On Friday, Miami Norland defeated Glades Central, 29-13, in the third round of the Florida state Class 5A playoffs. Here are the players who stood out:
Randy Johnson, RB, Miami Norland
It was Johnson’s finest hour and arguably the signature performance of his high school career. The Miami commit rushed for 258 yards and four touchdowns on 34 carries. Three of Johnson’s last six carries went for touchdowns as he spent much of the first three quarters grinding away against Glades Central’s defense. The most impressive thing about Johnson was his patience. He didn’t try to make the big play when it wasn’t there and just focused on getting positive yardage. With the strong possibility of Lamar Miller leaving for the NFL, Johnson could step in and get carries new year for the Hurricanes.
William Likely, ATH, Glades Central
Likely started the game with a big run and added two third-down receptions on Glades Central’s first scoring drive. The Raiders’ second scoring drive came after Likely’s 62-yard kick return. Plainly put, Likely did it all on offense and started nearly every snap on defense. He is only 5-foot-7, 175-pounds but with a vertical jump over 38 inches he can battle for any ball in the air. The junior will be one of the state’s top prospects next season.
Teko Powell, DT, Miami Norland
Powell has had a strange recruitment from his short-lived commitments to Florida State and Louisville to his recent string of inactivity. He’s often been chided for inconsistent play but Friday he was nothing short of dominating. Powell recorded four of Norland’s 11 sacks and had a half dozen more hurries. If Powell can match this effort for two more games I expect he’ll have a very busy January as defensive linemen with his potential are hard to find.
Dominique Gibson, LB/S, Glades Central
The Wake Forest commit had a strong first half with a touchdown run and three TFLs, two on Johnson. As the game went along and Norland established its power he wore down considerably but he continued to chase the football and make tackles – over a dozen in all.
Keith Brown, LB, Miami Norland
Brown recorded two sacks but he spent a lot of time in coverage and isn’t the tackling machine you would expect. Norland did use him on blitzes more in the second half and he occupied blockers when he didn’t break in on the play.
Ereck Flowers, OL, Miami Norland
Flowers is a very good run blocker with long arms. He is very physical and aggressive with defenders and never seems to stop driving. At 6-6, 300 pounds he has the perfect frame to add more good weight and be a tackle.
Jamie Wilson, WR, Glades Central
Wilson ran a beautiful corner route on a 15-yard touchdown reception and made several other nice catches. He has good hands and runs good routes consistently. He's a technically-sound receiver with better-than-average speed.
Darren Owi, WR, Miami Norland
Norland didn’t pass much but Owi was a reliable target on the Vikings’ first scoring drive when he caught three passes for 45 yards. At 6-2, 190 Owi has good size and showed strength when he fought for the ball on a long reception.
Freddie Davey, DB, Miami Norland
Davey set the early tone for the Norland defense as he got a couple of nice tackles up at the line of scrimmage. He was a heat-seeking missile over the middle of the field, looking for big hits.
Aaron Baker, RB, Glades Central
After a strong year in 2010, Baker was tabbed as one of the juniors to watch in the state this season. Unfortunately he’s regressed and lost his starting RB job to Likely. He has another offseason to get better and the talent is certainly there but he needs to become more physical.