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Instant Replay: A finals and semifinals rankings feast

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

The home stretch is here. Within two weeks we'll have a new RivalsHigh 100 national champion, eyes will turn to basketball and the 2011 football season will officially be behind us. Luckily, there are still some phenomenal football games to be played, with a handful of major state title games and state semifinals played over the weekend forcing through even more changes in the always adjusting RivalsHigh 100.

No. 41 Lake Oswego (Ore.) 47, No. 21 Sheldon (Ore.) 14: That Sheldon emerged victorious from this grudge match of a state title game wasn't a shock. That it did so in a relative blowout was, with star transfer running back Stephen Long setting the pace with an impressive, 322 yards and four touchdowns on the ground for the newly crowned state champs.

No. 74 Monroe (La.) Neville 27, New Orleans (La.) Karr 7: This one could have been close ... but it wasn't. Instead, Neville made a final statement that it deserved to be in the national rankings with a one-sided rollout in the Louisiana Class 4A state title game, earning the 10th state crown in school history and second in three years in the process.'

No. 92 West Monroe (La.) 20, No. 84 Carencro (La.) 13: If the Louisiana Class 4A game couldn't quite live up to the hype, the Class 5A game made up for it, with two run-oriented teams battling through a defensive dogfight. West Monroe held Carencro to just 87 yards rushing in the game -- that's 261 less than the team's season average -- as the Rebels eventually prevailed in one of the tougher state title games of the weekend.

Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage 30, No. 88 Madison County (Fla.) 3: Well, this was a surprise. The Florida Class 3A state title game was only 7-3 at halftime, but American Heritage running back Greg Bryant exploded for most of his 243 yards and three touchdowns in the second half, helping the 11-2 underdogs to a major upset.

Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith 47, Centreville (Va.) 21: Centreville made a valiant attempt, but ultimately failed to slow down Oscar Smith's daunting offense, which racked up nearly 50 points en route to another state title for the decorated program.

No. 31 Southlake (Texas) Carroll 28, No. 3 Dallas (Texas) Skyline 24: The Dragons miraculously scored 14 points and recovered an onside kick all in the span of just 1:07 in this epic matchup, though that hardly was the headline. Why's that? Because of this little fox, who happened to scamper across the field, apropos of nothing.

No. 12 Westlake (Calif.) 49, No. 50 Westlake (Calif.) Oaks Christian 42: It took everything they had, but Westlake closed out rival Oaks Christian yet again with a touchdown victory that staked its claim for a spot in the CIF Open Bowl.

No. 9 Loganville (Ga.) Grayson 24, No. 22 Marietta (Ga.) Walton 0: Everyone knew that Grayson was a top-10 caliber team, but no one truly realized that the Rams were a national title contender. After shutting out a fellow top-25 ranked team, it's clear that they are, with a 24-0 blanking as their final, lasting statement of 2011 dominance.

Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles School 33, No. 86 Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington 25: Bolles rolled off 21 consecutive fourth quarter points en route to this thrilling upset, using a crafty misdirection offense to keep the Booker T. defense on its back foot all game.

No. 34 Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee 19, No. 60 Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer 14: This ranked semifinal went down to the last play, when Manatee got a break with star Dwyer quarterback Faton Bauta leaving on the game's second-to-last play ... and what turned out to be the final snap of his high school career.

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