Gopher football targets shine in playoff action

Tuesday night was the first week of playoff action for most Minnesota high school football teams. Several Minnesota recruits and recruiting targets shined. The following is a look at some of the performances by Minnesota commitments or recruiting targets.

QB Johnny Carlson of Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins, who committed to Minnesota in June, had a 44- and 41-yard touchdown run as the Royals defeated Buffalo to improve to 4-5. He rushed eight times for 100 yards and completed 9 of 18 passes for 99 yards and also completed a two-point conversion. Carlson, who will enroll at Minnesota in January, completed 92 of 177 passes for 1,321 yards. He threw seven touchdowns and had seven interceptions. Carlson rushed 79 times for 476 yards and had nine rushing scores. The Royals will face Armstrong on Saturday.


Dominique Barber of Wayzata, the younger brother of Gopher standout running back Marion Barber III, led the Trojans to a 42-14 victory over Park Center. He scored on a 12-yard touchdown. Wayzata improved to 7-2. Barber entered the game with nine touchdowns this season. He is a standout defensive back as well.  Barber has rushed 89 times for 538 yards with five rushing scores. He has caught 18 passes for 244 yards and three touchdown receptions. Barber had an 81-yard interception return.


Barber received some big holes behind the Wayzata offensive line, led by Tony Sparkman, who is being recruited by Minnesota and Illinois. Sparkman has received a scholarship offer from the Illini.


Wayzata faces Maple Grove (6-3) on Saturday


Tommy Leavitt of Minneapolis Washburn, who committed to the Gophers three weeks ago, saw his season end when the Millers, a number two seed, were upset by previously winless Richfield 32-26. The Millers won the Minneapolis City conference title. Leavitt caught four touchdowns this season as he grabbed 26 passes for 414 yards. Washubrn finished the season 6-3.


Tony Mortensen of Hutchinson missed the final four games of the season. The Tigers, who finished 5-3, received a first-round bye. Mortensen had 52 carries for 370 yards and three touchdowns rushing. He had completed 26 of 48 passes for 318 yards. He threw two touchdowns and had three interceptions. Mortensen is expected to be back for the playoffs Saturday.


Breck quarterback Liam O'Hagan threw for 43 yards and six touchdowns as the Mustangs rolled to a 55-14 victory over Braham to improve to 9-0. O'Hagan has thrown for 38 touchdowns this season. He entered the playoffs having completed 112 of 167 passes for 1,963 yards. His brother is a pitcher at Stanford and the Cardinal, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Boston College and Minnesota are among the schools recruiting him. O'Hagan visited Vanderbilt last weekend. 


Brandon Robinson caught two touchdowns from seven and 50 yards. He made seven extra points. He entered the game with 37 catches for 817 yards with 14 touchdowns. Boston College, California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Stanford, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin have all offered him a scholarship and he is considering Boston College, California, Stanford, UCLA, Minnesota and Colorado among his favorites. Robinson is one of the country's top defensive back prospects. He has set up a visit to Boston College on October 31 and Stanford on December 5.


Matt Simon of Farmington caught seven passes for 146 yards and had two touchdowns as the Tigers defeated Winona 35-0. Farmington faces Red Wing on Saturday. They finished the season ranked #3 in Class 4A with an 8-1 record. Simon has 36 catches for 796 yards for nine receiving scores. Simon has one rushing touchdown. He went to Northern Illinois on an unofficial visit this past weekend.


Darrell Davenport of Henry Sibley entered the playoffs as the metro area's number one rusher with 1,170 yards on 151 carries (7.7 yards per carry). The Warriors defeated Minneapolis Southwest 42-12 to improve to 8-1. They are ranked #9 in Class 5A. Davenport has nine touchdowns this season.


Darrell Jackson of Webster Groves (MO) High led the defending 5A champions to a 36-29 win over Eureka this past Friday. He rushed 21 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson completed 18 of 35 passes for 212 yards. He had one touchdown and three interceptions. Jackson has completed 82 of 158 passes for 1,305 yards and 11 scores. Jackson has rushed 91 times for 496 yards. Webster Groves faces Summit (4-3) on Friday. Jackson is considering Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Northern Illinois and will visit Illinois on December 5.


Mundelein (IL) Carmel is ranked as the number one team by the Chicago Tribune. The Corsairs (8-0) face #8 Joliet Catholic on Friday. They are led by tight end/punter Jack Simmons, who committed to the Gophers in August. His father, Terry, is a former Gopher who played for Minnesota from 1977-79 as a punter and tight end. Carmel is averaging 46.6 points per game the past five contests. They defeated St. Viator 49-24 last Friday after leading 49-0 at halftime.


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