Football Recruits Weekly Update

High school football action intensified this weekend as teams throughout California kicked their seasons off. Meanwhile, all of Stanford's commits for the 2008 class have started their senior seasons and the early wave of junior year offer recipients started impressing immediately. Read on for the latest stats and notes on Stanford Football's recruits from this weekend's high school action.

With Stanford enjoying one of two bye weeks for the fall, the coaching staff spread out throughout the country to take advantage of the open weekend and engage in one of the six allowed fall evaluation days. The weekend afforded a full schedule of action involving the seniors the staff are actively recruiting with an eye on Signing Day in February, as well as the many juniors that Stanford offered in the first week colleges were able to tender formal offers to members of the class of 2009. The weekend's action:

*  Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian won but did so with a far less dominating score than usual, winning by a seemingly pedestrian 36-20 score. Oaks Christian, however, went out with a 36-0 score and 20 unanswered opponent points in garbage time made the game seem closer than it actually was. In reality, Oaks Christian dominated as usual. Stanford commit Chris Owusu blocked a punt and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass. Stud sophomore Marshall Jones gained 131 yards on 15 carries. Oaks Christian, now 2-0 and on a 48-game win streak, now gets a bye week before their massive showdown the following week against St. Bonaventure and Darrell Scott, the West's top player.

*  Mission Viejo (Calif.) returned from their triumph in Ohio at the Herbstreit Challenge and improved to 2-0 with a more comfortable 34-14 win. Stanford wide receiver commit Warren Reuland finished with 5 catches for 65 yards, with 3 of his catches going for touchdowns (14-yarder, 27-yarder, 4-yarder). Junior quarterback prospect Allan Bridgford completed 14 of his 23 pass attempts and ended up with 182 yards and the 3 touchdowns to Reuland. Junior defensive back Alex Mascarenas particularly impressed with an interception on defense, four punt returns that averaged 19 yards per return, and a 40-yard touchdown that was called back due to a penalty.

*  Stanford commit Delano Howell and Newhall (Calif.) Hart began their season with a big 28-14 win over a strong Moorpark team that had beaten them twice last season, albeit with superstar Darrell Scott who has since transferred to St. Bonaventure. In this game, Howell took the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. As a running back, Howell rushed for 81 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown run, on 18 carries.

*  For the second straight week to start the season, Stanford quarterback commit Andrew Luck led Houston (Tex.) Stratford in a close win over a strong opponent, winning this weekend 35-28. Unlike last week, however, Luck was not involved in every scoring play as Stratford was able to sustain a stronger running performance than in the first week of the season. Luck did have a 9-yard touchdown pass and 1-yard touchdown run. In general, though, it was a tough week for Luck as he completed only 11 of his 23 passes for 122 yards and was picked off for 3 interceptions. He was able to find more success on the ground, where he scrambled for 82 yards on 11 carries.

*  Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier, one of the nation's top teams along with Southlake Carroll and Miami Northwestern, improved to a perfect 3-0 with a 27-12 win, the first time this season Stanford commit Fred Craig and the stellar St. X defense have given up more than one score. The score obscures the close nature of the game, which St. X did not have wrapped up until the closing minutes of the game. They played once again without Darius Ashley, who still has only two carries on the season due to an ankle injury sustained in the first game.

*  Stanford commit David DeCastro and Bellevue (Wash.) bounced back from their first loss in over a year and first shutout in nearly a decade by rolling to a 31-14 second week win. Bellevue, with a number of sophomores playing due to injury and eligibility woes, stalled on offense initially before pulling away in the second quarter. For the game, Bellevue rushed for 261 yards. DeCastro and his line mates received praise from the opposing coach, who lamented "They kind of handed it to us up front."

*  San Diego (Calif.) Francis Parker, home of Stanford punter commit Matt Zubyk, won their first game of the season 23-7 on the strength of 16 unanswered second half points. Zubyk had one punt for 56 yards. One of his five kickoffs resulted in a touchback.

*  After winning last week for the first time in nearly two years, Stanford commit Marcus Turner's Long Beach (Calif.) Cabrillo team lost 14-9.

*  The highly-touted Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton team stayed undefeated with 35-18 win. The win was a statement by Hamilton since they were facing another top Arizona team and overcame an 18-0 deficit by scoring 35 unanswered points. Covaughn Deboskie scored three of those five touchdowns as he ran for 106 yards on 22 carries.

Quinn Evans' Chandler (Ariz.) Basha team improved to 3-0 with a 27-3 win. The first win came on a forfeit and the two subsequent wins came in games in which Evans and the Basha defense surrendered only a field goal. In addition to his efforts on defense, Evans had a 35-yard touchdown run. Unfortunately, this weekend's Basha game was marred by a serious injury to a player on the opposing team who had to be airlifted from the field.

*  After a 50-7 blowout win in the season's first game, Harold Bernard's Chandler (Ariz.) team did not fare as well as the other two Chandler teams as they were stunned in the second week and finished on the wrong side of a blowout, losing 39-0 in a shocking upset. Bernard had a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown called back due to a penalty. Chandler would not see the end zone for the rest of the game.

Luke Matthews' Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista team bounced back from their opening week loss with 29-15 victory. Matthews carried the ball five times for 13 yards, had two catches for 67 yards, and scored a touchdown. On defense he added one tackle. In addition to Matthews, Desert Vista features Allante Battle, who had two touchdowns in this game, and Devon Kennard, who has already received a Stanford offer among many early offers and is considered one of America's top juniors. Kennard continues to dominate defensively. In this game, he had 13 tackles and 2 sacks, which is actually less disruptive than Kennard was in the first week of the season.

Khaled Holmes' powerful Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei team kicked off their season with a convincing 58-6 laugher. Mater Dei's offense racked up 462 yards and rolled to victory. Star junior quarterback Matt Barkley passed for 302 yards and 4 touchdowns on 14-of-25 passing. Two of Barkley's touchdown passes were connections with his cousin Robbie Boyer, who had scores of 12 yards and 6 yards. Boyer ended up with 41 yards receiving.

Devonte Christopher's Las Vegas (Nev.) Canyon Springs team dropped to 1-1 with a heartbreaking 27-26 loss. The difference in the game was a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter that was enabled by a facemask penalty on the prior touchdown that moved the ball to the one-and-a-half-yard line and invited the conversion attempt. Christopher had a huge game but could not make fourth down plays on two consecutive drives after the two-point conversion. Before those two final stalled drives, Christopher was unstoppable as he passed for 262 yards and a touchdown and ran for 162 yards and two more touchdowns. Christopher's signature play in the game was an 89-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

*  National powerhouse Southlake (Tex.) Carroll opened their season with a convincing 42-10 win. Running behind Sam Schwartzstein and the Dragon offensive line, Texas commit Tre Newton carried the ball 19 times for 111 yards and scored two touchdowns, one on a screen pass on which he romped 48 yards for the touchdown. North Texas commit Riley Dodge, a legendary high school player in Texas, completed 20-of-32 passes for 331 yards and four touchdowns but also had two interceptions. Next week Southlake Carroll travels to Miami for the marquee matchup of the season nationally as they square off against Miami (Fla.) Northwestern, a game some see as a showdown between the nation's two best teams.

*  In a matchup of the Bay Area's top teams, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle handled San Mateo (Calif.) by the final score of 40-22. De La Salle led 34-0 at halftime before garbage time set in. De La Salle's defense, led by Brady Amack, recovered two fumbles and two interceptions in the first half and caused constant pressure on the Serra offense. Serra junior quarterback Cody Jackson was able to get 218 yards, though his 93-yard touchdown run and 95-yard touchdown run both came in the second half after De La Salle had opened up the big lead.

*  Houston (Tex.) Nimitz stayed unbeaten with a 22-20 win. Michael Thomas was less productive than in the previous week's big win, completing 3 of his 5 passes for 35 yards and an interception and running for a two-point conversion.

*  Copperas Cove (Tex.) joined Nimitz as a Texas team with an athletic quarterback being recruited by Stanford that moved to 2-0 with a win this past weekend. In Copperas Cove's case, a 36-7 win was facilitated by the versatile quarterback play of Robert Griffin, who finished this game with 93 yards rushing on only nine carries. One of the carries saw Griffin run in a touchdown from 17 yards out and another was a 1-yard touchdown punched in at the goal line. Throwing the ball, Griffin was 9-of-15 for 94 yards, one passing touchdown, and one interception.

*  Lemont (Ill.) stayed undefeated, improving to 3-0 with a 48-0 blowout win. Quarterback Brett Nagel, who is being recruited as a defensive player despite his use in high school as a big running quarterback, starred for the third straight week. In the latest win, Nagel completed all four of the passes he attempted for a total of 87 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, where Nagel teams with running back Bobby Earnest to comprise a standout running tandem, he added a 14-yard touchdown run to go with the 43-yard touchdown pass.

*  Memphis (Tenn.) University School crossed state lines and lost for the first time this season, falling 29-6 to a team from Mississippi. The loss was a tough one to swallow for DeAndre Jones and the MUS defense as they shut out Olive Branch (Miss.) in the first half and only gave up one first down before imploding in the second half. Jones finished with 12 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, a sack, and a forced fumble. The Olive Branch coach made sure to give credit to Jones and the defense for their first half performance: "You've got to give MUS some credit now. They were disrupting things in the backfield. Our line had a tough time tonight and our backs were getting a little frustrated in the first half, because we couldn't get started - we couldn't get downhill."

*  Bowling Green (Ky.) bounced back from last week's loss with a 36-6 Homecoming victory over a winless opponent. Ryan Wallace was kept out of the end zone for the first time this season but Bowling Green's passing attack was nonetheless able to rack up 272 yards, with 190 of those yards compiled by stud receiver D.L. Moore. Bowling Green is now 2-1 on the season.

*  Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic followed up their big win in the Herbstreit Challenge last week with a 49-21 win in their season's second week. Quentin Williams contributed a 19-yard touchdown reception.

Spencer Krauss' Clinton (Mich.) team improved to 2-1 with a 46-22 win. Krauss completed 8-of-12 passes for 106 yards and ran nine times for 37 yards, including two touchdown runs at the goal line.

*  Bingham (Utah), defending state champion and previously undefeated favorite to repeat as champion, lost 36-35 in a big upset. In a controversial decision, Bingham unsuccessfully attempted a two-point conversion late when they could have kicked what would have been a game-tying extra point by BYU commit Justin Sorensen, one of the nation's best kickers who made a 63-yard field goal earlier in the game. As usual, Bingham scored their points behind a consistently successful running game led by Sam Langi, who had 189 yards in the first half on 18 carries. Langi missed the entire second half with a dislocated shoulder. Tight end prospect Austin Holt is part of the group up front that blocks for Langi.

*  Marietta (Ga.) Walton got in the win column after losing their opener. In the season's second week, Walton enjoyed a memorable comeback punctuated by a 27-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds left in the game. The late touchdown put Walton ahead by the final score of 15-14. Chase Thomas impressed on defense in helping Walton stay in the game before the late drama.

*  Naples (Fla.) Golden Gate got in the win column in their second game with a 28-6 win. Anthony Mains had a big game with two sacks but left the game in the second half with an injury. The Golden Gate defense also had the opponent to only 70 yards rushing.

*  La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day moved to 1-1 with a 21-7 win. Through two games, kicker Travis Golia is perfect on four extra point attempts, though he missed his two field goal attempts in the season's first game.

Xavier Avery's Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove team fell to 0-2 with a 7-0 loss. Cedar Grove's offense has struggled in both games.

Sausan Shakerin and Sandy (Utah) Alta won for the second week in a row and is now 3-1 on the season. This weekend's win came by virtue of a dominant 53-12 performance.

Kenneth Page's Columbia (S.C.) AC Flora team improved to 2-1 with a 21-6 win.

*  Long Beach (Calif.) Wilson fell to 1-1 with a tough 28-27 loss. Junior Jemari Roberts had a 94-yard kick return for a touchdown and has now taken a kick back all the way in each of the season's first two games

*  La Mesa (Calif.) Helix improved to 2-0 with a 14-7 win over Highland (Utah) Lone Peak. In the season's first week, a 28-20 victory over Oceanside (Calif.), junior tight end prospect Levine Toilolo caught 3 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown and was named Helix's offensive player of the week.

*  Standout junior wide receiver Joshua Adams and his Cambridge (Mass.) Rindge & Latin team won their season opener 22-12. Rindge & Latin fell behind 12-0 by halftime and could not sustain anything on offense due to a series of first half penalties, but turned the table in the second half. Adams caught six passes for 157 yards, scored on two touchdown passes and converted a two-point conversion.

*  Friendswood (Tex.) won for the second week in a row to start the season. Junior Jacob Karam quarterbacked Friendswood to the 13-3 victory but struggled to do much damage as he completed only 6-of-13 passes for 63 yards and no touchdowns. Friendswood instead relied on Will Ebner, who returned a fumble for a touchdown, starred on defense in holding the opponent to only 3 points, and scored both Friendswood touchdowns. Ebner and the Friendswood defense have now given up 3 points in two games this season.

*  Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney's vaunted defense, replete with future major college players, continues to get stronger each week. This week, they pitched a shutout as Cardinal Mooney moved to 3-0 with a 34-0 triumph. Johnny Simon, another early recipient of a junior year offer from Stanford, typically wreaks havoc from his position on the defensive line. In addition to starring on defense, Notre Dame commit Dan McCarthy passed for 118 yards, contributed touchdowns through the air and on the ground, and returned a punt 67 yards for a third touchdown. 

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