win Friday over Hoggard, the Rose Rampants will play in their fourth
consecutive state championship game. Despite the pressure
mounting over a 35 game win streak, including some close calls in the
last few weeks, Rose was able to muster enough will to survive and
advance. Rose outlasted the formerly undefeated Hoggard Vikings
31-29 in the Rampants (15-0) most thrilling game of the season.
Exactly the opposite happened in college football. A USC win on
Saturday would have set up the least controversial match-up in the BCS
National Championship game. It also would have made three
straight appearances for USC in that game, but the Trojans could not
hold up their end of the bargain. The mighty Trojans of USC fell
to cross-town rival, unranked UCLA 13-9 Saturday, ending their hopes of
another championship bid, and setting up another controversy that could
ultimately end the BCS as we know it.
Instead of the Trojans, it’s the Florida Gators that will get a shot at
the only team that nobody questions should be in the national title
game, The Ohio State Buckeyes. Although they finished their
season at number two, Michigan ends the season at number three.
That’s right the Wolverines lost a spot in the polls, not to mention a
shot a national title without even playing a game. Therein lays
With the USC loss there was no “right” decision to be made. In
other words you can make an argument either way. With Florida in,
Michigan is left to wonder how they can lose only once, by three points
on the road to the number one team in the country, and not get another
On the flip side we heard for two weeks from Florida officials,
including head coach Urban Meyer that said if Michigan got their
rematch, the BCS system should immediately be reviewed. Their
main argument being that two teams from the same conference should
settle it in conference play, not for the National Championship.
It was those comments, in my opinion, that bought Florida the extra
human votes necessary for them to leapfrog the Wolverines into the BCS
A lot of times I have a hard time debated issues because I can always
respect the argument on both sides. Personally I don’t think two
teams from the same conference should play each other for the national
championship. What really bothers me is that for the three weeks
following the loss to Ohio State, Michigan was still ahead of Florida
in the BCS rankings. When the final polls come out, Florida jumps
right over the Wolverines into the National Championship game.
The fact of the matter is that you can make an argument for both sides,
and neither is 100% right or 100% wrong. So what do you do?
I think we all know the answer to that. Let’s just be thankful
that in high school, they settle it on the field.
That was the case Friday night as Rose and Hoggard (both undefeated)
met to decide who would play for a state championship. Though
Hoggard fell behind 12-0 early, the Vikings (14-1) proved they were a
worthy opponent, scoring 23 unanswered to take a 23-12 lead early in
It seemed as if the momentum was jumping back and forth, as Rose would
then take control, scoring the next 19 points to lead 31-23.
After a 30 yard touchdown pass from Brandon Miley to Luke Caldwell cut
the deficit to two, Hoggard needed only a two point conversion to tie
it, but didn’t get it. Miley’s pass for two was knocked down in
the end zone giving the Rampants the lead 31-29 and the ball with just
a few minutes remaining.
The Vikings however, would get one more chance after the Rampants went
for and failed to convert a 4th and short. The turnover on downs
gave Hoggard the ball down two, with less than two minutes to
play. It was then that the Rose defense made one final
stand. Brandon Miley was sacked on consecutive plays to start the
drive, he fumbled on the second of which, and Rose was a couple of
kneel-downs from its fourth consecutive state championship game.
The 4-A state championship will be decided this Saturday at Duke’s
Wallace-Wade Stadium. Rose will look for its fourth consecutive
state championship against the 11-4 West Charlotte Lions, and you can
hear all the live play-by-play action starting with our pre-game show
at 4 o’clock on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930 AM.