Friday Night Lights: Rainier Beach vs. O'Dea

In the battle for the Metro League Championship, the Rainier Beach Vikings took on the O'Dea Irish Friday night at Seattle's Memorial Stadium. It was a hard-fought victory for the Irish as the held off two late Rainier Beach drives and won the game 14-7.

There were quite a few D-1 or D-1AA guys on the field tonight and plenty of underclassmen that will be on schools' radars this spring as the evaluation period begins in earnest.

As it was, here is what I was able to see from the players on hand.

Rainier Beach

CB/WR Vonzell McDowell – According to some of the parents in the stands, McDowell hasn't been playing much on defense of late with no explanation. He never played a down of defense tonight which was disappointing. However, the Irish are a running team so head coach Mark Haley might have decided to go with more safeties on the field. On offense, McDowell caught four passes for roughly 100 yards. The Vikings called several bubble-screens for him and three long passes – connecting on one 54-yarder – but the O'Dea defense keyed on him most of the game. He's got great quickness and good speed. He's going to be a good player for the Huskies.

OL Emeka Iweka – Was used sparingly on defense tonight (about 10 plays), but played the whole game at left tackle. He shows little emotion on the field. He rarely got after anyone and played way too high. When he decided to block someone, the play was over for that player, but he seemed to take a lot of plays off. I just don't see him along the defensive line when he finally arrives on Washington's campus.

RB/DB Kevin Sampson – It's a shame he's only about 5-8, 160, because, at times, he was the best player on he field. He's very quick and seems to have the knack of understanding the game. On a 4th-and-18 and his team needing a big play, Sampson took a screen pass and darted 22 yards on his own for a key first down that helped lead to Beach's only score. His guardian said he is likely headed to Cornell on a football scholarship.

LB Gary Kilcup – A stinger has really effected his play at linebacker this year. He's still putting up incredible numbers (over 80 tackles in 8 games), but he just isn't able to wrap up as well as he usually does. He filled hard against the run, taking on several lead blockers and blowing up plays. He also roamed sideline-to-sideline helping make a key third-down stop late in the game. He plays tight end on offense and caught a few passes, but he's a defensive player all the way in my opinion. His father said that Boise State has requested him to come on a visit November 18th and Huskies linebacker coach Chris Tormey has picked up the interest level as well. He hasn't been to any Husky games this year because of other commitments, but he is very interested in Washington.

QB Jermaine Delgardo – He's got all the physical tools you could want in a quarterback, but he just doesn't make good decisions and his mechanics, while they've improved a ton, are still pretty bad. He underthrew or overthrew several open wide receivers and didn't read the blitz late in the game, taking at least three sacks on the final drive. He's got a big-time arm – he effortlessly threw it 60 yards in the air – and he's big and strong. Could he be a D-1 QB? I seriously doubt it at this point, but someone may take a flyer on him.

Rainier Beach underclassmen:

(2008) OL/DL Alameda Ta'amu (6-4, 330)
(2008) LB Jonathan Amosa (6-0, 190)
(2008) S Brandon Green (6-0, 170)**very good tackler from his safety spot.
(2008) WR/DB Tyrell Freeman (5-8, 160)**Kilcup's younger brother has good speed and hands starter both ways


O'Dea

RB/DB Quinton Richardson – He is super-quick and had some nice runs on offense, but defense is where he really stood out. He came up and had some nice tackles on defense. He never faced off against McDowell, which I was looking forward to seeing, but he played well against the other wideouts on the opposite side. He still seems to be struggling with the foot he broke earlier this season, but you can see he's a big-time player. He also arrives at the ball with an attitude, although I heard some in the stands mentioning that as soon as he gets mad, he makes mistakes. I think he's going to be a great safety for the Huskies.

OL Kevin Davis – He played mostly on offense and showed some nice drive on a couple of plays. O'Dea doesn't pass much so it's tough to project how he would do in passing situations. He pulls very well and he can get to the next level when asked. There were a couple times when safties came up and hit him and knocked him down on a lead plays and that was a bit disconcerting. I'm not sure he's a D-1 guy, but he could end up at a school like Western or Central and do well.

O'Dea underclassmen:

(2009) WR/DB Alonzo Jackson (6-0, 150)
(2008) S James Palmer (6-0, 195)
(2008) DB/RB Johri Fogerson (6-1, 180) **manned up on McDowell until he hurt his ankle in second quarter.
(2009) LB Allen Mooney (5-11, 220) **he was everywhere on defense.
(2008) LB Carlos Roston (6-0, 220)
(2009) OL Danny Kistler (6-6, 310)
(2008) OL/DL Anthony Vivolo (6-2, 285)
(2008) OL/DL Daniel Kanczugowski (6-4, 295)
(2008) DL Clarence Baber (6-0, 260)
(2009) OL/DL Grant Enger (6-4, 220)
(2008) DL Ed Pelzer (6-3, 325) **hurt his knee or ankle in second quarter.


All in all a very good night of football at Memorial. I don't think either team will go deep in the playoffs, but if either one gets hot, they have the talent to scare some people in 3A.

Most of O'Dea's starters are underclassman so they are poised to be a powerful team in 2007 as well.

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