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By Brett Manney

SportsPower Correspondent

 

 

“Kissing Your Sister”

 

Narbonne Gauchos (CA) vs. San Pedro Pirates (CA), December 13

 

The Los Angeles City Championship was one for the ages, but then again, that may depend on how one looks at it.

 

The top two teams in FootballPower’s Los Angeles section rankings fought to a 21-21 stalemate after four quarters of play. The two Marine league rivals were also tied at end of regulation earlier in the year, but Narbonne escaped with a triple overtime win, 27-24. 

 

This time, the Gauchos led 21-14 early in the fourth quarter behind a series of talented plays by RB Melvin Davis, but the Pirates fought back and forced a punt. Pirates QB Barry Heads had completions of 8, 11 and 21 yards with time running down to bring the Pirates to the 15-yard line of the Gauchos when history took place.

 

Heads found WR Benjamin Weischedel in the end zone with no time remaining. Head coach Mike Walsh decided to go for a field goal rather than a two-point conversion attempt, thus creating a tie.

 

City rules do not permit overtime in a city championship therefore creating co-champions in ‘08.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“One Chance”

 

Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits (CA) vs. Grant Union Pacers (CA), Dec. 20

 

Two of the best teams in FootballPower’s Western Region Mega Rankings clashed for supremacy in the Golden State.

 

Long Beach Poly was a heavy favorite to defeat Grant Union from Sacramento in the CIF Open Division bowl game. It was the inaugural open division game featuring arguably one of the best teams in the nation (Poly) against an unheralded, yet determined squad (Grant).

 

Melvin Richardson looked like the hero after scoring on a 60-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, giving Poly a 20-19 lead, but the Pacers answered right back.

 

Pacers QB Kipeli Koniseti found WR Darvin McCauley for a touchdown with one minute and 11 seconds left to give Grant the lead for good at 25-20. The powerful Jackrabbit defense gave up more than 20 points for the first time since 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Comeback”

 

Juneau Douglas Crimson Bears (AK) vs. South Wolverines (AK), Oct. 11

 

Alaska football does not get much attention, but this year’s state semifinal game between Juneau Douglas Crimson Bears and the South Wolverines was a barnburner.

 

South, which had a state power ranking of 91.00, was considered the favorite as Juneau entered the matchup with a state power ranking of just 66.34 and four losses already.

 

After trailing 27-14 at the end of three quarters, the Bears scored twice in the final stanza on scores by Alex and Eric Fagerstrom to pull out a 28-27 victory. Bears QB Dakotah Smith had a career day by passing for 292 yards while RB/WR Alex Fagerstrom had 180 yards on nine receptions with two touchdowns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Clutch Kicking”

 

Alta Hawks (UT) vs. Jordan Beetdiggers (UT), Oct. 24

 

Utah fans know very well that when state powerhouses Alta and Jordan meet in a clash of 5A juggernauts, anything can happen.

 

This time around, Alta captured the league title with a thrilling 38-36 win and survived a huge scare by the Beetdiggers.

 

Jordan came back from 21 points in the first half to take a one point lead with 36 seconds left, 36-35. Jordan QB Alex Hart orchestrated two scoring drives with less than two minutes in the game to give what seemed like a victory for the Beetdiggers.

 

Yet 36 seconds was all Hawks QB Ammon Olsen needed as he marched his squad down the field 52 yards to the Jordan 26 yard line with 3.5 seconds left to set up a field goal try.

 

Kicker Vince “Moose” Bingham booted a 39-yard field goal as time expired to give the Hawks an emotional 38-36 victory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“So Close”

 

Skyline Spartans (WA) vs. Bothell Cougars (WA), Oct. 30

 

When these two crossover league rivals met for supremacy of the Class 4A Kingco league, the game was bound to be an instant classic.

 

The Skyline Spartans were undefeated and clear favorite to win the state championship and faced off against a driven and scrappy Bothell squad. Both teams were ranked in the top 15 in the state according to the FootballPower rankings at the time.

 

After trailing most of the game, the Spartans connected on a crucial 4th and 1 on the Bothell 32 yard line, which set up the eventual game-winning pass from QB Jake Heaps to WR Kasen Williams for the 16-12 victory.

 

The Cougars almost pulled off an upset victory and Skyline finished the season undefeated and state champions.

 

 

 

 

To contact correspondent Brett Manney, send an e-mail to brett.manney@activenetwork.com.

 

 

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