Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Sports

Miami Central RB's feet don't lie

ORLANDO — The runs had been set up the same way all game, but aside from a 37-yard touchdown dash in the first quarter, Dalvin Cook's signature explosiveness had been kept somewhat under wraps.

Each time it was the lack of one key block, Cook said, that kept him from breaking free. So during halftime of Saturday's Class 6A state final, Miami Central coaches drew up the play on the board in the locker room.

And just seconds into the fourth quarter, it finally clicked. On the first play of the Rockets' drive, Cook ran right up the middle for an 80-yard touchdown. No Armwood player was even close to Miami Central's golden boy with the shimmery gold shoes.

" 'It's over. We ready to get these medals and these rings.' That's what I was thinking," said teammate Da'Vante Phillips, who met Cook in the end zone for a chest bump after Cook's third touchdown of the afternoon.

To be fair, the game, which Miami Central won 52-7, was over long before that flashy run. And Cook was the primary reason.

Cook's 37-yarder put the Rockets (13-1) on the board with 6:46 to go in the first quarter. Armwood (14-1) went into the locker room at halftime trailing by just 14, but a minute and a half into the third quarter Cook was back in the end zone with a 6-yard rushing touchdown to deflate the Hawks once more.

The 5-foot-11 running back, who added a 5-yard touchdown two plays after a blocked Armwood punt in the fourth quarter, finished with four scores and 223 yards. He accounted for all but 31 of the Rockets' rushing yards.

Armwood's defense, a source of pride all season, simply couldn't stop him.

"He is what he is, what everybody says he is," said Armwood linebacker Jordan Griffin, who finished with a game-high nine tackles. "He's that running game. We had a time stopping him."

In the 2011 6A state championship game, Cook, considered by some to be one of the best class of 2014 running back recruits in the nation, had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Armwood. It was all for naught, though, as the Rockets fell to the Hawks 40-31.

He has since masked that disappointment with a pair of state titles. Cook has orally committed to Florida, a commitment that seemed quite soft as he fielded questions about his recruitment after the game. In the past two weeks he said he has been visited by coaches from Texas, Florida State, LSU and Miami. Oral commitments are nonbinding. National signing day is Feb. 5.

Cook has a lot of things on his mind. But as he stood on the Citrus Bowl turf after Saturday's win, surrounded by reporters, it couldn't help but wander to the time he did the same thing two years ago after a different outcome.

"I did an interview when I was here," Cook recalled. "I told the whole world, 'I'm going to be back.' "

And as he somersaulted into the end zone to cap the 80-yard gut punch as the Hawks could only stand and watch, Cook showed he's here to stay.

Kelly Parsons can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @_kellyparsons.

Comments
Pitching, defense bring Carrollwood Day to the top in Class 3A

Pitching, defense bring Carrollwood Day to the top in Class 3A

TAMPA — The momentum for Carrollwood Day School's baseball team has grown as the kids have grown the past three or four years — stronger, faster and smarter.The Patriots, in fact, have grown into a relative beast, racking up the best reco...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
How the Lightning did its best work on the Devils short-handed

How the Lightning did its best work on the Devils short-handed

TAMPA — The Lightning rolled past the Devils in five games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs quarterfinal series largely because the penalty kill became a beast, killing off 16 of 19, including the final 15 when down a man.Two of those three goals al...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Tuesday:  at Orioles7:05, Camden Yards, BaltimoreTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish) Probable pitchersRays:  RH Jake Faria (1-1, 5.82)Orioles: RH Alex Cobb (0-2, 15.43)On Faria: Coming off quality start vs. Rangers, allowing ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Bucs are 22-42 under GM Jason Licht. Does he deserve another draft?

The Bucs are 22-42 under GM Jason Licht. Does he deserve another draft?

The Bucs have finished last in their division in three of the past four seasons.They have lost more games than all but four teams.They have not played in a single playoff game.Players have come and gone. So have coaches.But one man has overseen it al...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Brad Marchand might be the ultimate pest, but he's not the original.Not even in his own family.The Boston Bruins left wing writes in a first-person story published last week in The Players' Tribune that he got his inspiration from his younger br...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Willy Adames, the Rays top position player prospect, touched all the bases in hitting for the cycle in Triple-A Durham's Monday's win over Buffalo.Adames doubled in the first inning, singled in the fifth, tripled in the sixth and completed the rare f...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

So much of the attention Monday surrounding the Bucs' announcing who'd be announcing their late-round draft picks was, of course, that a parrot would be delivering the name of the fourth-round pick to the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium.But late...
Updated: 3 hours ago
NFL Draft: Date, time, TV schedule and draft order for the April 26-28 draft

NFL Draft: Date, time, TV schedule and draft order for the April 26-28 draft

The NFL Draft starts Thursday from Arlington, Texas, with coverage of the first round beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Here's a look at the broadcast schedule for all three days and the draft order for every round:Schedule(all times Eastern)Thursday, April 26...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning wait goes on: Leafs top Bruins to force Game 7

Lightning wait goes on: Leafs top Bruins to force Game 7

TORONTO — Frederik Andersen made 32 saves as the Maple Leafs defeated the Bruins 3-1 to force a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series Monday night.William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Tomas Plekanec, into an empty net, scored for the Leafs, who tr...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The key to the Lightning’s success

The key to the Lightning’s success

This is quite the run the Lightning is on over the past five years.A playoff appearance in 2014. A trip to the Stanley Cup final in 2015. A return to the Eastern Conference final in 2016. A near-miss of the postseason last season. And now back in the...
Updated: 4 hours ago