Big games don't often live up to the hype - especially ones decided by a two-touchdown margin - but Concord (Calif.) De La Salle's 28-14 victory over visiting Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman did just that.
It was the best game of the weekend.
De La Salle, ranked No. 29 in the RivalsHigh Top 100 rankings came out on top thanks to two bruising fourth-quarter touchdown drives. But it played most of the game from behind, seeking ways to get first downs let alone points.
De La Salle opened the game with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Antoine Pickett but struggled to find offense for most of the first half.
Bishop Gorman responded with Shaquille Powell, who had TD runs of 2 and 17 yards to give it a 14-7 halftime lead.
The game then turned.
Powell seemed to have helped Gorman hold off a De La Salle drive when he picked off a pass at the 9 midway through the third quarter. But he lost a fumble on the next play, giving De La Salle the ball back at the 19. It responded on the next play, with Lucas Dunne scoring on a TD run to tie the game.
Gorman thought it had jumped out ahead on the first play of the fourth quarter when Powell went in on a 16-yard run but it was called back by a penalty. The drive eventually ended on a missed FG.
From there, De La Salle took over.
It went 80 yards on 14 plays (capped by a 4-yard pass from Bart Houston to Anthony Williams) to take a 21-14 lead with 6:17 left. Then, after Gorman went three and out, De La Salle went 62 yards on eight plays (capped by a 2-yard run by Houston) for the final score with 1:30 to go in the game.
RivalsHigh take: Between losses to De La Salle and Hamilton, the No. 1 team in Nevada has been found wanting twice. Both games were close and the Gaels could have won both. The simple fact is that they didn't.
No. 21 Don Bosco Prep 33, St. Ignatius 6
Paul Canevari rushed for 265 yards and two touchdowns as Don Bosco Prep, the defending national champions, rolled to an easy victory in the Midwest.
Don Bosco QB Gary Nova opened the scoring with a 2-yard run then Canevari added a 58-yard effort to give Bosco a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Bosco added a safety and a 14-yard run by Canevari for a 23-0 halftime lead.
St. Ignatius' only score came on a kickoff return for a TD in the fourth quarter. By then, however, the game had long been decided.
RivalsHigh take: It is a shame this game did not happen last year. This may be one of the worst St. Ignatius teams in 10 years and the Ironmen went in and did what was expected, crushing the competition.
No. 43 East St. Louis 52, O'Fallon 6
The question after the first quarter wasn't whether East St. Louis would win - that had long been decided - but rather, just how good a game QB Ivy Lamontiez would have.
Lamontiez threw three TDs in the opening quarter on the way to a remarkable 11-for-19 for 266 yards and six TD game.
Lamontiez hooked up for three long scores (78, 75, 23) to Keante Minor (who finished with six catches for 205 yards) as East St. Louis took a 38-6 halftime lead.
Running back Anthony Pierson (17 for 178) also had a big game, scoring on TD runs of 69 and 12 yards.
RivalsHigh take: The Flyers are playing very good football and picked up win No. 749 in their history over O'Fallon. The team appears headed on a collision course with a Class 7A finals matchup with Wheaton Warrenville South.
No. 53 St. Edward 20, Elder 3
The talk after the game wasn't that Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward traveled to Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder and came away with a convincing 20-3 victory. But rather, that it could have been bigger.
"They had the opportunity to score 43 points, but our defense made some big plays," Elder coach Doug Ramsey told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
St. Edward took a 10-0 lead into halftime on a FG and a 34-yard run by quarterback Kevin Burke.
Then, after Elder put up a field goal in the third quarter, St. Edward responded immediately when Burke threw a 42-yard scoring strike to Colin McManamon with 4:01 left in the third.
From there, St. Edward relied on its defense. Defensive end Deonte Gibson, a Pitt commit, had a part in six sacks of Elder quarterback Ben Gramke.
RivalsHigh take: St. Edward has played good football all season. The team will end the season with one of the most difficult schedules in the country and should be battle tested to take on Glenville in the playoffs.
Hazelwood Central was 4-0 and ranked nationally heading into the game; Hazelwood East was 1-3. But as is often the case in area rivalry games, records mean little.
Hazelwood Central got all it could handle before coming away with a seven-point victory thanks to the play of Tra Brown and Rocky Smith.
First, it was Smith (14 carries, 94 yards). He answered a score by East with a 7-yard scoring catch that tied the game at 7-7 at halftime. He then gave Central a 14-7 lead in the third quarter with his second TD, a 19-yard run.
After East tied it again, Brown (12 carries for 105 yards) took over, giving Central its final score, a 48-yard TD run with 3:40 left in the third quarter.
RivalsHigh take: Hazelwood Central may be the No. 2 team in Missouri, but all of its close games are not indicative of an elite football team. Its spot in the RivalsHigh 100 is slipping by the game.