Miami Dolphins

The heroes of Super Bowl 51? Tom Brady and a little-known RB from South Florida

New England Patriots' James White celebrates after scoring the winning touchdown during overtime of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston.
New England Patriots' James White celebrates after scoring the winning touchdown during overtime of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston. AP

James White, this is your moment.

Soak it in.

White, the Patriots’ running back from Fort Lauderdale, is now a champion of all the land for the second time.

His St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders won the high school national title in 2008.

More than eight years later, he’s a Super Bowl champion, and a big reason why the Patriots rallied to defeat the Falcons 34-28 in Sunday’s incredible title game.

White’s two-yard touchdown run in overtime was the game’s difference, and it was a thing of beauty. He was stopped at the line of scrimmage by Falcons safety Ricardo Allen, but kept his legs moving. White didn’t go down until the ball crossed the plane, ending perhaps the greatest Super Bowl ever played.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” White said. “We have a great group of guys on this team. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.”

White was a monster Sunday. He had three touchdowns -- two on the ground and one through the air. He ran into the end zone for the first of New England’s essential two-point conversions.

And he caught a game-high 14 passes for 110 yards.

“James played a great, great game,” said fellow Partiots running back LeGarrette Blount. “If I had a vote, I'd say James it the MVP.”

That honor went to Tom Brady, and for good reason. He had the greatest statistical Super Bowl of any quarterback ever.

But the Patriots absolutely could not have won without White’s career night.

“He's everything you want in a teammate, a football player,” Brady said. “Dependable, consistent, great attitude. He brings it every day. We kept going to him. I think that speaks volumes.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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