As the regular season came to a close and states prepared for playoffs, there were two incredible surprises and one game that featured 184, yes 184 points.
Mentor tops St. Edward in thriller: Within this last month, SI.com has given St. Ignatius (Cleveland) a bump only to see it lose to St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio), and the Eagles were No. 10 in last week's rankings before its semifinal playoff game.
Now, St. Edward doesn't merely fall out of the rankings, its season is over.
In a game described as one of the best of the season, and possibly in recent Ohio history, Mentor (Ohio) knocked off St. Edward 63-56 in the OHSAA Division I regional semifinals at Byers Field in Parma, Ohio.
"We've been in some good ones, but this was pretty memorable," Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno said. "It was a classic back-and-forth football game, and of course it's better when you win it."
Most Cleveland-area fans expected a rematch of "The Holy War" between St. Edward and St. Ignatius in the state championship game, but Mentor staged a furious second-half rally and played critical defense in the late stages of an offensive shootout.
Offense was expected to be the main attraction last Friday night's matchup, but it's doubtful any fans anticipated a game with 119 combined points, 1,266 yards of total offense and a 28-point second half rally. Mentor quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been mentioned as a candidate for Ohio's Mr. Football award, and he strengthened his resume with the biggest win of his high school career up to this point.
Trubisky, who is committed to North Carolina, completed 36 of 48 passes for 478 yards and four touchdowns and rushed 25 times for 98 yards and two touchdowns. The quarterback's stunning individual performance was significantly aided by his most trusted target, junior Brandon Fritts, who caught 14 passes for 243 and four touchdowns.
"(Mitch) was exceptional," Trivisonno said. "It was just a great football game to be a part of."
This wasn't a game that Mentor was expected to win, especially midway through the third quarter. St. Edward scored on its first six possessions and quarterback Ryan Fallon was responsible for a combined five touchdowns (three rushing, two passing) in the first half alone. The Eagles added two more touchdowns before, suddenly, their production stopped.
Mentor managed to sew up its porous defense, allowing no points and only 58 yards of offense in the fourth quarter. That allowed Trubisky to engineer the comeback of the season and knock off the top-ranked team in the region.
"Our region is loaded," Trivisonno said. "It's been one of those years with a lot of great athletes and every week somebody is playing really well."
The Cardinals move on to play St. Ignatius in the regional championship. The Wildcats coasted past North Royalton, 56-0.
Camden County loses to Colquitt County: This wasn't a playoff game, but the top team in Georgia lost bitterly to the team that ended its season last year.
Last week, we discussed Camden County's adjustment into Region 1-6A and how its conference championship meant it was likely the top team in Georgia. A loss to close out the regular season revives the debate about who is No. 1 in the state.
Coach Rush Propst and Colquitt County, the team that ended Camden County's season last year in a 32-31 win, again squeaked out a one-point victory against the lauded Wildcats. The Packers won the game with 33 seconds remaining last year, and this year the winning score came with 1:07 left.
Camden County had held Colquitt scoreless throughout the first three quarters, but surrendered 13 points in the final 12 minutes. While exciting, the game has virtually no bearing on the playoff seeds; the Wildcats still enter as the top seed in Region 1-6A.
North Carolina QB sets national passing record: The numbers still require verification, but the Lake Norman Citizen reported that Davidson Day (Davidson, N.C) quarterback Will Grier completed 35 of 42 passes for a national-record 837 yards and 11 touchdowns in a 104-80 victory over Harrells Christian Academy. If the numbers stand, Grier will have broken the old national mark of 764 yards by Pacific Palisades quarterback David Koral.
Yes, 104-80. MaxPreps write Dave Krider noted that the 184 combined points was more than in four Friday night NBA games.
Grier, a junior, has already received offers from Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wake Forest according to Rivals.com
Now, onto the rankings, and most teams are now in the playoffs:
Previous rank: 1
Last week: Defeated Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, Fla) 49-6
Next week: vs. Northeast (St. Petersburg, Fla.) in the Class 7A Regional Quarterfinals
The quest for Manatee begins against Northeast, a 7-3 team that was most recently upset by 3-7 Clearwater (Fla.). It appears that that the Hurricanes have a fairly clear path to the regional finals.
Previous rank: 3
Last week: Defeated Ferndale (Wash.) 28-0
Next week: vs. Peninsula (Gig Harbor, Wash.) in the WIAA 3A State Quarterfinals
Bellevue should get a good test from Peninsula, a team that has not allowed more than 13 points in a game since September 14. Should the heavily-favored Wolverines advance, it may set up a rematch with Mount Si (Snoqualmie, Wash.), which takes on Kennedy (Burien, Wash.)
Previous rank: 4
Last week: Defeated Pope John Paul II (Slidell, La.) 64-0
Next week: @ North Webster (Springhill, La.) in the LHSAA Class 2A Regional Playoffs
John Curtis is traveling six hours north to Springhill to compete in this game. North Webster is only 7-4 and should pose little challenge to the Patriots, but Curtis is going across Louisiana to play.
Previous rank: 5
Last week: Defeated Memorial (Houston) 41-6
Next week: vs. Westbury (Houston) in Bi-District Class 5A Playoffs
Katy closed the season strong and now awaits a weak Westbury team in the long haul of Texas state playoffs.
Previous rank: 6
Last week: Bye
Next week: vs. Pittsburg (Calif.) in the Division I CIF North Coast Section Quarterfinals
The Spartans earned a bye as the top seed and now begins their quest to win its regional playoff competition.
Previous rank: 7
Last week: Defeated Independence (Charlotte) 55-26
Next week: vs. East Forsyth (Kernersville, N.C.) in the NCHSAA 4AA QuarterfinalsIt had to beat its rivals twice in three weeks, and that wasn't an issue for Butler. The Bulldogs thrashed Independence to set up a showdown against 13-0 East Forsyth, which has had only one game decided by single digits.
Previous rank: 8
Last week: Defeated South Hills (West Covina, Calif.) 34-6
Next week: vs. Norco (Calif.) in the CIF Southern Section Inland Quarterfinals
The Broncos rolled past South Hills with little problem, but now comes a matchup against Todd Gerhart's (father of Minnesota Vikings running back Toby) Norco team this weekend. A potentially star-studded matchup against Rancho Cucamonga (which features prized recruit Tahaan Goodman) awaits in the semifinals.
Previous rank: NR
Last week: Defeated Elder (Cincinnati) 35-34 (2OT)
Next week: vs. Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati) in the OHSAA Division I Regional Final
We have discussed Colerain quarterback Alfred Ramsby's incredible season in prior articles, and he only added to his spectacular campaign last Friday night. Ramsby's 20-yard touchdown run at the beginning of the second overtime sealed a back-and-forth affair against another one of Cincinnati's top squads.
Previous rank: 9
Last week: Defeated Mansfield (Texas) 37-23
Next week: vs. Harker Heights (Texas) in the Bi-District Class 5A Playoffs
The Eagles tied their season low in points, but will have an opportunity to recharge their offense when they face Harker Heights (4-6) to open the playoffs.
Previous rank: NR
Last week: Defeated McCallie (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Next week: vs. Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville) in the Tennessee II-AA State Football Playoffs
We haven't really given our due to Ensworth this season, a team that is commonly regarded as one of the nation's finest programs and features a future Division I athlete in Cornelius Elder. The Tigers dispatched Montgomery Bell Academy 35-7 in their last meeting, so the season should continue for them.
Next five: St. Ignatius (Cleveland), Trinity (Louisville), Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.), University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Dropped out: St. Edward (No. 10)