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Merritt, Howard and Johnson on radio

As things heat up and teams look for that last week magic that will send them to the state football championships in Orlando, the Maroone High School Gridiron Report will be there to bring you up close with the newsmakers.

Joining Larry Blustein on this Wednesday night's (8-9) show on WQAM (560 AM) will be Miami Christopher Columbus head coach Chris Merritt, Miramar defensive back Tracy Howard and Norland running back Randy "Duke" Johnson.

It's been almost 30 years since Columbus has reached that state title game, and while many years of frustration has been built up in southern Miami-Dade County, things could be eased quite a bit with a win at FIU on Friday night against unbeaten and nationally-rated Miramar.

Columbus boasts a solid running game and a defense that has stood up to the test against programs such as Northwestern, Central, Belen Jesuit and Southridge. Coach Merritt realizes that this game will be one of the toughest his team has played this season!

There is little doubt that Howard is the best cover-cornerback in the country. But it's not just what he does in the secondary that makes this elite athlete special.

If you check back to any big game this team has played this season - against St. Thomas, Flanagan, South Plantation, Cypress Bay twice and last week's win over Palm Beach Gardens, it's been a punt return, an interception or huge play by Howard that has swung the outcome of the game.

Howard was a starting cornerback for a Patriot team that won the 6A state title two years ago as a sophomore!

Over the past three years, there has not been a more electrifying player in the state than Johnson, who simply takes over any contest he is a part of - regardless of the competition. Like last week against Glades Central!

This one-time youth football phenom has elevated his play to the point where he has more than earned the No. 1 player in the state of Florida. An honor that this University of Miami commit knows that will mean little if the unbeaten Vikings do not win at Palmetto (Bradenton) this week and make a return trip to Orlando next week!

As he does every week, Jonah Woullard from Generation Nexxt will join the program to spotlight the players and teams in youth football across South Florida.

Last week's South Florida Youth Football League Super Bowl was one of the huge events going on.

If you miss the show on www.wqam.com, you can catch all the interviews that will be archived on http://sfhighschoolsports.com/