football Edit

Five takeaways from Miami Central vs. IMG Academy

Miami Central four-star DE Rueben Bain
Miami Central four-star DE Rueben Bain (Ryan Wright)

The football universe knows the depth of talent at IMG Academy, but Miami Central shocked the world Friday night beating the Ascenders at their house 20-14. The win showed the depth of talent in south Florida and that there is something to continuity in team play year after year.



When the Rockets needed a big play, Keyone Jenkins was there. The FIU commit had three 40-plus yard bombs in the game that shifted momentum and helped swing the field position game. Going the other way, IMG got 2024 four-star quarterback Jayden Bradford for one play. On a QB keeper, Bradford had a nice gain to the right side on a seemingly routine play but came up with an injury to his left arm, his non-throwing arm. Bradford was missed, but backup 2025 quarterback Ryan Downes did a solid job backing him up. Downes had some big plays with some big drops that could have been the difference for IMG. Bradford is expected to be back on the field next week for the Ascenders.


Stone continues to impress with his play in the trenches. The 2024 defender fought through double teams to get tackles for losses and sacks. The four-star eats up linemen allowing his backers room to roam and his fellow linemen one-on-one opportunities. After his very strong showing in the preseason scrimmage against Venice High School, Stone added offers from Miami and Florida State last week.


In back-to-back games, Francis Mauigoa has taken on two of the Sunshine State’s best in Venice High School’s Damon Wilson and Central’s Rueben Bain. Mauigoa has proven his five-star worthiness as has the four-stars taking him on. Bain got a few snaps against Mauigoa in run and passing down situations before having to move inside. Bain’s three sacks in the game came against other Rocket O-linemen. Bain was beastly late in the game getting critical stops for Central.

During a post-game interview with Mauigoa, the five-star shared there was a little recruiting talk going back-and-forth between the two, “In the middle of the play, he was like, “Go Canes.” I was like you already know the deal.”

With Joshisa Trader now at Chaminade-Madonna, more opportunities will open for receivers Lamar Seymore and Cataurus Hicks. Seymore, a Pitt commit, hauled in a couple of the long passes from Jenkins making the big plays against IMG’s loaded secondary when needed. Hicks is that speedy receiver that is tough for defensive backs to keep track of for four quarters. If all things remain the same, watch for this duo to have big senior campaigns which should raise Hicks’ recruiting opportunities.


Although the scoreboard didn’t go in IMG’s way, there were still some standout performances from their underclassmen. Four-star defensive end Ernest Willor is good, and active. Jordon Johnson-Rubell can cover, and close gaps in a hurry. Johnson is that free safety who can do it all.

Jerrick Gibson is electric. He had two big TD runs against Venice the week before and found ways against the Rockets to make something out of nothing. His second effort, balance, and strength through arm tackles racks up yards and moves the chains. After Gibson got IMG on the board with a 1-yard run late in the second quarter, Tennessee tight end/defensive end commit Jonathan Echols had two big plays on the same drive that included a 40-yard TD reception.