Friday Night Lights

Throughout the high school football season, will be following the progress of Ohio State's football commitments. Here is how the OSU verbal commitments and their teams fared Nov. 23-24.

J.T. Barrett, QB, Wichita Falls (Texas) Rider – The Raiders continued their postseason march despite missing the injured Barrett, defeating Fort Wayne Southwest, 31-21, in the second round of the University Interscholastic League Class 4A Division II bracket.

Rider (9-2) rallied for the win by scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Carlos Fleeks reached the end zone on both of those occasions, doing so on runs of 10 and 8 yards, respectively. The Raiders advanced to the Division II semifinals, where they'll face El Paso Burges (10-2). Southwest ended its season 9-3.

Joey Bosa, DE, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas – Bosa recorded a safety during his team's 38-7 victory over Plantation in a Florida High School Athletic Association Class 7A regional semifinal matchup, but he was not around to see the ending.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Bosa left the game following a flagrant foul with 5:09 left in the fourth quarter.

"Games like this get a little chippy, and I didn't see what he did," St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Rocco Casullo told the newspaper. "We'll look at the film and I will see what he did."

Before the incident, Bosa sacked Plantation quarterback Chris Lemmons in the end zone for a second-quarter safety. St. Thomas Aquinas recorded two safeties in the win and limited Plantation (8-4) to 86 yards of total offense.

St. Thomas Aquinas (10-2) advanced to the regional final round, where the Raiders will host Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson (9-2).

Cameron Burrows, CB, Trotwood (Ohio) Madison, and Darron Lee, S/QB, New Albany, Ohio – In a battle of future OSU teammates, Burrows and the Rams emerged with a hard-fought 33-32 victory against Lee and the Eagles in an Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II semifinal.

Trotwood (12-2), the defending state champions, won its 11th straight game but needed some help to advance to its third straight title contest. New Albany (11-3) missed two extra points and a pair of two-point conversion rush attempts. Even so, the Eagles had a chance to win late when freshman kicker Joey Rowling lined up for a 27-yard field goal in the final minutes. It sailed wide right.

Lee threw a 22-yard touchdown pass in a losing effort. Both of the failed conversion runs were his carries.

Burrows recorded one tackle. The Rams were led offensively by Isreal Green, who rushed for 220 yards on 26 carries. He scored three touchdowns, including a game-winning 37-yard score in the fourth quarter.

Trotwood advanced to face Toledo Central Catholic in the Division II championship game.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, St. Louis John Burroughs – The third time was not the charm for Elliott and the Bombers, as they lost the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3 championship game. The Bombers fell, 35-22, to Maryville.

"It hurts a lot," Elliott told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "No one wants that silver."

Elliott and Burroughs' rushing attack were overshadowed by that of the Spoofhounds. Maryville (15-0) rushed for 436 yards on 69 carries. The Hounds also rushed for five touchdowns. Size played a factor, as the bigger Maryville team battered Burroughs (13-1).

Elliott did his best to attempt to overcome the Hounds' attack. He finished with 419 all-purpose yards, a new state title-game record. He rushed 18 times for 218 yards with two touchdowns and added 72 yards receiving and 129 yards on kickoff returns – including an 84-yard return for a score.

Elliott finished the season with 50 touchdowns and 2,153 yards rushing.

Maryville was led by tailback Kevin McMahon, who rushed for 214 yards and two touchdowns in 27 carries. Derek Steins added 22 carries for 96 yards and two scores.

Tim Gardner, OT, Indianapolis Lawrence Central – Gardner and the Bears capped the season in style, posting a 39-14 victory against previously unbeaten Fort Wayne Snider in the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 5A championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Lawrence Central (15-0) won its first state crown by dominating on both sides of the football. Gardner and the offense compiled 539 yards and the defense forced four turnovers. The Bears led 14-7 at halftime before cruising to victory after the break.

Isaiah Townsend rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Drake Christen threw for 229 yards and a touchdown and added 92 yards rushing with an additional score.

Snider ended the season 14-1.

Tyquan Lewis, DE, Tarboro, N.C. – The Vikings improved to 14-0 with a 46-0 rout of Tabor City South Columbus in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 2A Eastern regional final.

Lewis and the Tarboro defense led the way in the victory. The Vikings forced five turnovers, held South Columbus to 168 yards of total offense and harassed quarterback Pharoah McKever throughout the game. McKever completed just 3 of 18 passes and was intercepted four times.

"I can't really explain that," Lewis told the Rocky Mount Telegram. "I was just running, running, running all game. But that meant he had to run, too."

Tarboro put the game out of reach with 26 third-quarter points, which extended what had been a 14-0 halftime lead. Running back Quentin Roberson paced the attack, finishing with 245 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Vikings will next travel to BB&T Field at Wake Forest to battle East Lincoln (15-0) for the state title. South Columbus ended its season at 12-3.

Jayme Thompson, S, Toledo Central Catholic – The Irish punched their ticket to face Burrows and the Rams by winning their Division II semifinal, 20-13, over Aurora.

Central Catholic (13-1) went ahead for good with less than eight minutes remaining on a 2-yard touchdown run by Amir Edwards. Louisville verbal Keith Towbridge set up the score by catching a 43-yard pass from DeShone Kizer that put the ball on the Aurora 5-yard line. Towbridge finished with four receptions for 70 yards.

Aurora (12-2) drove to the Central Catholic 21-yard line in the final minute before having the march stalled and its title hopes dashed. Even so, the Greenmen outgained the Irish by a 309-261 margin.

Eli Woodard, CB, Voorhees (N.J.) Eastern – The Vikings did not play. Second-seeded Eastern (7-3) next hosts No. 6 Manahawkin Southern (7-2) in a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association South Jersey Group 5 semifinal Nov. 30.

The following players have ended their seasons – Marcus Baugh, TE, Riverside (Calif.) North; Michael Hill, DT, Pendleton, S.C.; Taivon Jacobs, WR, Forestville (Md.) Suitland; Evan Lisle, OT, Centerville, Ohio; Jalin Marshall, QB, Middletown, Ohio; Billy Price, DT, Austintown (Ohio) Fitch; Tracy Sprinkle, DE, Elyria, Ohio; Johnny Townsend, P, Orlando (Fla.) Boone.

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