Gopher FB targets shine in late season games

Friday night was the sectional finals for 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.

Dominique Barber of Wayzata, the younger brother of Gopher standout running back Marion Barber III, saw his season end with a 17-14 loss to Armstrong, their second loss to the Classic Lake Conference foe. The Trojans finished the season 8-3. Barber entered the game with nine touchdowns this season. He is a standout defensive back as well. Barber entered the game with 121 rushes for 827 yards with nine rushing scores. He caught 23 passes for 280 yards and three touchdown receptions. Barber had an 81-yard interception return. He rushed for 211 yards in their previous win over Park Center.

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 and is hoping for an offer from the Gophers.

Tony Mortensen of Hutchinson missed the final four games of the regular season, but he has come back strong in the playoffs. The Tigers defeated Orono 28-9 as Mortensen rushed for one touchdown and passed for another. He also completed a two-point conversion. Mortensen entered the game with 52 carries for 370 yards and three touchdowns rushing and 34 of 58 passes for 474 yards.

The Tigers face Minneapolis North next Friday. They also feature Gopher commitment lineman Lydon Murtha.

Breck quarterback Liam O'Hagan threw for 340 yards and five touchdowns, leading Breck to a 62-22 victory over previously unbeaten East Central. The Mustangs improved to 11-0. O'Hagan has thrown for a state-high 43 touchdowns this season. He entered the game having completed 149 of 216 passes for 2,582 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 12 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns in the win. However, he made just two of six extra point attempts. He has 62 catches for 1,247 yards with 18 touchdowns this season. 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 October 31st and Stanford on December 5.

Matt Simon of Farmington caught four passes for 44 yards and had one touchdown (17 yards) as the Tigers defeated Austin 23-7. Farmington faces Red Wing on Saturday. Simon has 43 catches for 908 yards for 10 receiving scores. Simon has one rushing touchdown on five carries for 92 yards. He went to Northern Illinois on an unofficial visit recently. Farmington faces New Ulm next Friday.

Jerod Arlich scored on a 10-yard run, but it was not enough as Mahtomedi lost to St. Thomas Academy 14-7. He entered the game with 68 carries and 340 yards. He ended the season with nine touchdowns. Arlich has offers from Northwestern, Wisconsin, Navy, Colorado, and Minnesota. He has already been to Colorado on an official visit and is going to Notre Dame this weekend. Arlich is going to Northwestern on December 5th.

Darrell Davenport of Henry Sibley saw his season come to an end as the Warriors lost. They finished the season 9-2. He entered the playoffs as the metro area's number one rusher. Davenport entered the game with 185 carries for 1,356 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Darrell Jackson of Webster Groves (MO) High led the defending 5A champions to a 34-6 over Seckman as he rushed for three touchdowns and passed for two more scores. He rushed nine times for 64 yards and completed 14 of 21 passes for 221 yards. Jackson has completed 91 of 174 passes for 1,494 yards and 14 scores. Jackson has rushed 117 times for 725 yards. Webster Groves faces Parkway North (6-3) next Friday. Jackson will be back at Kentucky for an unofficial visit this weekend. He is also considering Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Northern Illinois and will visit Illinois on December 5th and Missouri December 12th.

Mundelein (IL) Carmel is ranked as the number one team by the Chicago Tribune and #18 by USA Today. The Corsairs (10-0) defeated Niles (IL) Notre Dame 42-14. 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 45.1 points per game the past seven contests. They will face the winner of #5 Vernon Hills (7-2) at #4 Crystal Lake (South) (7-2), who play tomorrow.

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