Five of the current Cardinal commits began their senior seasons and three of them scored touchdowns in the opening week. Meanwhile, an array of prospects continued their senior seasons and some 2010 recruits have gotten off to big starts to their junior years. Highlights from this past weekend's action:
* Stanford commit Stepfan Taylor and Mansfield (Tex.) could not pull out an opening week win and fell to Irving (Tex.) 17-14. Irving bottled up Mansfield in the first half but Taylor was able to break through in the second half with a pair of goal-line touchdowns. On the game, he carried the ball 26 times for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns and caught one pass for 22 yards. The game ended on a 10-yard run by Taylor on which time expired before a timeout could be called to stop the clock for a potential game-tying field goal. Irving wide receiver Winford Tennell paced the Tigers offense with 6 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown.
* Stanford commit Jamal Patterson's team, McDonough (Ga.) Henry County, cruised to a 39-12 opening week win over McDonough (Ga.) Eagle's Landing Christian Academy. Patterson contributed an 80-yard touchdown reception. Quan Jones caught two touchdown passes in the winning effort, giving quarterback Drew Little 3 touchdown passes on the game.
* Stanford commit Brock Sanders and Duluth (Ga.) Northview dropped their opener against Roswell (Ga.) Centennial by the final score of 35-9. Sanders hauled in a 20-yard touchdown catch on the game's opening drive but Centennial's Gabe Howard took the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown and Centennial never looked back. Aside from Sanders' touchdown catch, the bulk of Northview's offense came on 115 yards rushing from Samoir Patrick. In the second quarter, Northview had a first-and-goal situation from the 3-yard line and failed to score.
* Offensive lineman Camden Wentz rounds out the trio of Georgians currently committed to Stanford. His Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter team knocked off Marietta (Ga.) Sprayberry 42-28. Wentz and his offensive line mates blocked for junior quarterback Hutson Mason, who threw 4 touchdowns and rushed for another. Notably, Mason spread his first 8 completions to 8 separate receivers, none of whom were Auburn tight end commit Philip Lutzenkirchen. With a wealth of skill position talent and the offensive line anchored by Wentz, Lassiter expects to have a high-flying offense this season.
* On Saturday, Ryan Hewitt became the fifth Stanford commit to start his senior season this weekend. His highly-touted Denver (Colo.) Mullen team answered the bell with a 29-7 win over Aurora (Colo.) Cherokee Trail. The game was an August rarity – a league showdown right off the bat to start the season. Cherokee Trail scored the game's first touchdown but could get nothing going against the Mullen defense after that. While Mullen boasts two of Colorado's most heavily recruited prospects in Hewitt and Alex Logan, the headliners on Saturday were sophomore running back Adonis Ameen Moore and senior kicker Dalton Lane. Moore rushed for 106 yards and caught an 11-yard touchdown pass while Lane connected on field goal attempts of 24 yards, 32 yards, and 38 yards.
* In one of the marquee national matchups of the year, Arizona powerhouse Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton, home of Stanford recruit Drew Terrell, trekked to Miami to square off against Florida titan Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington in the Miami Sports Kickoff Classic. The game proved less competitive than many envisioned, with the Arizona squad winning handily 37-19. The star of the night was Hamilton running back Zach Bauman, who rushed for 103 yards and 4 touchdowns on 20 carries. Wide receiver Alante Wright caught 4 passes for 136 yards. In all, Hamilton racked up 422 yards of offense on their way to 37 total points. In all of last season, the famously fast Washington defense pitched 8 shutouts and only gave up 59 points. Next week Hamilton continues to play stiff competition with a rematch of last year's Arizona Class 5A semifinal against new Stanford commit Trent Murphy and Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep.
* Xavier Su'a-Filo and Provo (Utah) Timpview improved to 2-0 with a 57-12 rout of Richard Wilson and Spanish Fork (Utah). Travis Van Leeuwen had a field day with 200 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns on 6 catches, all in the first half. Running back Levi Teo, running behind Su'a-Filo and the Timpview line, tacked on 89 yards rushing and 4 first-half touchdowns of his own. At halftime, Timpview had already gained 409 yards of offense, fairly evenly divided between 189 yards rushing and 220 yards passing. They have now won 25 games in a row and are closing in on the Utah record of 28 straight victories. Spanish Fork's Wilson continues to be a bright spot for the now 0-2 Dons, scoring all of their points on a 54-yard touchdown on a pass down the middle of the field and on a 14-yard touchdown on a fade in the right corner of the end zone.
* Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou also improved to 2-0 with a 41-14 blowout of Kaneohe (Hawaii) Castle. Star linebacker Manti Te'o keyed the effort with an interception that he returned 46 yards for a touchdown when the game was still close at 13-7 early in the second half. Te'o and the defense only gave up 165 yards on the game. On the offensive side, running back Dalton Hilliard ran 19 times for 94 yards and 3 touchdowns while New Mexico quarterback commit Cayman Shutter left the game in the first series with a right shoulder injury. In contrast to past years, Punahou no longer uses Te'o as a running back alongside Hilliard. The Buff n' Blue now travel to Seattle to play Central Kitsap (Wash.) in the Emerald City Classic.
* National power Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier bounced back from their disappointing first week loss against cross-town rival Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain returned to the now multi-site Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Series with a 15-10 victory over Prattville (Ala.), one of the top programs in Alabama and the first of four straight out-of-state opponents for the Bombers, who typically play one of the toughest schedules in the nation. In this game, Luke Kuechly and the St. Xavier defense made life very difficult for Prattville and only gave up 4 first downs and 120 yards of offense, including zero yards passing in the first half. Kuechly clinched the game with an interception in the end zone as Prattville made a last-ditch fourth down attempt at a 37-yard would-be game winner with 11 seconds remaining on the clock. On the game, Kuechly had 9 tackles to go with the interception. Defensive end Pat Muldoon got in the action by forcing and recovering a fumble. St. Xavier's starting quarterback, junior Luke Massa, returned from a foot injury and completed 17 of 33 passes for 173 yards but was sacked five times. Stud junior offensive tackle Matt James, a potential Stanford prospect along with Kuechly, missed his second straight game with an injury. The loss was the first for Prattville since 2005 and their first regular season loss since 2002.
* For the second straight week, Marsalis Teague led a blowout win for Paris (Tenn.) Henry County, this week a 43-0 triumph over Dickson (Tenn.) Dickson County. Teague scored a touchdown on a quarterback keeper and also threw a touchdown pass. In total, he completed 6 of 12 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown and rushed 7 times for 54 yards and a touchdown. Six Henry County players rushed for over 30 yards and the team wore down Dickson County with 296 yards rushing.
* In other Tennessee action on Friday, Hendersonville (Tenn.) Pope John Paul II suffered their second consecutive three point loss after leading in the game's final three minutes, dropping a 23-20 contest to Nashville (Tenn.) Father Ryan. After scoring both of the Pope John Paul II touchdowns last week, Wesley Tate scored all of their touchdowns once again on Friday night, including a 57-yard scamper and a 42-yarder on his way to a monster 240-yard, 3-touchdown, 34-carry performance.
* Davon Custis' Columbus (Ohio) St. Francis de Sales team improved to 2-0 as well with a 31-17 win over Toledo (Ohio) St. John's Jesuit. All 31 Stallions points were unanswered. 6-6 Ike Ariguzo caught 2 touchdowns and is establishing himself as the go-to weapon for quarterback Thomas Gentile. For St. John's, the game was further marred by a re-aggravation of Ohio State lineman commit Jack Mewhort's right leg injury that knocked him out of the game.
* Rex Burkhead and Plano (Tex.) kicked off their season with a 33-7 victory over Irving (Tex.) MacArthur. Burkhead rushed for 77 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown, on 18 carries. The Plano defense only allowed MacArthur to be across the 50-yard line for 41 seconds in the game's opening 16 minutes, during which time MacArthur scored its lone touchdown on an 82-yard touchdown run. MacArthur did not score in the second half.
* Linebacker Frankie Telfort and Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep fell 38-32 in a preseason game against Naples (Fla.) Palmetto Ridge. Palmetto Ridge took the lead with only 25 seconds left in regulation when Gary Jackson punched in a 3-yard touchdown to break the late tie. They controlled the ground game against Telfort and the defense all game, piling up 398 yards rushing. The running game was a team effort powered by 141 yards from Torrey Campbell, 111 yards from Jackson, and 96 yards from Telephane Charles. News reports on the game indicate that the Palmetto Ridge offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage and routinely got a 5- to 10-yard push on each play before the second level of the defense, where Telfort resides, had a chance. Nonetheless, Telfort made an impression with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
* On Friday night, New Lenox (Ill.) Providence Catholic lost 18-14 against Frankfort (Ill.) Lincoln-Way East. Offensive lineman Patrick Ward helped pave the way for 190 yards on 27 carries from junior Tim Hanrahan. East running back Kevin Starke finished with 83 yards on 15 carries and scored the winning touchdown with less than three minutes remaining.
* Apple Valley (Minn.) Eastview won their opener 38-7 over Burnsville (Minn.), with defensive end Matt Garin and the Eastview defense limiting Burnsville to 165 yards of offense and a single passing touchdown. Burnsville only completed 5 of 22 pass attempts.
* Crosby (Tex.) dropped their opener 14-7 to Waco (Tex.) University. Led by speed burner athlete Chance Casey, Crosby suffered the upset against a University team that only won two games last season in contrast to a Crosby team that won eight games and returned 15 starters. University accomplished the feat by limiting Crosby to only 120 yards of offense and in particular by containing Casey to 57 yards on 19 carries. The decisive moments in the game were a 4th-and-goal situation from the 1-yard line in which University stuffed Crosby and a fourth quarter in which University did not allow Crosby to make even a single first down and recovered a Chance Casey fumble at the University 39 with less than seven minutes remaining.
* Defensive back Corey Frazier and two time defending Minnesota Class 5A state champions Eden Prairie (Minn.) won their 29th consecutive game with a 38-14 victory over Bloomington (Minn.) Jefferson. Eden Prairie's offense found its groove by using standout junior Taylor Grant both as a quarterback and tight end and using senior Sam Gotham at quarterback when Grant played tight end. Gotham finished with 2 touchdown passes and a two-point conversion to Grant to go along with a third touchdown pass and an interception return for a touchdown from his safety position. Perhaps more notable from the Stanford perspective, the game pitted potential defensive back prospect Frazier against Jefferson's Moses Alipate, a Minnesota quarterback commit. Alipate connected on a 15-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and a 40-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, but Frazier and the Eden Prairie defense shut out Alipate and Jefferson in the second half.
* Linebacker Tyler Dippel and Hartford (Wis.) ushered in the season in style with a 48-0 win over Milwaukee (Wis.) Washington/Metropolitan. The Dippel-led defense only gave up 4 first downs and 96 total yards.
* In scrimmage action against Lawton (Okla.) Eisenhower, defensive lineman Gabe Ikard of Oklahoma City (Okla.) Bishop McGuinness made a tackle for loss and recovered a fumble that he returned for a touchdown. News reports indicated that Eisenhower ran to the opposite side of Ikard throughout the scrimmage.
2010 recruits in action:
* Solon (Iowa) began the season with a 42-8 win over Mt. Vernon (Iowa). In the most notable performance of the weekend by a 2010 prospect on Stanford's radar, junior athlete James Morris scored 4 touchdowns. Morris scored his first touchdown by blocking a punt and returning it 8 yards for the score. He then caught a 7-yard touchdown and ran in for additional scores of 17 yards and 66 yards. When all was said and done, Morris had racked up 133 yards on 17 carries. He also punched in a two-point conversion to go with his quartet of touchdowns. The win was Solon's 14th straight victory.
* Junior defensive end Craig Sanders' team, Ariton (Ala.), defeated Headland (Ala.) 34-12. Sanders made huge contributions on both sides of the ball. On offense, he came through with a 9-yard touchdown. On defense, he was a menace to the Headland offense, compiling 10 tackles and 2 fumble recoveries. Ariton's offense was mostly driven by running back Ty Tyler's 218 yards and 2 touchdowns on 27 carries.
* Steamboat Springs (Colo.) kicked off the 2008 season against Laramie (Wyo.) and ended up with a 21-14 victory over the out-of-state foe. Junior quarterback Austin Hinder struggled with consistency and completed only 6 of his 19 pass attempts for 167 yards, connecting for 2 touchdowns but throwing 3 interceptions. He had more success on the ground, particularly with a key 77-yard touchdown run on a broken play. Hinder and Steamboat Springs especially struggled in the second half, when they were not able to score any points, but they escaped with the opening week win.
* After struggling on offense in a season-opening win last week, Nashville (Tenn.) Maplewood, home of junior offensive lineman James Stone, found more of a groove with a 40-0 drubbing of Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn. However, the offense still did not fully break through, only managing 39 yards rushing on 17 carries to go with 120 yards passing. Instead, Maplewood benefited from stifling defense, particularly a 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown and a 59 yard interception return for a touchdown, both by Qutavius Parks. Parks was clearly the star of the game, also catching a 15-yard touchdown pass and a 40-yard touchdown pass.
* Junior wide receiver Alex Kenney's State College (Penn.) team won their opener 37-0 over Hollidaysburg (Penn.). Kenney set the tone by returning the opening kickoff 44 yards. The Little Lions then jumped out to a 28-0 lead and ended the game with 413 yards of total offense. Quarterback James Avedesian threw for one touchdown and rushed for another while his twin brother Dan Avedesian intercepted a pass on the first play from scrimmage.
* Junior tight end Harrison Jones and Cordova (Tenn.) Evangelical Christian went to 2-0 on the strength of a 57-6 win against Memphis (Tenn.) Overton. Evangelical Christian's star running back Davis Childers only carried the ball twice and scored touchdowns on both plays on runs of 13 yards and 54 yards.
* Junior linebacker Max Bullough and Traverse City (Mich.) St. Francis kicked off their season with a 47-6 rout of Suttons Bay (Mich.). Bullough and the Gladiator defense were completely dominant, only allowing 46 yards and one first down the entire game. The game avenged a 38-20 season-opening loss to Suttons Bay last year. Suttons Bay, however, was missing multiple players to suspension and only suited up 24 players, only 8 of whom had played in a varsity game.
* Another junior big athlete, Blake Lueders, helped Zionsville (Ind.) even their record at 1-1 with a 48-13 win over Lafayette (Ind.) McCutcheon, which has not won a regular season game in a year and a half. The game was actually an offensive achievement for a McCutcheon team that has scored a touchdown or less in 7 of its last 12 games. As for Zionsville, the Eagles at one point scored touchdowns on four straight possessions without getting a first down, using only 9 plays during the second quarter stretch.
* Junior offensive lineman James Hurst and Plainfield (Ind.) fell 21-14 to Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence North and is now also 1-1 on the young season.
* De Soto (Tex.) started off their season by beating Midland (Tex.) 48-28 on Friday. De Soto features junior cornerback Adrian White. The De Soto defense contained the Midland ground game, only yielding 30 yards on 23 carries. Midland was more effective through the air but was uneven in that department, connecting on 15 of 38 passes for 266 yards. Most of the Midland damage through the air was done by junior Antwan Goodley, who caught 4 passes for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns.
* Everman (Tex.) is home to another potential cornerback prospect, junior Barry Browning. In the opener, a 14-12 win over Waxahachie (Tex.), Browning made a key third quarter interception. Browning and the Everman defense only gave up 44 yards of offense in the second half and 178 yards on the game, 76 of which came on a pass from Sam Gagliano to Oshae Cofer.
* Standout junior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat is yet another 2010 prospect of note in the Lonestar State. The son of former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jim Jeffcoat, Jackson Jeffcoat stars for Plano (Tex.) West. This past weekend, West squared off against perennial Texas power Southlake (Tex.) Carroll, home of current Stanford offensive lineman Sam Schwartzstein, in the Ninth Annual Landry Classic. Southlake Carroll proved too much for Plano West and prevailed 35-9. One of the highlights for West came when Jeffcoat had a 12 yard sack that took the Dragons out of field goal range and forced a punt.
* Junior offensive lineman Christian Lombard and Palatine (Ill.) Fremd 33-21 to Lake Zurich (Ill.), the reigning Class 7A state champion, in their season opener. Although Lake Zurich is a state champion, the game was still considered a bit of an upset since Fremd is a Class 8A team. Most of Fremd's scoring came on two kickoff returns for touchdowns by junior Evan Wright. For the Fremd offense, the highlight of the game was an eight-play, 78-yard touchdown-scoring drive that relied on the passing attack, particularly 4 passes for 63 yards to Andrew Corso.
* One 2010 prospect of note, junior defensive end Corey Miller, plays for arguably the top high school team in the nation in Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes. Byrnes is already off to a 2-0 start on the season, including a 24-23 thriller over Florence (S.C.) Christian and a 36-14 win over Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett. Miller helps anchor a star-studded defense that also includes Florida State safety commit Justin Bright and a cadre of fellow 2010 notable prospects, including safety Devin Miller and defensive end Brandon Willis. In the most recent game against North Gwinnett, Bright keyed the effort with an interception return for a touchdown and high-profile junior running back Marcus Lattimore's 173 yards on 21 carries.
* In one of the Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Series games played in Cincinnati, Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita survived 28-21 over West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West. Lakota West features junior linebacker Jordan Hicks among others. Hicks made a first down on a fake punt and booted a 31-yard punt shortly thereafter, both during a scoreless first half. Scoring picked up for both teams in the second half. St. Rita wide receiver Daniel O'Neill caught 6 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.
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