Cibolo (Texas) Steele head coach Michael Jinks couldn't help but get choked up after the game when asked about his all-everything running back Malcolm Brown.
Brown, after all, did score the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give Steele the Class 5A Division II championship over No. 33 Denton (Texas) Guyer, 24-21.
"I just can't put it into words," Jinks told television reporters through tears after the game. "He's just a special individual."
Brown accounted for 107 yards and two of No. 80 Steele's touchdowns in the game, but none of his runs were bigger than an 8-yard run on third down early in the drive that led to the winning score - a 2-yard power sweep as Brown reached the end zone untouched.
The top-rated prospect in the state of Texas and the top overall running back prospect in the nation finished his senior season with 2,636 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Afterward, he said the on-the-field stuff may have been the easiest to deal with it.
"There were a lot of expectations on not just me but the whole team this year," Brown told TV reporters. "But you have to leave those expectations alone … if you focus on those too much, things might not go right. But we stayed focused."
Those expectations included a preseason No. 30 ranking in the RivalsHigh 100, even though the school bumped up a classification to 5A this season.
The years in 4A, however, were not forgotten.
When the team was battling in a close game in the fourth quarter, Jinks didn't have to reach too far for motivation.
"We've been here before," he said. "Against Lake Travis in the past, we hadn't been able to get it done. When that moment came today, they got it done."
It was also a momentous win for District 4, which hadn't had a 5A state champion since Converse Judson in 2002.
Interestingly enough, Jinks was the quarterback at Converse Judson 22 years ago
in a loss to Dallas Carter in the 5A title game. Judson was later awarded the title by forfeit.
This year's game was a back-and-forth, closely fought affair throughout. The game was tied at 7-7 at the end of the first; 14-14 at the half.
Denton Guyer had a chance to tie or win the game, driving after Brown's touchdown late in the fourth, but an interception by Kwame Clark sealed the win for the Knights.
"We've known all along that it's a true team that wins games," Jinks said. "It took every one of us to get this victory today."
Class AAAA: No. 72 North Allegheny 21, No. 62 La Salle 0
With a dominant line, tough running game and havoc-wreaking defense, the western Pennsylvania team flying around in black-and-gold uniforms resembled a vintage version of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Playing near-flawless football and mixing a trick play into its grind-it-out offense, No. 72 Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny steamrolled over defending champion No. 62 Wyndmoor (Pa.) La Salle.
"Aggressive, never backing down, all in every play," running back and free safety Matt Steinbeck, who ran for a 27-yard score and had a 46-yard interception return, said of the team's formula for success. "We work as a family. Amazing."
Quarterback Michael Buchert ran for two short scores and handed off to receiver Brendan Coniker on a third-quarter trick play on 3rd-and-16 that looked like an end-around but ended with Coniker's 30-yard pass to wide-open Dan Slivka to the 1.
Buchert scooted around left end on a keeper on the next play for his second touchdown and a three-score lead.
And that was more than enough cushion for the North Allegheny (15-1) defense, which intercepted La Salle quarterback Matt Magarity three times, had two sacks and recovered two fumbles.
"We told them that we could get them to turn the ball over and get them in an area that they're not used to," coach Art Walker said about his message to his defense. "All we kept talking about was make them earn it, no big plays."
It was rainy. It was muddy. But that didn't stop a record-setting performance - a performance that reportedly ended with players sliding across the slippery field in celebration.
Quarterback Dano Graves passed for three touchdowns and rushed for three more - setting a state championship record for most touchdowns in one game - to give No. 47 Folsom (Calif.) High a victory over No. 28 Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra.
Graves finished with 214 yards in the air and 83 yards rushing as the Bulldogs (14-1) ended Serra's 31-game winning streak.
Graves finished his senior season with 62 touchdown passes, one less than the state record of 63 set in 1999 by Richard De La Cruz of Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral.
Connor Preston threw for two touchdowns and 237 yards for the Cavaliers (14-1). George Farmer caught four passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Sahquielle Richard ran for 131 yards and another touchdown.
Folsom clung to a 21-20 at the half before scoring three touchdowns in less than 30 seconds in the fourth quarter to run away with the win.