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Cameron Smith

Instant Replay: State titles and tribulations

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

There were so many great games across the country this weekend -- there were two editions of the Weekend Watch, keep in mind -- many of them accounting for state titles, that we don't even have any time for introductory statements. There's just too many highlights to get to. And too much to consider how all the results could shake up the RivalsHigh 100. So, without further ado ...

No. 4 Euless Trinity (Texas) 41, No. 28 Coppell (Texas) 40: It doesn't get any more tense than this: With just enough time to run one final play, Trinity called a gutsy option pitch near the Coppell goalline, scoring a game-winning touchdown as time expired to advance on to the Class 5A Div. I semifinals. If there was any question over just how big a game this was, or how much it meant to the Trinity fans, just check out the reaction when Trinity's Tevin Williams hit the goal line.

No. 31 Daphne (Ala.) 7, No. 6 Hoover (Ala.) 6: You know how they say the devil is in the details? Hoover placekicker Larson Real, a returning all-state kicker, certainly understands the statement's gravitas. The Bucs kicker -- normally a reliable contributor -- missed an extra point in the first quarter, then failed to connect on a field goal that would have won the state title for Hoover. Instead, the Bucs have to spend an entire year ruing special teams errors that cost them another trophy in the school's filled case.

No. 11 Don Bosco (N.J.) 37, No. 59 Bergen Catholic (N.J.) 27: Don Bosco never really had a serious shot at repeating its national title, so the best it could hope for was another New Jersey non-public state title. It got that, and earned every bit of it with a tough 10-point victory over archrival Bergen Catholic at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Friday night.

No. 2 St. Edward (Ohio) 35, No. 42 Huber Heights Wayne (Ohio) 28: The Eagles got everything they could handle and more from Ohio State-recruit Braxton Miller, who often looked like a more elusive Troy Smith in this matchup. Through three quarters, everything was going Wayne's way, but Eagles quarterback Kevin Burke, the team's underrated talisman, got his team going. In fact, he did so just in time to spark not one, but two rallies, culminating in a game and title-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes that handed the Eagles the first football state title in school history in what might be the hardest tournament in the entire country.

No. 72 Byrnes (S.C.) 34, No. 15 Dorman (S.C.) 14: The Rebels dominated a rematch of one of the most heated games of the early season to walk away with South Carolina's 4A Div. I title, thanks in large part to 160 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground from running back Shakeem Wharton.

No. 23 Stony Point (Texas) 72, No. 65 DeSoto (Texas) 48: Looking for a dark horse to shoot all the way up the rankings into the Top-0 of the season's final poll? Look no farther than Stony Point, which demolished another ranked team en route to a huge matchup against No. 4 Trinity in the state semifinals. The Tigers do give up some points, but boy can they score. We'll see if they can keep up their offensive fireworks against one of the nation's most talented teams this weekend. If they can, a state title might just be in the offing.

No. 24 Servite (Calif.) 28, No. 53 Alemany (Calif.) 21: One Southern California powerhouse was going to have to miss out on the CIF Pac-5 final, and this time it happened to be Alemany and all-everything quarterback Vernon Adams. Despite Adams' 273 yards passing and two touchdowns through the air and another 153 yards on the ground, it was Servite that survived and advanced, keeping alive the dream of a Pac-5 title, which they can win against fellow undefeated Mission Viejo on Saturday.

No. 73 Myrtle Beach (S.C.) 27, No. 49 South Pointe (S.C.) 23: If Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was worried about future quarterback Everett Golson's ability to adjust on the fly, he can feel a little better after watching Golson adapt to a dominant defensive pass rush from South Pointe and still find a way to win a state championship game. Golson piloted the Seahawks to an impressive second half in which he put together three touchdown drives across the final 22 minutes, overcoming a rough first half and halftime deficit in the process. The result was a Class 3A state title game just a year after Myrtle Beach fell short on the final hurdle.

Sandy Creek (Ga.) 35, No. 33 Peach County (Ga.) 17: It's a rarity for two defending state champions to face off in the playoffs, but that's what happened Friday in Georgia, with AAAA champion Sandy Creek facing off against AAA reigning champ Peach County, thanks to Sandy Creek's drop down to the AAA level in 2010. The larger division defending champ came out on top despite Peach County's national ranking, thanks to 250 yards and three touchdowns through the air from Sandy Creek quarterback Ronnie Bell.

No. 1 South Panola (Miss.) 28, No. 37 Meridian (Miss.) 7: The question in this game wasn't really whether South Panola would win the state title. Everyone expected the all-everything superstar Tigers -- the best vintage in an impressive decade of dominance at South Panola -- to win the state crown. The larger question was whether they would be impressive enough to all but lock up a national title as well. Those questions seemed to be largely answered by 400 total yards of offense against an undefeated foe which had allowed just 92 points in its 14 victories. Now THAT is impressive.

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