Playoffs

Carol City squeaks past Lake Gibson to win Class 6A state championship

Carol City RB Nay'quan Wright leaps over the end zone line to score his first of two touchdown in the Class 6A State Championship Game. (Jason Beede/FHSF)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Star power might have been what the doctor ordered to power Miami Carol City to a big state championship win over Lake Gibson in the Class 6A Championship game at Camping World Stadium on Saturday, winning 14-6 over the team from Lakeland.

With Carol City alum and rapper Rick Ross in the stadium, a powerful halftime speech was able to jolt some life into the Chiefs who had fought to a scoreless tie in the first half against the Braves.

After both teams traded toward the end of the first quarter when Joshua Hayes intercepted a Marlon Smith pass at the Braves 35-yard line and returned it to the Carol City (11-3) 45-yard line. However, on the very next play Donelle Thomas intercepted a Kevaris Thomas pass at the Carol City 35 yard line and returned it to the Lake Gibson (13-1) 48-yard line.

On Carol City’s first drive of the second half is when things started clicking for the Chiefs as they were able to finally score the first touchdown of the game on a six-play drive that was capped off by a 1-yard Nay’quan Wright carry after he had busted off a 51-yard carry on the previous play.

It appeared late in the third quarter that Lake Gibson might have a chance to potentially tie the game as they forced a fumble on the Chiefs at their own 9-yard line. However, the Braves didn’t get anywhere as Zion Hartfield intercepted a Thomas pass that set up a first and goal. Three plays later Wright was in the end zone for his second and final touchdown of the night to take a 14-0.

It was Wright’s first game back after being out with an injury the past couple of weeks. He finished the game with 18 carries for 109 yards and two touchdowns.

Lake Gibson was able to score midway through the four quarter to erase the shutout on the scoreboard, but a blocked extra point by the Chiefs which made it 14-6, made it tougher for the Braves to make a comeback if they were able to get the ball back and score.

With the impressive defensive performance by both teams, it proved out to be one of the best Class 6A state championship games in the last few years as over 6,700 fans attended the game compared to the 3,900 fans that attended the game last year between Armwood and Miami Central.

The win for Carol City gives them their first state championship victory since 2003 and the first for Aubrey Hill as a head coach who played under the legendary Walt Frazier who won three of Carol City’s now five state championships.

CAROL CITY HEAD COACH AUBREY HILL AFTER THE GAME

CAROL CITY RB NAY’QUAN WRIGHT AFTER THE GAME

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