction = Central wins 28-14

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