Friday Night Lights

Throughout the high school football season, will be following the progress of Ohio State's football commitments. Check out how OSU verbal commitments and their teams fared Dec. 5.

WR Duron Carter, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas – Carter caught three passes for 37 yards as the Raiders remained unbeaten with a 56-14 rout of Stuart South Fork at Brian Piccolo Memorial Stadium in a Florida High School Athletic Association Class 5A regional final.

Beau Bucci led St. Thomas Aquinas' rushing attack with 81 yards a touchdown that essentially ended any South Fork hopes of an upset. After South Fork (9-4) cut the Raiders' lead to 21-7, Bucci ran up the middle for a 65-yard touchdown on the first play of the ensuing possession.

St. Thomas Aquinas (13-0) moved a step closer to repeating as state champions by scoring on all of its first half possessions. James White scored on runs of 19 and 4 yards to get the scoring started. Steven Bravo-Brown added a 10-yard touchdown reception from Ryan Becker to extend the lead to 21-0. After Bucci's touchdown extended the lead to 28-7, Ronnie Kennedy finished the first-half scoring with a 3-yard run.

Kennedy added two more touchdowns in the second half. The first came on a 32-yard interception return, and he later returned a punt 88 yards for another score. Giovanni Bernard ran for a 7-yard score, and Zack Fisher capped the scoring with a 10-yard run.

St. Thomas Aquinas outgained South Fork 426-327.

The Raiders will host Largo (12-1) Friday in the state semifinal.

CB/RB/WR Justin Green, Louisville (Ky.) Male – Green was held to 65 yards on 17 carries, and host Male was upset by Independence Simon Kenton, 28-10, in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Class 3A state semifinals.

The Pioneers (10-4) outgained the Bulldogs (9-5) 318-92 on the ground in rout to the victory. Simon Kenton junior Miles Simpson led the attack with 172 yards, 137 coming in the fourth quarter. Simpson scored three second-half touchdowns, and the Pioneers scored 28 unanswered points.

"Lou Gehrig said it, so I'll say it: ‘I'm the happiest man alive,' " Simon Kenton coach Jeff Marksberry told the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Male led 10-0 early before Simon Kenton rallied. The Bulldogs' lone touchdown came on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Dexter Britt to O.J. Bell. Kolin Cheatham made a 42-yard field goal late in the first quarter to cap the Male scoring.

The Pioneers were held to four punts in their first four possessions, but after blocking a 25-yard field goal attempt by Cheatham, Simon Kenton took the momentum by scoring a touchdown with 36.5 seconds remaining before halftime.

"I really thought we lost the game in the first half," Male coach Bob Redman told the Courier-Journal. "We made some mental errors … and we didn't do what we needed to to put it out of reach. From late in the second quarter until the end of the game, they physically whipped us."

Simon Kenton scored on three of its first five offensive possessions in the second half to take command.

FB Carlos Hyde, Naples, Fla. – Naples lost only twice in the 2008 season, but unfortunately for Hyde and the Golden Eagles, both came against Miami Monsignor Pace. The latter of the two came last weekend in a FHSAA Class 3A regional final.

Defending champion Naples could not contain the Spartans, who had also beat the Golden Eagles in the first week of the regular season. Pace (11-2) scored on its first four possessions en route to a 38-21 victory. Pace built a 24-0 lead less than five minutes into the second quarter.

Naples (11-2) cut the deficit to 10 in the third quarter, but could get no closer. Hyde scored a touchdown in his final high school game. He scored on a 26-yard hook-and-lateral play. Juno Prudhomm completed a pass to Derek Delgado, who pitched the ball to Hyde.

"I'm extremely proud of their effort," Naples coach Bill Kramer told the Naples News. "Once again they've risen to the occasion, played hard and made everybody proud of them."

Naples was held to 114 yards rushing, a season low. Pace finished with 402 yards of total offense. Quarterback Stephen Morris led the Spartans by completing 15 of 17 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns.

LB Jordan Whiting, Louisville (Ky.) Trinity – Whiting and the Trinity defense avenge a regular-season loss to archrival Louisville St. Xavier with a 28-21 victory in a KHSAA Class 6A state semifinal at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Tim Phillips continued to carry the Trinity offense, rushing for 182 yards and three touchdowns. The 5-foot-5 Central Michigan commit helped the Shamrocks (13-1) put a 30-6 regular-season loss to St. X (12-1) in the past.

"I think we got a total picture of what we needed to do," Trinity coach Bob Beatty told the Courier-Journal of the regular-season loss. "Before the game it was pretty emotional. They're a great bunch of kids, and I told them, ‘I'd love to coach you one more week.' … They took care of that."

Trinity built a 21-0 second-quarter lead before St. X could attempt a comeback. The Tigers (12-1) cut the lead to 21-7, but Phillips answered the score with a 79-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the first half.

"My mentality is that every time I get the ball I try to get the most out of it," Phillips said. "My offensive line did a good job downfield, and I just kept the ball moving."

While Phillips led the offense, the Trinity defense did a good job of slowing the Tiger offense. The Shamrocks outrushed St. X 194-156 and held running back Deuce Finch, considered the front-runner for Kentucky's Mr. Football, to 80 yards on 21 carries.

"We wanted to shut them down early and set a tone," Whiting told the Courier-Journal.

The Shamrocks will play for their fourth straight state title this weekend vs. Simon Kenton at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

The following OSU verbal commits have finished their seasons: CB C.J. Barnett, Clayton (Ohio) Northmont; WLB Dorian Bell and CB/WR Corey Brown, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway; DT/OG Adam Bellamy, Aurora, Ohio; Jaamal Berry, Miami (Fla.) Palmetto; LB/FB Zach Boren and DB/WR Jamie Wood, Pickerington (Ohio) Central; CB Dominic Clarke, Frederick (Md.) Tuscarora; DE Melvin Fellows, Garfield Heights, Ohio; WR Chris Fields, Painesville (Ohio) Harvey; TE/OL Reid Fragel, Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South; RB/CB Jordan Hall, Jeannette, Pa.; LB/FB Adam Homan, Coldwater, Ohio; WR/CB James Jackson, Grand Ledge, Mich.; LB/RB Storm Klein, Newark (Ohio) Licking Valley; OG Corey Linsley and J.T. Moore (junior), Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman; OT Sam Longo, Bellbrook, Ohio; OL/DL Jack Mewhort, Toledo (Ohio) St. John's Jesuit; DE Jonathan Newsome, Cleveland Glenville; DT Johnny Simon, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney.

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