Oxbridge Academy, Atlantic fall in state championships

(Michael Laughlin / Sun Sentinel) Oxbridge Academy receiver James Meeks rolls into the endzone during the first half of their 3A state title game against Chaminade-Madonna, Saturday, December 9, 2017, at Camping World Stadium.

Oxbridge Academy and Atlantic were both in the same spot, trying to make history on the same day.

But neither was able to take home the state championship from Orlando on Saturday.

Oxbridge battled back from a two touchdown deficit, but lost on a last minute field goal 31-28 to Chaminade-Madonna in the 3A State Championship Game. Atlantic was smothered offensively in the 8A State Championship Game, losing to Dr. Phillips 17-7.

The Thunderwolves were playing for a title for the first time, and had to get up early to do it. A 10am kick off on one of the coldest days of the year, made for a football day unlike any other for Oxbridge. And they seemed to start off cold, giving up 21 points in the first half. Oxbridge hadn't allowed more than 14 in a game all season. Trailing 28-14 late, the Thunderwolves mounted a furious comeback, as former CBS12 Athlete of the Week Gio Richardson hooked up with Herman McCray and De'John King on touchdown passes in the last eight minutes to tie the game up at 14. But Chaminade mounted an 11 play, 71 yard drive, and kicked a 19 yard field goal with just a few seconds left to seal the victory. Richardson finished 16-33 passing with 286 yards and three touchdowns, plus 53 yards rushing and a score.

In a defensive battle in the 8A title game, big plays on the other side of the ball turned out to be the key. Dr. Phillips had a blocked punt return for a touchdown and an interception return for a touchdown, leading them to a 17-0 lead over Atlantic. The Eagles did not get on the board until Antoine Williams scored on a QB keeper with 3:38 left to go in the game. The Eagles were playing in their first state championship since 1978.

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