Detroit (Mich.) Loyola vs Flint (Mich.) Beecher
The top junior in the Midwest, Loyola lineman Malik McDowell did not disappoint. In a winning effort, McDowell was constantly in the backfield on defense, netting three sacks and numerous hurries. On offense, he was impressive, clearing the way for several touchdowns and consistently dominating the man across from him. He's 6-foot-6, 300-pounds, with athleticism and length. There isn't much not to like here. I think he's a big time guy as a defensive or offensive lineman. The competition he faces isn't the greatest, but he does what he's supposed to do against it: dominate it, and he has physical tools that are rare. Junior lineman Ka'John Armstrong is 6-foot-5, 270-pounds, and also goes both ways. He has good technique, does well with his hands and made a few plays in the backfield as well. Senior fullback Keymonne Gabriel is a tough runner who should get some late looks. I also liked junior cornerback Keith Graves, sophomore linebacker Darryl Clemons, and junior guard Chris Davis.
Bill Greene, Ohio Recruiting Analyst
Toledo Central Catholic vs. Avon.
Toledo Central Catholic avenged last year's playoff loss to Avon by rolling in this year's rematch 42-14. For Central Catholic, four-star safety Jayme Thompson was dominant on the defensive side of the football, coming up with a pick-six, and pressuring the quarterback on blitzes. Junior quarterback DeShone Kizer holds several BCS offers, and is vastly improved over his sophomore season, both in his arm strength and decision making. Kizer is a dual threat quarterback, and it's easy to see why college recruiters love him. For Avon, three-star cornerback Ross Douglas saw his career come to a close, but the Michigan commit fought to the end, and has a bright future with the Wolverines. Senior cornerback Ralph Smith (Ball State commit) played well in defeat.
Dave Berk, Ohio Recruiting Analyst
Ottawa (Ohio) Glandorf vs. Columbus (Ohio) Bishop Hartley
In a game where both teams combined for 72 points and 734 yards of total offense and three fourth-quarter lead changes, Bishop Hartley hung on keeping Ottawa-Glandorf from making a last minute drive to win 41-31. Jawaun Woodley came up big for Hartley on both sides of the ball and showed why Toledo is getting a steal with the 5-foot-10, 210-pound future linebacker. Notre Dame pledge Jacob Matuska also played both ways being more of a blocker from his tight end position while jumping from defensive end and outside linebacker on defense. While the stat sheet may not show his name Matuska's size on the line helped Hartley rush for 300 yards on the night against a very stout Glandorf defensive front. Junior Alonzo Saxton came up big early with a 56-yard touchdown reception on Hartley's second play from scrimmage but also pulled his hamstring missing the rest of the game.
Beth Long, Midwest Field Reporter
Montini (Ill.) vs Joliet Catholic (Ill.) In a rematch of last year's 5A state championship game, Montini held off Joliet Catholic 40-37 in a last ditch defensive stand. Montini had a huge day from senior running back Dimitri Taylor who recorded two touchdowns on the day. Joliet Catholic was headlined by USC commit Ty Isaac who had a monster day for the Hilltoppers, with 3 touchdowns and 277 yards. Montini advanced to the state championship game in Champaign against Morris.
Crete Monee (Ill.) vs Lemont (Ill.)
In a battle of two heavyweights, Crete Monee came back to claim the lead for the first time in the game and held on for the victory. The Warriors won 28-27 over Lemont. Crete Monee was highlighted by a host of special players, including 2013 wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, who is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the Midwest and his current top five are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Michigan and Michigan State. Crete Monee also relied on big plays on the defensive side of the ball with 2014 Linebacker Nyles Morgan and 2013 defensive back Jaylen Dunlap, along with 2013 Wide receiver Lance Lenoir. Lemont fought to the end with LSU offensive lineman commit Ethan Pocic, who had an impressive night run blocking.