Pahokee 21 Ocala Trinity Catholic 17
Pahokee wins their third straight state championship and for the fifth time in the last six years(lost in finals of '05 to Trinity Catholic). This was yet another classic between these two schools. Trinity Catholic drove down the field on the opening drive and Rob Henry hit dynamic junior WR Kadron Boone on a perfect fade to put them up 7-0. Pahokee's first possession ended quickly when DB Zach Williams intercepted a De'Joshua Johnson pass. In the second quarter Pahokee began to assert themselves, a 28 yard scamper by Vincent Smith finally loosened the Celtic defense. A one yard run by Johnson tied it at 7. Pahokee stopped them and immediately went back to work on the ground, this time culminating in a 16 yard touchdown run by Smith. UF commit Nu'keese Richardson set the touchdown up with a huge run. Another stop gave Pahokee the ball with 38 seconds remaining in the half. They drove all the way to the 23, but two holding penalties forced them backwards and a 'hail Mary' was not answered. Momentum and field position shifted to Trinity in the third, but no points were scored. Trinity was knocking on the door early in the 4th, but Pahokee came up with a 'stop' and they settled for three points on a 34 yard field goal. The next possession started in Pahokee territory again and this time Trinity converted. A beautiful one handed catch by TE Rafael Ciafardini put the Celtics up 17-14 with under three minutes remaining. Smith set Pahokee up with a kickoff return that looked like he had broken it, but the lane closed and it was just a 39 yarder. The stage was set for a big play and junior WR Dennis Hall delivered. Johnson hit Hall around the 12 and he made an inside move, after another cut he was in the end zone to put Pahokee up 21-17 with under a minute to play. Trinity drove the ball into position to make a play, but were unable to convert on three throws from the Pahokee 30.
Bolles 49 Gulliver Prep 20
Bolles now has NINE state championships. This was a game that featured two contrasting styles: Bolles run first mentality vs. Gulliver's wide open spread passing attack. It was the Bolles defense that created the stops and Gulliver simply had no answer to Steve Barnett and Jawan Jamison. Gulliver QB Michael Strauss never quite found his stride and electric running back Darian Mallory could not find the little bit of daylight he needs when the game was not in doubt(he busted a 71 yarder to make it 49-14). The Bolles defensive line was seemingly in the backfield creating pressure on every play. The heart-breaker for Gulliver was on their opening play. Mallory lined up a QB, faked a hand off, did the 'Tebow step', and then stepped back and threw a strike to Conner Vernon. Vernon was unable to catch it and it seemed to take the wind out of Gulliver. Bolles made them pay early and often building a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Bolles put it on cruise control in the second half. Stephen Barnett ended the game with 134 yards and two touchdowns. Chandler Carr, who splits time at quarterback, went 3 for 6, but all three were touchdown passes to Jay Herndon. Bolles ended their undefeated campaign outscoring the opposition 716-136.