"We did something tonight that has never been done before," said Armwood Head Coach Sean Callahan referring to being the first Tampa team ever to win back-to-back state football titles. "I'm proud of our guys and the way the played out there tonight."
The Hawks went into the tunnel at halftime up 21-0, led by their All-American running back Kalvin Bailey. Bailey, 6-1, 241, and a clone of Jerome Bettis battered and bruised the Lake Gibson defenders, running over them for 71 first half yards and two touchdowns. His 15-yard touchdown run that put the Hawks up 21-0 was the punctuation mark of a dominating first half performance. Bailey would finish the game with 23 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns.
Not to be outdone, Bailey's teammate, quarterback QB Jameel Williams, ran for 138 yards and a touchdown, plus he was perfect in the air, completing all five passes for 142 yards and two more touchdowns. Armwood tailback Demetrius McCray pulled in both of those touchdown passes, both on play action rollouts where he was open in the back of the end zone.
Lake Gibson quarterback Matt Grothe, the Class 4-A Player of the Year, left The Swamp with another loss after a solid performance. Grothe went 18-34, good for 278 yards and he ran for 73 more yards, but his performance was marred by three interceptions.
"I felt like we had a chance to come out and win it, but we couldn't do it," said Grothe. "The turnovers and the fact that we couldn't stop their rush is what killed us the most at the end."
RECRUITING ON THE LAKE GIBSON FRONT: Grothe, a University of South Florida commit, reaffirmed his commitment to USF after the game … Bobby Taylor, a 6-4, 180 wide receiver told GatorCountry.com that he has heard from a variety of schools ranging from Hoftstra to Bowling Green to Michigan. Taylor caught six passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns. He plans to take some time from football to reassess his recruiting situation. "Right now I want to sit back and chill for a little before I start looking at that," he said.