Week Three is a big one and several good games took place Thursday, including a huge clash in the Valley in a nationally televised game that featured a pair of UCLA commits.
Game of the Week: Notre Dame at Birmingham
The most-anticipated local non-conference game was televised on ESPN 2 (in HD) last night, and it truly was a very good high school game. It featured six committed prospects and two top juniors. On Birmingham, there is UCLA-committed running back Milton Knox, UCLA committed linebacker Donovan Carter, tight end Mychal Rivera, committed to Oregon, and the twin DEs, Malik Jackson and Marquis Jackson, and junior receiver Devon Flournoy. On Notre Dame, there is quarterback Dayne Crist, who is verbally committed to Notre Dame, and defensive lineman West Horton, committed to USC.
Birmingham won a close battle, 28-21, which marks first time in five years the Patriots have beaten Notre Dame.
Knox won the ESPN player of the game, gaining 137 yards on 32 carries and three touchdowns. The future Bruin looked good against a tough Notre Dame defense, running hard through the middle and bouncing off tacklers.
Flournoy had a touchdown on a 90-yard kick-off return.
Carter was a defensive presence, helping to limit Notre Dame to just 104 yards in the first half.
Both of the Jackson brothers looked good from their defensive end positions.
Crist, also, is a very good prospect for Notre Dame. He has very good pocket presence and is a phenomenal athlete for being 6-5, able to run the ball very effectively. His passing mechanics have also improved.
Servite at Huntington Beach Edison
After missing the past two games while recovering from surgery to have his appendix removed, UCLA's quarterback commit, Nick Crissman, returns to action to lead the Chargers against Servite. The game was originally scheduled for Thursday at Huntington Beach, but has since moved to Friday at Orange Coast to accommodate a bigger crowd. Last year, the Chargers beat the Friars twice, but this time, the Friars will have D.J. Shoemate, a commit to USC, back.
Oaks Christian at St. Bonaventure at Larabee Stadium (Ventura HS)
This was supposed to be the game of the year in California a season ago, but the Lions crushed the Seraphs. Oaks lost several key players from last year, while the Seraphs added the #1 running back in the country in Darrell Scott. But they are on a new coach, Todd Therrian. This game has huge implications for the state championship game in D-III, the winner being the frontrunner to represent SoCal. Some elite underclassmen will be involved, too, Oaks boasting sophomore Malcolm Jones and St. Bonnie featuring Patrick Hall.
Dominguez at Redlands East Valley
Since an opening loss to Corona Centennial, the Dons have been playing with authority, evidenced by a 30+-point win against Crenshaw. REV has won two very tight games against good opponents in J.W. North and Colton. It will be another UCLA-USC feature, with Bruin commit Aaron Hester matching up against USC-bound Chris Polk.
Santa Monica at Venice
Another top City-Southern contest features the Vikings visiting the Gondoliers. SaMo is led by Ryan Katz, one of the better quarterbacks in the West, while Venice has underrated Richard Ragland behind center. Where the Gondos have the advantage is elsewhere, with USC commit Curtis McNeal at running back and UCLA commit Jerry Johnson at receiver.
Valencia at Orange Lutheran
In another game featuring a future Bruin against a future Trojan, Valencia junior cornerback Marlon Pollard will likely see Orange Lutheran tight end Blake Ayles try to get past the Vikings secondary in what could be a pass-friendly game. Pollard is an early verbal to UCLA while Ayles is committed to USC.
Westlake at Hart
These two teams have faced off in some classics over the years, and this year's game, at College of the Canyons, figures to be a good one. The Warriors are led by quarterback Nick Owens while the Indians are looking to get a big performance out of UCLA committed linebacker Patrick Larimore and Stanford commit Delano Howell in the backfield.
Santiago at Temescal Canyon
What will B.J. Iverson do for an encore? That will be the big question for one of the top performers at UCLA's camp earlier this summer. Last week he had over 300 all-purpose yards. The Sharks will also need a good game from UCLA commit Anthony Dye in the secondary and at receiver. Temescal Canyon features B2G Elite Fastest Man Jonathan Warzeka.
Poway at El Camino
One of the better games in San Diego will involve the two top prospects in the county. Poway is led by stud tight end Ryan Deehan, one of the best tight ends in the West. The Wildcats are paced by UCLA commit Nelson Rosario, who will play both receiver, his primary position, and safety.
Other Games for September 20th-22nd
Chino Hills (UCLA commit Cory Harkey) at Tesoro (9/20)
Lynwood at Arcadia (UCLA commit Kevan Walker and 2009 target Todd Golper) (9/20)
Mountain Ridge (UCLA commit Jeff Locke) at Pinnacle (9/20)
Clovis Buchanan at Fresno Edison (UCLA recruit Robert Golden)
Colton at La Quinta (UCLA commit Damien Holmes)
Crenshaw (UCLA commit Kemonte Bateman and recruit Clint Floyd) at Roosevelt
Don Lugo at Troy (UCLA commit Derrick Coleman)
Fremont at Compton (UCLA commit Datone Jones)
Hemet (UCLA target Hamani Stevens) at San Bernardino
Katy (UCLA commit Aundre Dean) at A&M Consolidated
Mission Viejo (UCLA commit Jeff Baca) at Vista
Palmdale (UCLA commit Connor Bradford) at Burbank Burroughs)
Gardena at Culver City (UCLA commit Antwon Moutra) (9/22)