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CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
 7 months ago
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Fri, Dec 6, 2019 7:33 AM

CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW


With a victory in Friday evening's FHSAA Class 3A state championship game, the Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna Lions will join elite company within the world of Florida high school football. Chaminade-Madonna will become the 13th program to win three consecutive state championships. This will be the Lions eighth appearance in a FHSAA state championship game, they have won it all four times and they also have three state runner-up finishes.

Chaminade-Madonna (11-2) have outscored their three previous playoff opponents 119-7 including two shutouts. After a bye week to open the playoffs, the Lions crushed Somerset Academy Silver Palms 56-0 at home in round two. They went on the road in round three and blanked Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian 35-0, and dominated Clearwater Calvary Christian 28-7 at home in the state semifinal round.

Chaminade-Madonna's offense is led by junior running back Thaddius Franklin. Franklin has rushed for 1,949 yards and scores 23 touchdowns. He also has passed for 123 yards and a score from the "Wild Lion"(Wildcat) formation. Junior Derek Geffrard (338 yards rushing, five touchdowns) and freshman Jonathan Harris (214 yards, two touchdowns) provide additional options in the running game. The Lions have two viable options when they take to the air. Junior Alexander Law has passed for 556 yards and 10 scores and sophomore Brady Kelly has thrown for 789 yards and seven touchdowns. They will look to distribute the ball to seniors Elijah Canion (32 catches, 566 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Donovan Desir (11 catches, 169 yards, 2 touchdowns). Juniors Bralon Brown (16 catches, 289 yards, and 4 touchdowns) and Joshua Jenkins (20 catches, 258 yards, 5 touchdowns) provide additional targets for Law and Kelly.

Defensively, the Lions are led by seniors Kijuan Reid-Jacques (57 tackles, 12 sacks) and Quadric Bullard (67 tackles, 4 interceptions). Junior Torrie Cox JR, the son of six year NFL veteran Torrie Cox SR leads the team with five interceptions. Junior Allan Haye JR (68 tackles 6 sacks) will contribute as well. Six sophomores have also been productive on the defensive side of the ball. Kheylan Martin-Brown (87 tackles, 7 sacks), Kalunj Matthew (68 tackles, 10 tackles for loss), Dylan Reid (77 tackles, 3 sacks), Kenyatta Jackson JR (46 tackles, 9 sacks), Jamaal Johnson (8 sacks), and Jordan Lynch (55 tackles) are underclassmen who make their share of plays for the Lions defense.

The Florida High Seminoles are making their first appearance in a FHSAA state championship game. The Seminoles have appeared in the state semifinal round seven times including a 49-48 loss to West Palm Beach King's Academy last season. In that game, Florida High squandered a 21 point third quarter lead and missed an extra point to tie the game in the closing minutes.

Florida High (12-1) outscores their playoff opponents 111-43 to earn their first opportunity to play for a state championship. Following a bye week in round one, the Seminoles dominated Episcopal School of Jacksonville 48-19 in a round two game at home. In round three they went on the road and edged Pensacola Catholic 21-14. Last week in the state semifinal round, the Seminoles routed Lakeland Christian 42-10 on the road.

The Seminoles senior quarterback Willie Taggart JR will lead the charge on offense. He is the son of former FSU Head Football Coach Willie Taggart and passed for 2,007 yards and 19 touchdowns. The younger Taggart has also rushed for 839 yards and 10 scores. He will look to get the ball to a trio of juniors in Ahmari Harvey (37 catches, 554 yards, 6 touchdowns), George Henderson (25 catches, 458 yards, 6 touchdowns), and Jahaz Morgan (22 catches, 265 yards, 2 touchdowns). Senior Logan Brooks (23 catches, 336 yards, 2 touchdowns) provides an additional target for Taggart JR. Senior Alfred Menjor leads Florida High in rushing with 1,295 yards and 20 scores. Menjor also added 7 catches for 152 yards and three additional scores. Junior Emory Layerd (367 yards rushing, 5 touchdowns) and sophomore Taylor Gilley (250 yards, 4 touchdowns) provide additional options in the running game.

Florida High's defense is led by seniors Aaron Ford (112 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 10 sacks) and Sheldon Walker (88 tackles). Juniors Amarrie Harris (117 tackles), Ali Sareini (63 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 8 sacks), Kei'arryien Green (44 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 14 sacks), and Harvey (88 tackles, 6 interceptions) also provide solid assistance defensively. Sophomores Jordan Gilley (122 tackles, 11 tackles for loss) and Tre Donaldson (74 tackles, 5 interceptions) are underclassmen that provide contributions.

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