Football: Clearwater Central Catholic at Jacksonville University Christian preview (Class 1 Metro state semifinals) — Dec. 2

Class 1M state semifinals

Clearwater Central Catholic (11-1) at Jacksonville University Christian (11-1), 7. tonight

How they got here: Clearwater Central Catholic d. Indian Rocks Christian 63-12, d. Carrollwood Day 21-11; Jacksonville University Christian d. Orlando First Academy 42-13, d. Jacksonville Trinity Christian 36-27.

Up next: The winner faces the Chaminade Madonna-True North Classical Academy winner in the state title game on Thursday (Dec. 8) in Tallahassee.

Stat leaders
CategoryClearwater Central CatholicJacksonville University Christian
Passing yardsJershaun Newton, 1,880 (20 TDs)Dwayne Stuckey, 1,363 (14 TDs)
Rushing yardsLenwood Sapp, 1,177 (13 TDs)Orel Gray, 1,858 (29 TDs)
Receiving yardsNate Johnson III, 827 (7 TDs)Jenoa Alford, 761 (11 TDs)
TacklesAndy Jaffe, 92Luke Thomas, 97
SacksCarson Schiavello, 6Desirrio Riles, 12
InterceptionsArtrevian McClellan, 4Orel Gray, 4

Clearwater Central Catholic is in the state semifinals for the ninth time overall and is making its eighth appearance in the past 11 seasons.

Now, the Marauders are trying to take the next step by reaching the state final for the second time in school history (the first was 2013).

CCC has a veteran team that went through steady growth the past three seasons. After going 5-5 in 2020, the Marauders reached the region final last season and are now in the state semifinals for the first time since 2019.

They also have plenty of momentum with 10 straight wins, all by double digits.

The success is due in large part to an offense that CCC’s Chris Harvey said is his best in seven seasons as coach of the program. Jershaun Newton, in his first season as the full-time starting quarterback, already has passed and ran for more than 1,000 yards this season. He needs to 20 more yards passing to reach 2,000 this year.

The Marauders also have another 1,000-yard rusher (Lenwood Sapp) and a receiver (Nate Johnson III) who has more than 800 yards.

And don’t forget about the defense, which has allowed 12 points or less in five of the last six games.

All of CCC’s previous state semifinals have come against teams in Palm Beach or Broward County schools. In fact, this is the first time the Marauders have traveled to Jacksonville for a game.

University Christian, ranked No. 3 in the class by MaxPreps, has four straight games and is undefeated at home (7-0) this year. Last week, the Christians beat rival Jacksonville Trinity Christian for the first time since 1992.