The Raiders have not been challenged all season, but a determined Ely team knew it had to pull out all the stops in order to beat the nation’s top-ranked team.
Led by quarterback Michael German, the Tigers came out dominant and surged to an 8-7 halftime lead over the Raiders. German finished the contest completing 17-of-35 passes for 265 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, including a 12-yard strike to receiver Darrien Allen to take an 8-0 first-quarter lead.
Allen also played well against one of the top defenses in the country, catching six passes for 148 yards and two scores.
Despite trailing at halftime, the Raiders stepped it up a notch in the second. Senior standout LaMarcus Joyner helped the Raiders take a 16-8 lead late in the third on a 3-yard run. Joyner finished the contest with 59 yards rushing on seven carries and a score, while catching two passes for 33 yards.
Despite Joyner’s run, the Tigers were poised to continue their attack. They found themselves inside the Raider 10-yard line with a chance to tie the score at 16 but junior linebacker Marcus Roberson intercepted a pass from German, nullifying the drive.
Roberson’s efforts allowed his team to extend its margin as quarterback Jacob Rudock connected with receiver Rashad Greene from 33 yards out to put the Raiders up 22-8 with 11:28 left in the fourth quarter.
James White scored from 11 yards out to put the finished touches on the win. White rushed for a game-high 79 yards on 16 carries and a score.
Bryant picks Dillard
Nike, along with Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Kobe Bryant, has selected Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) to wear Bryant’s Zoom Kobe V "Chaos" sneaker. The Panthers, who have won five FHSAA state titles and became the only big school boys’ team to four-peat in 2003, were the first team in the country selected by Bryant and Nike. They will begin wearing his sneaker after its Dec. 26 release date.
Eighth-grade sensation honored
American Heritage running back Sony Michel was selected to play in the second annual Football University Youth All-American Bowl showcasing 140 of the nation’s top seventh and eighth graders. Michel, an eighth-grader, led Heritage with 1,703 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. He was chosen from a finalist pool of more than 6,000 athletes and will showcase his skills on Jan. 10 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX.
Broward basketball takes national stage
For the last couple of years Broward County basketball has garnered national attention with the emergence of stars such as Pine Crest’s Brandon Knight, the reigning Gatorade National Player of the Year, and former American Heritage, and current Florida Gators star Kenny Boynton. The two have drawn so much attention to Florida’s south region that ESPN will televise two high scholl basketball games on Feb. 5. The first game will be televised on ESPNU featuring Sagemont (Weston, Fla.) against national power Montverde Academy. After, Knight and Pine Crest will take on Winter Park (Orlando, Fla.) at 7 on ESPN 2.
Elam named Gatorade Florida POY
Matt Elam, who led Dwyer to the state semifinals by rushing for 176 yards and four scores in a 42-6 win over New Smyrna Beach on Friday, became the first football player from Dwyer to be named the 2009-10 Gatorade Florida Player of the Year. Elam, a University of Florida verbal who plays linebacker, defensive back and running back, has been dominant for the Panthers all season, recording 53 tackles, four forced fumbles and three sacks, while rushing for 1,596 yards and 21 touchdowns.
This week’s Top Individual Performance Award goes to Glades Day running back Kelvin Taylor, who rushed for 382 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-20 win over Out-Of-Door Academy. Taylor’s stellar performance propelled Glades Day to the Class 1B state championship game against Warner Christian on Friday at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Top Performers (Miami-Dade & Broward)
QB, Jeff Godfrey, Miami Central, completed 10-of-23 passes for 195 yards and two scores, while rushing for a score in a 25-7 win over South Dade.
G, Angel Rodriguez, Krop, scored 35 points to go along with eight assists and three steals in a 74-69 win over Jacksonville Arlington Country Day.
F, Charles Hankerson, Coral Reef, scored 25 points to go along with 15 rebounds in a 57-55 win over Vareal.
G, Brandon Knight, Pine Crest, scored 27 points, including six 3-pointers, in a 73-40 win over Berkley Prep.
QB, Michael German, Ely, completed 17-of-35 passes for 265 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 28-16 loss to St. Thomas.
QB, Ryan Williams, Miramar, completed 14-of-22 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-0 win over Dr. Krop.
State Semifinal: Friday, Nov. 11
Miramar (12-1) vs. Miami Central (12-1) - Miramar, one of Broward County’s top defenses, will have its hands full against Central, one of the top offensive units in Miami-Dade County. The Patriots have outscored their last four opponents 143-10, while Central is averaging 27 points per game throughout its last four contests.
Bradenton Manatee vs. St. Thomas (13-0) – The Raiders survived a scare last week against Ely but the kinks should get ironed out as the nation’s top-ranked team continues its journey towards another state and national title. Manatee advanced with a 31-14 win over Bayside last week.
Seffner-Armwood vs. Dwyer (12-1) – The Panthers, who have won 12 consecutive games, routed New Smyrna 42-6 and look to continue their streak against Armwood, who beat Punta Gorda-Charlotte 25-17 last week.
Lake Wales vs. Belen Jesuit (10-3) - For the first time in its school history, Belen has advanced to the state semifinals.
State Finals - Friday, Dec. 11 and Saturday, Dec. 12
Cocoa (13-0) vs. Glades Central (13-0) – In a battle of unbeatens, Glades Central has dominated its opponents for much of the season. Raider quarterback Leron Thomas has proven his worth as one of the top quarterbacks in the state but will have a big challenge against a Cocoa team that has also dominated.
Trinity Christian vs. American Heritage (Delray) (10-3) – For the second consecutive season, Heritage has advanced to the state finals. The Stallions will look to quarterback Darius Millines and running back James Potts in leading them toward another 1A title.
South Daytona Warner Christian vs. Glades Day (11-2) – Glades Day running back Kelvin Taylor has churned out some impressive numbers this postseason and is one more "great" game away from helping the Gators attain their first Class 1B state title.