Several state football championship games with POWERADE FAB 50 implications took place on the final weekend of the 2011 season and the ESPNHS.com, ESPN Recruiting Nation and ESPN Dallas staffs were on hand for a number of them.
Get complete FAB 50 scores here.
No. 11 De La Salle dominates No. 13 Westlake to cap 2011 season
CARSON, Calif. — After winning the last two CIF Open Division state bowl titles by scores of 28-14 and 48-8, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) added another signature performance in Saturday's FAB 50 showdown against Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.), blanking the Warriors 35-0 for its third straight Open Division state title before 9,645 at The Home Depot Center.
De La Salle (13-1), which was No. 11 in last week's FAB 50, posted a shutout against a Westlake (14-1) team that was No. 13 and averaging 47.6 points per game coming into the night.
Once this De La Salle team got healthier and bounced back from its only loss to St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in September, it ended up being smooth sailing to another California title. Since 1991, De La Salle has lost just two postseason games -- the 2006 CIF Division I bowl game to Canyon (Canyon Country, Calif.) and the 2008 CIF Division I bowl game to Centennial (Corona, Calif.).
Elite 11 quarterback Bart Houston started his third straight state bowl game and was the Cal-Hi Sports Game MVP. Houston only completed 7-of-12 passes but had 180 yards and one touchdown. The Wisconsin-bound standout also rushed for 47 yards on seven carries and scored twice.
"What does it mean? These guys right here — me, Anthony Williams, Michael B [Barton] are the only people in California history to win three state titles," Houston said. "It means a lot for the program, for our Spartan brothers and it's great to uphold the Spartan tradition."
— Mark Tennis, ESPNHS.com
Dekaney wins title in first-ever playoff appearance
Dekaney (Houston) upset FAB 50 No. 14 Steele (Cibolo, Texas) 34-14 in the Class 5A Division II state championship game.
Star tailback Trey Williams scored three times in leading Dekaney to its first state title. The Texas A&M commit rushed for 197 yards on the way to ending Steele’s 28-game winning streak and a bid at consecutive titles.
The win proved even more impressive given that the school fielded its first varsity team in 2008 and this year marked the first time the Wildcats ever made the state playoffs.
Plant overpowers Miramar for Class 8A Crown
ORLANDO, Fla. — FAB 50 No. 29 Plant (Tampa, Fla.) toppled No. 6 Miramar (Miramar, Fla.) 31-20 in the Class 8A finale. The Tampa area program has won three state titles in the last four seasons in three different classifications.
After a late Plant turnover, the defense responded with a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown to give the Panthers an 11-point lead with six minutes remaining.
"It feels great going to state all four years," said hard-hitting senior safety Drew Madhu, a Stanford commit. "But it feels better having three rings to show for it."
Head coach Bob Weiner registered his fourth state championship in his eight seasons at the helm.
"It doesn’t matter the classification," said Weiner, "our kids always respond and the same is true tonight."
— Kynon Codrington, ESPNHS.com
Central Dauphin wins first state title in snowy battle
FAB 50 No. 40 Central Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.) converted their first trip to the PIAA AAAA championship game into a coveted title by downing North Penn (Lansdale, Pa.) 14-7.
On a snowy night at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa., the versatile Drew Scales contributed all over the field for the Rams, tallying 183 total yards of offense. Scales also stepped up on special teams, as his clutch 47-yard kickoff return with the game tied in the fourth quarter set up the winning scoring drive, which was finished by a two-yard score from tailback Zayd Issah with just over eight minutes left in the game.
Central Dauphin milked the clock late with a series of first downs to secure the win.
No. 7 Southlake Carroll upends No. 46 Hightower, ties Texas record
Junior quarterback Kenny Hill completed 19-of-24 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 116 yards and two scores to lift the FAB 50 No. 7 Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas) to the Class 5A, Division I state championship with a 36-29 win over No. 46 Hightower (Missouri City, Texas), which finished the season at 13-3.
With the win, Southlake Carroll (16-0) earned its eighth state title, tying Celina (Texas) for the Texas state record.
ESPN Dallas has more on the story here.
No. 2 Armwood caps stellar season with Class 6A title
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Armwood (Seffner, Fla.) defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns, as the POWERADE FAB 50 No. 2 Hawks downed No. 17 Miami Central (Miami) 40-31 in the Class 6A state championship. Head coach Sean Callahan notched his third state title after a runner-up finish last season in Class 4A.
Armwood’s versatile junior athlete Alvin Bailey turned in an MVP performance by racking up three touchdowns, two passing and one receiving.
"I couldn’t have done this without my teammates,” said Bailey. "I’m so blessed, no one can take this away from us."
The Hawks (15-0) knocked off three FAB 50-ranked opponents this season, including state champion No. 9 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), and also ended Central’s (13-1) chance to repeat as 6A champions.
"This win is special," said an elated Callahan. "We’ve had some off-the-field issues, but our kids have overcome it. I’m so proud for them and the entire Seffner community."
— Kynon Codrington, ESPNHS.com
Santa Margarita wins D-I state title with 16 seconds left
CARSON, CALIF. — It was almost as if there were dueling Tim Tebows in the CIF Division I state bowl game on Friday night at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
For FAB 50 No. 45 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), its version of Tebow, 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior Johnny Stanton, had the ball last and that was enough for the Eagles to beat FAB 50 No. 23 Bellarmine (San Jose, Calif.) 42-37. Stanton scored the winning touchdown with 16 seconds left when he leaped on a fourth-down play from the 1-yard line and extended the ball past the plane.
"It was a perfect way to end it," Stanton said. "I tried it (the leap) first against Mission Viejo and thought I'd try it again. The seniors worked so hard for this."
Stanton drove Santa Margarita down the field after Bellarmine had scored with 5:06 left on a 1-yard run by Justin Taliaferro.
The Bells' leader was its senior quarterback, Travis McHugh, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior who also runs the ball as well as he throws it. McHugh completed 9-of-15 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown and ran for 152 yards and another score on 21 carries.
Meanwhile, Stanton finished the game completing 14-of-25 passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 69 yards.
Santa Margarita earned its first CIF state title with the win, while the team's coach, Harry Welch, won his third for a third different school. Welch, who took over the Eagles' program last season, is the only coach in California with state titles with more than one school.
— Mark Tennis, ESPNHS.com
Lake Travis adds to dynastic run with fifth "star"
ARLINGTON, Texas — All that’s left in FAB 50 No. 12 Lake Travis' "Drive for Five" now is figuring out where to place the fifth star, representing the school’s five state titles, on the LT logo.
Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) made Texas high school football history, winning its fifth straight state title Friday, beating Waco Midway 22-7 at Cowboys Stadium in the Class 4A Division I championship game.
"We've got to be at the beginning of the discussion when you talk about the very best dynasties in Texas football history and this is the best state for football," Lake Travis coach Hank Carter said. "It’s special to be a part of it."
Lake Travis wide receiver and the game's offensive MVP Colin Lagasse led Lake Travis’ attack; gaining 130 of the team’s total 388 yards on 11 catches. Quarterback Baker Mayfield supplied the connection, throwing for 276 yards and one touchdown.
Lake Travis jumped to a 10-0 lead on a 17-yard touchdown pass to TCU commit Griffin Gilbert, brother of former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert, and a 26-yard field goal from Kevin Marcotte.
Midway’s lone score of the game was a 90-yard kickoff return by Orion Stewart to begin the second half.
Wherever it ends up, it’s the fifth star that will definitely be the sweetest.
"We don’t know what we’re doing with the logo yet, but people smarter than me will figure that out," Carter said with a five-star smile.
— Travis L. Brown, ESPNDallas.com
Manatee blanks First Coast for fifth state title
ORLANDO, Fla. — No. 15 Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.) dominated in all three phases of the game en route to a 40-0 thrashing of No. 42 First Coast (Jacksonville, Fla.) in the Class 7A title game Friday night at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
For Manatee head coach Joe Kinnan, it was his fifth ring – and first since 1992 - in 30 seasons at his high school alma mater.
It was a full team effort for the Hurricanes, with junior quarterback Cord Sandberg leading the way with 261 total yards and two scores. The Hurricanes’ defense picked off a pair of red-zone passes, while junior defensive lineman Derrick Calloway registered three sacks and forced a fumble. And the special teams blocked a punt that junior Blake Keller recovered for a touchdown.
"It’s an honor to be a part of this team and win the first state title since 1992," said Sandberg.
The Canes return 24 starters from their two-deep next season and figure to be the top team in Florida for 2012.
"We feel like we are the best team in the state," said Kinnan. "I’m excited for next year and a chance to play Don Bosco Prep in Week 3."
Kinnan was referring to next year's rematch with the FAB 50 No. 1 Ironmen. This year, Bosco edged Manatee, 22-16, in Bradenton.
— Kynon Codrington, ESPNHS.com
Wood lays the wood to earn first PIAA championship in school history
HERSHEY, Pa. — Cousins Brandon and Desmon Peoples let Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) know early its run defense would be in for a long night with long first-quarter touchdown runs.
The touchdowns kept coming, too, as FAB 50 No. 22 Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) routed McDevitt 52-0 for the program's first PIAA Class AAA championship. Brandon ran for a game-high 171 yards and three scores, but Desmon wasn’t far behind with 151 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Similar to Wood’s 14 other wins, the starters didn’t play long into the second half.
As a team, Wood outrushed McDevitt 343-20. The PIAA football finals were first played in 1988 and this win marked the largest margin of victory in the 24 years of PIAA state championship games.
"We just come out and play our game – that’s it," said tight end Colin Thompson, a Florida commit. "We don’t let anyone dictate the way we want to play. We come out and play our game and they were in our way."
— Jared Shanker, ESPN Recruiting Nation
Johnson scores five TDs in Miami Norland rout
ORLANDO, Fla. — After being denied a state crown a year ago by Jefferson (Tampa, Fla.) in the Class 3A state final, FAB 50 No. 8 Miami Norland (Miami) brought home its first state title since 2002 after blanking Wakulla (Crawfordville, Fla.) 38-0 in the Class 5A championship at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
Miami Norland senior running back Randy “Duke” Johnson is one of the most explosive players in the Sunshine State and a highlight reel waiting to happen every time he touches the ball. And the Miami commit proved it Friday afternoon by rushing for four touchdowns and returning a kick 69 yards for another score in the rout. Hurricane Nation is hoping he can come in next year and be the same type of impact player at The U.
"This is a dream," he said. "We lost last year and I missed some time this year due a suspension. For all this to come together and score five touchdowns, it doesn’t get much better."
The Vikings (14-0) finished with their first undefeated season in school history, while head coach Daryle Heidelburg captured his first crown.
"The one word to describe the win is redemption," said Heidelburg. "We have a resilient group and the team chemistry was special. Duke is our leader and he came up big today. This hasn’t sunk in yet."
— Kynon Codrington, ESPNHS.com