To the victor, go the spoils.
Aside from being the unofficial “kings of 71st street” after winning the Class 6A state championship this past Friday night in Orlando’s Camping World Stadium, Miami Northwestern has one more game to play.
The Miami Sports Tribune confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the Bulls accepted an invitation to participate in the 2017 GEICO State Champions Bowl Series event December 23 at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.
Northwestern (12-2) will represent the state of Florida, while Baltimore’s Saint Frances Academy; Utah’s Bingham High and Arizona’s Chandler High will also be featured in the two-game event that will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
Early reports have confirmed that the Bulls will face Chandler in the event’s nightcap game at 9:30 p.m. (Eastern time) but the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series has yet to confirm the matchups.
Northwestern will be the third different South Florida team to participate in the postseason showcase. Miami Booker T. Washington played in the event in 2014 (in Boca Raton’s FAU Stadium) and St. Thomas Aquinas traveled to Frisco, Texas in 2016 to participate.
Booker T. and Aquinas both defeated Bingham in their respective appearances.
The Bulls earned their spot in the event by capping their 2017 season with a 21-16 win over Seffner Armwood in the state championship game. Like it had multiple times this past season, Northwestern’s defense stood up against a late rally attempt and preserved the victory.
With that victory, Northwestern pulled into a tie with Miami Carol City, Miami Central and Booker T. for the most modern-day state championships won with five.
Many thought it would be Plantation American Heritage that would have gotten the invite from GEICO. Sources confirmed that the two-time, undefeated defending Class 5A state champion Patriots were in consideration but chose to take themselves out of the running.
Northwestern is no one’s consolation prize, though. The Bulls have a roster full of talented players that represent some of the best at their position – in the country.
Dynamic senior quarterback and Louisville commit Chatarius “Tutu” Atwell has the speed and athleticism to turn any play into a touchdown when he breaks out of the pocket while also having the arm strength to drive the ball downfield to speedy receivers Nigel Bethel and Justin Hill.
Also, the Bulls have a pair of premier defenders in cornerback Divaad Wison – a one-time Florida commit that has re-opened his recruitment after the Gators coaching staff shake-up – and junior defensive lineman Calijah Kancey – an early 2018 All-American standout.