The weekend was full of mostly blowouts and short on upsets (save for one big surprise), but this weekend still featured a highly anticipated college announcement and a game between Florida's top two running backs.
Jubilee in Yulee: Perhaps Derrick Henry can relax now that he has made his college decision. Maybe he can say that he can "focus on school and football" now that he has committed to Alabama and that it's time to clear out all the distractions that existed during his decision making. Henry may change his attitude, but fans will still be clamoring to watch.
After setting a state record for single-game rushing yards last week, Henry and Yulee (Fla.) took on the state's all-time leading rusher, Kelvin Taylor (a Florida commit and the son of Gator legend Fred Taylor), and Glades Day (Belle Glades, Fla.) last Friday night in Yulee.
The stands reportedly overflowed and the fans got plenty of rushing yards from both sides. For the second straight week, it was Henry that stole the show. A week after amassing 502 yards on the ground, the big "Yulee Mule" ran for 363 yards and six touchdowns in the Hornets' 42-6 win. Taylor's performance was hardly pedestrian, he racked up 222 yards on 34 carries and one touchdown.
Allen falls: It's been a wild ride through the Texas Class 5A Division this season, and the parity continued Friday night. Top-ranked Allen, home of that $60 million stadium that made headlines earlier this season, lost a barnburner on the road against 10th-ranked Coppell, 27-24 in overtime.
The marquee Texas matchup of the week was a battle of two unbeatens and it was hardly surprising when the game was pushed into overtime. Allen, which defeated defending state champion Southlake Carroll in its first game of the season, had a chance to maintain its top overall ranking. The Eagles had the ball first-and-goal from the 1 to start overtime, but Coppell forced a field goal and subsequently struck on a 23-yard touchdown pass on the next possession. The win should lift the Cowboys up the 5A standings while Allen's season takes a turn after its meteoric early-season rise.
Gauchos ride to a big upset: While it is often the Trinity League teams that garner attention in Southern California (Santa Margarita, Mater Dei, St. John Bosco), Narbonne (Harbor City) is quickly establishing itself as a player.
Anchored by Washington commit Troy Williams, the Gauchos knocked off perennial powerhouse Mater Dei, 18-17, in a non-league game last Friday. Famed Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson raved about Narbonne after the game, claiming the school is "the real deal."
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A relatively small public school in the South Bay of Los Angeles, Narbonne has churned out several Division-I prospects over the years (the school has an especially strong bond with the University of Washington), but it is rare that a public school team beats a renowned Trinity League powerhouse. With Williams, wide receiver A.J. Richardson (committed to Cal), and linebacker Keishawn Bierria (who returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown), the Gauchos may be the top team in California before the year ends.
The weekly rankings:
Previous rank: 1
Last week: Defeated Southeast (Bradenton, Fla.) 52-13
Next week: @ Braden River (Bradenton, Fla.)
The Hurricanes are dominating Central Florida and that will likely continue against another overmatched city opponent this weekend.
Previous rank: 2
Last week: Bye
Next week: vs. Servite (Anaheim, Calif.)
The post-Johnny Stanton era begins this weekend for the Eagles, and it is right as Trinity League play begins. The dual-threat quarterback (and Nebraska commit) tore his ACL in Santa Margarita's Week 5 matchup against St. Bonaventure and will miss the rest of the season.
Previous rank: 3
Last week: Defeated Riverside (Reserve, La.) 59-0
Next week: @ Carver (New Orleans)
It was yet another easy win for the Patriots, but they very well may get a defensive test next week. Carver has put up at least 36 points in every game this season and played in a shootout for the ages last week; the Rams lost 72-68 to Newman (New Orleans). It's hard to see Curtis losing in the regular season, but it may get some exercise by the end of the week.
Previous rank: 4
Last week: Defeated Juanita (Kirkland, Wash.) 49-0
Next week: @ Interlake (Bellevue, Wash.)
Now the shutouts are becoming the norm for the Wolverines. With its 49-point throttling of Juanita, Bellevue has defeated its last three opponents by a combined score of 174-0.
Previous rank: 5
Last week: Defeated Livermore (Calif.) 57-0
Next week: vs. Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.)
The Spartans cruised to another easy victory. As noted by MaxPreps, De La Salle has not lost a league game since 1991.
Previous rank: 7
Last week: Defeated Glenville (Cleveland) 35-7
Next week: vs. John Adams (Cleveland)
The Wildcats (not Bobcats, as I mistakenly wrote last week) are charging up the standings. St. Ignatius has been frequently been playing out-of-state competition, has not had a bye week, and has won every game by at least 24 points. Though it has an easier test next week, St. Ignatius appears to be gaining steam as the season continues.
Previous rank: 10
Last week: Defeated Valdosta (Ga.) 43-6
Next week: vs. Coffee (Douglas, Ga.)
Chock full of Division-I prospects with a speedy offense to boot, Camden County gets a bump in the standings after annihilating Valdosta on the road, 43-6. The Florida Times-Union noted that this was Valdosta's worst loss at home since a 40-0 defeat to Thomasville (Ga.) in 1974. With four players committed to SEC schools and a dizzying Wing-T offense, Camden County is Georgia's new darling.
Previous rank: 6
Last week: Defeated Spartanburg (S.C.) 49-7
Next week: vs. Riverside (Greer, S.C.)
The spectacular season of Shuler Bentley continues; the crafty Byrnes quarterback carved up Spartanburg for 375 yards and effectively spread the ball out to multiple receivers. Bentley's favorite target, Akia Booker, caught six balls for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Booker even had a touchdown pass of his own in the second quarter. Byrnes, like Curtis, should face little trouble until the playoffs come around.
Previous rank: 9
Last week: Defeated St. Xavier (Louisville) 34-7
Next week: @ DuPoint Manual (Louisville)
The Shamrocks destroyed one of the stronger teams (and first local opponent) it has faced this season, even if it was the second school named St. Xavier they had seen. The game was close at half, but Trinity closed the door with a 21-0 second half and got its first league victory of the year.
Previous rank: 8
Last week: Defeated Palisades (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) 42-6
Next week: @ Temecula Valley (Temecula, Calif.)
The wins are getting easier for Murrieta (granted, Palisades had already recorded some spectacular losses already this season), and Su'a Cravens and company are continually distinguishing themselves as an unlikely but tremendous force in the Southern California and national football landscape.
Next five: Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.),Miami Central (Fla.),Katy (Texas),Butler (Matthews, N.C.), Hoover (Ala.)