Saturday, December 8, 2007
Game played on 10/12/2007 in Langley, Virginia.
Madison vs Stone Bridge Football Highlights 2007
Game played at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia on 10/20/07. Final score: Stone Bridge 27 Madison 7
2007 Northern Region Football Final: Edison vs Stone Bridge
Nov. 23, 2007
2007 Div. 5 State Football Semifinal: Phoebus vs Stone Bridge
Dec. 1, 2007. In fine come-from-behind style, Stone Bridge won 38-24.
Video of State Championship win to be posted as sonon as avaialible.
In the first quarter, Stone Bridge's No. 3 Jeron Gouveia is taken down by Potomac's No. 4 Darius Brent.
In the first quarter with 3:43 on the clock, Stone Bridge's No. 8 Matt Irwin takes down Potomac's No. 7 Abdul Kanneh.
In the fourth quarter with 10:57 on the clock, Stone Bridge's No. 3 Jeron Gouveia comes under Potomac's No. 2 Mulju Kalokoh. Stone Bridge was up, 24-0, at the time.
The Washington Post -- 305 Harrison St. SE -- Suite 100-ALeesburg VA 20175
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
It's a Brave new world for Boone
The Braves outlast Apopka 21-18 to secure their first trip to the state final, and it will be a short one to the Citrus Bowl.
Sentinel Staff Writer
December 8, 2007
The Boone Braves will play for a Class 6A football state championship.
Those words never had been true before Friday night.
The Braves (14-0) defeated Apopka (12-2) 21-18 to advance to the Class 6A state championship game for the first time. Boone will play Miami Northwestern, the nation's No. 1 team, next Saturday at the Citrus Bowl.
"I don't think any coach at the beginning of the season thinks his team is going to be undefeated going into the state championship game," Boone Coach Phil Ziglar said. "You dream about something like this."
Facing a fourth-and-6 at Boone's 22-yard line, Apopka was down by three and in field-goal range with less than two minutes remaining. Apopka took its last timeout.
Then Ziglar gathered his players and reminded them of what happened last year when Boone played Lake Brantley in the state semifinal, took the lead with 1 minute, 49 seconds left, gave up a touchdown with 1:17 remaining and lost 34-31.
"I said, 'Guys, it's 1:40 again,' " Ziglar said. " 'Let's not go home this time.' "
Apopka fumbled the snap and fell on it, and the nervous Boone fans who made up two-thirds of the sellout crowd erupted.
"We were not going to lose this game," Boone defensive back/receiver Jeremy Brown said. "We love this stuff."
The big plays with which Apopka demoralized opponents most of the season belonged to Boone in the first half.
The Braves' James Washington finished with 186 rushing yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run. He picked up a 54-yard run on the first play after Apopka's kickoff. He later picked up a 22-yard run to start the Braves' first touchdown drive.
On Boone's fourth possession, quarterback Sam Hutsell found receiver Jeremy Brown on a deep route for an 80-yard touchdown.
"We observed that there was no deep safety," Brown said. "It was a great throw from Sam Hutsell."
Facing an early deficit and unable to break off spectacular plays, Apopka put together methodical but effective drives. Quarterback Jeremy Gallon finished with 127 rushing yards and a touchdown. Apopka running back Jeremy Rouse finished with 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
"They were the better team tonight," Apopka Coach Rick Darlington said, nodding.
The Blue Darters failed to convert two-point conversions on their first two touchdowns, then missed the extra point on their third.
Three crucial Boone fumbles helped the Blue Darters stay close.
With 3:34 left, Hutsell was hit hard and fumbled right at Apopka's Deiontae Payne. Payne's fumble recovery began the drive that threatened Boone's lead.
But the comeback was not to be.
"I love these kids; these sophomores played like seniors," said Akeem Jones, an Apopka senior offensive lineman, one of the few senior starters on the team. "This is just the building block for next year."
But Stewart also has one major worry about the Spartans’ opponent, Wilmington Hoggard (14-0).
“Our worry is that they will push us all over the field,” Stewart said.
Today’s game will showcase Mount Tabor’s speed against Hoggard’s brawn. It will be the second championship-game appearance for Mount Tabor, the Class 4-A runner-up in 2003, and it will be the first appearance for Hoggard, a team that is 28-1 over the past two seasons.
Hoggard’s offensive success comes from a big offensive line that has sprung tailback Shawn Sidbury for 1,624 yards. Quarterback Mark Crecco, who was injured in the quarterfinals and played sparingly last week, has practiced this week and likely will see some playing time. But he could share the snaps with Brad Busby, a 6-3 junior who brings an element of added athleticism.
Last week against Southern Durham, Hoggard also added a new wrinkle to its offense, lining up Luke Caldwell, a 6-3 senior and the Vikings’ top receiver, at tailback in a Single-Wing formation.
“They like to pound it at you with the Sidbury kid,” Stewart said. “He can run at you, he can run over you, and he can run around you. He is very athletic. They are a very big and very physical team. They don’t make many mistakes up front.
“Crecco (pronounced cree-co) gives them a little more in the passing game. He has been there for a while and can probably communicate with coaches the things he has seen on the field. Busby is an athlete, which a lot of times, that’s more dangerous. He might not have as good a grasp on the offense, but if he busts a play he can still make something happen.”
Stewart stressed that Hoggard wants to run, as it did in last week’s 21-6 win over Southern Durham. The Vikings rushed on all of their final 37 plays.
On defense, Hoggard has decent size on its line, especially the side that includes Jonathan Cooper. Cooper is a 6-4, 300-pounder who also starts at left guard on offense and has narrowed his Division I choices to three schools, including Wake Forest. Cooper has also been chosen to play in the Shrine Bowl, where he will team with Ed Gainey of Mount Tabor, a senior safety.
Stewart said that the Vikings have a strong secondary and quick linebackers.
“They have the best defense we have seen,” Stewart said. “But we may be one of the better offenses they have seen, especially with the way we have executed in the playoffs.”
Mount Tabor and Hoggard have made their paths to the final look pretty easy - the Spartans have outscored their four playoff opponents 152-55, and Hoggard has outscored its opponents133-51.
Mount Tabor’s season has been a roller-coaster ride, one that started with high expectations, lapsed into mediocrity with three losses in midseason, then rose again with its winning streak.
Since the Spartans have gotten healthy, their performances have been steady and convincing. The only time Mount Tabor has trailed in the playoffs was in the first round. High Point Central took a 7-0 lead in that game, but the Spartans scored 35 points unanswered points to win going away.
In subsequent playoff games against Shelby Crest, Gastonia Ashbrook and Watauga, Mount Tabor had leads of 14-0, 21-0, and 30-0, respectively, before their opponents scored.
Hunter Furr, Mount Tabor’s junior halfback, has averaged 187.8 yards rushing a game in the playoffs, and the Spartans have averaged 279 yards rushing in the playoffs. On defense, the Spartans have limited teams to a little more than 200 yards a game.
Hoggard went virtually untested during the regular season and won its games by no fewer than 16 points. Along the way, the Vikings beat some talented opponents, including New Bern, which will play Charlotte Independence today for the Class 4-AA championship. Hoggard beat New Bern 39-13 in their season opener.
Stewart took his team to BB&T Field last Friday night after it returned from beating Watauga in Boone. He said he wanted to motivate his players to work hard during the past week rather than just enjoy the fact that they had made the big game.
“This team has a character of its own,” Stewart said. “They have developed a lot of character throughout the team with things they have had to overcome. They have a lot of common sense. They understand what’s going on. The kids have great work ethic and they do realize whatever the outcome (today), it will happen based on whatever happened Monday through Friday and the work they put in there.
“We have two programs coming in that are, I don’t want to say exactly at the top of their games, but they are pretty close.”
418 N. Marshall St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Berg led Baldwin on a magic ride
By Jesse Temple
December 8, 2007
Baldwin High football coach Mike Berg knew his team’s 4-5 record last season was an anomaly. He just had to make sure it didn’t happen again.
Determined to right the ship, the 10th-year coach scrapped his old offense in favor of the single-wing formation this year. The offense is known for being run-oriented — something Berg hoped would suit Baldwin well this year while having no varsity experience at the quarterback position.
The switch paid dividends as the Bulldogs rushed for more than 3,000 yards, blasting their way to a 10-3 record and their first Class 4A state semifinal appearance in 19 years. It also earned Berg selection as the Journal-World’s all-area football coach of the year.
“Going into this season, I knew we had a special group of kids,” Berg said. “I just keep going back to our seniors because they were such a special group of guys that took it upon themselves. They did not like 4-5, and they said, ‘We’re going to work hard and get the younger kids to follow us.’ So it was a total team effort.”
Eudora High football coach Gregg Webb, whose Cardinals team lost to Baldwin, 20-19, this season, said Berg had plenty to do with his team’s turnaround.
“He’s a great leader, and he gets his kids to know what they’re supposed to do,” Webb said. “Every year that we play them, their kids have been tough as nails. They’ve got a leader that instills great pride in their program, and everybody kind of rallies around it. That makes for a great coach.”
Behind Berg, Baldwin advanced the farthest it had since a 1988 state runner-up finish. In the Class 4A semis, the Bulldogs came within one touchdown of returning to the championship.
“We’ve had some really good teams in my 10 years, but we have never gotten past the sectional game,” Berg said. “Being in the top four out of 64 is pretty special.”
Berg said the key to his team’s success was the players’ work ethic and their level of coachability. Berg helped instill a toughness in his team by adopting the motto, “Don’t accept being average.”
“As a coach, you get what you demand,” Berg said. “We demanded that they look better than they did the day before. When you demand that, it’s going to happen.”
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Boone, Apopka steamroll their ways into Friday's semifinal game
Sentinel Staff Writer
December 6, 2007
They went into the games hoping for wins and left with nightmares.
Visions of Apopka quarterback Jeremy Gallon danced frightfully in their heads.
Boone defensive linemen Johnell Thomas and Jamarcus Allen rumbled in their minds like the monsters under their beds.
OK. So that might be an exaggeration.
But nightmares or not, teams that played Boone (13-0) or Apopka (12-1) this season almost never left happy. Edgewater did once, but then the Eagles lost to the Blue Darters in the playoffs.
At 7:30 Friday night, Boone will host Apopka in the first Class 6A state semifinal between two Orange County teams.
Freedom, Dr. Phillips, West Orange, Winter Park and Edgewater all know what it's like to lose to Apopka and Boone in 2007. So what do people from those teams think will happen Friday?
The near-consensus, though somewhat reluctant, was that Boone is the underdog. Former West Orange Coach Tim Smith, however, picked Boone to win. The Warriors lost to Boone 29-0 and Apopka 56-0.
"Coach [Phil] Ziglar was my offensive line coach in high school," Smith said. "Coach [Rick] Darlington has won a state championship, and I want Coach Ziglar to have the chance to do that."
Apopka's explosive offense and tenacious defense led most to choose the Blue Darters. Though Boone is known for its defense -- the Braves hasn't gave up more than two touchdowns in a game -- Freedom Coach Andy Johnson said Apopka's defense was the best he had seen.
"They were right on par with the Boone defense, I thought," Johnson said. "Both were very athletic, kind of differently though. Boone was real good on the defensive line, and Apopka's really good at linebacker. . . . The thing about Apopka's defense is, they are fast at every position."
Speed is Apopka's most potent weapon. After losing 43-0 to Apopka in a region final last week, Spruce Creek Coach Gary Meadows said his team never had seen such speed and was unprepared.
The player most often mentioned was Gallon, who has rushed for 1,491 yards with 22 touchdowns and passed for 977 yards and eight touchdowns. Smith said he wasn't sure whether his team touched Gallon during their game.
And if he's bottled up, the Blue Darters have hurt people with Jeremy Rouse, Travelle Davis and an assortment of other quick, strong players.
"Everybody will know they're fast, but what people don't know is how strong they are," Smith said. "I know Rick [Darlington] really emphasizes power clean [weightlifting]; they are really a strong group of kids."
Strength is the trademark of Boone's defense, starting with the defensive line featuring Thomas and Allen. The Braves won two of their first three games by one point. As the season went on, Boone's offense began to click and scored 29 against West Orange, 48 points on University and 28 on Freedom.
"You know how in basketball there are two superstars and then the role players?" Edgewater linebacker Brian Hill said. "With Boone, their defense would be the superstars and the offense the role players. They give the defense a breather and help the team out."
Hill picked Apopka, saying despite Boone's "very, very good defense," Apopka's X-factor, Gallon, will be the difference.
Dr. Phillips Athletic Director John Magrino and Freedom's Johnson, said Boone's offense was better than advertised.
"Their offensive line is probably one of the most underrated units in the area," Magrino said.
Edgewater Coach Bill Gierke, who tied for a state title in 1991 at Evans, mentioned Apopka's ability to make big plays and Boone's desire to build on last season's success as strong points for each team.
Gierke stopped short of giving the edge to either team.
"At this point in the season," Gierke said, "funny things can happen."
Tania Ganguli can be reached at email@example.com.
BY ROBERT YATES
Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2007
Bearden Coach Mike Cox waited a long time to make a good first impression.
Cox will lead the top-ranked Bears (13-0 ) into Saturday’s Class 2 A state championship game against Mount Ida only two years removed from trying to shake a junior high coaching tag.
In this case, the third time wasn’t the charm for Cox, 45, who had spent almost two decades coaching in Camden.
Cox said he applied four times for the Bearden job before being hired before the 2006 season.
“I’ve been turned down about 20 times for jobs,” said Cox, a 1980 Camden Fairview graduate. “I was turned down at Hampton three times. Almost every school in our conference [7-2 A East ] I’ve applied for I never got a chance to coach there. I applied at Fairview three times. I think I got kind of labeled as a lifetime junior high coach.”
Cox did spend seven years as a high school assistant at Fairview in the 1990 s, but he mostly cut his teeth as the junior high coach there and in Camden’s pee-wee program.
Cox’s resume included an unbeaten season at Fairview in 2004, a team featuring heavyweight talent like DeAnthony Curtis, Jim Youngblood and Lavunce Askew.
Fairview’s junior high team was winless in 2005, the same season Bearden finished 2-7 under Vince Perrin.
When Perrin bolted after one season to become defensive coordinator at Alma, the door — finally — was open for Cox’s first head coaching job.
“The year I was 9-0 in junior high, I applied for several jobs and didn’t get any of them,” Cox said. “After I was 0-8 in junior high, I get the Bearden job.”
Asked what pushed him over the top, Cox said Bearden “was looking for some stability.”
It’s been a nearly perfect fit so far.
Cox is 25-2 at Bearden, including 12-2 last fall. Bearden was eliminated in the Class 2 A semifinals at Jessieville.
This season, Bearden has held the state’s top ranking in Class 2 A throughout the season in pursuit of its first state championship recognized by the Arkansas Activities Association.
“Good schemes on offense and defense, good assistant coaches, good players,” Cox said of Bearden’s formula for success. “You can have the best race car driver in the world, but if his car’s not very good then he’s not going to be very good. We’ve got some good talent.”
After Jessieville beat Bearden 28-12 in last year’s semifinals, Lions Coach Don Phillips said he believed the Bears “were fixing to go on a run.”
And the man who waited so long for his first head coaching job plans to be around to see it.
“You see all these guys that went all over the place coaching and they come right back home,” said Cox, whose son, Robby, is a starting tight end / defensive end for Bearden. “I really don’t have much desire to move. I like to stay around my family. A lot of people have been asking me if I’m leaving after this year.
“ I play a little poker. I know not to fold a winning hand.”
Copyright © 2001-2007 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,
McFadden's the choice for how he changed the game
To gain the proper perspective on this year's Heisman Trophy vote, you have to look beyond the raw stats.
When you look beyond the raw stats and don't place the team record a priority (which theoretically you are not supposed to do), the choice is Darren McFadden of Arkansas.
When I placed McFadden first on my ballot, there were four pivotal, deciding factors for me beyond that he's the outstanding player in college football, which the award is supposed to represent:
1. He changed the game significantly. Last year, it was a unique touch when the Razorbacks used McFadden to take a direct snap and run essentially a single-wing option play out of the Wildcat/WildHog formation. This year, on every level of college football (including the University of Central Arkansas with Brent Grimes) and even throughout the national high school ranks, every team with an outstanding back had a formation and a few plays in which the back would take a direct snap and operate McFadden-style. McFadden took 107 snaps this season in the WildHog formation and accumulated more all-purpose yards in a season (2,172) than any player in SEC history.
2. His versatility: McFadden made big plays rushing, passing, receiving and threw a few blocks along the way. It is not terribly unusual for a quarterback to run for touchdowns. It's more unique for a running back to be a consistent touchdown passing threat. He was six of 11 this past season for 123 yards and four touchdowns. I think a running back passing for four touchdowns against major competition is just as special as a quarterback rushing for 20 touchdowns.
3. How he affected defensive preparations: A defensive coordinator, in preparing for McFadden, had to go through a range of options because he could do so many things so many different ways in so many different formations. McFadden was the toughest single player to prepare for in college football.
4. 321: He rushed for 321 yards in a single game against South Carolina, a ranked team at the time. That's a lot of yards for many backs for a season. He did it with a big target on his back. 321 yards in a game against a opponent that is not chopped liver. That says a lot to me.
A few other significant factors: McFadden got his yardage in 315 plays. Tim Tebow of Florida got his stats in 511 plays and Chase Daniel of Missouri his in 588 plays. The average rushing touchdown for McFadden covered 179 yards. The average passing touchdown covered 28.3 yards. For Tebow, it was 4.3 rushing, 20.7 pass. For Daniel, it was 13.0 rush, 20.9 pass.
And to compare apples to apples between McFadden and Tebow in games against LSU, which is playing for the national championship and had one of the best defenses in college football. Against LSU, McFadden rushed for 206 yards and three touchdown and completed three of six passes for 34 yards and another TD. He returned three kickoffs for 49 yards. In Florida's game against LSU, Teblow was 12 of 26 passing for 158 yards and two touchdowns and had 16 carries for 67 yards and one touchdown.
My down-to-the-wire No. 2 choice was quarterback Colt Brennan of Hawaii. The Rainbows are the nation's only 12-0 team and are headed for the Sugar Bowl, largely because of Brennan. Sure, I realize some of the competition was not of upper-shelf quality but Hawaii does play a schedule in an established, respected, often-underrated, major conference (Western Athletic) and the Rainbows are in the Sugar Bowl, which speaks volumes to me.
Brennan is also in a system geared toward great quarterback stats, but the convincer to me was what he did in Saturday's game against Washington. With a once-in-a-lifetime season for Hawaii on the line, Brennan led his team from 21 points down twice and completed 42 of 50 passes, including 20 straight, for 442 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He was six for six on the 76-yard drive that produced the winning touchdown with 44 seconds left. When his team had to have it, Brennan produced bigtime as he has all season.
Tebow was my No. 3 choice, getting an ever-so-slight edge of Chase Daniel of Missouri and Pat White of West Virginia. He's a great athlete, a signature player for this season, accomplishing something (20 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns) we may not see again. However, the reason for many of Tebow's rushing exploits was Florida did not have a great running back. He was the best runner and passer. It was a special season for him, but in my opinion, what he accomplished as a quarterback did not rise to the level of what McFadden did as an all-purpose player. And his effect on his team did not rise to the level of what Brennan did for Hawaii.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday, Dec 6, 2007
By Harry King
LITTLE ROCK - Waffling between Tim Tebow and Darren McFadden, a revealing percentage pushed me to No. 5 from Arkansas.
In the morass of yards per something or other, game by game comparisons and other mind-numbing stats, it was the sixth reason on the UA's seven-point countdown that cleared my conscience to vote McFadden No. 1 on my Heisman Trophy ballot.
Coaching my son, I went through a similar predicament umpteen years ago. Unfairly, he caught heck when another 10-year-old got outside the defensive end, but nobody was going to accuse me of playing favorites at middle linebacker. Judging your own flesh and blood with detachment is impossible, and it's the same for a life-long Arkie whose job description includes witnessing to the best running back in Razorback history.
A note from a Portland, Ore., firm that polls Heisman voters was a reminder to go overboard to avoid a "homer" vote for McFadden. Asked about my ballot, I said it was Tebow one day and McFadden the next.
" ... let me know when you've got it figured out," the pollster said. "You sure you want to tell your readers you voted against McFadden?"
Tebow is second on my ballot and Colt Brennan of Hawaii is third.
The deadline for voting was 5 p.m. Wednesday and I waited until after the weekend to allow Chase Daniel of Missouri every opportunity to state his case. If he had a boffo game against Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship, it would have been a three-way argument.
So prolific during the Tigers' 11-1 season and their climb to No. 1, the junior quarterback could not be ignored. Through those first 12 games, he was clicking along at a 70 percent completion rate with 33 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. The crowning gem was 40-of-49 in the Border War when the Tigers handed Kansas its first loss.
Daniel had no chance against OU's defense and he exited the discussion when he completed 23-of-39 for 219 yards with one interception and no touchdowns. Daniel was only the latest quarterback who faded a week or two after moving into the national spotlight. Once under the glare, Boston College's Matt Ryan began throwing interceptions and Oregon's Dennis Dixon was injured. Even West Virginia's Pat White might have made a pitch last weekend, but he left the Pittsburgh game with an injury. Out of uniform for a time, he donned his pads and attempted to salvage the outcome. His try was admirable, but the results were abysmal.
The various failures of the quarterbacks, plus the fact that not one of the top five teams in the BCS has a bona fide Heisman candidate, cleared the decks to vote for somebody from a team with three (Florida) or four (Arkansas) losses.
So this week, it was down to McFadden vs. Tebow, a throwback tailback-type from the days of the single wing. A stout runner, Tebow is also an accurate passer and proficient at reading the option. He is one of a kind and the fact that he is a sophomore was not a black mark to me.
Prefaced with "When you attempt to compare the statistical numbers of the Heisman Trophy front-runners, consider the disparity of opportunities between the nation's top quarterbacks and the nation's best running back to rack up yardage and touchdowns," here are the numbers that swung it for McFadden:
_Tebow ran or passed on 511 of his team's 782 plays, 65.3 percent.
-McFadden ran or passed on 315 of 855 plays, 36.8 percent.
Talk about doing more with less.
One more argument for the Razorback. Who is the best running back in the country? One answer. Who is the best quarterback? Multiple choice.
McFadden is likely to finish second again on Saturday night. It wouldn't be the first time that my candidate lost an election.
Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media's Arkansas News Bureau. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I had the honor to be able to ask Darrin Hicks, Offensive Coordinator of the Delta State University Statesmen a few questions.
Under Coach Hick leaderships, Delta State went 8 and 0 in conference to become the 2007 Gulf South Conference Champions. The Statesmen’s overall record heading into the NCAA playoff was 9 & 1. Making it into the second round, DSU ended the season with a 10 & 2 record.
Coach Hicks guided DSU the offense to the Gulf South Conference top in Total Offense, with 469.8 yards per game. Delta State’s "Gulf Coast Offense" generated 5638 total yards for the year, which put them in the top 10 in Total Yardage Division II, for 2007.
Coach Darrin Hicks: First let me say that I love your site and read it almost daily. It is my number one source for keeping up with the single wing football. You are to be complimented for putting together such a great site.
Single-Wing Sentinel: Thanks for the comment and thanks for your time.
SWS: What Single-Wing properties does your offense have?
DH: This is the first year that I have used the "Beast" or "Yale" formation and really expanded our use of the QB running game. Our QB actually led our offense in rushing. The Beast/Yale formation accounted for 10 touchdowns for us this season and numerous big first downs. We probably ran the formation [Beast/Yale] 3 to 5 times a game and scored 10 touchdowns this season in this formation alone. So for us it was a big part of our game and our number one short yardage to Goalline package.
We also used the QB in our running game a large amount this season utilizing some unbalanced formations and leading with our superback -- power type schemes QB Power/QB Lead/QB Counter.
SWS: Where did you learn of the single-wing?
DH: Most of my single wing study has been online in the many forums, including your site, and throughout my travels in the coaching profession.
SWS: How has the Single-Wing properties helped the offense at DSU?
DH: Being a lack of a better term spread option/pass guy that has not employed a true tight end, the single wing properties have given us a unique advantage in allowing us to put together a fantastic short yardage/goalline package that teams have to prepare for. We are quite blessed with tremendous talent at the QB position and our inside receivers have even aligned as the QB in the Beast/Yale package. The single wing is responsible for about 25% of our total touchdowns for the season.
SWS: Why do you think the Single-Wing is making its way back into the collegiate ranks?
DH: The flexibility of it and the tremendous amount of space manipulation that it presents to a defense. It is not something people see week in and week out and it will continue to make is presence known throughout college football. We are expanding our package already for next season and beyond.
SWS: What does a "Hybrid Single-Wing" do for a team?
DH: Like I said it accounted for about 25% of our touchdowns and forced defensive coordinators to prepare for yet another thing in our overall package. It really grew from what I thought would be a couple plays this year to a package unto itself. I am completely sold.
SWS: What advice would you give a coach that may be considering running the single-wing of adding a Single-Wing package?
DH: I would tell them to study it and add the appropriate elements to their respective systems unless a wholesale change is in order for them. The results speak for themselves and the offense has stood the test of time.
I want to thank Coach Hicks for his time, and to wish he and the Statemen great success in the years to come!
I put a hit counter on the site 9 weeks ago and in that time over 15,250+ hits. That's a lot of intrest in the Single-Wing!
There are over 300+ articles posted.
We have 160+ coaches/teams that have signed the Single-Wing Coaches Map (guestbook)
We're showing that there are Coaches/Teams in 47 states, plus the District of Columbia and 6 other nations.
The six countries other than the US are: Canada, New Zealand, France, England, Germany and Austria.
The States without a coach/team showing are:
Have you signed? Is your state represented? If not take a second to sign below!
If you know of a team any of the States not showing a team, let me know.
Posted Monday, December 3, 2007 ; 04:10 PM
Updated Tuesday, December 4, 2007 ; 12:06 AM
Story by Mike Levin
LINDSIDE- -- James Monroe football fell just short of their championship goals this weekend, falling to Bluefield Friday Night.
But it was a great season for the Mavs, and players like Daniel Pritt, whose good grades and football leadership have earned him our Student Athlete of the Week.
Daniel Pritt is a great student at James Monroe High School, as well as a leader for the Maverick football team.
That leadership helped the Mavs get to their first championship game in school history.
Daniel is number two in his class, with a 4.0 GPA - all while starting for the Mavs as both a linebacker and tight end.
Although Daniel's career is over at James Monroe, his coach says he's good enough to play in college.
Whether or not he's able to play football, Daniel would like to go to WVU, to major in biology and become an orthodontist.
Monday, December 3, 2007
By Andy Hayes - Publisher & Senior Editor
December 2, 2007
ASHBURN, VA - This wasn't supposed to be the year that Stone Bridge would return to the title game, it was supposed to be a rebuilding year. A new quarterback, several new lineman, and big questions on defense, the Bulldogs had all the makings of a team that needed a season to get ready for another title run. However, 14 games later, the 2007 Stone Bridge Bulldogs have possibly become the best team in school history.
With Saturday's win over Phoebus, it is easy to compare the 2005 and 2007 Stone Bridge Bulldogs. Both teams will have played in the state finals, both teams will have won a minimum of 13 games, and both teams put up amazing statistics. But this year's squad is a more polished team in every aspect.
Despite the numbers on offense, the storyline that continues to take center stage this season is the play of the Bulldog defense. Stone Bridge turned the ball over 4 times against the defending state champions, and just about every time, the Bulldog "D" came up with a takeaway or stop on downs to keep Phoebus from taking advantage of the miscues.
Led by their dominant front seven, the Bulldogs held in check the Phantom's leading rusher Shawne Alston (9 carries for 19 yards). Phoebus finished the day with just 136 yards on the ground, and 58 of those came on one play in the first half. In the second half, the Bulldogs also began to get pressure on Phoebus quarterback Tahj Boyd. Boyd is one of the state's best junior quarterbacks and at times, he really hurt the Stone Bridge defense with his passing ability. Boyd finished with 166 yards passing, but the Bulldogs picked him off twice. Linebacker Mike Olson's 41 yard interception return for a score in the first half was the play of the game in the first half, and Kevin Elliot's interception late in the 3rd quarter couldn't have happened at a more crucial time with the Phantoms marching toward a score.
A unit that by next spring, could very well feature up to 5 major college football players, is the perfect compliment to the dominant Stone Bridge offense. The Bulldogs have joined the party in the state's final game next week because they also play tougher than their opponents.
It was never more evident than on Saturday when Stone Bridge limited Phoebus to a net 23 yards of total offense in the second half. That's 23 yards total! Phoebus had moved the ball with ease in the first half, but couldn't muster much at all in the second half. What does that tell me? The defensive coaches for Stone Bridge know how to make halftime adjustments, and the players understand how to execute those adjustments.
That brings me to the second reason Stone Bridge is in the state finals, the Bulldog offensive line. At the beginning of the season, head coach Mickey Thompson told Gameday at our media day luncheon that he felt his offensive line unit could become the best he's ever had at Stone Bridge. Consider that prognostication to now be a fact.
The Stone Bridge offensive line is led by junior David Wang. In Saturday's game, Wang hurt his left quad muscle on the second play of the game, but Wang played through the injury and put together a tremendous and gutty performance. In the 4th quarter, the Bulldogs put on an absolute clinic, dominating the Phoebus defense and gaining 6 to 7 yards on just about every carry. Juniors Brian Slay and Zach Thompson lined up in the single wing formation on the line and the power displayed was impressive.
Senior Jeron Gouveia was the beneficiary of his line's performance on Saturday, scoring 3 touchdowns and gaining 103 yards on 19 carries. When Mickey Thompson noticed that his line was brow beating the will of the Phantom defenders in the trenches, he made one of the smartest decisions of the game. He put the ball in the hands of his offensive line, and his senior playmaker Gouveia, and both didn't disappoint.
The Bulldogs scored 18 unanswered points in the 4th quarter, but the biggest play of the game came on a 4th and 2 with Stone Bridge trailing 24-21. With under 5 minutes to go in the game, the Bulldogs called timeout to discuss their options. Kick the field goal and the game is tied with an uncertain outcome. Go for it on 4th down and fall short, and Phoebus can run the clock and potentially pull away with the win. Get the first down and you could win the game, but Thompson and the Bulldogs made it even easier. After the timeout the Bulldogs came to the line in their jumbo package, but they didn't need to run a play because Phoebus jumped off-sides with a hard count from Gouveia, and the penalty gave Stone Bridge a first and goal. Gouveia punched it in right after, and the entire complexion of the game changed.
I've been calling Stone Bridge football games for years now, and when the playoff season comes around, Mickey Thompson usually gambles on some 4th down plays that 99% of all coaches in football would never touch. But Thompson refuses to be anything but aggressive, and his style never changes. Whether Thompson would have called another timeout and then gone for it if Phoebus hadn't jumped offside, only he knows, but I'm about 100% sure he would have gone for it. In fact, I'd be worried about him if he hadn't.
Thompson has achieved about everything he possibly can in coaching, except one thing, winning a state title as a head coach. He has been there twice, once in 1999 at Park View, and once with Stone Bridge in 2005, both times his teams fell. He was an assistant on the 1988 Park View team that won it all, so he has experienced the joy of winning the final game of the year, but it isn't the same as guiding your own team there.
While Thompson will tell you he doesn't need the state title ring to feel good about his career, it is the final thing left in a hall of fame coaching career. The truth is, Thompson is as good as it gets in the state of Virginia, and for that matter, in any state. His teams beat you because they are tougher, smarter, and better coached. It helps to have great talent, but the thousands in attendance Saturday saw a Phoebus team with more speed, and more championships walk to the bus on the short end of a game that saw Thompson's team wear them down and beat them with the X's and O's.
The mark of a great coach is multi-faceted, but there are some traits that can easily be identified. Thompson has them all, and that is why he has more than just his players pulling for him next week to win his first state championship. This could be the year that the proverbial monkey gets swatted off Thompson's back. After seeing Phoebus, who has to be the state's best opposition in division 5, the Bulldogs have a great shot at winning against Potomac.
The Panthers are undefeated and from the Northwest Region, but with just one week to prepare for the single wing and the big uglies in the trenches that Stone Bridge has peaking at the right time, the planets might be aligning just right for Thompson's Bulldogs.
State finals offer variety
Record-setting players, tough defenses ... there's a little of everything
By Stefen Lovelace
December 3, 2007
This weekend is the reason every high school football player decided to put on shoulder pads, cleats and a jersey.
M&T Bank Stadium will play host to the high school football state finals, and five undefeated area teams have qualified for the biggest games of the year.
The Class 3A championship game will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday with No. 5 Hereford (13-0) looking for its fourth state title and first since 2002. The Bulls will take on Damascus (12-1), a team that is no stranger to playoff football either.
Damascus won state championships in 2003 and 2005 and has a balanced offense this year.
Hereford's offense has been all about spreading the ball around. Lonnie Liggins is the feature back with 1,212 yards and 24 touchdowns, but a host of Bulls handle the ball throughout the game behind a quick and talented offensive line.
No. 4 Arundel (13-0) will play Quince Orchard in the 4A final at 7 p.m. Friday. The Wildcats run an explosive no-huddle offense and are led by quarterback Nick Elko, who has set a state record for passing touchdowns with 40.
"Nick's a hard worker. He's a student of the game. He's a football player," Arundel coach Chuck Markiewicz said.
The Wildcats look to slow a Cougars team led by Thomas Addison Jr. (1,234 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns) and Jaron Morrison (1,142 passing yards, 14 touchdowns). Quince Orchard's last state championship was in 1991.
No. 2 Dunbar will try for back-to-back state titles and its fourth state championship overall when it plays Allegany at noon Saturday to determine the 1A champion.
Running back Tavon Austin, who was slightly injured Saturday against South Carroll, is expected to play and will try to extend his state touchdown record of 89. The Poets (13-0) have dedicated their season to former coach Ben Eaton, who died this year, and Dunbar has been trampling the competition all season.
Allegany (13-0) has a talented running back of its own in Jake Twigg, who has 27 touchdowns this season.
Eastern Tech and River Hill will meet at 3:30 p.m. Saturday for the 2A title.
The Mavericks (13-0) have been in the playoffs five straight times since 2003 and still are searching for their first state title. The No. 1 Hawks are used to getting to states, having reached the semifinals in 2005 and the final in 2006, but still never have been the champions.
Offensively, No. 6 Eastern Tech is led by quarterback Travis Crane, who manages the game with a stable of talented backs.
The Hawks (13-0) have one of the best running backs in the metro area in Michael Campanaro has 1,622 rushing yards. Backs Malek Redd and Zach Martin also contribute, combining for 35 touchdowns.
Martin, who was injured Saturday but is expected to play, anchors a relentless defense that has allowed just 14 points while producing 11 shutouts in 13 games.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS APOPKA 43, SPRUCE CREEK 0
Blue Darters breeze to win
Apopka's team speed is just too much for Spruce Creek, ending the team's playoff run.
Sentinel Staff Writer
December 1, 2007
The blue blur that flew by Port Orange Spruce Creek's defense on the third play of their Class 6A, Region 1 final against Apopka did it again and again and again.
But it was rarely the same blur. It was Jeremy Rouse the first time, for a 67-yard touchdown run. Then Jeremy Gallon and Caleb Nelson and Travelle Davis, to name a few.
"They were getting really frustrated," said Nelson, an Apopka running back. "They would get one guy and we'd send another one in."
Apopka's speed was too much for Spruce Creek (9-4). The Blue Darters (12-1) won 43-0 after leading 30-0 at halftime. The Blue Darters will travel to Boone next week for the state semifinal.
"Our young men expect to win when they're out there," Apopka Coach Rick Darlington said, smiling.
Gallon, Apopka's quarterback, finished with 108 yards passing, 74 yards rushing and a touchdown. Rouse finished with 107 yards rushing and a touchdown. Nelson picked up 74 yards rushing and a touchdown. Davis had 63 yards.
Six different players scored, with Tom Smith and Rusty Ketchum also picking up 1-yard touchdowns.
"Our district is pretty good, but overall we don't have that speed," Spruce Creek Coach Gary Meadows.
Apopka built an early lead, scoring on its first two drives.
"That's what we tried to do," Darlington said. "The games they won in the playoffs they jumped on people early."
But they could do almost nothing against Apopka. Spruce Creek's quarterbacks threw three interceptions.
Meadows didn't forget the unexpected season his team constructed, with surprise playoff wins over Lake Brantley and Flagler Palm Coast, but he lamented the ending.
"I apologize to the Port Orange community, to the Daytona Beach community," Meadows said. "We weren't ready to play tonight."
Apopka 43, Spruce Creek 0
Spruce Creek 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Apopka 15 15 7 6 -- 43
FIRST -- A: Rouse 67 run (Gallon run); A: Gallon 2 run (Beary kick). SECOND -- A: Nelson 16 run (Mars run); A: Davis 6 run (Beary kick). THIRD -- A: Smith 1 run (Beary kick). FOURTH -- A: Ketchum 1 run (kick failed)
SB scores 24 unanswered points to knock off undefeated Phoebus, 38-24, and advance to the AAA Division 5 state football finals
By Dan Sousa
Ashburn (Dec. 3, 2007) – In the closing moments of the first half of Saturday’s AAA Division 5 state semifinal playoff football game Stone Bridge High School let a 14-7 lead over undefeated Phoebus slip away in an uncharacteristic downward spiral of fumbled snaps, missed tackles, dropped passes and finally a muffed punt that led to the Phantoms go-ahead score with just 16 seconds left.
What the Bulldogs (13-1) got during the intermission was a trip to the “shed”, the storage building just off the northwest corner of the field, and one of head coach Mickey Thompson’s sternest halftime speeches in his 18-year head coaching tenure. What occurred in that shed worked better than any proverbial “trip to the woodshed” as the Bulldogs buried the defending state champions with 24 unanswered straight points, including three Jeron Gouveia touchdown runs, to win 38-24 and advance to Saturday’s noon state final against undefeated Potomac (13-0) at UVa’s Scott Stadium.
“At halftime I was beside myself,” admitted Thompson.
He challenged his “skill players to” do better. He challenged the team’s leadership to step up. He challenged the team to believe, as the coaching staff did, that they were the best team in the state.
Coming out of a speech like that, a team might simply tear the shed door off with emotion that could evaporate before the second-half kickoff, but the Bulldogs, 75-man strong playoff roster, came out eerily quiet. They warmed-up after the long halftime in complete dead silence.
It was the calm before the storm that would blow the Phantom’s 20-game winning streak away.
“We realized how good we were,” said junior defensive end Zach Thompson, who along with the Bulldogs other Division I junior defensive end prospect Brian Slay, moved over to offense in the later stages of the second half to power a crushing SB running game. “We came out in the second half and just took over.”
Well almost, Phoebus, with their band still high-stepping it back to the grandstands after a rousing halftime performance that even had the SB fans on their feet, had 19 seconds more on the center stage before the Bulldogs broke their leash. First the Phantoms blew through unblocked to slam SB senior Matt Irwin on the second half kickoff and then two plays later, Patrick Thompson, Zach’s twin brother, threw an interception that Markell Wilkins returned to the Bulldogs 6.
Lights out? Dial another state title for yet another “757” area code team … hardly.
The Bulldogs made the defensive stand of their season. First the SB defensive line, as they had all afternoon, stuffed Phantom star running back Shawn Alston for no gain. The junior came into the game with 1,659 yards and 26 touchdowns but was held to 19 yards Saturday on nine carries.
Running between the tackles against the Bulldogs, with nose guard Jimmy Bradford sandwiched between Thompson and Slay has been Mission Impossible all season for teams. The Bulldogs game plan Saturday not only utilized that talented trio but mixed it up with a variety of 4-man and 5-man fronts; enough to keep the Phoebus blockers guessing.
On second time, Phoebus junior quarterback Tajh Boyd went back to pass but SB brought the pressure and Boyd, with Slay in hot pursuit, scrambled out of bounds for a 5-yard loss. On third down, Boyd threw incomplete and the Phantoms settled for a 29-yard field goal and 24-14 lead.
“That was important that we didn’t let them score a touchdown,” said Zach Thompson. “If they had had scored a touchdown they would have gotten a lot more momentum.”
Phoebus (13-1) knew that the script to a happy ending for its fans was to combine equal parts tenacious defense and a power running game to basically demoralize an opponent. It's the football version of playing a mean-spirited game of "keep away" and the Phantoms rode this tactic a 2006 state title as well as titles in 2001 and 2002.
Only on this Saturday before a packed stadium in Ashburn, with Phoebus seemingly riding high on a 10-point second-half lead, it was Thompson's Bulldogs putting on a display of smash-mouth football that this area has not seen in many years, if ever.
Stunned fans that made the trek from Virginia Beach watched as Virginia-Tech bound Gouveia rushed for 89 yards on 17 carries in the second half and score three touchdowns to lead Stone Bridge to the stunning victory.
“I wanted the ball. I wanted to run the ball,” said Gouveia. “I’m bruised and bleeding everywhere. (Phoebus) was tough and physical.”
Gouveia took a hit in the first half on a high pass over the middle that might have sent some lesser players to the sidelines for the remainder of the game. Gouveia’s take on the lick he took: “It felt so good.”
Good because he held onto the ball for a first down and the key catch led to Stone Bridge’s first score, a circus one-handed, left-handed diving grab by Ryan Moody to tie the score at 7-7 in the second quarter.
“I play safety so I knew that’s going to happen,” said Gouveia. “My first thought was “damn it Patrick” and then I just told myself to catch the ball and hold on because I knew I was going to get drilled.”
Stone Bridge went ahead on Mike Olson’s 41-yard interception return which was created when Doug Sims deflected the ball as Boyd was trying to pass and it fluttered into Olson’s arms who took it to the house for six. Olson had a standout game on defense with a sack, a forced fumble and generally he was around the ball all day.
Gouveia’s muff on the punt, after Phoebus had tied the game on a quick drive after Olson’s TD, led to the late score that could have been a knockout blow.
“I knew I had to comeback in the second half and make a big play for my team,” said Gouveia, who had the support of his teammates at halftime. “My team had my back in the shed.”
Thompson too noted that unlike some teams when things start to go south, the Bulldogs did not start bickering or pointing fingers.
“I didn’t see guys turning on each other,” said Thompson. “We had too many guys trying to go sideways in the first half.”
There was nothing sideways about what the Bulldogs did to Phoebus in the second half as, simply put, Stone Bridge steamrolled Phoebus on their way to next Saturday's state title game.
Thompson and his coaching staff saved some of their best ideas for playoff time, such as last week when they pulled out a “heavy package” against Edison in the regional final that hadn’t been used this season, putting Slay and Zach Thompson in the backfield, as twin blocking bulldozers in front of Gouveia.
That formation was used on 4th-and-goal from the 1 as Gouveia just plowed in to score to make it 24-21 Phoebus with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
The drive was only 7 yards but with an asterisk as the Bulldogs had driven from their own 20 deep into Phoebus territory only to have a Gouveia halfback option intended for Moody intercepted on the Phantom 4 by Colby Goodwyn. On the next play, however, Alston was stood up and swarmed between the tackles and the SB stripped the ball from the runner’s arms with Zach Thompson recovering.
Phoebus then threatened to score right back but cornerback Kevin Elliott, who has been making big plays all season on defense, stepped in front of a Phantom receiver for an interception at the SB 16. It was Elliott’s fifth pick of the season.
Stone Bridge then went on the drive of the season and possible the greatest drive in the school’s short 8-year history. The Bulldogs, playing against a team that had registered five shutouts in the last seven games, moved the ball 84 yards in 13 plays, chewing up 6:39 off the clock to score the go-ahead touchdown.
“I knew at halftime that we were getting a good push up front,” said Thompson. “Toward the end of the game we had Zach at tight end and Slay at tackle.”
Throw in junior guard David Wang, already committed to Virginia Tech where his older brother starts on the offensive line, and the Bulldogs had 785 pounds of college-bound blocking power in those three players alone. It was enough to keep Phoebus’s phenomenal junior defensive tackle Dominik Davenport and his D-line at bay just long enough for the hard-nosed Gouveia to get positive yardage.
The drive got going with a Patrick Thompson scramble on the second play and he looped around towards the SB sidelines, tight end Dan Elliott came back to throw a highlight-film block to spring the quarterback for 16 yards.
That would be the last time on the drive that the Bulldogs would even show pass as 11 straight runs, eight by Gouveia (103 yards on 19 carries), pushed the pile towards the end zone. In fact, at some point, the Bulldogs pulled Thompson all together and just went with a direct snap to the running backs and time after time, they pounded the ball over the left side.
Phoebus, which called time out midway through the drive to give its defense a breather, knew what was coming … they just couldn’t stop it.
The 'Dawgs domination is backed by this incredible second-half evidence: SB out-gained Phoebus 200-27, holding the Phantoms to one first down while the Bulldogs collected 12. SB's offense, running 35 plays from scrimmage, had the ball for 19 minutes and 16 seconds while the Phantoms, with only 19 snaps, had just 4:44 of possession. And in that brief time, the Bulldog defense forced Phoebus into three turnovers and a safety.
Thompson may have had to make a season-breaking decision on the drive, to go for a 26-yard Ronnie Shaban field goal to tie the game or go for it on 4th-and-2 from the Phoebus 9. Only, the SB coaches had a bit of trickery ready to get the first down.
Showing its heavy package on the fourth down play, the Bulldogs came to the line of scrimmage with its front not in its down position. After a delayed count, the entire SB line shifted into their down position and that brought several Phoebus players across the line of scrimmage for a 5-yard encroachment penalty. On the next play, Gouveia sliced in from the 4 and Shaban’s extra point made it 28-24 with 8:33 left in the contest.
The Bulldogs, penalty free to this point, jumped offsides on the ensuing kickoff which forced Shaban to kick from five yards back but the senior easily drilled the ball into the end zone for touchback. Shaban’s touchbacks in the second half helped SB control the field position and kept Phoebus from breaking any long runs on special teams.
The energized and rested defense put the pressure on Boyd and Olson sacked the QB on first down for a 3-yard loss. On second down Boyd hit playmaker Reid Evans in the flat. In the first half, Evans (162 total combined yards rushing and receiving) had broken off a 58-yard reverse to set-up a touchdown and then had caught the TD pass just prior to the end of the first half. On this play, SB linebacker Ben Palmer tracked down Evans and stuffed him before he could get upfield.
That left 3rd-and-9 and junior Daniel Allen, coming off the bench to play corner, deflected a ball near the Phoebus sidelines to force the Phantoms punting team on.
When you are so dominant you don’t have t punt much and that might have played into the long snap that went over punter Matt Cole’s head and with the Bulldogs racing to recover the ball for a fumble, it went out of the end zone for a safety.
SB led 30-24 with 6:50 remaining.
On the ensuring free kick punt by Phoebus, Gouveia was sure-handed and returned the ball 15 yards to the SB 41. Phoebus needed a stop but they couldn’t get it. SB running back Kareem Alexander and Gouveia alternated between running the ball at the heart of the Phoebus defense and Thompson called one final pass play, a big 19-yard gain from Patrick Thompson to Moody that put the ball on the Phantom 28.
It was Gouveia for 5.
Gouveia for 4.
Gouveia for 2.
Gouveia for 10.
And finally, who else, Gouveia for 7 as Zach Thompson blocked down on Davenport, for the final score.
If that didn’t have the Stone Bridge fans already rocking on their feet, the two-point conversion was an exclamation point put on by Thompson’s two sons, Patrick faked a handoff, and then flipped a pass out to his brother Zach, rolling out from the tight end spot, to make it 38-24 with 1:49 left.
On the very next play from scrimmage, Evans caught a pass for 17 yards but fumbled and … you guessed it … Gouveia was on the spot to cover up the ball.
And as Patrick Thompson took three straight snaps to a knee, and the Stone Bridge bench tried to douse the older Thompson with an ice bath, the Bulldog fans, not about to be held back on this afternoon of celebration, streamed through the far gate, with others leaping over the fences to get onto the field, and they danced in unison with their team.
For Stone Bridge it was a trip from the “shed” straight to Scott Stadium in Charlottesville where Thompson played his college ball for the Cavaliers and where his team will attempt next week to be just the second team in Loudoun history to win a state football title
“You are the best team in the state and next week you are going to prove it,” Thompson told his players as they gathered on the field for one final time this season.
To believe otherwise would be foolish ... might just require a trip to the "shed".
20747 Steamside Place
Ashburn, VA 20147
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Head coach: Mike Cox
Record last year: 12-2, 5-1
Points scored, points allowed: 454-234
Playoff appearances since 1968: 11
Last playoff appearance: 2006
Playoff record: 14-11
Key returning starters: QB/S Dewayne Watts, TB Carlos Chambers, TE/DE Robby Cox, TE/LB Brandon McAdoo, OT/NM Keyon Lowe, OG Clay Vaughan, C Trey Hopkins, RB/CB Michael Belm, LB P.J. Shavers, DE Demerea Farrell, LB Carlos Chambers, LB David Pennington, CB Kasey Moore.
Outlook: The Bears will go hunting again this year after a 12-2 campaign last year that included playoff wins over Bigelow, Earle and Foreman before a semifinal loss to eventual state champion Jessieville. Exciting quarterback Dewayne Watts returns to pace an explosive offense that utilizes the single-wing as well as multiple formations. Watts had 234 carries for 1,852 yards and 30 touchdowns last year while also converting nine two-point conversions. Watts also passed for 1,285 yards and 20 touchdowns. Watts is hardly alone, however, on an offense that has eight starters in all returning. The Bears are experienced all over the offense with tailback Carlos Chambers, who had 1,020 rushing yards, and running back Michael Belm, who benches 260 pounds. Tackle Keyon Lowe, guard Clay Vaughan, center Trey Hopkins and tight ends Robby Cox and Brandon McAdoo return as well on offense. Up front defensively, Lowe anchors the line in the middle with Demerea Ferrell and Cox flanking him on the line. Brandon McAdoo, P.J. Chambers, Chambers and David Pennington all started at linebacker a year ago. Bearden is also experienced in the secondary with cornerbacks Kasey Moore and Belin, and Watts at safety returning. Watts had five interceptions last year. Moore and Belin had three each.
Comments from Cox: "Watts is drawing Division I interest. He had five interceptions last season and returned one 90 yards for a touchdown. He also is a hard hitter who caused several fumbles. Chambers ran extremely hard last season. Belin should be a major offensive weapon. He has great hands and can cut on a dime. We return 4,592 yards of offense. Robby Cox returns at tight end where was a blocking force last season. He should figure into the passing scheme this season. McAdoo will see time at both split end and tight end. Our line could be better than last season's as Lowe return at one tackle. The senior runs and blocks well. The defense returns 12 players who started in five or more games last season. Leading the way is Keyon Lowe at nose guard. He was a nightmare to most opposing centers last season. We have several young players who are ready to contribute. We should be able to two-platoon. We have a lot of speed on both sides of the ball. We have solid linemen on offense and defense. We have three good classes cycling through right now."
Current 2007 Schedule, Winning team is underlined.
Week Date Home Team Away Team Final PF PA Conf
01 08-31-2007 Harmony Grove Bearden 7 - 41 No
02 09-07-2007 Bearden Des Arc 27 - 0 No
03 09-14-2007 Gurdon Bearden 0 - 7 No
04 09-21-2007 Bearden Norphlet 51 - 0 Yes
05 09-28-2007 Bearden Parkers 43 - 0 Yes
06 10-05-2007 Hampton Bearden 0 - 60 Yes
07 10-12-2007 Bearden Woodlawn 38 - 6 No
08 10-19-2007 Strong Bearden 0 - 26 Yes
09 10-26-2007 Hermitage Bearden 6 - 62 Yes
10 11-02-2007 Bearden Junction City 28 - 6 Yes
11 11-09-2007 Bearden Bye - Round 1 Playoff
12 11-16-2007 Bearden Murfreesboro 54 - 26 Round 2 Playoff
13 11-23-2007 Bearden Woodlawn 43 - 8 Round 3 Playoff
14 11-30-2007 Bearden Earle 37 - 14 Round 4 Playoff
Jayson Holt, coach Mario Valentini lead way for Bronx/Manhattan All-Stars
Sunday, December 2nd 2007, 4:00 AM
Pace for News
Jayson Holt leads Mount Saint Michael back to CHSFL 'AAA' title game.
Pace for News
Mario Valentini helps young squad surprise CHSFL foes.
Chevrestt for News
Several squads made it deep into the playoffs, but none ran farther or faster than Xavier, which won the CHSFL 'A' title with a single-wing attack that produced two 1,000-yard rushers. Mount Saint Michael reached the 'AAA' final for a second straight season. Fordham Prep battled its way into the 'AA' semifinals before falling, 19-14, to Stepinac. On the PSAL side, JFK and Wadleigh both made postseason runs before falling. Wadleigh lost to John Adams in the Cup Division final, and JFK lost to Canarsie in the playoff quarterfinals.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jayson Holt, Mount Saint Michael
Jayson Holt was back for his third straight season as signal-caller for the Mountaineers, but he was lining up behind an all-new offensive line and handing off to a brand new halfback.
The inexperience showed in Mount's season-opening loss to Fordham Prep. It didn't seem like an out-of-nowhere upset, since the Rams were a solid team in their own right.
Still, Holt could have walked off the field thinking that his team lacked the talent to return to the heights it reached last year, when they reached the 'AAA' championship game and nearly knocked off St. Anthony's.
But after the loss and through the rest of the season, Holt showed the unquantifiable characteristics of a leader. He also flashed blazing speed, rushing for 12 touchdowns in the regular season.
The 5-10, 165-pound senior helped pull his young teammates through tough stretches of the regular season, displaying an indomitable work ethic and dispensing an occasional earful of encouragement.
"He knew it was gonna take some time, but he tried to be positive with the kids," Mount coach Mario Valentini said. "He showed them what it took to win with the way he worked."
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mario Valentini, Mount Saint Michael
Mount Saint Michael played a 3-4 regular season and showed itself to be a young, often inconsistent club. The Mountaineers played tight games against tough competition all season, gaining experience through an up-and-down campaign.
From his team's season-opening loss to Fordham Prep to its upset of St. Anthony's and tough losses to St. Joseph's-by-the-Sea, Chaminade and Holy Trinity, coach Mario Valentini saw progress.
Valentini's squad entered the CHSFL's 'AAA' playoffs with the seventh seed and needed to pull off back-to-back upsets to reach the championship game. Throughout the week of practice before Mount's playoff opener against second-seeded St. Joseph by-the-Sea, Valentini told his team how good they were, assuring them that they were ready for whatever the league had to offer.
"When you're inexperienced like we were, sometimes you have some growing pains," Valentini said. "We just talked to the kids about it being a new season and all the good plays we had during the year."
The positive reinforcement produced results as the Mountaineers reeled off road victories over St. Joseph and Chaminade (they had been beaten by both in the regular season). For a second straight season, Mount fell short in its bid to snap St. Anthony's reign over the 'AAA' division. Still, Valentini doesn't judge his team's season by its last game. "Sometimes," he said, "you take the measurement of a team by where it starts to where it ends."
Duke Fergerson and the Harlem Hellfighters
Duke Fergerson led the Harlem Hellfighters to the Cup Division championship game in just their third season in the PSAL. Based out of Wadleigh HS, the Hellfighters are composed of players from 13 Harlem-area schools.
Wadleigh finished the season 10-2 and fell to John Adams, 58-42, in a thrilling final last Sunday, but a game on Oct. 13 may have been more significant.
The team went to Staten Island to play McKee/SI Tech and found a racial slur scrawled on its bench. Fergerson, who played at San Diego State and for the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills from 1977-80, called police to investigate, then his players used it as game motivation. Led by quarterback Terrence Mooney, the Hellfighters earned a 44-36 victory.
Mooney, who finished the season with 1,091 passing yards and 12 touchdowns, is being recruited by Harvard, Fergerson said.
Xavier Knight Coverage -- CHSFL 'A' Finals
Surprise: Foes grind down Phoebus
Stone Bridge rallies past the Phantoms by abandoning its normal big-play philosophy.
By LYNN BURKE
December 2, 2007
— Stone Bridge's success isn't built on pound-it-up-the-middle football.
A dozen plays to score a touchdown? That's just not in the playbook.
Strike quickly, score quickly, do it again and stun the opponent into submission.
That's how the Bulldogs did it.
Locked into a physical game with Phoebus and trailing by three points in the third quarter, the Bulldogs abandoned their high-octane single-wing offense and went head-to-head with the Phantoms.
Stone Bridge won.
A 13-play, 84-yard drive — all on the ground — produced the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Then Stone Bridge kept the ball on the ground for eight straight plays for the clinching score.
The result: Stone Bridge 38, Phoebus 24, destroying the Phantoms' hopes of a repeat state championship.
"Usually our touchdowns come on big plays," running back Jeron Gouveia said. "We don't usually pound the ball that much up front."
On both drives, Gouveia was the focal point of the offense. He's better known as a defensive back, where he'll play at Virginia Tech, but he scored both touchdowns on short runs. Couple that with a 1-yard TD run earlier and he wound up with 19 carries for 101 yards and three scores. Eighty-eight of the yards and all three touchdowns came in the second half.
If the last name seems familiar, he's the son of former Washington Redskins linebacker Kurt Gouveia.
"Before the first half ended, I messed up pretty bad when I fumbled that punt," he said. "I knew I had to come back and let it go and make a big play."
With less than a minute to play in the half, Gouveia fumbled the ball away at the Phoebus 21. Tajh Boyd wound up throwing an 8-yard touchdown pass to give Phoebus a 21-14 halftime lead.
"His halftime speech was pretty angry," Gouveia said of coach Mickey Thompson's locker-room diatribe. "He was irritated because he said we were the better team and we weren't playing like it."
Said Thompson: "What I told them at halftime was, 'We are just kicking their butts up front.' I said, 'We're down 21-14 and we're just kicking their butts.' There's no reason we should be in a situation like this. We are a far better team to be down 21-14 when it's not even close."
The problem, said Thompson, was his team was trying to make big plays like it had all season, "but they were trying to make the big play against some exceptional athletes. You're just not going to make those big plays when you have athletes like that against you."
So, part way through the go-ahead drive, Thompson pulled the quarterback from the direct-snap single wing. Instead, the running backs took the direct snaps and ran right at Phoebus. Of the two drives, which took 22 plays, Gouveia carried 13 times.
"Catching the snap was an issue today," Thompson said. "I would have liked to have given him a few more blows, but I knew he could catch the ball. That's why he got so many carries. I just didn't trust anybody else.
"You take what you can get and play that tough, physical brand of football."
Newport News, Va., Daily Press
State Semifinals Class 2a
Crane carries Mavs into state title game
'Shutout dynasty' holds down Clarksburg
By Stefen Lovelace
December 1, 2007
When Eastern Tech football coach Marc Mesaros first saw his seniors put on pads as freshmen, he knew what they were capable of.
"When they came is as freshmen, I knew that it was a special group," Mesaros said. "I told them, if you do everything we ask you to do, and you work hard, you'll be a formidable force."
Last night, the group proved its coach right, playing near-perfect football in the last high school home game of their careers, a 35-0 rout of Clarksburg in the 2A state semifinals at CCBC-Essex.
"Being the last home game at Essex, we really wanted to come out and play well," senior quarterback Travis Crane said. "Forty-eight minutes of hard-fought football, and there's no other way I'd want to finish the season at Essex."
Crane has managed the No. 6 Mavericks' offense all year and continued his stellar play last night. He threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Derryck Davis for the Mavericks' first touchdown and scored the next two Eastern Tech touchdowns with his legs. He had a 2-yard quarterback sneak early in the second quarter to give the Mavericks (13-0) a 13-0 lead.
Later in the quarter, he dropped back only to see a Coyotes blitz in his face. He squeezed through defenders and raced 50 yards for another score. He finished with 73 total yards (11 passing, 62 rushing).
Senior backs Thomas Edwards and Davis played just as well. Edwards had 134 yards and a score on just five carries, including a jaw-dropping 73-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, where he ran right, stopped on a dime and reversed field, fooling every Coyotes defender in the process.
Both Davis and Edwards had interceptions, and senior linebacker Bryan Watson was flying around all over the field for a Mavericks defense that registered its third shutout in the past four games. Clarksburg quarterback Cody Martin was 11-for-22 for 100 yards and two interceptions, and the Coyotes (12-1) had just 96 combined rushing yards.
"Our defense, we like to call ourselves the shutout dynasty," said Crane, who also plays safety. "We don't like when people score on us, so it felt really good to keep another shutout today."
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