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Central grinds out a road win against #7 ranked Hoover Bucs

Miami Central vs Hoover Bucs-slide0
Eric L. Labrador, ESPN broadcast

In a game seen on ESPN at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Miami Central showed grit in getting an opening game road victory at Hoover High School in Alabama, 24-21. Hoover had the longest winning streak in the state of Alabama at 30 games and temperatures were at 100 degrees or higher on the field. Three Central players including starting running back Cedric Miller had to be taken out of the game with severe muscle cramps. The game though did not start well for Central as they suffered two blocked punts off of bad snaps by the long snapper and gave Hoover the ball in great field position. On the first blocked punt, Hoover had the ball on the 8 yard line with 1st & goal but the Central defense held and Hoover missed a FG attempt. Central's defense was penetrating all game long and had many tackles for losses during the game. The running game for Central was ultimate as the majority of their yardage was on the ground. Cedric Miller had 122 yards at halftime and Anthony Jones had 129 in the second half. Many of the runs were up the middle as the Hoover defense was too quick to give up yardage on sweeps.

Hoover was down 21-7 early in the fourth quarter, but came back on a four play, 80 yard drive to cut it to 21-14 with 8:46 left in the game. The Hoover defense held Central on the succeeding drive and took over at their own 38 with under six minutes remaining. Hoover's offense attacked star defensive back Calvin Brewton for Central with their star wideout Justin Johnson and the two players had a back and forth battle for several plays. Johnson on the present drive made a tough catch over Brewton for a 1st down to extend the drive. Central appeared to hold Hoover on 3rd down but Christopher Williams after a incomplete pass was flagged for a personal foul when he suplexed the Hoover wide receiver after the play had ended. The drive continued and star running back Bradrick Shaw broke two tackles on a 19 yard TD run to tie the score with 3:15 in the fourth quarter. Central though came back on the next drive and with Malik Atkins and Anthony Jones in the wildcat formation, drove down to the Hoover 24 yard line with 1:05 left. Senior kicker Beymar Piraquive made a clutch 31 yard field goal with :45 sec remaining to give Central the lead. Hoover QB Josh Hutchison threw his 2nd INT of the game as time expired to give Central a tough victory.