All on the same field Friday night at Blackhawk High School were 2013 five-star receiver Robert Foster, 2014 quarterback Chandler Kincade--already committed to Pittsburgh--and 2015 standout Jordan Whitehead.
All three made a case Friday night to prove why they may be the top area prospect in their respective class, but it was Central Valley--led by the playmaking abilities of Foster and Whitehead--42-14 over Kincade's Blackhawk Cougars.
Foster finished the game with 6 receptions for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns. Foster's touchdown receptions went for 57 and 34. The 34-yarder came on a 4th-and-9 situation. You can almost say Whitehead made even bigger plays. He opened the scoring with a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown, along with 88 yards on 11 carries with two rushing scores. Whitehead also had an interception on defense.
Kincade had a tough night, throwing three picks, but he still threw for 181 yards on 11-26 passing. He guided the Cougars to two impressive drives, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to Cody Bain on a 4th-and-2.
"It's no secret," Central Valley head coach Mark Lyons said after the game. "You have to find a way to get the ball in your playmakers' hands. That's what we try to do. These guys take pride in that."
After Central Valley held Blackhawk's offense to a three-and-out on the first series of the game, took the ensuing punt 50 yards for a touchdown to give his team the early lead. Whitehead made the play look easy, but if you ask him, there was more to it.
"I saw blockers in front of me," Whitehead said. "I saw the blockers on my side, so I decided to return it and not fair catchy then I just took off up the sideline. The ball was in the air for awhile, so I had time to look around."
Kincade then brought his team back, taking a 14-7 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter. After his 27-yard touchdown pass, Kincade led the offense on an eight-play drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run.
After that, Whitehead and Foster went to work. This time, it was Whitehead on the ground. After he found one hole, he broke a tackle, then continued for a 32-yard touchdown run. The run capped a seven-play, 87-yard drive that took its toll on the Blackhawk defense. Following a punt by Blackhawk after another three-and-out, the Central Valley passing game took all of one play on the next series. Quarterback Nate Climo found Foster for a 57-yard touchdown pass.
On the play, Climo put the pass high enough in the air to give Foster a chance to use a height advantage in his matchup. Instead, Foster's matchup got tied up. The pass went directly to Foster, who was patiently waiting for the ball to come his way."My coach said, run a fade," Foster said. "My defensive back, I got outside of him, and the ball was in the air. I just came back to the ball."
Whitehead would add a 49-yard touchdown run--something different from what he's used to. Facing a 3rd-and-1, Whitehead lined up at quarterback to take a quarterback sneak. He was hoping to just get a yard to move the chains. Instead, he got 49 yards and his third score of the night.
"We practiced it a little bit," Whitehead said. "We went over it before the game; we just call it quarterback wedge. We needed a yard, and Coach (Lyons) just said, 'make a play.'"
Foster added one more touchdown catch on the day--a 34-yarder on a 4th-and-9 situation. On this play, Foster felt the timing and understanding he and his quarterback have are to credit.
"It's real comfortable," Foster said. "Nate Climo is a real good athlete. He knows how to sling the ball, and that's what we have to do."
Following Friday's performance, Foster now has 22 catches for 350 yards on the season with six total touchdowns. Whitehead has rushed 49 times this season for 432 yards (8.8) with four total touchdowns.
"The three teams I picked were Ohio State, Alabama and Pittsburgh," Foster said. "I feel comfortable. They make me feel comfortable. I show them love, and those are the three teams I'm going to choose from."
Different regions, different conferences?
"Exactly, that's it," Foster answered.