Highlights from this past weekend's action:
* In a game of particular interest to Stanford fans, Stanford defensive end commit Trent Murphy's Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy College Prep team played Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton, the team of Drew Terrell, one of the top wide receivers remaining on Stanford's recruiting board. The game was one of the most-anticipated of the year in Arizona and served as a rematch of last year's Class 5A semifinal game. Most notably from the Stanford perspective, Stanford's road trip to Arizona State allowed Jim Harbaugh and other Stanford coaches to attend the game, where they were joined in the crowd by Arizona Cardinals stars Matt Leinart, Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin. In the game itself, Hamilton found some measure of revenge for their season-ending loss in 2007. While Brophy College Prep won last year's showdown on their way to winning the state championship, this time around Hamilton had the upper hand and won 10-0 in a defensive tussle with no scoring by either team in three of the four quarters. Two completions to Terrell helped move the chains on a second-quarter touchdown drive and a 25-yard reception put Hamilton within range for a 41-yard field goal as the first half ended. The two scores comprised all of the scoring for the game. Terrell also broke free deep on the first play of the game but the quarterback could not connect with him on the pass. Murphy and the Brophy College Prep defense shut down Hamilton in the other three quarters and pressured the Hamilton backfield throughout, but ultimately the Broncos just could not find any success on offense. Hamilton is now 2-0 on the season while Brophy College Prep is 1-1.
* Another marquee matchup featured two of the top five wide receivers in California as Stanford wide receiver commit Jemari Roberts' Long Beach (Calif.) Wilson team opened their season against Shaquelle Evans and Inglewood (Calif.). Robert and Wilson, which had not won a game in over a calendar year (with the last win also against Inglewood) and went 1-9 last year, handled Evans and Inglewood and knocked them off 28-6. Roberts opened the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run and Wilson never looked back. Wilson's defense was anchored up the middle by nose tackle Vergee Whitaker (13 tackles and 2 sacks) and middle linebacker Zach Dubin (4 sacks). Evans got in the action for Inglewood with a 62-yard touchdown reception, his longest of 5 catches that totaled 117 yards, but that was all the scoring Inglewood would do. With Evans and Roberts both in action, USC head coach Pete Carroll and UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel were among the prominent spectators in attendance.
* Mansfield (Tex.) improved to 1-1 and bounced back from a tough loss last week by beating Mansfield (Tex.) Legacy 33-7. A week after rushing for over 150 yards and 2 touchdowns, Stanford running back commit Stepfan Taylor outdid himself with 240 yards and 2 touchdowns on 31 carries. His gaudy yards per carry numbers were actually lowered by the touchdown runs, which came from 3 yards out and 7 yards out. Taylor also caught a pass but it went for a 7-yard loss.
* Stanford quarterback commit Taysom Hill led Pocatello (Idaho) Highland to an opening week win over Salt Lake City (Utah) Judge Memorial in a 47-42 shootout. The Rams actually had a 20-point fourth quarter lead but a quick couple of scores on their backups gave them a scare. Before that happened, Highland's offense had proven too much up until that point. Hill accounted for 305 yards, 150 passing and 155 running. His signature moments came on the first play of the game when he romped for a 77-yard touchdown run and later when he threw a 17-yard touchdown pass. The Rams also received a big contribution from running back Jerry Castillo, who rushed for 161 yards and 4 touchdowns. Highland is now 1-0 and hosts Sacramento (Calif.) Grant next week.
* Stanford tight end commit Jordan Najvar's Spring (Tex.) Klein Oak squad was set to host Mandeville (La.) in a Labor Day inter-state showdown, but the game was cancelled due to Hurricane Gustav. Klein Oak started their season a week later than originally planned, facing off on Saturday against Houston (Tex.) Cypress Creek. Najvar and Klein Oak ultimately pulled out a 38-29 victory. Najvar pulled in 9 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. Klein Oak's other major offensive star was running back Ossam Cook, who broke off a 99-yard touchdown run immediately following a Klein Oak goal line stand. That was the biggest of 22 carries for Cook, who ended up with 218 yards and 3 touchdowns.
* Stanford tight end commit Levine Toilolo's La Mesa (Calif.) Helix team romped to a 41-7 opening game win over Vista (Calif.) Rancho Buena Vista. Trelan Taylor starred for Helix by grabbing a 37-yard touchdown reception and returning an interception 91 yards for a touchdown. Taylor also had another interception earlier in the game. Travon Van scored 2 touchdowns, one receiving and one rushing. On defense, Helix nose guard Anthony Larceval dominated with 10 tackles and 2 forced fumbles, one of which he recovered. The Helix defense as a whole gave up 143 yards rushing on 45 carries and did not give up a single pass completion. As for Toilolo, he was recently featured in a local news segment on his achievement as a student-athlete that you can view at the following link: http://www.kusi.com/ppr/hzweek1/27829849.html?video=pop&t=a.
* McDonough (Ga.) Henry County won for the second week in a row to start the season by taking 16-7 game over Decatur (Ga.). Stanford wide receiver commit Jamal Patterson snagged 5 catches for 110 yards. Patterson and the Warhawks were behind 7-6 late in the third quarter and then rallied to come from behind for the victory. Quarterback Drew Little threw for 243 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for a touchdown. Henry County is now 2-0.
* Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter also started 2-0 with a 31-14 win over Marietta (Ga.) Pope. Through two games, Stanford offensive line commit Camden Wentz and the high-powered Lassiter offense have scored 73 points.
* On the flip side, Duluth (Ga.) Northview, the team of Stanford defensive end commit Brock Sanders, fell to 0-2 with a 33-7 loss against Marietta (Ga.).
* Stanford tight end commit Ryan Hewitt and Denver (Colo.) Mullen improved to 2-0 with 35-14 win over Aurora (Colo.) Smoky Hill. Last week, Hewitt contributed 4 catches for 70 yards in another winning effort.
* Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel crossed into Washington, DC to take on District powerhouse Dunbar. The game was not competitive, with Good Counsel rolling to a 42-12 win. Good Counsel is led by Jelani Jenkins, one of the nation's best linebackers and running backs and the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year for Maryland. Jenkins and the Good Counsel defense only gave up 36 yards rushing on 21 carries. Aside from an 80-yard touchdown pass on the game's first play, the Falcons bottled up Dunbar. On offense, Jenkins made arguably even more of an impression, rushing for 4 touchdowns. Another recruit of interest to Stanford, cornerback Michael Wallace, had 2 interceptions, including one in the end zone a minute before half time that allowed Good Counsel to go into the half with a 16-point lead. Aside from Jenkins and Young, Good Counsel is also home to junior cornerback Louis Young, the early recipient of a Stanford offer, and is one of the most intriguing high schools in the nation from a Stanford fan's perspective. Maryland commit Caleb Porzel rushed for 107 yards on 13 carries.
* Plano (Tex.) improved to 2-0 with a 28-20 win over De Soto (Tex.) that relied on a thunderous second half comeback in which Plano scored 21 unanswered points. Plano's offense was led by senior running back Rex Burkhead, who rushed for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns on 21 carries. Plano, the #2 ranked Class 5A team in Texas, only had 7 points, 2 first downs, and 52 yards in the first half but simplified the game plan in the second half and rode Burkhead to victory predominantly out of a conventional I-formation offense. The final Plano touchdown came on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Kris Lott, Plano's top receiver who had previously been largely shut down by De Soto standout junior cornerback Adrian White, who joined Burkhead as a Stanford target in the game. White left the game with an injury on the possession before the final touchdown and was not in the game when Lott found the end zone. Lott only had one reception in the game prior to the touchdown reception he scored after White departed.
* Tyler Gaffney joined Stepfan Taylor and Rex Burkhead as running back recruits who had huge weekends. His San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral Catholic team routed Spring Valley (Calif.) Steele Canyon 48-7 on the strength of 108 yards rushing by Gaffney on only 13 carries, 3 of which went for touchdown runs of 1 yard, 6 yards, and 1 yard. He also tacked on a 15-yard touchdown reception, giving him 24 of the first 35 points in the game by either team. Steele Canyon did not score until the fourth quarter, when the game was already well in hand.
* Yet another running back prospect of note is Rolandan Finch from Louisville (Ky.) St. Xavier. So far on the season, "Deuce" has led St. Xavier to a 2-0 start in which they have outscored opponents 107-6. The opening week win, a 63-0 laugher, saw Finch rush for 101 yards on 7 carries, including a 19-yard touchdown. This past weekend, St. Xavier kept rolling with a 44-6 win. St. Xavier burst out to a 35-0 halftime lead and relied on 68 yards and 3 touchdowns on 10 carries from junior Jermiah Neal.
* Hendersonville (Tenn.) Pope John Paul II got in the win column after two devastating 3-point fourth quarter losses the past two weeks. Their 14-9 win over Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb relied on another big performance from running back Wesley Tate, who romped for 184 yards on 25 carries, one of which went for a 43-yard touchdown run. Wide receiver Devin Wilson caught a 46-yard touchdown, the first touchdown this year scored by a JPII player other than Tate. Through three games, Tate now has 6 touchdowns and 506 yards rushing.
* San Bernardino (Calif.) held off Pasadena (Calif.) by the final score of 30-19. Despite being the only returning starter on the offensive line, Michael Philipp helped pave the way for 217 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns on 17 carries by Demarcus White. For his part, White credited the offensive line after the game, saying: "I got to give the offensive line the love. They did a great job of getting in front of me and clearing everyone out of the way. It makes it easy when you got those big guys in front of you." In addition to White's efforts, junior quarterback Javon Williams tacked on 61 yards on 16 carries to round out the running game and completed 8 of 12 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown in the passing game.
* Another top offensive lineman on Stanford's board, offensive tackle Patrick Ward, helped his New Lenox (Ill.) Providence Catholic team bounce back from an opening week loss. The 24-0 second week win over Oak Park (Ill.) Fenwick was defined by the running game of Providence Catholic. After running for 190 yards behind Ward last week, junior running back Tim Hanrahan had another career day against Fenwick, rushing for 228 yards on 20 carries. The highlight of the game was when Hanrahan took the ball up the middle and ran into the defensive line but saw Ward and Jake Lembke sealing off the left side, at which point Hanrahan cut back and broke free for an 89-yard touchdown. Patrick Ward has signaled that he may decide imminently between his college choices, with Stanford, Northwestern, Illinois, and Wisconsin the favorites. Keep an eye on that possible decision this week as offensive tackle is a position of need for Stanford and Ward is one of the more prominent prospects left on the board at the position.
* Staying with the offensive line theme, Grant Enger's Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea team played its first game since losing last year's state championship to Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline. In this year's opener, O'Dea snuck by Olympia (Calif.) Capital 14-13. The game would have been an upset, but Enger came up huge in the fourth quarter to save the day when he blocked a 29-yard field goal attempt that would have taken the lead. As an offensive lineman, Enger blocked for Anthony Espinoza and Zach Fogerson, who combined for 172 yards on 18 carries. In the passing game, Billy Shanks passed for 175 yards, including a 71-yarder in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game winner, on 6-of-12 passing.
* Louisiana state title contender Bastrop (La.) will have to wait another week to begin their title quest after their opening game was canceled due to Hurricane Gustav. Last week before the hurricane hit land, Bastrop played in preseason jamboree action and won abbreviated games (two 15-minute quarters) by scores of 30-0 and 20-0. Although he is arguably the best wide receiver prospect in the nation, Bastrop's Rueben Randle is playing quarterback this year and led the offense in those two dominant jamboree performances. He ended up passing for 82 yards and 2 touchdowns in completing 7 of his 12 pass attempts despite a couple of drops and he also ran for 53 yards and 2 more touchdowns. With this past weekend's regular season opener canceled, Bastrop will look to start their season next week instead.
* Another top Louisiana team, Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian, was able to get their game this weekend in and blew out Springdale (Ark.) Shiloh Christian 47-9. Evangel Christian has won 10 state championships in the past 16 years. Defensive back Trey Wilson had an interception that he returned to the 2-yard line. Wilson and the Evangel Christian defense did not allow any points in the first half, with the only Shiloh Christian score of the half coming on a safety. The only touchdown for Shiloh Christian came on a run with four minutes left in the game and Evangel Christian ahead 47-2. In total offense, Shiloh Christian rushed for 31 yards and passed for 111 yards.
* Prosser (Wash.) prevailed in their opener 34-29 over Redmond (Wash.) on a 10-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Kirby Moore with three minutes left in the game. The touchdown was Moore's third of the game and 64th of his career and he has a chance of setting the national high school record before the end of the year. On the game, Moore had 8 catches for 177 yards and the 3 touchdowns. The state record for touchdowns in a career 83, putting Moore 19 away.
* Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou traveled to Seattle to square off against Silverdale (Wash.) Central Kitsap at Qwest Field, the home field of the Seattle Seahawks, in the Emerald City Kickoff Classic and came away victorious with a 42-19 win. Linebacker Manti Te'o and the Punahou offense only allowed 6 first half points. Running back Dalton Hilliard ran for a 3-yard touchdown and caught an 11-yard touchdown. On the game he had 58 yards rushing and 64 yards receiving. Punahou played without injured New Mexico quarterback commit Cayman Shutter but replacement Kimo Makaula was more than sufficient, completing 19 of 24 pass attempts for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Robbie Toma had 8 catches for 177 yards and a touchdown. Te'o usually attracts most of the attention, but in this trip to the mainland Punahou had numerous stars.
* Linebacker Frankie Telfort and Coral Gables (Fla.) Gulliver Prep bested Zephyrhills (Fla.) 35-6. The Gulliver Prep defense forced 3 turnovers and had 5 sacks, including one by Telfort. On offense, junior quarterback Michael Strauss threw for 381 yards and 4 touchdowns, 340 yards and 3 touchdowns of which were accounted for by Conner Vernon and Daniel Rodriguez. On Saturday, Telfort was among the many top recruits who took in the Florida-Miami game as visitors.
* Linebacker Barkevious Mingo and West Monroe (La.) were supposed to begin their season against Thibodaux (La.), but rains from Hurricane Gustav forced that game to be cancelled. Instead, West Monroe scheduled an alternate season opener against Leesville (La.). The new opponent gave Mingo a chance to line up directly against some of the top talent in Louisiana, including LSU running back commit Michael Ford and Auburn wide receiver commit Travante Stallworth, who plays quarterback for Leesville and runs the spread offense. Mingo and his West Monroe teammates seized the occasion, winning 28-7. Mingo moved to safety from his customary linebacker position and finished with 6 tackles and a pass defended. Ford, meanwhile, rushed for 173 yards on 19 touches and broke off an 85-yard run. In the end though, it was West Monroe running back LaDarius Abrams who racked up big yardage and kept finding the end zone. Abrams rushed for 155 yards and 3 touchdowns on 18 carries.
* Another linebacker on Stanford's radar, Mike Marry of Largo (Fla.) opened up his season by helping his team pitch a 12-0 shutout of Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake. Marry and the defense held East Lake to only 67 yards rushing and 10-of-24 passing for 73 yards and 2 interceptions. Of the 140 total yards, 70 of them came in the fourth quarter.
* Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier beat Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral 17-3 to improve to 2-1 on the season and pass the half way point of their stretch of playing top teams from five different states to start the season. Luke Kuechly, Pat Muldoon, and the Bombers' defense stifled Cathedral all game and has given up progressively fewer points each week and no more than two touchdowns in any game yet this season. The lone Cathedral score of the game came on a 27-yard field goal set up by a 30-yard run on a fake punt. Cathedral's other best shot to score was snuffed in the third quarter when they reached a first and goal situation from the 2-yard line and proceeded to throw an interception to St. Xavier junior Nick Weston on third down. St. Xavier kicker Danny Freudiger made a 31-yard field goal and is now 6-for-6 on the season. The St. X prospect of most interest to Stanford other than Kuechly, junior offensive lineman Matt James, sat out the first two games of the season before returning to practice this past week.
* After getting blown out the first two weeks of the season by Sandy (Utah) Alta and Timpview, arguably the top two teams in Utah, Spanish Fork (Utah) got in the win column with a blowout win of their own, a 36-0 win over Payson (Utah). Star tight end Richard Wilson starred, running for a 14-yard touchdown and scoring another one through the air by catching a 20-yard fade. On the game, he caught 4 passes for 88 yards and the touchdown.
* Paris (Tenn.) Henry County faced rolled to a third straight comfortable victory by beating Jackson (Tenn.) Liberty Tech Magnet 35-14 to improve to 3-0. Henry County led 28-0 at halftime and cruised from there. Marsalis Teague rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown and passed for 58 yards on 6-of-10 passing. In the first drive alone he by himself accounted for 70 rushing yards on a 74-yard touchdown drive. Fellow senior Dominique Allen had 153 yards and 3 touchdowns on 10 carries. Next week Teague and Henry County square off against Martin (Tenn.) Westview, a currently 2-0 team that gave Henry County its only regular season loss last season.
* Dallas (Tex.) St. Mark's is now 1-1 after winning their opener 45-0 over Fort Worth (Tex.) Country Day and losing their second game 30-7 to Fort Worth (Tex.) Nolan Catholic. The two games were a study in contrasts for the St. Mark's passing game. In the win over Fort Worth Country Day, wide receiver Terdema Ussery had 10 catches for 110 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown. St. Mark's aired it out in that game and Ussery was only the third leading receiver, with Tyler Unland hauling in 5 catches for 149 yards and 3 long touchdowns and Ty Montgomery grabbing 8 passes for 134 yards. The three gaudy statistical receiving days added up to an equally gaudy 416-yard passing, six-touchdown day for quarterback Kirk Hayes. In contrast, the loss against Nolan Catholic was a nightmare for Hayes and the St. Mark's passing game. Ussery was held to 3 catches for 10 yards and none of the aforementioned receivers had more than 4 catches or 58 yards, both by leading receiver Unland. The star of the game was Nolan's Ross Gallagher, who caught 8 balls for 110 yards and intercepted two passes on defense, returning one for a 58-yard touchdown. The interceptions were 2 of the 5 on the day of Hayes, who only completed 13 of 42 passes for 118 yards. St. Mark's only attempted to run the ball four times and stuck almost exclusively to the struggling passing game. Through two weeks, they appear to be a one-dimensional passing time built around Unland, Montgomery, and Ussery, who have been the three leading receivers in that order in each of the first two weeks.
* Provo (Utah) Timpview is now two wins from tying the Utah state record for consecutive wins after a 28-3 triumph over Highland (Utah) Lone Peak. UCLA Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow reportedly planned on being in attendance to scout standout Timpview offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo. In the game, Lone Peak scored first with a field goal but it was all Timpview thereafter. Levi Teo scored touchdowns running and receiving and Travis Van Leeuwen also caught a touchdown pass. Van Leeuwen had 290 yards receiving combined the last two weeks and Lone Peak apparently responded by playing soft coverage in the hope of not getting beat deep, which Timpview consistently exploited for short passes.
* Defensive end Davon Custis and his Columbus (Ohio) St. Francis de Sales team also improved to 3-0 when they took a 28-7 contest over New Albany (Ohio) in the Chris Spielman Gridiron Classic. Custis and his defensive line mates dominated up front and the team only gave up 147 total yards, with about half coming against backups when the game was already well in hand. On offense, running back Jack Kusan had 148 yards and 2 touchdowns on 9 carries.
* Although they had participated in some scrimmage action in August, Oklahoma City (Okla.) Bishop McGuinness kicked off their season for real this weekend against Guthrie (Okla.) and fell 21-3. The loss snapped a 28-game winning streak for Bishop McGuinness, the team of big athlete Gabe Ikard. They have won two straight state championships in Class 4A but in this game could not handle the defending Class 5A state champions. Ikard had 2 catches for 17 yards and had a punt blocked.
* Defensive end Matt Garin's Apple Valley (Minn.) Eastview squad fell against cross-town Apple Valley (Minn.) HS 13-7. Eastview is now 1-1. The game was a significant upset and Eastview had easily won the last two times the teams had met. This year's game was a defensive showdown and neither team scored in the first half. Apple Valley was led by Varmah Sonie, who was held to 4 catches on offense but made a decisive interception in the game's final minute to foil an Eastview comeback attempt. Varmah also made a number of open field tackles and was instrumental in Apple Valley containing Eastview's offense.
* Eden Prairie (Minn.) was more successful, shutting out Chaska (Minn.) 45-0 and improving to 2-0. Defensive back Corey Frazier and his secondary mates allowed two Chaska quarterbacks to complete 6 of 12 passes for 52 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception.
* Safety Daytawion Lowe's Midwest City (Okla.) Carl Albert team was trounced 40-7 by Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington. Lowe is one of the top defensive backs in Oklahoma but was not enough to prevent Washington junior quarterback Eric Bennett from having a huge day. In all, Bennett passed for 296 yards and 4 touchdowns, rushed for 117 yards, and made an interception on defense as a cornerback. Carl Albert's other star, 5-star running back David Oku, had no better success than Lowe did and got stuffed for -9 yards of total offense in the first half. Oku finished with 95 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, with all of the positive yardage coming in the second half of the blowout. The game gave some measure of revenge to Washington, which lost 34-14 to Carl Albert last year in a game in which Oku ran for 299 yards and 4 touchdowns.
* Crosby (Tex.) dropped a 28-27 heartbreaker to Port Neches-Groves (Tex.) and fell to 0-2 on the season. Speed burner Chance Casey had 82 yards rushing and a touchdown on 17 carries and 5 catches for 48 yards. But the story for Crosby in the game was sophomore Dominic Merka, a sophomore quarterback making his first start. The youngster rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown and passed for 238 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception on 17-of-36 passing. The game was particularly heart-wrenching for Crosby since Merka engineered a comeback drive in the game's final minutes and threw a 35-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds remaining, but Crosby had the extra point attempt blocked and lost by a single point.
* After coming out of the gates blazing in a 48-0 opening week win, linebacker Tyler Dippel and Hartford (Wis.) kept the momentum going with a 40-7 win against Germantown (Wis.). Jordan Stephans led the Hartford offense with 3 rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown. Dippel and the defense did not allow a score until the last two points of the game, although that was the first time in two games this season that the struggling Germantown offense has scored.
2010 recruits in action:
* This past week served as the first week colleges could officially extend scholarship offers to juniors. Stanford was busy all week and extended numerous offers, but the big story of the week was the commitment of 2010 linebacker prospect Tony Jefferson of Chula Vista (Calif.) Eastlake. Jefferson is the first member of the 2010 class pledged to the Cardinal. He finished his week by taking on Oceanside (Calif.) in the season opener for both teams, a game that Oceanside won 26-23. Although Eastlake lost, Jefferson had a solid game. As a running back, he rushed 13 times for 101 yards, most notably a 58-yard run. He did not punch in any touchdowns as a running back but did hit pay dirt on special teams when he fielded a shanked punt off of a high bounce and took it 28 yards for a touchdown. On defense, Jefferson played strong safety and made a number of big hits. Said his head coach John McFadden, "he makes big plays and he's a huge part of what we do." Notably, the victorious Oceanside offense includes Colorado quarterback commit Jordan Wynn and Cal offensive line commit Brian Schwenke. Wynn keyed the winning effort by completing 19 of his 32 pass attempts for 280 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions but was not pleased with his play due to a fumble at the Eastlake 1-yard line and generally sloppy play by the team. He did have success in the passing game, though, and his favorite target was sophomore Demario Coleman, who caught 8 passes for 139 yards and may be a recruit to watch in future years.
* The high school with arguably the most interesting group of 2010 prospects for Stanford is Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, home of junior quarterback Nick Montana and junior running back Malcolm Jones. In the opening week of their season, the Lions traveled north to take on Bakersfield (Calif.) Bakersfield Christian on the road. Aside from pitting two very good teams against one another, the game was notable for the oddity of featuring two quarterbacks with famous NFL quarterback relatives who transferred into their respective schools for this school year. For Oaks Christian, Nick Montana is the son of former San Francisco 49ers great Joe Montana and transferred from Concord (Calif.) De La Salle. For Bakersfield Christian, Derek Carr is the younger brother of current New York Giants backup quarterback David Carr, who was the first overall pick of the 2002 NFL draft for the Houston Texans. This summer, Derek Carr enrolled at Bakersfield Christian after previously attending Sugar Land (Tex.) Clements and he also committed to play for Fresno State. In this weekend's matchup, the younger Montana got the upper hand and led Oaks Christian to a 35-7 win. The first pass Montana threw was a 25-yard touchdown pass to Arizona State tight end commit, the first of two touchdowns he would throw to Coyle. On the game, Montana completed 7 of his 12 pass attempts for 134 yards and 3 touchdowns. The third touchdown was a 40-yard connection with fellow Stanford offer recipient Malcolm Jones. Jones also rushed for 120 yards and another touchdown on 15 carries. Coyle finished with 4 catches for 80 yards and the pair of touchdowns. For Bakersfield Christian, Carr was 23-of-43 for 224 yards and a touchdown but left the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained knee. Attendees at the game included mega stars Will Smith and Wayne Gretzky in addition to Joe Montana, all Oak Christian dads, as well as Fresno State head coach Pat Hill.
* While Montana's performance will turn heads, arguably the top junior quarterback in the nation is Issaquah (Wash.) Skyline junior Jake Heaps, the owner of a bevy of offers from across the country. Heaps led Skyline into battle on Saturday with the hopes of leading a state championship campaign. Skyline got off to a good start with a 21-0 win over Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon. Skyline scored their touchdowns on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Heaps to Jake Knecht, an 87-yard touchdown run by Washington State commit Gino Simone, and a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown by Kasen Williams. Heaps also completed a pass to convert a two-point conversion.
* Steamboat Springs (Colo.) beat Delta (Colo.) 29-5 to improve to 2-0. Like Oaks Christian and Skyline, Steamboat Springs features a junior quarterback that Stanford has already offered. In the most recent win, Steamboat Springs junior signal caller Austin Hinder completed 3 of 5 passes for 72 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. After an uneven performance last week that included 2 touchdowns but 3 interceptions, Hinder threw less in this game. That strategy was enabled by a dominant rushing attack that totaled 281 yards on 37 attempts. Junior running back Joe Dover led the charge with 156 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns on 13 carries. Hinder also got in the action by adding a rushing touchdown. Through two games, he has 2 rushing touchdowns to go with his 3 passing touchdowns and has 123 rushing yards to go with his 239 passing yards.
* In one of the biggest blowouts you'll see, Escondido (Calif.) steamrolled Calexico (Calif.) 70-0. Standout junior running back Ricky Seale led the way with 182 yards and 2 touchdowns, a 59-yarder and a 38-yarder, on just 9 carries. Escondido also benefited from another junior running back, Tim Zier, who carried the ball 7 times for 115 yards and also returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown.
* San Diego (Calif.) Scripps Ranch dropped their opener 54-41 to Poway (Calif.). Scripps Ranch junior running back Brennan Clay made his primary contributions in the passing game, catching 9 balls for 98 yards. He also ran in a successful two point conversion. His quarterback, Michigan commit Tate Forcier, completed 19 of 32 pass attempts for 269 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 81 yards and 3 touchdowns on 8 attempts. In the end, however, Poway pulled out the win in the high-scoring affair. They were led by Nick Ricciardulli's 178 yards, 3 touchdowns, and successful two point conversion on 25 carries.
* Cordova (Tenn.) Evangelical Christian stayed perfect with a 49-0 rout of Memphis (Tenn.) Treadwell. Junior tight end Harrison Jones had a 36-yard touchdown catch and also tacked on a 19-yard catch. His quarterback, Will Jamison, rushed for 2 touchdowns and 93 yards on 5 rushing attempts.
* Traverse City (Mich.) St. Francis dropped their second game to Saginaw (Mich.) Nouvel Catholic Central by the final score of 17-14. The Gladiators fell down 17-0 at halftime but junior linebacker Max Bullough and his teammates tightened up the defense considerably in the second half. Bullough also helped engineer a nearly successful comeback by chipping in on offense as well, where he caught a 24-yard touchdown. St. Francis begins league play next week hoping to bounce back.
* Gardena (Calif.) Serra opened their season with a 56-21 win over Victor Valley (Calif.) Silverado. Junior athlete Robert Woods started his season off with a bang by returning a punt for a touchdown and returning a kickoff for a touchdown.
* Ariton (Ala.) went to 2-0 with a 40-8 win over Andalusia (Ala.) Pleasant Home. Junior defensive end Craig Sanders holds down the fort for Ariton. For the second straight week, he got in on the scoring action on offense by catching a 9-yard touchdown reception. He also scored a second touchdown of the game and third of the year on a 2-yard touchdown run. Bradley Deal had 106 yards rushing for Ariton.
* A week after a 42-8 win to start the season, Solon (Iowa) stayed dominant with a 40-0 shutout win over Sigourney (Iowa) Sigourney-Keota. In the opening week, Solon relied on 4 touchdowns and dominance in all phases of the game by junior running back James Morris. In this past weekend's game, he again starred with 123 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns on only 6 carries, all in the first half before the offense started playing backups. Morris had touchdown runs of 28 yards and 80 yards.
* State College (Penn.) is now 2-0 after a 17-14 victory over Mechanicsburg (Penn.) Cumberland Valley. Junior athlete Alex Kenney was limited to 6 carries for 28 yards, but he came up big on defense in the game's closing minutes to preserve the win. With less than five minutes remaining, Cumberland Valley had a second and goal situation from the 1-yard line when Dan Avedesian blew up a running play to the fullback and jarred the ball loose with his fumble, sending the ball into the air and into the end zone, where Kenney pounced on it to quash the Cumberland Valley comeback. Avedesian also had an interception on defense. The win was the first for State College over Cumberland Valley in their last eight tries.
* Zionsville (Ind.) improved to 2-1 with a 37-6 victory over Noblesville (Ind.). Junior big athlete Blake Lueders started for Zionsville at fullback as a freshman and sophomore but has moved to middle linebacker for his junior campaign. Lueders and the Eagles jumped out to a 37-0 lead, shutting out the Noblesville offense in the first half. Zionsville quarterback Melvin Woodard was an efficient 7-of-10 for 108 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He spread his completions among five receivers. The top running back for Zionsville on the game was Carson Cramer, who had 8 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown.
* Plainfield (Ind.) lost 41-38 in triple overtime to Whiteland (Ind.), falling to 1-2 on the season. The game was a bitter disappointment for junior offensive lineman James Hurst and Plainfield, which had beaten Whiteland in 17 straight games. Plainfield had to fight just to get to overtime and made up a 28-13 deficit with just eight minutes left in regulation. Plainfield bridged the gap mostly with running back Zach Fakes running behind Hurst. On the game, Fakes ran 42 times for 257 yards and 4 touchdowns. Two of the touchdowns came in the fourth quarter, with the final one coming with 11 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime pending a two-point conversion, which was successful. The star for Whiteland was running back Luke Harris and his 239 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns on 26 carries.
* West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West won for the first time in three games, picking up a 20-0 shutout of Kettering (Ohio) Fairmont. The defense features junior linebacker Jordan Hicks and only gave up 156 total yards in the game. Hicks said of the game that "We were just out there having fun. We came out and just wanted to have fun and show everybody what our defense was made of." For the Lakota West offense, running back Stephen Houston picked up 135 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 carries.
* Little Rock (Ark.) Little Rock Christian Academy lost its opener 21-7 against North Little Rock (Ark.) Oak Grove. Little Rock Christian Academy features junior running back Michael Dyer, who rushed for 2,710 yards and 28 touchdowns last season and arguably had the best year of any sophomore in the nation, but Oak Grove was able to contain Dyer in this game.
* Junior offensive lineman Jake Matthews and his Missouri City (Tex.) Elkins team kicked off the season with a 35-28 win over Rosenberg (Tex.) Lamar Consolidated. Both offenses in the game were clicking and totaled over 400 yards of offense each, but Matthews and the Elkins offense were clicking just a little bit more and pulled out the win. Elkins had 450 yards of offense and quarterback Dean Brantley had a field day in the passing game, completing an extremely high percentage of his passes, 17 of 23 attempts, and throwing for 233 yards and 2 touchdowns. Elkins was also clicking in the running game, where running back Robert Bass gained 189 yards on 25 carries.
* Junior defensive back Barry Browning and Everman (Tex.) improved to 2-0 with a 42-14 win over Wichita Falls (Tex.). Chris Franklin had 3 touchdowns, one a 36-yard rushing touchdown and then scores on a 23-yard reception and a 73-yard reception.
* Junior linebacker Corey Nelson's vaunted Dallas (Tex.) Skyline defense pitched a shutout in the opening week on their way to a 27-0 win over Dallas (Tex.) Kimball. In addition to Nelson, the Skyline defense includes Oklahoma cornerback commit Steve Williams. Last year, the Skyline defense gave up fewer than 10 points per game and sent numerous defensive players to major college football destinations, including Minnesota safety Keanon Cooper, now-wide receiver DaJon Cooper (played safety at Skyline), cornerback Troy Stoudermire, and linebackers Alfred Dupree and Spencer Reeves, who signed with Oklahoma State and Minnesota respectively but are not on the current rosters.
* Junior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat and Plano (Tex.) Plano West bounced back their loss to perennial Texas powerhouse Southlake (Tex.) Carroll by taking a 27-23 decision over Flower Mound (Tex.) Marcus. Jeffcoat was reportedly a force on defense. Marcus struggled in special teams, missing an extra point, getting called offsides on a kickoff, and suffering a bad snap on a punt attempt that forced the punter to go to a knee and relinquish significant field position. The bright spot for Marcus was running back Stephen Hopkins, who rushed for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. Plano West quarterback Travis Wilson rushed for 3 touchdowns and passed for 147 yards.
* Another high-profile junior defensive end, Corey Miller of Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes, saw his team's schedule shuffled by Hurricane Hanna, which set up a second week game against Columbia (S.C.) Ridge View. Byrnes, one of the top teams in the nation, won 45-20 to improve to 2-0. Miller, known as a top defensive end, got in the scoring action on offense by catching a pass for two-point conversion. Junior running back Marcus Lattimore carried the ball 17 times for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns.
* Junior offensive lineman Christian Lombard and his Palatine (Ill.) Fremd squad won big, 48-14, over Arlington Heights (Ill.) Hersey to improve to 1-1 on the young season. Behind Lombard and the line, quarterback Mike Tauchman threw for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns and rushed for 93 yards and 2 more touchdowns. Receiver Andrew Corso had 5 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. The decision to go with Tauchman was apparently an adjustment from the pre-game plan, which called for a different quarterback and a run-based offense that the coach said was based on a judgment that the offensive line was not playing aggressively enough, but by that second series Fremd had switched gears and rode Tauchman to victory.
* Junior offensive lineman Chris Ward is nursing a sprained knee and sat out the opener for Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, a nationally televised game on Wednesday night against Carson (Calif.). The game was billed as a showdown of high-profile USC commits, with Mater Dei quarterback Matt Barkley, the #1 recruit in the nation, squaring off against Carson tight end Morrell Presley, the #1 tight end prospect in the nation. In a bizarre game with numerous twists and turns and numerous special teams foibles, Mater Dei pulled out a 46-43 win in triple overtime. Barkley has an up-and-down game, completing 16 of 32 passes for 301 yards, 6 touchdowns, and an uncharacteristic 4 interceptions. Presley hauled in 4 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.
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