Football Recruits Weekly Update

High school football continued this past weekend, and featured the leading candidate for game of the year. Meanwhile, recruits began taking advantage of their allowed official visits to college campuses to check out prospective future college campuses and teams. Read on for the latest stats and notes on Stanford Football's recruits from this weekend's high school action.

As Stanford shut out San Jose State in a dominant 37-0 victory, perhaps lost in the celebration for some fans was the fact that a group of visiting high school football players were at Stanford Stadium to enjoy the win and atmosphere. Included in that group were quarterback Robert Griffin and linebacker DeAndre Jones, who each used the weekend to make their first official visits. Stanford hopes that the experience helped sell them on the program. Elsewhere across the country, other programs hosted recruiting targets who were also making their first official visits. The weekend's action, with notes on some of those other visits:

*  Stanford commit Delano Howell's Newhall (Calif.) Hart team improved to 2-0 with a convincing 42-11 win over Bishop Amat. Howell was able to romp in this game more than in the season's first week, finishing with 147 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a highlight reel 52-yard scamper. Howell's performance impressed the opposing coach, who redundantly commented "he's a good running back, he's a good running back." The game came exactly a year after Hart last played Bishop Amat. In that game, Howell tied a school record with 5 touchdowns less than a week after the death of his father.

*  Mission Viejo (Calif.) also continued to start their season off strong, winning 44-14 and moving their record to a perfect 3-0. Stanford commit Warren Reuland had 9 catches for 93 yards but was kept out of the end zone for the first time this season. Junior quarterback Allan Bridgford had a huge game as he threw for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns, including three 15-yard strikes and one 30-yarder. Fellow junior Alex Mascarenas caught one of the touchdown passes and finished with a game-high 118 yards receiving.

*  Despite 10 unanswered fourth quarter points, Stanford quarterback commit Andrew Luck was unable to engineer a comeback for his Houston (Tex.) Stratford team, which fell to 2-1 with the 29-24 loss. Luck completed 17-of-25 pass attempts for 294 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. The touchdowns went for 28 yards and 78 yards, with the 78-yard pass the last score of the game in Stratford's attempted comeback.

*  In their toughest game yet and the second of three games against out of state powers this season, Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier kept rolling in their quest to be considered one of the best teams in America, defeating Louisville (Ky.) Trinity 47-31. Before the game, Stanford commit Fred Craig and the St. X defense had not given up more than 12 points in any of their three previous wins to start the season. They were much less successful in this game against an outstanding offense that racked up 375 yards passing and 3 touchdowns through the air, but St. X still pulled out the win.

*  Stanford commit David DeCastro and his Bellevue powerhouse continued the process of bouncing back from their opening week loss, winning 34-13 to improve to 2-1. Peter Nguyen, an undersized reserve fullback pushed into the starting role due to injuries, rushed for 276 yards and 4 touchdowns on 21 carries. Nguyen played down his accomplishment, saying "I just run the ball. The line blocked everybody and made it easy."

*  San Diego (Calif.) Francis Parker improved to 2-0 with an easy 56-14 win. With such a dominant offensive performance, there was not much opportunity for Stanford punter commit Matt Zubyk to get work but he did launch his only punt 60 yards.

*  Long Beach (Calif.) Cabrillo had a rough week, losing 35-0 and falling to 1-2. Cabrillo was, however, in the game at halftime with the score 7-0. The first-half score was a defensive touchdown, so Stanford commit Marcus Turner and Cabrillo's defense did their job for awhile but could not hold off their opponent in the end. Turner will have his hands full next week facing off against Matt Barkley and the dominant Mater Dei passing attack.

*  In what will likely go down as the national game of the year at the high school level, Miami (Fla.) Northwestern traveled to Dallas to take on Southlake (Tex.) Carroll in a matchup of arguably the top two teams in America. The game was nationally televised and played in front of 32,000 fans at a college stadium. Miami Northwestern prevailed in a 29-21 battle. Behind blocking by Sam Schwartzstein and his line mates, the Southlake Carroll rushing game managed only 40 yards on 24 carries. The Miami Northwestern defense posed the toughest challenge Schwartzstein will ever face at the high school level as Northwestern's defense boasts Miami defensive tackle commit Marcus Forston, Miami linebacker commit Sean Spence, defensive tackle Benjamin Jones, Central Michigan defensive end commit Jamal Collins, and others. Offensively, Northwestern was paced by Miami quarterback commit Jacory Harris, who completed 21-of-28 pass attempts for 280 yards and 4 touchdowns. Three of those touchdowns went to Tommy Streeter. Before the loss, Southlake Carroll had won 49 consecutive games.

*  In a matchup of Arizona teams that feature Stanford recruiting targets, Chandler (Ariz.) bounced back from a stunning upset last week to hand Luke Matthews' Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista team their second loss in three weeks. Chandler's 20-13 victory was partially marred by the loss of Harold Bernard, who broke his fibula in the win. Before sustaining the injury, Bernard had 2 receptions for 13 yards and 4 tackles from his safety position. The final score made the game seem closer than it was since Desert Vista scored their second touchdown as time expired.

*  A top Utah team could not stop the Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei machine as Khaled Holmes and his teammates got their second win to start the season with a 50-32 triumph over American Fork (Utah). Star junior quarterback Matt Barkley threw five touchdown passes including a 78-yard score that sealed the deal for Mater Dei. Barkley had an eye-catching final line with 435 yards on 27 of 40 passing. He had a first quarter for the ages, completing 15-of-17 passes for 202 yards and 3 touchdowns, prompting American Fork's coach to say "He's a legitimate Division I quarterback. We've played in all the passing leagues in Utah and we haven't seen anyone with that kind of velocity on the football and with a receiving corps like that." American Fork was kept in the game on the strength of an outstanding performance by BYU commit Jake Murphy, who caught 4 touchdown passes, racked up 189 yards receiving including a 77-yard score, and returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown. In all, Murphy scored 30 of American Fork's 32 points.

*  Memphis (Tenn.) University School bounced back from their first loss of the season last week with a 31-0 drubbing of a fellow Memphis team. MUS is now 3-1 on the season and perfect against in-state opponents. DeAndre Jones and the MUS defense held their opponent to only 29 yards rushing, with Jones helping lead the way with 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a sack After leading MUS to the shutout, Jones traveled across the country to Stanford for his first official visit.

*  Before flying out to California for his official visit at Stanford, Robert Griffin brought Copperas Cove (Tex.) to 3-0 with a 63-12 blowout win. On the ground, Griffin rushed for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 8 carries with one of the touchdowns going for 77 yards. His dominance as a quarterback was balanced as he was also an efficient 11-of-13 passing for 191 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Michael Thomas also quarterbacked his team to a 3-0 start as Houston (Tex.) Nimitz edged out a 13-10 win. Thomas was involved in both scores for Nimitz, including an 86-yard touchdown run and a 48-yard touchdown pass. On the game, Thomas completed 6 of his 12 pass attempts for 161 yards.

*  Pflugerville (Tex.) became a third Texas team led by an athletic Stanford target to become 3-0 as they won big 48-21. Zaviar Gooden had the individual highlight of the game with a 60-yard touchdown run. In the two previous games, Gooden ran for 133 yards on 15 carries.

*  Chander (Ariz.) Hamilton improved to a perfect 4-0 with a 45-20 win as Covaughn Deboskie ran in 2 touchdowns from 5 yards out and also caught a 63-yard touchdown pass. Deboskie is now averaging two touchdowns per game for a Hamilton offense that is among the best in the nation.

*  In a battle of unbeaten teams, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic remained unbeaten with a 35-7 win. Central Catholic led 28-0 after three quarters and did not give up a first down until their opponents' fourth possession. In the game, they gave up only 110 total yards and 5 first downs. While contributing to that defensive effort, Quentin Williams also had two-and-a-half sacks in the game.

*  Lemont (Ill.) fell for the first time in four games, losing on a touchdown run with three seconds left and the subsequent extra point, which made the score 23-22. Brett Nagel had led a fourth quarter comeback that featured big plays by Nagel including a touchdown run and a successful two-point conversion, but Lemont was not able to hold on in the end. Nagel finished with 80 yards rushing and two short touchdown runs on 19 carries.

Devonte Christopher and Las Vegas (Nev.) Canyon Springs bounced back from a tough one-point loss last week by improving to 2-1 with a 46-29 win on the road. Christopher had another big game, passing for 279 yards and 4 touchdowns while running for another. He was also among the many players nationally who began taking official visits this weekend, making the trip out to Nebraska to see the Cornhuskers' failed attempt to knock off the top-ranked USC Trojans.

Ryan Wallace and Bowling Green (Ky.) won big, coasting to a 56-0 win, after which Wallace and fellow star D.L. Moore went to Colorado for official visits, where they saw Colorado nearly get shut out by Florida State. Moore caught a 23-yard touchdown pass and six different players for Bowling Green scored touchdowns. Bowling Green is now 3-1. After scoring touchdowns in the season's first two games, Wallace has been kept out of the end zone each of the last two weeks.

Austin Holt had by far his most productive game of the season as he had 7 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown in a 31-3 win for Bingham (Utah).

Anthony Mains' Naples (Fla.) Golden Gate team fell to 1-2 with a heartbreaking 21-20 loss. Mains contributed 9 tackles. Golden Gate actually held the opponent's offense fairly well but was victimized by a long kick return and two interceptions.

Chase Thomas and Marietta (Ga.) Walton team built off the momentum of last week's thrilling win by winning for the second time this season, this time by a more comfortable 30-10 score.

Xavier Avery's Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove team won for the first time this season in three attempts, prevailing 19-6.

Kenneth Page's Columbia (S.C.) AC Flora team dropped to 2-2 with an 8-0 loss. Flora runs almost exclusively and has struggled on offense for much of the season. Since Page lives in Columbia, he was able to stop by the South Carolina victory on Saturday.

*  Sandy (Utah) Alta knocked off Sacramento (Calif.) Grant by the final score of 52-33, Alta's third win in a row in improving to 4-1 on the season. Sausan Shakerin was held out with an injury for the second week in a row but Alta has nonetheless put up more than 50 points each of those weeks.

*  Clinton (Mich.) fell to 2-2 with a rough 36-6 loss in which Spencer Krauss only completed 5 of his 18 pass attempts for 44 yards. Krauss, who typically does damage on the ground, was stifled for -22 rushing yards as well.

Brady Amack and his Concord (Calif.) De La Salle team, consistently one of the top teams in America, stayed unbeaten with a 55-14 win over Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola. De La Salle was leading 41-0 at halftime.

*  La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day fell to 1-2 with a 55-7 loss. Travis Golia made his one extra point attempt but still does not have a field goal three games into the season.

*  Cambridge (Mass.) Rindge & Latin improved to 2-0 with a 36-0 laugher. Junior wide receiver recruit Joshua Adams did it all for Rindge & Latin, scoring nearly half their points. On the ground, he had 5 carries for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns. Through the air, he had 7 catches for 125 yards. On defense, he contributed 5 tackles. He even returned one kick 25 yards and successfully converted a pair of two-point conversion attempts.

*  The dominant Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney defense put together a signature performance with a 49-0 shutout, giving up only 69 yards in the first half. Cardinal Mooney has given up 16 points in four games and has improved defensively each week, with shutouts each of the last two weeks. Junior defensive line recruit Johnny Simon was his usual disruptive self, contributing three tackles for loss. The offensive effort was led by Notre Dame commit Dan McCarthy, who also stars on defense. McCarthy rushed 14 times for 154 yards and three touchdowns and also threw a touchdown pass.

*  Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou stayed unbeaten with a 28-7 win that sets up a huge showdown with St. Louis for Hawaiian supremacy. After sitting out the last two weeks due to a team bye and a minor injury he was nursing, stud junior Manti Te'o was a dominant force once again, finishing with two sacks and a recovered fumble in leading a stifling Punahou defense. One of the sacks came on a delayed blitz and the other came on an impressive play in which the quarterback rolled outside the pocket and Te'o came from his position in coverage in the flight to take out the quarterback.

*  Friendswood (Tex.) improved to 3-0 with an exciting 31-28 game that saw three lead changes in a span of two minutes in the fourth quarter. After trailing heading into the fourth quarter, Friendswood scored 17 points in the wild final period. The winning score was a 68-yard pass from junior quarterback recruit Jacob Karam that traveled 48 yards in the air. Karam had his most productive game of the season as he also had a 50-yard touchdown pass and finished with 255 yards on 14-of-21 passing, but he did throw 2 interceptions.

*  In a showdown of the San Diego area's two best teams, junior tight end/defensive end Levine Toilolo and La Mesa (Calif.) Helix lost 14-10 against Carlsbad in a closely-contested defensive showdown. Toilolo and the Helix defense held Carlsbad to only one yard in the third quarter. Helix is now 2-1 and still expected to be a serious factor in San Diego football this year.

*  San Diego (Calif.) Scripps Ranch fell to 1-1 with 35-13 loss against Poway. Junior quarterback Tate Forcier had a 6-yard touchdown pass but it did not come until the fourth quarter when Poway had the game easily in hand. Things don't get much easier for Forcier and Scripps Ranch next week as they take on arguably the best team in California in Corona Centennial.

*  Junior wide receiver Jemari Roberts and Long Beach (Calif.) Wilson lost for the second week in a row and fell to 1-2 with a 39-7 loss. 

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