Daelen Menard’s right shoulder hurt every time he tried to raise his arm on Saturday.
A muscle tear in his throwing shoulder that Chaminade’s senior starting quarterback suffered in practice earlier this week limited his range of motion.
It didn’t reduce his accuracy or his toughness though on Chaminade’s most important drive of the season.
With the game tied and an elusive state championship potentially slipping away, Menard converted two key first downs – one by throwing and one by rushing.
Chaminade’s workhorse Shaun Shivers did the rest picking up some of the toughest of his 216 yards.
And all of it set up Daniel Longman to deliver the game-winning 19-yard field goal with four seconds remaining and bring home Chaminade-Madonna’s first state title since 2005 following a 31-28 victory over Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy in the Class 3A championship game at Camping World Stadium.
"We’ve been preparing for this day since last year [at state]," said Menard, who said he had not yet had an MRI to determine the full extent of the injury. "We took the loss and we said we weren’t going to let that happen again."
Chaminade (11-2) won its third state title overall having also brought home another in 2003.
With Chaminade, Northwestern, Plantation American Heritage and Champagnat Catholic all victorious this weekend, Dade and Broward teams have combined to win four or more state titles in the same season for the sixth consecutive year.
Two staples of Chaminade’s march back to the state final after losing in that round last season to Jacksonville Trinity Christian were Shivers’ ability to break long runs proficiently and its quick-strike passing game.
After a 14-point lead slipped away with 3:27 remaining, Chaminade put together an 11-play, 67-yard ball-control drive that never let Oxbridge gain possession again.
Shivers, an Auburn commitment, finished the season with 2,241 yards and picked up 34 of the most valuable of those on seven carries during the winning series.
But Menard, who completed only 5 of 9 passes, but threw touchdown passes to Akeem Hayes (44 yards) and Alabama commitment Xavier Williams (55 yards) earlier in the game, hit Hayes for a 12-yard completion on third and 9 from Chaminade’s 30. Two plays later, Menard made the right call when he tucked the ball and ran 23 yards for another first down to the Oxbridge 33.
Five Shivers runs later, and Longman was trotting on to the field to put the exclamation point on Chaminade’s championship win.
"Menard played the whole game hurt so I really have a lot of respect for that kid gutting it out the way he did during this game," Chaminade coach Dameon Jones said.
Jones, who coached his alma mater Hallandale for eight seasons prior to being asked to coach at Chaminade before last season, celebrated his first state title as a coach.
Jones wasn’t planning on returning to coach when Chaminade came calling last season following the departure of former coach Jason Milgrom.
Shivers put together another memorable performance in what was the final game of a memorable high school career in which he amassed over 5,000 yards.
His 2,241 rushing yards is believed to be the fourth-highest single season total by a Broward running back behind former Ely and UM tailback Tyrone Moss’ outputs in 2000 (2,492 yards), 2001 (2,261) and 2002 (2,337).
"That last drive, it was time for me to finish so I went out there and we finished," Shivers said. "This was a great ride. I’m really excited about this victory."