Those watching Havelock’s state championship game got a preview look at what may be in store for next season.
Late in the game on Havelock’s final offensive possession, Coach Jim Bob Bryant put in the reserves, and backup quarterback Travis Sabdo, a sophomore, threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Keion Joyner.
Sabdo was 2 of 2 passing in the game for 36 yards, both balls going to Joyner, who as it turned out, was Havelock’s second-leading receiver with 36 yards. Sophomore Michael Bowman led the Rams with three catches for 37 yards.
Crowe part of championship
Garrett Crowe, as a senior quarterback, led the Rams to last year’s state championship. He also had a hand in this year’s title team, offering his help as an assistant coach.
"It’s been great," said Crowe, the school’s all-time leading passer. "Coach Bryant, these assistant coaches, having my dad on staff, it’s truly been a blessing. To see the other side of the picture, it’s been great, and it’s definitely something I want to do for the rest of my life."
He said the 2011 and 2012 state title teams were very similar.
"This team may be a little faster, but we played together well last year and this team did, too," Crowe said. "I’m very proud of them."
Battle of the bands
While there was a battle on the football field, there was also a battle on opposite sides of the stadium between the Havelock and Concord bands.
Rules prohibit the playing of music during a play, yet when Concord’s band started playing as Havelock had the ball, Havelock responded when Concord had the ball. It came to a head late in the first quarter when officials stopped the game and talked to Bryant, who then relayed a message to the Havelock band to stop playing.
Band director Jorge Benitez told Bryant he was doing only what Concord’s band was doing.
On top of that, both schools have the same music for their respective fight songs.
Havelock and Concord were flagged a combined 20 times. Havelock had 11 penalties for 97 yards, while Concord had nine for 65.
Concord may have had the biggest flag when leading wide receiver Alex Asbury was penalized and ejected for slapping a Havelock player during the third quarter.
Havelock senior safety Deshone Godette was named defensive MVP, leading Havelock with 13 tackles and forcing a fumble.
He was overcome with emotion, tears flowing, when asked to describe the play of the defense.
"I’m speechless right now," he said. "I’m just trying to take it all in right now. It just feels good to win."
Meanwhile Andrew Ramirez, who injured his knee in the first quarter of last year’s state title game, was Havelock’s second-leading tackler with nine.
Quite a record
With the victory, Havelock’s varsity team is 31-1 in the last two seasons. Meanwhile, the junior varsity has gone 20-0 for a combined 51-1 mark for the football program.