Friday Night Lights


Posted Nov 25, 2013


Playoff action is getting intense across high school football, and it’s no different for those players committed to joining the Ohio State program, many of whom are on teams advancing deep into their brackets. All results are from the weekend of Nov. 22 unless noted, and players are seniors unless otherwise indicated.

Kyle Berger, OLB, Cleveland St. Ignatius – St. Ignatius ended its season with a 28-3 loss to No. 2 Mentor in an Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Region 1 semifinal game.

The No. 11 Wildcats ended their season 8-4. Mentor improved to 12-1 and will take on top-seeded Lakewood St. Edward on Nov. 30 with a spot in the state championship game on the line.

Berger missed the season because of a knee injury suffered Aug. 24 in a scrimmage at Canton McKinley.

Dante Booker, OLB, and Parris Campbell, RB, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary – Campbell had another big game and the top-seeded Irish continued their playoff march with a 40-7 drubbing of No. 2 Hubbard in the OHSAA Division III Region 7 final.

Campbell rushed for 207 yards on 19 carries with touchdown runs of 35, 76 and 59 yards in the victory, one that moved St. V-M to 13-0 and ended Hubbard’s season at 12-1.

“I give all the credit to the offensive line,” Campbell told the Akron Beacon Journal. “Without them I wouldn’t be anything.”

Booker led the Irish defensively with nine tackles, including two stops for loss and half a sack. The Irish, winners of 19 straight, will battle Region 9 champion Columbus Marion Franklin (12-1) in a state semifinal game Nov. 29.

Noah Brown, WR, Sparta (N.J.) Pope John XXIII – The second-seeded Lions avenged their only loss of the season and dispatched No. 3 Morristown Delbarton, 14-13, in a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Non Public Group 3 semifinal.

Brown played a big hand in the victory, scoring his team’s two touchdowns. Pope John (10-1) trailed 13-0 midway through the third quarter before Brown’s TDs turned the tide. He rushed for scores of 4 and 3 yards, respectively, and finished with 159 yards on 28 carries.

His heroics helped advance Pope John to a battle vs. No. 1 Montvale St. Joseph (9-0) at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 6.

“This is what all of the training is for, all of the squats, all of the everything,” Brown told NJ.com. “Stats don’t matter, the bottom line is we’re going to MetLife.”

Delbarton previously defeated Pope John by a 21-16 score Nov. 9.

Stephen Collier, QB, Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County – Collier’s prep career came to a close in a 42-35 loss to Jonesboro Mundy’s Mill in the second round of the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA playoffs.

Collier nearly led a game-tying drive in the final minutes. Starting at the Lee County 40-yard line, the Trojans drove to the Mundy’s Mill 25 before being stopped on downs. Collier’s last attempt, intended for Bernard McCray near the goal line, was almost completed, but an official ruled it incomplete.

Collier rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 238 yards and two TDs. He told The Albany (Ga.) Herald that his efforts were not enough, but head coach Dean Fabrizio had a different opinion.

“Stephen’s done so much for this football team during his time here, and he played his heart out,” Fabrizio told the Herald. “I am very proud of him and the effort he gave, as well as the whole team and everything they’ve accomplished this year. We’re sad we came up short tonight, but I couldn’t be prouder of these kids.”

Lee County ended its season 10-2.

Jalyn Holmes, DE, Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor – Third-seeded Lake Taylor had little trouble in a 35-3 win over No. 11 Mechanicsville Hanover in the second round of the Virginia High School League Group 4 playoffs.

Nhyre Quinerly scored three touchdowns – one passing, one rushing and one receiving – to lead Lake Taylor (10-2). Holmes and the Titans defense held Hanover to 94 yards of total offense, including minus-3 on the ground.

The Titans will battle host Dinwiddie (12-0) in a state semifinal game Nov. 29.

Sam Hubbard, OLB, Cincinnati Moeller – Hubbard again led the Moeller defense as the No. 2 Crusaders ousted Cincinnati Colerain, 35-26, in a OHSAA Division I Region 2 semifinal.

The linebacker led all defensive players with nine tackles. Hubbard added a tackle for loss and an interception in the victory, one that advances Moeller (12-1) to a regional final showdown with No. 1 Hilliard Davidson (13-0). The Crusaders never trailed and were led by quarterback Gus Ragland, who rushed for 206 yards and four touchdowns.

Marcelys Jones, OG, Cleveland Glenville – Top-seeded Glenville advanced to the state semifinal round with 40-7 victory over No. 6 Madison in the OHSAA Division II Region 3 final.

The Tarblooders (12-1) cruised to victory by building a 27-0 halftime lead, earning their first regional crown since 2009 and third in school history. Glenville raced out to a two-touchdown lead early on with a 36-yard touchdown by Terrell Goss on a blocked punt return and a 57-yard TD run by quarterback Quan Robinson Jr. Davon Anderson led the Tarblooders with 220 yards on 27 carries.

Glenville (12-1) will face Medina Highland (13-0) on Nov. 29.

Terry McLaurin, WR, Indianapolis Cathedral – The Irish punched their ticket to the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 5A championship game with a 42-20 victory over Terre Haute North.

Cathedral (9-5) will face top-ranked Westfield (12-1) in the title game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 29. The Irish used their ground attack to earn the victory, finishing with 316 yards. Caleb Cross rushed 22 times for 250 yards and four touchdowns.

McLaurin caught three passes for 43 yards and rushed twice for 9 yards.

Curtis Samuel, WR, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall – Samuel rushed for a trio of touchdowns, but the No. 2 Dutchmen were defeated 41-33 by third-seeded Staten Island Tottenville in a Public School Athletic League City Division semifinal.

Samuel rushed for scores of 75 and 36 yards to build a 13-0 first-quarter lead that did not last. He later added a 10-yard TD run in the third quarter, but it was his last touch of the game because of an ankle injury.

“It was frustrating that I could not go out there for my team for the last few minutes of the game,” Samuel told the New York Daily News.

Erasmus Hall concluded its season 10-2.

Dylan Thompson, DE, Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic – Top-seeded Montini kept its hopes for a fifth straight state championship alive with a 42-20 win over No. 3 Sycamore in an Illinois High School Association Class 5A semifinal.

“We’ve been on a quest to five-peat since last year’s state title game in Champaign,” Thompson told the Chicago Tribune.

Quarterback Alex Wills, who threw for three touchdowns and added two rushing scores, led the Broncos (13-0). His efforts advanced Montini to the championship game Nov. 30 vs. Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (13-0). The Montini defense recorded three interceptions, and Thompson notched a pair of sacks.

Damon Webb, CB, Detroit Cass Tech – The Technicians were upset by Detroit Catholic Central, 28-0, in a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I state semifinal.

Webb caught a 55-yard pass on offense, but Cass Tech (12-1) struggled on defense as the Shamrocks snapped Cass Tech’s 18-game winning streak.


The following players had previously ended their seasons – Eric Glover-Williams (junior), RB, Canton McKinley; Malik Hooker, WR, New Castle, Pa.; Jamarco Jones, OT, Chicago De La Salle; Demetrius Knox, OG, Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints’ Episcopal; Sean Nuernberger, K, Buckner (Ky.) Oldham County and Kyle Trout, OT, Lancaster, Ohio.


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