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Pahokee wins third straight; 9th for Bolles

Written by markmcleod, December 13, 2008, 0 Comments,
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ORLANDO – The battle for the Class 2B state football championship between Pahokee and Trinity Catholic of Ocala was expected to be among the best on the opening weekend of the Florida High School Athletic Association state finals at the Citrus Bowl.

Saturday afternoon, the Blue Devils and Celtics delivered a classic barnburner which wasn’t decided until the final play of the game, when Trinity Catholic senior quarterback Rob Henry threw incomplete and Pahokee held on for a 21-17 victory for its third straight state title, its fifth in the past six seasons and sixth all-time.

The only loss the Blue Devils have suffered in the finals occurred in 2005 when current Florida backup quarterback Johnny Brantley led then head coach Kerwin Bell’s Celtics to a 37-30 victory over Pahokee at Florida International University in Miami.

Brantley’s father, John III, took over as the Celtics head coach this season and got Trinity Catholic to the finals in his first year. Johnny arrived at the Citrus Bowl just as the first quarter ended and watched cheering for the Green and Gold, while Gators teammate Janoris Jenkins watched from the Pahokee sidelines. 

Trinity Catholic got on the scoreboard first when Henry found a wide-open Kadron Boone for a 34-yard touchdown pass on a third-and-12 play. Junior placekicker Frankie Valez added the PAT to give the Celtics a 7-0 lead. 

The Celtics converted an earlier third-down play when Henry rolled to his right and failed to find an open receiver, ran back to his left and sprinted 24 yards to the Pahokee 33. Trinity Catholic controlled the clock in the first quarter gobbling up 7:14 of the clock.

Pahokee drew even, capping off a 13-play, 82-yard drive when quarterback De’Jo Johnson ran into the end zone from one-yard out. Miguel Rodriguez added the PAT as the Blue Devils begin to take control in the second quarter.

The Blue Devils took possession of the football moments later, and after Johnson was sacked, Nu’Keese Richardson and Vincent Smith combined to pick up 36 yards on the next two plays from scrimmage. Six plays later, Smith scored on a 15-yard touchdown run. Rodriguez once again added the PAT to give Pahokee a 14-7 halftime lead.

Neither team scored in the third quarter but Trinity Catholic was taking command of the game. The Celtics’ defense shut down the Blue Devils’ offense down, limiting Pahokee to 37 yards on 14 plays.

As time expired in the third quarter, Trinity Catholic was beginning a 10-play, 48-yard drive which finally stalled at the Pahokee 12 after Henry couldn’t connect on passes to Johnny Lawroski and Boone. Velez drilled a 34-yard field goal to cut Pahokee’s lead to 14-10.

The Celtics’ defense sent the Blue Devils to the bench after just three offensive plays and Trinity Catholic was back in business.

Running back Kedrick Rhodes ripped a 12-yard run with a tremendous effort on first down. Henry connected with Boone for a 17-yard strike to get the ball to the Pahokee 16. After losing one yard on a Rhodes run, Henry found Rafael Ciafardini, who made a one-handed catch for the touchdown. Valez hit the PAT to give Trinity Catholic a 17-14 lead. 

On the ensuing kickoff, Smith returned Valez’ kick 39 yards to the Trinity Catholic 43 with 3:38 remaining in the game.

Quarterback De’Jo Johnson hit Richardson on first down for eight yards. Two plays later, he found senior receiver Dexter Holmes for 11 yards down to the Trinity Catholic 24. The play was a backbreaker because the Celtics had Pahokee in a second-and-12.

The Blue Devils converted the third-and-1 play as Smith ran for five yards. Johnson hit junior wide receiver Dennis Hall on the next play. Hall made a move and ran by a couple Celtics defenders for the touchdown. Rodriguez converted the all-important PAT to give Pahokee a four-point lead at 21-17. Johnson completed three of four passes for 38 yards on the drive for the Blue Devils.

With just 36 seconds remaining in the game, Rhodes took the kickoff at the 5-yard line and returned it 31 yards to the 36-yard line. Henry completed the first down pass to Boone for 17 yards to the Pahokee 47-yard line. Two plays later, Henry connected once again for 17 yards with Boone. The Celtics had the ball at the Blue Devils’ 30 with just 16 seconds left. However, Henry was unable to complete passes to Dionte Ponder, Boone and McDonald as time expired. 

Johnson completed 11 of 19 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown for the Blue Devils. Smith added 128 yards and a score. The pair combined for 84 percent of the Pahokee offense.

Henry connected on 13 of his 29 attempts for 208 yards and two touchdowns. He was the Celtics’ second-leading rusher with 44 yards on seven carries. Junior wide receiver Kadron Boone, who has an offer from the University of Florida, was the leading receiver in the game with 100 yards on six catches and a touchdown. He also had one return for 26 yards.

“I can’t put how I feel into words,” an emotional Nu’Keese Richardson of Pahokee, a Florida commitment, said afterward. “This is what we’ve worked for all year. We have to tip our hat to Trinity Catholic because they’re a good team and played a great game. This was a tough game and both teams gave it all they had. Our team has been close all year and we showed a lot of heart today.”

Richardson led the Blue Devils with four receptions for 22 yards. He also had four carries for 31 yards. He was matched up defensively against Boone and credited Boone with being an outstanding talent.

CLASS 2A

Bolles (Jacksonville) 49, Gulliver Prep (Miami) 20

Quarterback Chandler Carr and Jay Herndon connected for three touchdown passes and Stephen Barnett gained 133 yards on 17 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns as Bolles took a 28-7 halftime lead and cruised to a 49-20 victory over Miami’s Gulliver Prep for the Class 2A state championship, the school’s state-record ninth under coach Corky Rogers.

The previous eight titles came in 1986 (2A), 1990 (2A), 1993 (3A), 1995 (4A), 1998 (3A), 2002 (2A), 2004 (3A) and 2006 (2A) and completed a 14-0 season for the Jacksonville small-school power. Gulliver Prep ended its season 11-2.

Jawan Jamison scored on a 4-yard run and Barnett scored on an 8-yard run to give Bolles a 14-0 lead after one quarter. It became 21-0 when Chandler Carr hit Jay Herndon with a 26-yard touchdown pass. Gulliver Prep’s Artice Kellum intercepted Carr later in the quarter and raced 37 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7, but Carr and Herndon connected on a 38-yard touchdown pass just before halftime for a 28-7 lead.

Bolles then put the game away with three straight touchdowns in the third quarter. Barnett scored on a 31-yard run to start the run. Herndon then caught a 30-yard TD pass from Carr and Jordan Garside made it 49-7 with a 7-yard touchdown run.

Bolles got a 71-yard touchdown run from Darian Mallory to end the third quarter and a 2-yard TD run by Frank Telfort in the final quarter to close the scoring.

Bolles doubled up Gulliver Prep in rushing, 252-126, and finished with a 401-295 edge in total offense. Carr passed only six times but all three of his completions to Herndon went for touchdowns totaling 94 yards. Davis Skinner connected on all five of his passes for 55 yards, giving Bolles 149 passing yards on 8-of-11 passing.

Michael Strauss of Gulliver Prep completed 17 of 30 passes for 169 yards but was intercepted twice. Mallory finished with 112 yards on 18 carries.

FHSAA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS

Results and pairings for the semifinals and championships of the 2008 Florida High School Athletic Association state football playoffs:

FRIDAY, DEC 12

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLASS 1B


At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Jupiter Christian 49, Warner Christian (South Daytona) 14

CLASS 1A

At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

North Florida Christian (Tallahassee) 17, Fort Meade 7

STATE SEMIFINALS

CLASS 6A


Seminole (Sanford) 21, Boone (Orlando) 17

Northwestern (Miami) 42, Miramar 23

CLASS 5A

Lakeland 22, Pine Forest (Pensacola) 21

St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) 35, Largo 14

CLASS 4A

Lincoln (Tallahassee) 30, Seabreeze (Daytona Beach) 12

Plant (Tampa) 33, Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens) 21

CLASS 3A

Godby (Tallahassee) 28, Pasco (Dade City) 14

Cocoa 20, Monsignor Pace (Miami) 17

SATURDAY, DEC. 13

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLASS 2B


At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Pahokee 21, Trinity Catholic (Ocala) 17

CLASS 2A

At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Bolles (Jacksonville) 49, Gulliver Prep (Miami) 20

FRIDAY, DEC. 19

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLASS 3A


At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Godby (Tallahassee) (12-2) vs. Cocoa (13-1), 1 p.m.

CLASS 5A

At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Lakeland (14-0) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) (14-0), 7 p.m.

SATURDAY, DEC. 20

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLASS 4A


At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Lincoln (Tallahassee) (11-3) vs. Plant (Tampa) (13-1), 1 p.m.

CLASS 6A

At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Seminole (Sanford) (12-2) vs. Northwestern (Miami) (12-1), 7 p.m.

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ORLANDO – The battle for the Class 2B state football championship between Pahokee and Trinity Catholic of Ocala was expected to be among the best on the opening weekend of the Florida High School Athletic Association state finals at the Citrus Bowl.

Saturday afternoon, the Blue Devils and Celtics delivered a classic barnburner which wasn’t decided until the final play of the game, when Trinity Catholic senior quarterback Rob Henry threw incomplete and Pahokee held on for a 21-17 victory for its third straight state title, its fifth in the past six seasons and sixth all-time.

The only loss the Blue Devils have suffered in the finals occurred in 2005 when current Florida backup quarterback Johnny Brantley led then head coach Kerwin Bell’s Celtics to a 37-30 victory over Pahokee at Florida International University in Miami.

Brantley’s father, John III, took over as the Celtics head coach this season and got Trinity Catholic to the finals in his first year. Johnny arrived at the Citrus Bowl just as the first quarter ended and watched cheering for the Green and Gold, while Gators teammate Janoris Jenkins watched from the Pahokee sidelines. 

Trinity Catholic got on the scoreboard first when Henry found a wide-open Kadron Boone for a 34-yard touchdown pass on a third-and-12 play. Junior placekicker Frankie Valez added the PAT to give the Celtics a 7-0 lead. 

The Celtics converted an earlier third-down play when Henry rolled to his right and failed to find an open receiver, ran back to his left and sprinted 24 yards to the Pahokee 33. Trinity Catholic controlled the clock in the first quarter gobbling up 7:14 of the clock.

Pahokee drew even, capping off a 13-play, 82-yard drive when quarterback De’Jo Johnson ran into the end zone from one-yard out. Miguel Rodriguez added the PAT as the Blue Devils begin to take control in the second quarter.

The Blue Devils took possession of the football moments later, and after Johnson was sacked, Nu’Keese Richardson and Vincent Smith combined to pick up 36 yards on the next two plays from scrimmage. Six plays later, Smith scored on a 15-yard touchdown run. Rodriguez once again added the PAT to give Pahokee a 14-7 halftime lead.

Neither team scored in the third quarter but Trinity Catholic was taking command of the game. The Celtics’ defense shut down the Blue Devils’ offense down, limiting Pahokee to 37 yards on 14 plays.

As time expired in the third quarter, Trinity Catholic was beginning a 10-play, 48-yard drive which finally stalled at the Pahokee 12 after Henry couldn’t connect on passes to Johnny Lawroski and Boone. Velez drilled a 34-yard field goal to cut Pahokee’s lead to 14-10.

The Celtics’ defense sent the Blue Devils to the bench after just three offensive plays and Trinity Catholic was back in business.

Running back Kedrick Rhodes ripped a 12-yard run with a tremendous effort on first down. Henry connected with Boone for a 17-yard strike to get the ball to the Pahokee 16. After losing one yard on a Rhodes run, Henry found Rafael Ciafardini, who made a one-handed catch for the touchdown. Valez hit the PAT to give Trinity Catholic a 17-14 lead. 

On the ensuing kickoff, Smith returned Valez’ kick 39 yards to the Trinity Catholic 43 with 3:38 remaining in the game.

Quarterback De’Jo Johnson hit Richardson on first down for eight yards. Two plays later, he found senior receiver Dexter Holmes for 11 yards down to the Trinity Catholic 24. The play was a backbreaker because the Celtics had Pahokee in a second-and-12.

The Blue Devils converted the third-and-1 play as Smith ran for five yards. Johnson hit junior wide receiver Dennis Hall on the next play. Hall made a move and ran by a couple Celtics defenders for the touchdown. Rodriguez converted the all-important PAT to give Pahokee a four-point lead at 21-17. Johnson completed three of four passes for 38 yards on the drive for the Blue Devils.

With just 36 seconds remaining in the game, Rhodes took the kickoff at the 5-yard line and returned it 31 yards to the 36-yard line. Henry completed the first down pass to Boone for 17 yards to the Pahokee 47-yard line. Two plays later, Henry connected once again for 17 yards with Boone. The Celtics had the ball at the Blue Devils’ 30 with just 16 seconds left. However, Henry was unable to complete passes to Dionte Ponder, Boone and McDonald as time expired. 

Johnson completed 11 of 19 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown for the Blue Devils. Smith added 128 yards and a score. The pair combined for 84 percent of the Pahokee offense.

Henry connected on 13 of his 29 attempts for 208 yards and two touchdowns. He was the Celtics’ second-leading rusher with 44 yards on seven carries. Junior wide receiver Kadron Boone, who has an offer from the University of Florida, was the leading receiver in the game with 100 yards on six catches and a touchdown. He also had one return for 26 yards.

“I can’t put how I feel into words,” an emotional Nu’Keese Richardson of Pahokee, a Florida commitment, said afterward. “This is what we’ve worked for all year. We have to tip our hat to Trinity Catholic because they’re a good team and played a great game. This was a tough game and both teams gave it all they had. Our team has been close all year and we showed a lot of heart today.”

Richardson led the Blue Devils with four receptions for 22 yards. He also had four carries for 31 yards. He was matched up defensively against Boone and credited Boone with being an outstanding talent.

CLASS 2A

Bolles (Jacksonville) 49, Gulliver Prep (Miami) 20

Quarterback Chandler Carr and Jay Herndon connected for three touchdown passes and Stephen Barnett gained 133 yards on 17 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns as Bolles took a 28-7 halftime lead and cruised to a 49-20 victory over Miami’s Gulliver Prep for the Class 2A state championship, the school’s state-record ninth under coach Corky Rogers.

The previous eight titles came in 1986 (2A), 1990 (2A), 1993 (3A), 1995 (4A), 1998 (3A), 2002 (2A), 2004 (3A) and 2006 (2A) and completed a 14-0 season for the Jacksonville small-school power. Gulliver Prep ended its season 11-2.

Jawan Jamison scored on a 4-yard run and Barnett scored on an 8-yard run to give Bolles a 14-0 lead after one quarter. It became 21-0 when Chandler Carr hit Jay Herndon with a 26-yard touchdown pass. Gulliver Prep’s Artice Kellum intercepted Carr later in the quarter and raced 37 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7, but Carr and Herndon connected on a 38-yard touchdown pass just before halftime for a 28-7 lead.

Bolles then put the game away with three straight touchdowns in the third quarter. Barnett scored on a 31-yard run to start the run. Herndon then caught a 30-yard TD pass from Carr and Jordan Garside made it 49-7 with a 7-yard touchdown run.

Bolles got a 71-yard touchdown run from Darian Mallory to end the third quarter and a 2-yard TD run by Frank Telfort in the final quarter to close the scoring.

Bolles doubled up Gulliver Prep in rushing, 252-126, and finished with a 401-295 edge in total offense. Carr passed only six times but all three of his completions to Herndon went for touchdowns totaling 94 yards. Davis Skinner connected on all five of his passes for 55 yards, giving Bolles 149 passing yards on 8-of-11 passing.

Michael Strauss of Gulliver Prep completed 17 of 30 passes for 169 yards but was intercepted twice. Mallory finished with 112 yards on 18 carries.

FHSAA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS

Results and pairings for the semifinals and championships of the 2008 Florida High School Athletic Association state football playoffs:

FRIDAY, DEC 12

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLASS 1B


At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Jupiter Christian 49, Warner Christian (South Daytona) 14

CLASS 1A

At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

North Florida Christian (Tallahassee) 17, Fort Meade 7

STATE SEMIFINALS

CLASS 6A


Seminole (Sanford) 21, Boone (Orlando) 17

Northwestern (Miami) 42, Miramar 23

CLASS 5A

Lakeland 22, Pine Forest (Pensacola) 21

St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) 35, Largo 14

CLASS 4A

Lincoln (Tallahassee) 30, Seabreeze (Daytona Beach) 12

Plant (Tampa) 33, Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens) 21

CLASS 3A

Godby (Tallahassee) 28, Pasco (Dade City) 14

Cocoa 20, Monsignor Pace (Miami) 17

SATURDAY, DEC. 13

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLASS 2B


At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Pahokee 21, Trinity Catholic (Ocala) 17

CLASS 2A

At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Bolles (Jacksonville) 49, Gulliver Prep (Miami) 20

FRIDAY, DEC. 19

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLASS 3A


At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Godby (Tallahassee) (12-2) vs. Cocoa (13-1), 1 p.m.

CLASS 5A

At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Lakeland (14-0) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) (14-0), 7 p.m.

SATURDAY, DEC. 20

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLASS 4A


At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Lincoln (Tallahassee) (11-3) vs. Plant (Tampa) (13-1), 1 p.m.

CLASS 6A

At Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Seminole (Sanford) (12-2) vs. Northwestern (Miami) (12-1), 7 p.m.

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