The match-up we've all been waiting for is finally here, as the Oaks Christian Lions will travel to Larabee Stadium in Ventura to take on the St. Bonaventure Seraphs. And while this game needs no extra hype, it has been rated as one of the top ten high school games to watch by Sports Illustrated. For those who were not able to get a ticket for the sold out game, no worries, FSN will televise the game nationally this Friday, September 22nd at 7:00 PM with a pre-game show starting at 6:30pm and a post-game show immediately following. On a side note, game tickets are being sold on E-Bay for up to $60 a pop, not bad for a high school football game.
Look for USC commits Marc Tyler (#26) and Marshall Jones (#27) to star for Oaks Christian. Tyler, who plays both running back and linebacker for the Lions, recently told WeAreSC.com that he is open to playing linebacker for the Trojans and there are some who think he has a bright future on the defensive side of the ball:
"Yes, I would play linebacker," said Tyler. "I would prefer running back but coach Norton is the only linebacker coach I would play for so if they ask me to play it I'm all for it. My dad think I can get to the nfl faster at lb and they have longer careers in the nfl."
North Meets South
Long Beach Poly had one goal in mind entering their Friday night match-up with Pittsburg High of Northern California; play physical, and that is exactly what they did. Poly was able to hold on to a lead throughout the game and pull away from Pittsburg 28-20. Donovan Warren finished the night with 12 rushes for 43 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kenny Rowe also had a big game, racking up 2 ½ sacks while terrorizing the Pittsburgh backfield all night. Our own publisher at WeAreSC.com, Garry P, was able to make it out to the game and here were his thoughts on what he saw from Long Beach Poly.
LB Poly – Donovan Warren starred mostly at running back on this night and I liked the way he ran between the tackles, he wasn't just trying to get outside every time he carried the ball. Donovan also had some good battles as a corner with Pittsburg wide receiver Kevin Bowler but, after only practicing at RB last week, Warren didn't look as sharp in coverage as one would expect. Don't get me wrong, Donovan is a very talented athlete and Bowler (6-4, 205) is a guy who would be getting a lot more recruiting attention if his grades were in order. I thought the two most impressive players on the field for the Jackrabbits were Kenny Rowe and junior DL Jurrell Casey. Rowe was dominant, he was so quick off the ball and his technique is terrific for a high school player. Casey (6-3, 245) is definitely a name to watch for next year.
I'm sure many of you were able to catch the classic match-up between perennial powerhouse programs Mater Dei and Mission Viejo Thursday evening. The game, which was televised on FSN Prime Ticket, lived up to the hype surrounding it. The game came down to overtime, where Mater Dei eventually prevailed 17-14 over the Diablos. Garry P. was also able to make it out to this epic battle, and had this to say about both teams.
Mater Dei – I really liked what I saw from Khaled Holmes. He is every bit as good as advertised as an offensive tackle with his impressive frame, long arms and nasty on-field demeanor. For those Trojan fans who watched Khaled follow his older brother Alex around for so many years it is strange to see this mammoth figure who is now dominating on the football field. Alex was at the game last Thursday and he calls Khaled "a beast" and that is a pretty accurate description. Monarch QB Matt Barkley is definitely a guy to watch in the coming years. He doesn't do anything drastically well but he does everything in a solid, efficient manner. I liked how in control he was of the game, especially when things got tight at the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime. I was standing on the Monarch sideline for that period and Barkley was as calm as can be, not bad for a sophomore. I think the Oregon State Beavers are getting a fine running back in Ahmed Mokhtar, he's a hard runner.
Here is some video of Holmes (LT, #78) as well as a brief interview following the game: Click here to watch Holmes video
Mission Viejo – The junior wide receiver Warren Rueland will be one to watch next year as he is tall with good athletic ability. I liked his route running as well. The junior offensive tackle Jeff Baca seems like a fine player but he didn't really stand out on a night when Khaled Holmes was on the same field. The guy I really want to follow for Mission is sophomore defensive back Alex Mascarenas; he seems to have a real good feel for the game and is very athletic. His coach, Bob Johnson, says he has "a lot of smooth" to his game and I definitely agree after watching him play.
Quality, Not Quantity
5-star running back Joe McKnight didn't get many touches on the night in John Curtis' 35-7 win over Salmen but he made the most of them. McKnight carried the ball 2 times for 68 yards and 2 touchdowns that covered 29 and 39 yards. He also caught a pass for 21 yards.
The Best At It
Jahvid Best is a name that has flown under the radar for some time now, but Saturday afternoon may have been his coming out party. Best rushed for 192 yards on 21 carries in Salesian's 41-12 victory over John Swett. Best scored one touchdown on a 24 yard scamper that saw him jet outside and leave the defense behind him. Best will be a name to keep any eye on as the recruiting season goes on.
Green Continues to Shine
Trojan verbal commit Broderick Green carried the ball 27 times for 101 yards with a pair of touchdowns as Pulaski Academy defeated Dollarway 47-22. Through three games Broderick has 78 carries for 390 yards (5.0 average) with four touchdowns, he also has 12 catches for 158 yards.
Getting It Done
For the most part, DJ Holt of Crespi High School is known more for his presence on the defensive side of the ball. But Friday night, it was his offensive contributions that earned him praise. In his first two games, Holt accumulated 10 tackles and four sacks on defense. But on Friday night, Holt reeled in 9 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown against Corona Centennial.
Szakacsy out 4-6 Weeks
Here is an article from the Ventura County Star regarding the injury of current 2007 USC commitment Samson Szakacsy of Camarillo High School.
Szakacsy on mend: Camarillo quarterback Samson Szakacsy, out with a fractured fibula, could return by mid-October.
Szakacsy was injured in the final five minutes of Camarillo's 21-14 season-opening loss to Newbury Park on Sept. 8.
Despite the injury, Szakacsy continued to play the rest of the game.
"Because he played on it," said Szakacsy's mother, Nancy, "Samson made it worse."
Doctors told her that Szakacsy could return within 4-6 weeks.
The Shoe won't fit
Servite junior D.J. Shoemate will likely miss the remainder of the year with a cracked bone in his foot, according to multiple published stories. Shoemate, who gave a verbal to USC in May, had originally suffered a foot injury last spring and then re-aggravated it during the Friars opening game loss to Santiago.
Corp leads the way at Orange Lutheran
Aaron Corp led the Lancers offense, completing 15 of 19 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns as Orange Lutheran defeated Tesoro 42-13. He also was Orange Lutheran's leading rusher, gaining 75 yards on four carries, including a 38 yard touchdown run that gave the Lancers a 28-0 lead in the second quarter.
WeAreSC caught up with Lancer coach Jim Kunau recently to get his thoughts on Corp and Michael Reardon, his two seniors headed to USC.
Click here to watch Kunau video
Boyles pleased to be recruited by USC
Serra receiver Anthony Boyles had a big day in the opener with 10 catches for 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns with several USC coaches watching. He followed that up with four catches for 43 yards last week in a 16-0 victory over North Torrance. After attending the USC game on Saturday against Nebraska he was asked if the Trojans had begun recruiting him and Anthony broke into a wide, wide grin when answering "yes".
Big Marvin Austin is one of the top prospects on the Trojan wish list and he was recently interviewed by Scout.tv to discuss his college choices. Click here to watch Austin video
Under the Lights at the Coliseum
Saturday's victory over Nebraska was a big one, and many of the top recruits in the Southland were on hand to take it all in. Here is an article done by Garry P. regarding the recruits spotted in attendance Saturday.