Former Butler standout quarterback Christian LeMay officially joined the Georgia Bulldogs practices in the past three days. LeMay missed his senior season at Butler because of violations of CMS Code of Conduct and has been home-schooled this year. He planned to enroll in Georgia this spring. LeMay threw 44 touchdown passes and just two interceptions in his junior season at Butler, leading the team to its first state football championship. He is ranked as one of the best quarterback prospects coming out of high school.
The Butler Bulldogs won the state 4AA football title on Saturday, shutting out Wake Forest-Rolesville 44-0 at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.
Jahwan Edwards won the Most Valuable Player honors, rushing for 170 yards and scoring three touchdowns in the second half.
“Our game plan was to run the ball and keep their offense off the field. In the first half they were all over me, but in the second half I just had to come out and dominate.”
Austin Stewart had two interceptions for the Bulldog defense. His second pick was returned 93 yards for a touchdown that broke the game open in the second quarter. Stewart was named the defensive player of the game.
The whole Bulldog defensive unit could have legitimately been given defensive honors. In what was virtually an away game for Butler they shut out a team that averaged 28 points per game. Rolesville only gained 134 yards on the ground on Saturday after they had averaged 240 per game during the season. The Cougars, trailing the whole game and forced to pass, only completed two of nine passes. Three of their passes were intercepted.
Rolesville came into the game with a big, experienced offensive line. Butler Head Coach Mike Newsome knew controlling the line of scrimmage would be a key to victory.
“We knew they were big, and they were physical. It looked like we had our hands full, but our kids just played through it. We’re not always the biggest team out there. We just play with a lot of heart and attitude.”
Quarterback Riley Ferguson was named the offensive player of the game, passing for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Butler has won back-to-back state titles and now has a 31-game win streak.
More on the Bulldogs’ big win coming soon. The entire write-up will be posted in the December 16th issue of The Mint Hill Times.
Last season the Butler Bulldogs football team put up scoring numbers that rivaled any high school program in the nation. That team had Christian LeMay at quarterback throwing and running behind an experienced offensive line.
As Butler began this season without LeMay there were many questions looming as to how effective the offense would be. Sophomore Riley Ferguson was suddenly thrust into the starting QB role very late in the summer. The fact that he would have five offensive linemen in front of him who never had started before this season did not bode well for Butler.
The results of this season so far: The Bulldogs are 15-0 and are playing in the state championship this Saturday.
“We knew we were going to be young on offense,” says Head Coach Mike Newsome. “Now they’ve got 15 games under them and their playing like juniors and seniors.”
Sure, Butler has a dominating defense that could carry any team to the championship on their backs. The defense is not the only reason this team is undefeated, though. Two times this season the Bulldogs would have lost had the offense not posted more than 30 points.
In a volatile game at Lenoir-Hibriten, Butler edged the Panthers 35-28. In that hostile environment, it would have been easy for the Bulldogs to mail-it-in and take a loss. Their offense fought for every yard gained and was able to outscore Hibriten’s talented playmakers.
Last week Butler played a Vance team that had only been giving up single digits throughout the playoffs. Vance put points on the board early and late in the game, and if the Cougar defense had shut down Butler like Mallard Creek the week before, Butler would be sitting at home this Saturday. The Bulldogs scored 44 points on a team with a very strong defense.
“Coming into that game, they said that we really didn’t have an offense,” says Jahwan Edwards. “They said that if they could beat the offense, then they could win. I took that as an insult, the quarterback took that as an insult, and the offensive line took that as an insult. We came out here and smashed these guys.”
Like Ferguson at QB, many of Butler’s starters are underclassmen. Riley’s older brother Zach is the starting wide-out. Zach Ferguson deserves much more respect than to just be known as Riley’s brother. Zach threw the touchdown pass against Vance last week. Sean Wiggins is at tight-end, with senior Kris Frost coming in at wide-out in many
situations. Uriah LeMay and Demetrius Kelly fill the twin half-back roles. Of course the heart of the offense is senior running back Jahwan Edwards.
Butler’s starting left tackle is junior Brandon McNeely. Connor Howard is also a junior and starts at left guard. Fellow junior Nathan Woitovich snaps the ball at center. The only senior on the offensive line is right guard Nick Sansotta. Sophomore Joey Moody is the starting right tackle.
“The offensive line has been getting better and better every day,” says Edwards. “I love these guys. They don’t get their names in the paper; they don’t get the respect they deserve.”
Thanks to Butler’s offensive line, Edwards has rushed for over 1,200 yards this season. Butler is averaging 46 points per game with an offense that currently posts only two seniors in the starting lineup. Their average margin of victory this season is 30 points. The Bulldogs don’t play the most dramatic of contests, but no one is complaining.
“We just go out and play our game,” says quarterback Riley Ferguson. “It doesn’t matter how good the other defense is.”
How good has Ferguson been as a first year quarterback? He’s thrown for over 2,600 yards with 21 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
Bulldog fans will never forget Christian LeMay. After this season, Riley Ferguson and the 2010 Butler offense will always be remembered as well.
A Wake Forest Rolesville fan posted a video of team highlights on youtube. What caught my eye was the title of the video that says Butler is “hype.” If there is one school who has lived UP to the hype this season, it’s Butler. Not only did they lose their All American quarterback (Christian LeMay) before the season started, they also lost one of their best line backers (Ozzie Sombo) for several games, and their top running back (Deion Walker) half way through the season. How did the Bulldogs fare? They played the most difficult schedule in the state and still finished undefeated. Butler plays WFR for the state 4AA championship Saturday at 11 am in Raleigh. Here’s the video from the WFR fan:
There are tons of former Butler players who have had success playing college football. Perhaps two of the best in recent years play on the same team. Eddie Whitley and Jarrett Boykin are starters for the ACC champs Virginia Tech Hokies. Both players were in Charlotte last weekend for the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium. Whitley is third on the team in tackles and Boykin is the leading receiver in yards and catches. He’s also on the verge of becoming the Hokie’s all time receiver in yards. The Hokies play in the Janurary 3 Orange Bowl in Miami against Stanford.