ORLANDO, Fla. - Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to come from behind and defeat Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington 33-25 to win the Class 4A State Championship.
"To come out on top, it is definitely a great feeling," Bolles senior offensive lineman John Theus said.
The 6-foot-6, 292-pound five-star offensive tackle wasn't surprised that he and his teammates were able to overcome adversity in order to hoist the state championship trophy.
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"We have gone through a lot this year," Theus said. "We have been down by double digits before. We never doubted ourselves. We continued to fight and come back. That is what we did. I love these guys. The hardest working group in Florida and it showed tonight. We believed we could do it."
The go-ahead touchdown for Bolles came with 3:52 remaining in the game when junior running back Tim Betros ran through a gaping hole to the left side created by Theus and covered 33 yards to find the endzone.
"We had been pounding all night. That jamboree left play, that was the second time we ran it," Theus said of the play. "The first time we ran it for a first down it was wide open. They were trying to overload the strong side. So coach called jamboree left and I knew we could get it going. I stepped down inside and I saw the linebacker float so I just held onto my guy and drove him back and I saw Tim (Betros) squirt out right behind me and he made a heck of a run."
Now, with his season wrapped up, the Rivals100 offensive tackle will turn his attention to his basketball season as well as the U.S. Army All-American Game in early January.
After Georgia's 0-2 start, Theus admits that he did research back-up plans with regards to his recruitment in case Mark Richt was dismissed.
"Everyone knows I fell in love with Georgia from the get-go," Theus said. "The beginning of the season when they had their tough times, I was just searching around a little bit just in case something did happen. I am a big fan of Coach (Mark) Richt."
After the Bulldogs winning streak and SEC Championship appearance, Theus is convinced that Richt is completely removed from the hot seat. Thus, his commitment is completely solid.
"I am a Georgia Bulldog now," Theus said. "I am excited."
Theus will take an official visit to Georgia in January, on a date that is still to be determined. It will be the only visit he takes.
Between now and February when he signs with the SEC East program, he is going to continue to work with a future teammate to assemble one of the nation's top classes.
"Keith Marshall texted me before the game and we were exchanging names. We are going to get after some people," Theus said. "We aren't the 'Dream Team', Keith told me are the 'Ring Team'."
Theus and the East team take on the West in the 12th annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The game will be nationally televised on NBC.