Sony Michel was held in check Friday night by Miami Central as they stacked the box with eight or nine defenders. The No. 2 running back who plays for American Heritage of Plantation, Fla. had a couple of big plays including a 60-plus yard touchdown called back and the Patriots fell to the Miami Central Rockets 42-20.
While Michel, a Georgia commitment had a hard time finding daylight to run to, Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook did not. Each averaged over nine yards per carry.
This game drew a lot of attention because of the three elite running backs on the field together, the other highly recruited prospects involved in the game, and Miami Central being ranked as one of the top high school teams in the country.
Winning the game is the first thing Yearby wanted to do.
"We came into this game wanting to play as a team and win as a team. There was a lot of hype about this one, so we wanted to deal with it the right way, just play football, and do what it took to win. I did not care about the stats or any of that. I don't ever think about those things," Yearby said.
His stat line looked good on Friday night. The Miami commitment unofficially ran for 199 yards on 21 carries and he scored two touchdowns.
He had the most yards and carries of any of the three backs. Yearby is the No. 4 back in the country in the middle of Michel (59 yards on 13 carries) and Cook. Should he be the top back in the Sunshine State?
"I don't care about being the best to be honest. I want to be a team player, help the team be successful, and show the youth kids around that they can be successful too. I do not care about any order."
The Florida commitment and the No. 6 back in America had four touchdowns and 147 yards rushing on 13 carries. He gives his teammate partial credit for those numbers.
"I think we each benefit off each other," Cook said. "We make each other better and we work hard together. Whoever is feeling it the most is who will have the biggest game, but we both push each other. Joseph got it started, then I got going too."
Like Yearby, Cook only wanted to leave American Heritage as a winner. He thinks that attitude could help the Rockets go a long way in 2013.
"It feels great to win the game and we are going to keep working to get better from here. The win is the only thing that matters to us and that is what we are focused on each week. We want to win each week and we work hard for that. That is all we think about at Miami Central."
Michel may be the highest ranked running back in Florida, but not by much. There is no doubt though who has the best pair.
Cook showed the speed most expected to see Friday night.
They 5-foot-9, 180 pound Yearby and the 5-11, 197 pound Cook make up that backfield. It may not just be the best in Florida, but the best in the country.
"I think we are the best duo in the country at running back. I feel confident about that," said Cook with a smile after the big win.
Yearby has vision, quick feet, and patience while Cook is explosive, the man with top end speed, and a versatile athlete who could also shine on defense.
We know the two are extremely close and how they feed off one another on the football field now, so is there is there any chance they end up at the same college?
"I am going to take some official visits and me and Dalvin are planning to take the visits together," Yearby said. "Louisville, Florida, USC, and Miami are schools we have talked about visiting. We are working each other for sure."
Yearby said he is solid to Miami and Cook said the same about his commitment status to Florida.
One last question was asked though and it had something to do with the possibility that the two close friends and teammates out of Miami, Fla. end up continuing their success on the same college team.
"I will just say, it is a long time until February," Cook said real quick with a grin.