Video: GEICO Champions teams announcedNo. 7 Bingham and No. 18 Chandler are selected for the second consecutive year.
There is new life for four of the top football teams in the nation.
Seventh-ranked Bingham (South Jordan, Utah)
, No. 11 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore)
, No. 18 Chandler (Ariz.)
and No. 19 Northwestern (Miami)
have been selected to play in the second annual GEICO Champions Bowl Series Dec. 23 in Arizona.
The four teams will square off in a doubleheader at the Grand Canyon University Stadium (Phoenix) and kicks off with Bingham against St. Frances Academy at 6 p.m. (EST) followed by Chandler versus Northwestern at 9:30.
Bingham cruised to its second consecutive state title this year and they have been one of the most dominant teams in the country, winning every game by at least 13 points. Coach John Lambourne has led the Miners to a 27-1 record over the last two years with the lone loss coming to St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in the same event last season.
St. Frances Academy is loaded with talent and they ran through the 2017 season at 13-0, winning every game by at least 15 points. Once coach Henry Russell came over from Gilman (Baltimore) two seasons ago, the Panthers have become one of the best teams in the DMV area, going 23-2 with back-to-back MIAA-A Conference championships. They have talent everywhere but it all starts with their defense led by 5-star defensive end Eyabi Anoma
, the No. 7 recruit overall from the Class of 2018, and Shane Lee
, the No. 1 inside linebacker from the Class of 2019.
Chandler quarterback Jacob Conover
File photo by Mark Jones
Chandler's 2017 season was almost identical to what happened last year. The Wolves started 2-2, then reeled off 10 wins in a row bringing home the Class 6A state title. They are one of the hottest teams in all of high school football right now especially since quarterback Jacob Conover
came back from a shoulder injury he suffered against IMG Academy. Drake Anderson
has been one of the best players in the country this year also. The senior running back has more than 2,000 yards rushing and 32 touchdowns this season, while averaging nearly 10 yards per carry and 143.5 yards per game.
Northwestern won one of the toughest postseason brackets claiming the Florida Class 6A state title with a 21-16 over Armwood (Seffner). It was the school's first state title since 2007. Tutu Atwell
will go down with some of the past Northwestern greats, with names like Teddy Bridgewater
, Jacory Harris
, Amari Cooper
, Artie Burns
, and Antonio Bryant. The Bulls also have one of the best defenses in the country led by Divaad Wilson
and Demetreius Mayes
Northwestern quarterback Tutu Atwell Jr.
File photo by Daniel Galarza