September 24, 2010

Thursday: Impressive efforts all around

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Upsets? Not Thursday night. In fact, the six teams in the RivalsHigh Top 100 that were in action all rolled.

Impressive? Sure. But which performance stood out the most?

The pair of 70-0 victories - one of which broke a 15-year district winning streak?

How about the six-touchdown effort by one player?

Then again, maybe it was the team with the JV players who stepped up when multiple varsity players were suspended.

Take a look and judge for yourself.

No. 3 Grant 56, Edison 0

For everyone that thought junior Shaq Thompson was a one-dimensional player who could only score on running plays, think again. He added an interception return for a score in the second half of this one to show his versatility.

Of course, Thompson is a pretty good running back, too. How else to explain the 206 yards on just 17 carries - five of which ended with him in the end zone?

Thompson's six touchdown-effort was more than an enough for Grant to roll.

Quarterback Terry Shine added two scores of his own, both on the ground and part of his seven-carry, 107-yard game.

  • RivalsHigh take: Grant isn't likely to be tested until the playoffs. We need to get used to seeing the Pacers winning by 50+ points. The team is that good and could compete anywhere.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in The Sacramento Bee.

    No. 8 Phoebus 70, Heritage 0

    The victory was expected. After all, Phoebus had won its previous 32 Peninsula District games. The rout probably was too, as Heritage has struggled to compete for years.

    The most surprising aspect of the win may have been how.

    Phoebus returned three interceptions for touchdowns on the way to an easy victory - one that broke the record for consecutive wins set by Hampton before some of today's players were even born (1980-84).

    Phoebus led 35-0 after the first quarter and 56-0 at half. The game was so out of reach, both teams decided it would be better to start the running clock in the second quarter.

  • RivalsHigh take: Phoebus is finally getting some of the national respect it deserves. Being the best team in the Tidewater area for this long, and doing it with fundamentals, is impressive. The Phantoms have been a force in Virginia for years.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in The Daily Press.

    No. 35 Cinco Ranch 48, Mayde Creek 7

    Let's take a look at the numbers: 499 total yards (298 of which came on the ground) ... six different running backs ... four different quarterbacks. Guess it's fair to say Cinco Ranch won the numbers game.

    Jamal James ran for 98 yards and a score; K.C. Nlemchi added 64 yards and two more scores in the victory.

    Cinco Ranch led 42-7 at halftime.

  • RivalsHigh take: People who think Cinco Ranch is a fly-by-night team need to give the Cougars another look. This team is as good as any you will find in Texas. It controls the line of scrimmage and punishes its opponents with the run game.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in The Katy Times.

    No. 54 Miami Central 70, Miami Springs 0

    Here's the interesting thing about this one: The game started with Central throwing an interception. It obviously made few mistakes after that as it scored on offense, defense and special teams in a rout.

    Quarterback Rakeem Cato - who played for Miami Springs for his first three seasons of high school - recovered from his early mistake to throw for 144 yards and three scores.

    Devonta Freeman and Joseph Yearby each scored two rushing touchdowns.

    Tommy Shuler and Durrell Eskridge each returned punts for scores.

    And the defense, which limited Miami Springs to just 4 total yards, scored twice - on a safety and a fumble return.

  • RivalsHigh take: Miami Central is starting to look like a team that can overcome mistakes, not get down on itself, and finally be able to make a run to a state title. The competition wasn't the best, but the collective effort was.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in The Miami Herald.

    No. 71 Northwestern 38, Hialeah-Miami Lakes 12

    Northwestern played without its entire starting defense and part of its offense - and played in a steady rain - but still rolled to victory.

    The school called up its entire junior varsity team after many of the varsity players were suspended for one game because of an on-field incident last week against Hialeah.

    A senior, however, led the team.

    Eli Roger, playing both running back and wide receiver, had 130 total yards and two touchdowns. He also played defensive back.

  • RivalsHigh take: Roger did everything, including kicking kickoffs into the end zone. Had the starters been available, this game could have been much worse. The experience for the backups is invaluable as time goes on this season.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in The Miami Herald.

    No. 99 Klein Collins 24, Klein Oak 9

    In the most competitive game of the night, Klein Collins used a strong running game and tough defense to triumph.

    Running back Shane Rhodes ran for 124 yards (on 16 carries) and Marquise Cardinal added 95 more (on 11 attempts). And they each had a big run to break the game open.

    Up just 10-6 in the third quarter, Rhodes busted off a 61-yard run to the 17. A few plays later, Klein Collins was in on a 1-yard run that produced a 17-6 lead.

    After Klein Oak countered with a field goal, Cardinal had a 59-yard TD run to account for the final margin.

  • RivalsHigh take: It is the year of the running back in Texas and in each game that is played another has a strong performance. Neither team appeared to have the horses that it takes to win a state title but there were fundamentals to make some noise in the playoffs.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in The Houston Chronicle.



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