It wasn't just their overtime win over Denton (Texas) Guyer to clinch their second straight Nike 7on National Passing Tournament. It was their win over Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville in the quarterfinal match, on the last play of the game.
With MVP Teddy Bridgewater leading the charge, MNW came back on numerous occasions. And it wasn't just at quarterback that Bridgewater came up clutch. He had an interception while playing safety that sealed the win over Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips.
It was that kind of day for Bridgewater, who earned every bit of the MVP honors.
It was also a day that other MNW players showed their ability.
Probably the most impressive player after Bridgewater was Eli Rogers, a fellow Miami commit. Rogers came up with several big plays during the championship bracket and was easily Bridgewater's go-to guy. Dantrell Horne shook off cramps to come up with several big plays, throughout the day.
But the player who really put themselves on the map was Dominique Rhymes, a basketball player who didn't play last year. Rhymes is a pretty natural athlete and he scored the tying touchdown in regulation, stumbling in but keeping his feet to tie it.
Guyer was led throughout the weekend by J.W. Walsh, an Oklahoma State commit. Walsh did everything he could to keep Guyer unbeaten in the tournament, but the failed 2-point conversion kept it from happening. Deservingly, Guyer was named to the all-tournament team.
The best player, though, for Guyer had to be Josh Stewart, who was every where, both defensively and offensively, but made his biggest impact catching passes from Walsh. Stewart is a gifted athlete who Walsh was looking for all day.
2012 receiver Connor Crane also had a big championship bracket, scoring what might have been the winning touchdown were it not for the MNW rally. The tall, rangy receiver did a good job getting separation from the secondary for MNW.
Quentin Gardener was also another top performer for Guyer, another weapon for Walsh to use.
Gardena Serra knocked off Dr. Phillips from Orlando in the 3rd place game, in a contest that neither team seemed to be wanting to play after losing in the semifinals. Neither was particularly sharp, but the Cavs came up when they needed to.
The MVP of that game had to be Marqise Lee, who scored the winning touchdown in overtime for the Cavs and locked down the DP receivers. Lee also had a big play in their opening round win over Plant, zig-zagging on an interception that he almost took to the house.
But they almost didn't need Lee to win it. 2012 cornerback Raymond Ford had a solid weekend and he intercepted Dr. Phillips' lone possession in overtime and almost got to the end zone for a pick-six, but was stopped inside the five.
George Farmer was strong throughout the day, especially on offense, the five-star receiver making some huge, clutch grabs in their first round game over Plant.
Jason Gibson, a four-star outside linebacker by Scout.com, played extensively at tight end for the Cavs and had a couple of big gains. Defensively, he had a couple of times where, in pads, he would have probably laid out the receiver.
Connor Preston was steady throughout the day for the Cavs.
For Dr. Phillips, HaSean Clinton-Dix again showed why he's the premier safety in the country. His play against Butler in the first round was a big reason they moved on. He had an interception off a deflection that led to the go-ahead score, where he went about 60 yards in what seemed like only three steps. Surprisingly, he was left off the all-tournament team.
Dee Hart, though, was not, and had Dr. Phillips made it to the finals, he may very well have earned MVP honors. From all the non-quarterbacks, he was easily the best performer, coming up with huge play after another. His most impressive play, though, was against MNW, when a DB tried to jam him at the line of scrimmage, and he chucked the defender back about five yards.
Chris Gallon wasn't utilized nearly enough on Friday, a big changed from Thursday when he was a focal point of the offense.
Plant lost their opener to Serra, and Phillip Ely wasn't particularly sharp, looking erratic and sealing their fate with a poorly thrown ball that Marqise Lee picked off.
James Wilder made one of the more athletic plays of the weekend that kept Plant alive in the consolation bracket, falling and deflecting a pass with no time left to knock out Arlington Martin. Wilder was selected to the all-tournament team.
Butler probably would have had things go much differently if Christian Lemay was able to play, but Riley Ferguson will be one to watch in the 2013 class. With no Lemay, Kris Frost took the mantle as the top player for Butler. Frost was named to the all-tournament team for his efforts.
Martin's day was done relatively quickly, losing to Guyer in a blowout and then falling on the final play to Plant.
But quarterback Russell Bellamy, a Purdue commit, followed up a strong day on Thursday with a steady performance in the Plant game.
Glenville had easily the most heartbreaking loss of the early going, losing to MNW on the last play of the game.
Then they came back with a vengeance.
In the loss to MNW, it was a back-and-forth affair, that came down to who had the ball last. Cardale Jones was matching Bridgewater series-for-series and almost pulled off the victory.
Jones was particularly sharp in the win over Butler, an easy 27-7 win.
Justin Hardee is a 2012 receivr who Jones found on numerous occasions, but the go-to guy for Jones was Shane Wynn, who earned all-tournament honors.
The upset of the weekend was Malik Moore being left off the all-tournament team. We felt that Moore not only deserved the honor, but may have been the Defensive MVP of the weekend. Moore took the loss to MNW hard, but came back strong in the final two games, and put the exclamation point on the win over Plant in the Consolation Finals with a pick-six as time expired. Moore played behind Latwan Anderson a year ago, and doesn't have an offer yet, but we expect that to change.
Teddy Bridgwater, Miami Northwestern (MVP)
Eli Rogers, Miami Northwestern
James Davis, Miami Northwestern
Josh Stewart, Denton Guyer
Quentin Gardener, Denton Guyer
J.W. Walsh, Denton Guyer
Dee Hart, Orlando Dr. Phillips
George Farmer, Gardena Serra
Marqise Lee, Gardena Serra
Shane Wynn, Cleveland Glenville
Evonte Dunn, Cleveland Glenville
Devon Bogard, Cleveland Glenville
Eric Amoako, Arlington Martin
James Wilder, Tampa Plant
Kris Frost, Matthews Butler