Orlando, FL–The Florida High School Football State Championships at Camping World Stadium saved the best for last. The Miami Southridge Spartans coached by Billy Rolle came from behind down 10-0 late in the fourth quarter to beat Dr. Phillips 14-10. The Spartans rallied from behind and scored on two touchdown receptions with 8:26 and 4:20 left in the football game. The game winner was a 72 yard bomb from Michael Cox to Mark Pope.
Pope finished the game with three receptions for 91 yards and though his quarterback struggled, going only 9-20 for 155 yards, Cox found him when it mattered most.
“We just kept believing,” said Pope after the game.
Southridge, known for their defense held Dr. Phillips to 261 total yards and really shut down their passing attack giving up 75 total yards there. Many wondered would the Spartans be able to mount enough offense to win the game, especially after Ben Thomas, their star running back left the game in the first half.
But they had just enough offense to win.
“We just kept setting up the long ball with screens,” said Spartan offensive coordinator David Cooney. “Eventually we had to test them up top and late in the game, it worked.”
Now the Spartans are state champions in Florida’s biggest class. After the game, many Dr. Phillips players were in disbelief. A similar ending to their 2010 defeat in the same venue when they lead Miami Central for much of the 6A final, only to lose the game in the final minutes.