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July 18, 2004COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Hundreds of teams started the summer with one goal in mind - winning the FoxSportsNet Texas 7-on-7 State Championship. But only one team was able to achieve that dream and boy did they ever achieve it.
The Tyler (Texas) Lee Red Raiders ripped through the competition at the tournament, which was presented by adidas, winning the championship without ever losing a game.
Lee beat a scrappy Katy Taylor team 40-26 in the championship game played at Kyle Field Saturday afternoon. Lee quarterback Josh Hill was simply dazzling, starting the game off with a touchdown pass on the first play. Lee never looked back and cruised to the championship, and Hill ended up capturing most valuable player honors.
After going unbeaten in Friday's pool play, Lee was hardly challenged in the championship bracket Lee beat Klein Collins 48-27 in the first round, followed that up with a 39-25 victory over Allen and then whipped defending seven-on-seven state champion Odessa Permian 40-21 in the quarterfinals.
The Red Raiders toughest game of the tournament came in the semi-finals when they had to battle a very athletic North Mesquite team that featured blue-chip junior receiver Brandon Jackson.
After jumping out to a 21-point lead, the Mustangs put on a ferocious comeback and were able to narrow the margin to 38-32 and get the ball back with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game. But the Lee defense stiffened and held on to win the game by the six-point margin.
Lee put three players on the Rivals.com 7-on-7 State Championship All-Tournament Team.
Senior cornerback Micah Johnson and senior receiver Tony Bush joined Hill on the team. Bush was Hill's go-to-receiver when the Red Raiders needed a big-play and Johnson was able to lock down any receiver that he faced.
The championship is even more impressive for Lee because it's missing one of its key offensive weapons, running back Tyrone Ross, a state top 100 candidate. Ross injured his foot earlier this summer when he jumped off a porch and a nail went through his foot.
The consolation championship was won by Colleyville Heritage.
The Panthers beat Alief Taylor 32-26 with a sizzling performance by junior quarterback Christian Ponder. Ponder's rocket right arm came through in the clutch every time, and he took a big step toward proving he'll be one of the state's top quarterback recruits next year.
The Rivals.com 7-on-7 State Championship All-Tournament Team
Micah Johnson, Tyler Lee
Martellus Bennett, Alief Taylor
Brandon Jackson, North Mesquite
Tony Bush, Tyler Lee
Josh Hill, Tyler Lee
Matthew Harding, South Garland
Kenneth "Deon" Beasley, West Orange Stark
Keenan Clayton, Sulphur Springs
R.J. Jackson, Houston Westside
Adam Podzemny, Odessa Permian
Daniel Bowman, Katy Taylor
Christian Ponder, Colleyville Heritage
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