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FHSAA 5A football state championship preview: Miami Central vs. Merritt Island

Here is everything you need to know about the 5A FHSAA football state championship game.

The 2021 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) football state championships continue this week with the 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A and 8A title games at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

In the 5A state championship, the Miami Central Rockets (11-2) take on the Merritt Island Mustangs (13-1) on Friday at 1 p.m. ET.

Here is everything you need to know about the 5A FHSAA football championship game:


How did Miami Central get here?

Defeated North Miami Beach 49-6 (Regional Quarterfinals), defeated American Heritage Plantation 41-28 (Regional Semifinals), defeated Killian 39-13 (Regional Finals), defeated Baker County 54-21 (State Semifinals)

Players to watch for Miami Central

Quarterback Keyone Jenkins- 71.6% completion, 925 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, 2 interceptions (Junior)

Quarterback Dylan Tulloch- 62% completion, 518 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 1 interception (Senior)

Running back Ean Pope- 51 carries, 562 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns (Junior)

Running back Jonathan Harris- 39 carries, 216 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns (4 rush, 2 receiving) (Junior)

Wide receiver Joshisa Trader- 21 receptions, 455 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns (Sophomore)

Wide receiver Lamar Seymore- 18 receptions, 318 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns (Miami commit) (Junior)

Defensive End Rueben Bain- 53 total tackles (31 tackles for loss), 19.5 sacks (Junior)

Linebacker Wesley Bissainthe- 47 total tackles (15 tackles for loss), 6 sacks (Miami commit) (Senior)

Defensive End Raashaun Rainey- 26 total tackles, 10 sacks (Senior)

Defensive Back Trent Henry- 4 interceptions (Leads team) (Senior)

What’s at stake for Miami Central?

The Rockets are seeking their eighth football state title in school history and third straight.


The Merritt Island Mustangs are playing in their first state championship game since 1989, where they defeated Pine Forest 19-14. The Mustangs come into the state championship game on a nine-game winning streak.

How did Merritt Island get here?

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Defeated Leesburg 50-0 (Regional Quarterfinals), defeated Rockledge 20-6 (Regional Semifinals), defeated Satellite 21-0 (Regional Finals), defeated Sebring 12-10 (State Semifinals)

Players to watch for Merritt Island:

Quarterback Brady Denaburg- 61% completion, 2972 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, 13 interceptions (Senior)

Running back Dominic Shields- 167 carries, 744 rushing yards, 7 touchdowns (Senior)

Running back Elijah Edwards- 84 carries, 352 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns (Junior)

Wide receiver Dallas Donahue- 96 catches, 994 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns (Junior)

Wide receiver Bridger Koby- 60 catches, 944 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns

Athlete CJ Bragg- 18 catches, 377 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns (Sophomore)- Bragg is also the backup quarterback

Linebacker Maddox Moss- 122 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 4 sacks (Senior)

Linebacker Aaron Session- 106 total tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 11 sacks (Team lead) (Senior)

Defensive End Jacob Woods- 85 total tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception (Senior)

Defensive Back Logan Cody- 76 total tackles, 1 interception (Senior)

Defensive Back Julius Bennett- 6 interceptions (Leads team) (Senior)

What’s at stake for Merritt Island?

The Mustangs are seeking their fourth football state title in school history. They are also seeking to become the first Brevard County school to win a state championship since 1989.

Score Prediction

Miami Central 35, Merritt Island 13


Date: Friday, December 17, 2021

Time: 1 p.m. ET

Location: DRV PNK Stadium- Fort Lauderdale, FL

LIVE Stream: (Non-Spectrum Customers) (Spectrum Customers)

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