Vapor Trail, Super Speed advance to final
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Play continued Friday at the second annual Nike 7ON passing championship at Nike World Headquarters. Seven high school squads battled for the championship: Team Zoom Blade (Duncan, S.C.), Team Vapor Trail (Miami), Team Zoom Fly (Dallas), Team Land Sharks (Gardena, Calif.), Super Speed (DeSoto, Texas), Field Generals (Lakewood, Calif.) and Merciless (Gainesville, Ga.). The quarterfinal round is double-elimination.
Editor's note: Only seven teams played Friday. The eighth team in the event, the Vapor Jets of Pahokee, Fla., were sent home early because of what Nike officials called code-of-conduct violations.
Super Speed 38, Zoom Fly 21
In an all-Texas quarterfinal showdown, Super Speed converted the most big plays and came away with an emotional victory. Zoom Fly simply had no answer for Super Speed wideout Darius Terrell, a Texas commit, and running back Marcus Murphy. Terrell caught nine passes for 81 yards and three touchdowns. Murphy, meanwhile, was unstoppable downfield, catching 10 passes from quarterback Ryan Polite for 207 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown. For Super Speed, Polite completed 35 of 43 passes for a whopping 412 yards and six touchdowns. For Zoom Fly, quarterback Javia Hall finished 30 of 46 for 363 yards and three touchdowns.
Game MVP: Murphy
Zoom Blade 34, Merciless 0
In the hotel Thursday night, Zoom Blade talked about team unity and not breaking the links that keep the unit together. Not surprisingly, they came out firing on all cylinders Friday morning against an overmatched Merciless club. The team defense was in position on every possession, as linebacker Creighton Frost, defensive backs Zach Miller, Devin Miller and Aerial Byrd all came up with interceptions. Three of the interceptions came against starting Merciless quarterback Blake Sims, an Alabama recruit. He finished 11 of 22 passing for 99 yards. His counterpart on Zoom Blade, Chas Dodd, was on target before being pulled after his first drive of the second half. He finished the game having completed 19 of 30 passes for 284 yards and four touchdowns. Marcus Lattimore, the 2008 EA SPORTS National Junior Player of the Year, had a big game for Zoom Blade, catching a 4-yard touchdown pass after a 50-yard reception. Lattimore finished with four receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Nick Jones (2010) also had a big game, finishing with four receptions for 91 yards and two scores.
Game MVP: Lattimore
Land Sharks 27, Field Generals 13
In the second half, the Land Sharks came back from a 13-6 deficit at the break. A 60-yard bomb from Connor Preston to George Farmer tied the score, and then Preston went to All-American Robert Woods for a 2-yard jump ball in the end zone for the go-ahead score. The Land Sharks also were led by Devan Spann's pair of interceptions. Jesse Scroggins had two TD passes for the Field Generals, both going to Chris Davis.
Vapor Trail 26, Zoom Blade 15
After completing pool play 3-0 and receiving a quarterfinal bye, the Nike 7ON favorites from Miami took on a Zoom Blade team that was confident it would be able to compete. Zoom Blade gave a valiant effort and went into the second half tied with Vapor Trail 8-8. Vapor Trail, however, made big defensive plays and executed just enough on offense to pull out the gut-check win. Vapor Trail showed its championship moxie by erasing Zoom Blade's 14-14 lead with a 5-yard touchdown reception by Roy Smith, who had a great tournament and should see his recruitment pick up when he gets back home to Florida. His score gave Vapor Trail a 20-16 lead it would not relinquish. Lorenzo Shinholster finished with seven receptions for 150 yards and two scores. Vapor Trail quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed 20 of 29 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns. Zoom Blade signal-caller Chas Dodd finished 25 of 37 for 309 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
Game co-MVPs: Smith and Shinholster
Super Speed 36, Land Sharks 27
After stopping a 2-point conversion try that would have given the Land Sharks a one-point lead with eight minutes left in the game, Team Super Speed iced the victory by driving for a touchdown and two-point conversion for an insurmountable nine-point lead with two minutes remaining. Ryan Polite's 29-yard scoring pass to Texas commit Darius Terrell was followed by a two-point pass to Sam Ajala to advance to the final. Polite was red-hot from the start, completing his first 12 passes and leading the Texans to touchdowns on their first three possessions. His three scores went to three different receivers -- one to Terrell from 20 yards and then shorter tosses of 8 and 4 yards to Sam Ajala and David Porter, respectively. Polite finished 32 of 43 for 401 yards and five touchdowns. In addition to his three TD catches, Terrell caught an additional nine passes for 138 yards. Marcus Murphy didn't score for Team Super Speed, but the shifty senior led everyone in the game with 12 grabs for 146 yards. Woods was again spectacular, picking up 189 yards on 11 catches and had three go for touchdowns.
Ronnie Flores is a senior editor at ESPNRISE.com. Mark Tennis is a deputy editor of ESPNRISE.com.
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