High-SchoolFootball: Heath Shuler
December, 6, 2011
By Mark Tennis & Doug Huff | ESPN.com
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comBuford (Ga.) is looking for its 27th straight win and a state title this weekend.Stringing together multiple wins in a row is a common theme among several of the teams ranked in the POWERADE FAB 50. In this week’s rankings, 11 teams hold winning streaks of 20 games or longer.
No. 1 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) not only leads the FAB 50 with 46 straight wins, dating back to a Sept. 13, 2008 defeat at the hands of St. Xavier (Cincinnati), but the Ironmen also claim the longest current winning streak in the nation.
In two weeks, however, Don Bosco’s streak could be surpassed by Clairton (Clairton, Pa.), a smaller program that plays on the Class 1A level in the Keystone State. With two possible games left in its season, Clairton could start 2012 on a 47-game winning streak.
Two weeks ago, former FAB 50 team Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) had the longest winning streak in the nation stopped at 53 games in the Arizona Division I state championship by Desert Vista (Phoenix).
Other FAB 50 teams on long winning streaks:
No. 32 Lafayette County (Oxford, Miss.) This program has gone 16-0 the past two seasons and is riding a 32-game streak. Their last loss was Dec. 5, 2009 to St. Stanislaus (Bay St. Louis, Miss.), which was quarterbacked by Dylan Favre (Brett Favre’s nephew).
No. 17 Maryville (Maryville, Tenn.) The Rebels have pushed their current total to 29. Their last loss was on Aug. 26, 2010 to Alcoa (Alcoa, Tenn.).
No. 18 Steele (Cibolo, Texas) Could be 29 straight wins by end of season, but now at 27. Last loss came on Sept. 10, 2010 to Tivy (Kerrville, Texas)
No. 19 Miami Central (Miami, Fla.) This team will probably have to knock off FAB 50 No. 2 Armwood to keep its win streak going, but if that happens the streak could get up to 28 by season’s end. Last lost on Sept. 3, 2010 to Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.) in overtime.
No. 27 Buford (Buford, Ga.) If this team wins in its state final this weekend, its win streak will be pushed to 27. Last lost on Sept. 3, 2010 to Carver (Atlanta).
No. 9 Bellevue (Bellevue, Wash.) The Wolverines will take a 26-game win streak into the 2012 season. Last loss was on Sept. 11, 2010 to Skyline (Samammish, Wash.).
No. 3 Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) This year’s run of dominance puts the Shamrocks’ streak at 26. Their last loss, like Don Bosco Prep’s, is to St. Xavier (Cincinnati). That game was played on Sept. 17, 2010.
No. 21 North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.) Team enters this week with 21-game win streak and could get up to 23 after state finals. Last lost Oct. 29, 2010 to North Hills (Pittsburgh).
No. 13 Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) If the Cavs win another state title, their win streak would be up to 22 at the start of next season. Last loss came on Nov. 5, 2010 to Cedar Park (Cedar Park, Texas).
No. 34 Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.) This year’s perfect record gives the Bluebirds a 20-game win streak heading into next year. Last lost Oct. 28, 2010 to Ryle (Union, Ky.).
FAB 50 SPOTLIGHT PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Israel Green, Trotwood-Madison (Trotwood, Ohio)
The 5-foot-9, 200-pound junior running back helped the Rams cap a 15-0 season with a Division II state title by producing a record-breaking game.
The Rams, who finished state runner-up in 2010, defeated Avon (Avon, Ohio) 42-28 as Green set an all-division title game record of six touchdowns while rushing 35 times for a Division II finals' record of 326 yards -- second best for all divisions. He scored four touchdowns in the first half and added the final two in the third quarter.
Green ended the season with 2,085 yards and 27 touchdowns on 222 carries and could be one of the top college prospects among Ohio running backs next season.
In addition to this honor for Green, the Rams were deemed as a worthy FAB 50 program with the No. 42 ranking.
RISING NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK
No. 35 Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.)
The Rebels started the season as the No. 33 team in the preseason FAB 50, but lost two of their first four games to Myrtle Beach (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) and Gaffney (Gaffney, S.C.).
The defending Class 4A-I state champions then reeled off 11 straight wins and avenged the earlier loss to Gaffney by defeating the Indians in the state finals 31-24.
In addition to being undefeated, Gaffney also had risen to No. 8 in the FAB 50 and was as high as No. 2 in another national poll.
It was the fifth straight title game for Byrnes, which has won eight of the last 10 championship contests. The Rebels also have now won 11 overall state crowns.
With sophomore quarterback Shuler Bentley and standout junior wide receiver Akia Booker both returning next season, the Rebles should continue to contend in both the state and national rankings.
LOOKING AHEAD: CIF state bowl games
If all results go according to plan in this weekend’s various section title games played throughout California, the sixth edition of the CIF state bowl games should feature a pair of games involving two FAB 50 teams.
In the CIF Open Division bowl game, the favorites to be chosen as representatives from Northern California and Southern California are FAB 50 No. 11 De La Salle of Concord and No. 14 Westlake of Westlake Village. If that happens, then the 10 CIF section commissioners who will pick the games next Sunday would likely select FAB 50 No. 24 Bellarmine of San Jose to play against FAB 50 No. 44 Centennial of Corona.
De La Salle won the title in the CIF Open Division last year with a 48-8 win against Servite of Anaheim and is the only school in the state that has been in the bowl games every year since the event began in 2006.