High School: Cameron Washington

Offensive POYs: Timberview QB, Corsicana RB

January, 3, 2012
1/03/12
12:01
AM CT
OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Class 5A: QB Chuck Taylor, Mansfield Timberview

The 5-9, 185-pound senior was the inspirational leader of a 12-3 Timberview team that became the first in Mansfield ISD to reach a state football semifinal.

Taylor, in his third varsity season, threw for 1,998 yards and 16 touchdowns, but it was his ball-carrying skills that set him apart. He rushed for 1,972 yards and 23 touchdowns and scored a team-leading 142 points.

2011 FOOTBALL AWARDS
Dec. 27: Coaches of the year
Dec. 28: Games of the year
Dec. 29: Newcomers of the year
Dec. 30: Best of the rest
Jan. 2: Defensive POYs
Jan. 3: Offensive POYs
Jan. 4: MVPs
The Wolves finished tied for third in the District 5-5A standings and had to deal with the mid-October loss of offensive coordinator Cody McCarty, who died from sudden heart complications. McCarty, 29, was Taylor’s position coach.

Taylor and his teammates kept the memory of their coach as a focal point in the their Class 5A Division II playoff run, taking down Colleyville Heritage, Flower Mound Marcus, Abilene and Abilene Cooper before losing to eventual state champion Spring Dekaney, 56-19, in a state semifinal.

In the 29-25 regional playoff win over Cooper in Abilene, Taylor ran 25 yards for the winning touchdown with 16 seconds remaining.

In November, the versatile Taylor signed a letter of intent to play baseball at UT-Arlington. He is an outfielder.

Class 4A: RB Cameron Washington, Corsicana

The 6-foot, 190-pound senior was a textbook example of an athlete raising his level of play when the postseason arrived.

In playoff wins over Manor, Sulphur Springs, Frisco Centennial and Kilgore, Washington carried 121 times for 1,085 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Corsicana (13-2) was eliminated from the playoffs in a state semifinal by eventual Class 4A Division II state champion Aledo.

Washington was a Tigers’ workhorse, carrying 352 times for 3,136 yards and 46 touchdowns. Along the way, Washington broke the school’s single-season rushing record. He averaged 8.9 yards per carry and scored 46 touchdowns, finishing the season with 286 points.

Washington crossed the 200-yard rushing barrier in 11 games with a high game of 320 yards in a 47-33 area-round playoff win over Sulphur Springs.

He scored at least one touchdown in all 15 of his team’s games and notched five touchdowns in a game twice, in the final regular-season game against Forney and in the bi-district win over Manor.

Washington was named to the Associated Press’ Class 4A all-state first team.
The little stories that arose during the 2011 high school football season are what made it so memorable. Here are some of the ESPNDallas.com high school team's picks for "Best of the Rest" awards commemorating those stories.

Best 2-way player: Sabian Holmes. Holmes was Southlake Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill's No. 1 option in the Dragon's pass game throughout the season and tallied 138 yards on 11 catches and a touchdown in the 5A Division I state championship. He also was a reliable defensive back and made a touchdown-saving, diving swat late in the title game that became one of the key plays that allowed Carroll to win its eighth state football championship.

Best individual performance: Robbie Rhodes. The Fort Worth Southwest receiver tied a national record and set a state record when he scored eight touchdowns in a 66-21 win over Fort Worth Arlington Heights. He had 10 catches for a state-record 390 yards.

2011 FOOTBALL AWARDS
Dec. 27: Coaches of the year
Dec. 28: Games of the year
Dec. 29: Newcomers of the year
Dec. 30: Best of the rest
Jan. 2: Defensive POYs
Jan. 3: Offensive POYs
Jan. 4: MVPs
Honorable mention: Wesley Harris. The Southwest quarterback also broke the state record for touchdown passes with nine in the same game.

Best matchup on paper: Johnathan Gray vs. Cameron Washington. Two 3,000-yard rushers met for the first time in the playoffs when Gray and Aledo faced off against Washington and Corsicana in the 4A Division II state semifinal. The game turned out to be not nearly as great as it was billed because of the effort of Aledo’s defense to hold Washington to just 91 yards. Gray tallied 218 yards and claimed his 204th career touchdown, tying the national record.

Best milestone: 300 wins. Highland Park coach Randy Allen earned win No. 300 when his Scots beat Richardson J.J. Pearce 41-27 at Highlander Stadium. The win tied Allen for 10th all-time in the state with Gregory-Portland’s Ray Akins.

Best school districts: Arlington, Mansfield and Frisco ISDs had a lot of work still left to do long after the regular season ended as each sent two schools into the third round of the playoffs. Two Keller ISD schools made the playoffs in the always-tough District 7-5A. Mesquite ISD sent three teams into the playoffs and not many would have expected the Mesquite Skeeters to be the only team left alive in the 5A Division I region semifinals.

Best revenge wins: Skyline and Arlington Martin. It took five tries, but Arlington Martin finally ended Euless Trinity’s season early for once, beating the Trojans 19-7 at Trinity’s home stadium, Pennington Field. Skyline and DeSoto met for the fourth straight time in the playoffs and Skyline avenged it’s 38-0 loss to the Eagles last season with a 41-31 win in 2011.

Best under the radar star: Jake Oliver. Oliver of Jesuit had 108 catches for 1,637 yards and 23 touchdowns and was key in Jesuit’s district run after starting quarterback Jack Brezette was lost for the season with a knee injury. Oliver was a finalist for the Tom Landry award.
ALEDO (12-2) vs. CORSICANA (13-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium


What: Class 4A Division II state semifinal.

UIL PLAYOFFS
STAFF PICKS
Bi-district »   Area round »
Region semis »   Region finals »
State semis »   Finals »   Totals »

STATE BRACKETS
Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

REGION BRACKETS
5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

When we saw them last: Aledo got revenge on rival Stephenville 33-0 after the Yellowjackets had defeated the Bearcats in Zero Week. Aledo running back and Texas commit Johnathan Gray finished with 195 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown but was ejected in the third period for his second unsportsmanlike conduct flag. Corsicana beat Kilgore at its own game, pounding away on the ground with running back Cameron Washington. Washington’s 244 yards put him over the 3,000-yard mark for the season.

What’s at stake: The winner will reach the 4A Division II state final to face the winner of the semifinal game between Manvel (14-0) and Corpus Christi Calallen (13-1).

Record watch: Gray sits at 10,449 career yards, putting him fourth nationally. He needs 446 yards to move into the third spot, passing Kevin Parks Jr. of Mount Ulla West Rowan, N.C. He also sits at 199 career touchdowns, five behind the national leader Michael Heart of Nedrow Onondaga, N.Y. Gray is also second in career points with 1,196, trailing Hart by 50 points.

Key matchup: No way to look past the top rushers in this game. It seems like the only way to keep Gray from eclipsing the 200-yard mark in a game is to get him thrown out. Washington is an underrated rusher who might be the more physical of the two. While he has the agility to make defenders miss, he has surprising power to blow through tacklers. This game will also be a chess match between both head coaches. Corsicana's Phil Castles loves to go for a hurry-up, two-point conversion after the Tigers' first score. If they get the two, the game could come down to Gray’s ability to rush into the end zone again after a touchdown score.

Players to watch: Setting up Gray and Washington are two very skilled leaders at the quarterback position in Corsicana’s DeVontay Bell and Aledo’s Matthew Bishop. Both run the read option to perfection, allowing more space for the rushers lined up behind them. Bell is more of a threat to pick up big yardage on the ground off the read option but isn’t as much of a threat through the air as Bishop. Bishop has quietly tallied almost 3,000 yards passing on the season for 27 touchdowns and is excellent in the short to intermediate passing game. When Bell does throw, he has a quality target in receiver Christian Hines.

Prediction: This will easily be the closest game Aledo will play in this postseason, but the Bearcats will edge Corsicana 35-31.

Historic RB faceoff: Gray versus Washington

December, 6, 2011
12/06/11
7:12
PM CT
Going into this year's state football playoffs, two 3,000-yard rushers never faced off in a Texas postseason game.

That is going to change when Aledo meets Corsicana in a Class 4A Division II state semifinal on Friday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.

Aledo’s Johnathan Gray (3,446 rushing yards) and Corsicana’s Cameron Washington (3,045 yards) arrived at this historic moment with very different levels of fanfare.

UIL PLAYOFFS
STAFF PICKS
Bi-district »   Area round »
Region semis »   Region finals »
State semis »   Finals »   Totals »

STATE BRACKETS
Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

REGION BRACKETS
5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

Here’s a closer look at the two key figures in the game that decides a berth in the Dec. 17 state championship game at Cowboys Stadium.

*Gray, a 5-11, 202-pound senior, was named the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year on Tuesday, the second straight year he has won the award.

An April press conference to announce Gray’s oral commitment to the University of Texas over dozens of suitors drew state-wide coverage.

Gray, who wears No. 32, took over varsity tailback duties early in the 2008 season as a freshman. He is chasing national career records for touchdowns (199), points (1,196) and rushing yards (10,449). He already owns several state records, including most career 100-yard rushing games (49).

Touchdowns are a Gray specialty. He has 59 rushing touchdowns this season, tying his own state record from 2010, and has five more receiving scores. His current point total of 384 total this season is third-best in UIL history.

In a 33-0 win over rival Stephenville in a state quarterfinal Saturday, Gray was ejected after receiving two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for celebration. He missed the final 14 minutes of the game.

Aledo (12-2) is gunning for its third consecutive state title.

*Washington, a 5-9, 180-pound senior, has one college offer, from Lamar, although attention is sure to pick up thanks to his terrorizing playoff run (985 yards, 16 touchdowns in four postseason games).

Two weeks ago, he became the school’s single-season rushing leader.

Washington’s move to varsity running back didn’t happen until his junior season when he finished with 1,517 yards and eight touchdowns in an 11-game season. Corsicana was beaten in bi-district in 2010. Washington, who wears No. 27, was a defensive back as a sophomore.

With 340 carries this season, Washington has proven his durability. His runs represent 57 percent of Corsicana’s offensive plays this season. He has scored 45 touchdowns and 280 points.

In the only 2011 loss for Corsicana (13-1), 47-36 at Waxahachie, Washington was held to a season-low 76 yards.

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