December 3, 2011

Friday roundup: Big movements in big games

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Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to and follow him on Twitter.

Big games ... big movements ... big accomplishments.

No. 5 Bellevue rolled to its 10th Washington state title in 12 years Friday night.

Others didn't have it so easy.

No. 20 Olive Branch needed a late score - and a late penalty - to win in Mississippi.

No. 10 Grayson needed a late catch just to get to the Georgia final.

Meanwhile, out in California, No. 70 Oaks Christian needed a big comeback to set up a big game with arch-rival Westlake.

With that, a look at some of the big games Friday night:

No. 5 Bellevue 35, O'Dea 16

For all the talk about Bellevue's unconventional - and often unstoppable - Wing-T offense, the school's latest state championship was won with defense.

Sure, Bellevue scored on both of its possessions in the first half against O'Dea, but it took over their Class 3A final with a defense that allowed plenty of yards but only three points.

And even that field goal proved to be a turning point.

After O'Dea cut the deficit to 14-3 late in the first half, Bellevue returned the ensuing kickoff for a 21-3 halftime lead and never looked back.

The result was the school's 10th state title in 12 years.

"I need to take a step back and enjoy it," head coach Butch Goncharoff told the Seattle Times. "That's what I told the kids, don't take it for granted, because these things don't happen all the time. Winning one is hard."

Bellevue, which finished the year at 14-0, just makes it look easy.

  • RivalsHigh take: The Wolverines played with more fire early than they did in the semifinal round and it needed it. The final score looks futher away than the play on the field as O'Dea was a worthy competitor. Bellevue has likley sewn up a Top 10 finish to the 2011 football season.

    For more, check out this report in the Seattle Times.

    No. 10 Grayson 35, No. 60 Colquitt County 31

    A back-and-forth game between two evenly matched teams figured to come down to one play.

    It was just a matter of when.

    Marcus Lindquist's 6-yard TD catch with 28 seconds left gave Loganville (Ga.) Grayson a 35-31 victory over Colquitt County and lifted it into the Georgia AAAAA final against Marietta (Ga. Walton.

    The winning score came on a catch, but two pass interference calls aided the drive.

    The end result was Grayson's 14th straight win.

    "We're finding ways to win games," Grayson coach Mickey Conn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It hasn't been as easy as some people think it's been. Our kids have shown a lot of heart, a lot of want-to, a lot of will when they've had to."

  • RivalsHigh take: This was a game that had all the makings of being a dandy and Grayson willed its way to victory. The Rams are headed to the state finals again and the team may be a prety solid favorite to take home the title. Colquitt has proven to be a solid football team that Rush Propst has teetering on the edge of being elevated to a program in South Georgia.

    For more, check out this report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    No. 20 Olive Branch 35, Petal 34

    It's every high school football players dream.

    Game on the line, state title at stake, make a play.

    Olive Branch (Miss.) High QB Todd Mays made a few.

    Mays drove Olive Branch 80 yards in the final three minutes. His 1-yard TD run pulled the school within one, his two-point conversation run gave it a 35-34 victory over Petal in the Mississippi Class 6A final.

    "This feels unbelievable," Mays told The Clarion-Ledger. "It was a great effort by both teams, but we were able to come away with the victory."

    But only because Petal couldn't match his moves. The school quickly drove down the field for a game-winning field-goal try, but it's potential winner - a 43-yarder - was nullified by a procedure penalty and the second attempt from 38-yards was no good.

  • RivalsHigh take: It is hard enough for a high school kicker to make one game winning field goal from 40 yards out; having to do it twice proved too much. It is a heartbreaking loss for Petal but preserved the undefeated season and first state title for Olive Branch. This was a great group of seniors and Todd Mays led the way.

    For more, check out this report in the Clarion-Ledger.

    No. 70 Oaks Christian 27, No. 71 St. Bonaventure 24

    Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian got what it wanted, another game with arch-rival No. 16 Westlake, but it wasn't easy.

    Oaks Christian fell behind 17-7 in the second quarter before rallying behind quarterback Brandon Dawkins.

    Dawkins ran for two scores and threw for another to spark the comeback win.

    Oaks Christian (11-2) fell to Westlake, 35-14, earlier this season, but it won last season's playoff matchup.

  • RivalsHigh take: These two teams tend to play close games when they get together and so this was no surprise. Oaks Christian showed a lot of heart to fight back from the early deficit. St. Bonaventure had a solid season and has nothing to be ashamed of falling at this point.

    MORE: No. 1 Trinity takes home state title | No. 3 Don Bosco beats down No. 83 Bergen Catholic

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