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December 2, 2010After just five seasons of existence, Spanish Fort High School is the new AHSAA 5A state champion.
The Toros wrapped up a shutout over the Briarwood Christian Lions 14-0 in Jordan-Hare Stadium Thursday night.
Auburn commit Reese Dismukes manned center, the position he is slated to play as early as next season as a Tiger, throughout the game.
The Toros running game accounted for 223 yards of the team's total 293 yards of offense.
The ground attack was led by senior quarterback Ameriol Finley, who put up 174 yards off 37 carries. Senior Davares Ambrose chipped in 41 yards off 14 carries.
When asked what it's like running behind a lineman like Dismukes, Finley had a short and simply answer.
"Like riding a bike," Finley said, adding that his performance wouldn't have happened without Dismukes.
"There's nothing like running behind him on a Friday night," Finley said of his experience this season.
Spanish Fort head coach Bryant Vincent guessed that about 75 percent of the plays followed Dismukes up front.
"We dominate up front and that's just what we like to do," Dismukes said. "Run the ball. And we're a spread team, so we just like to smash it."
Briarwood finished the night with five turnovers with two coming in the form of defensive back Jonathan Cook interceptions. Vincent said because his team knew Briarwood was a good football team, forcing turnovers were going to be critical during the game.
"They were going to be hard to stop," Vincent said. "Defensively we preached all week that we had to get takeaways. We had to get takeaways and we had to secure the football. We couldn't turn it over or give up the big play in the kicking game or on defense. And our defense came up with a couple big takeaways and offensively we did turn it over a time on a fumble, but our defense, they did what we asked them to do."
Spanish Fort held Briarwood to 200 yards of offense, 103 yards of which were passed.
Dismukes said being able to win the state title game in his future stadium was special.
"I couldn't ask to play anywhere else," Dismukes said. "Our last game with our guys. Just, we're a special group of people, we all love each other and it was just a regular game, but it was special to me to be able to come out and play with all my boys. There's nothing like high school football and playing in this stadium, last game, with all my guys. It was great."
Dismukes, who is anticipated to join Auburn in the spring, said coaches are wanting him to report to Auburn in time for Bowl practice.
"But I'm not sure," Dismukes said. "I'm probably going to come in and watch a few meetings and stuff like that. I'm not sure about practice with everything else that they've got going on."
Two of Dismukes future teammates, Leeds' Jonathan Rose and Sweetwater's Chris Landrum, are also state champions tonight. Dismukes said he texted "his boy" Rose today and said the two will probably room together next year. Although he said he hasn't talked to Landrum much, he knows he did well because he heard his name over the stadium loudspeakers.
"I'm sure he did good," Dismukes said.