October 23, 2010

Friday: Wonderful Worley

Call it progress, we guess. Or is it a regress?

A week after you had to slide all the way down to No. 52 to find the first loss among teams in the RivalsHigh Top 100 rankings, two of the Top 50 (and six overall) went down Friday night. And there are still a few more games to be played Saturday.

The weather is finally starting to turn colder, which means the playoffs are here (or getting near) and the heat is being turned up on the top teams.

No. 29 Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central was the highest-ranked team to lose. And it's done. Its defeat came to Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central, 35-14, in a first-round playoff game.

The weekend offered few head-to-head games among ranked teams (but like the playoffs, those are coming) but there were a couple of interesting matchups.

A look at some of the more intriguing results:

No. 15 Northwestern 42, Clover 21

Another game, another record for Northwestern quarterback Justin Worley.

Worley went 33-for-45 for 429 yards and four touchdowns in an easier-than-expected victory that included two (more) milestone moments.

Worley became the first quarterback in South Carolina history to surpass 11,000 yards and he surpassed Everett Golson for the most touchdowns passes in a career - he now has 131.

Northwestern jumped out to a 14-0 lead and a 28-6 edge at halftime and never looked back.

"What more can you say about Justin Worley?" Northwestern coach Jimmy "Moose" Wallace told The Herald. "He's an incredible kid, on and off the field."

  • RivalsHigh take: Northwestern could very well be the top team in the Palmetto State, as proven by the success it takes a lot to slow down Worley and the rest of the offense, let alone stop it.
  • For complete coverage, check out this game story in The Herald.

    No. 27 Allen 30, Flower Mound Marcus 14

    Call it old school Texas football.

    Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus ran an old-time offense that relied almost entirely on the run. Allen used a hard-nose defense that - dare we say - would bend but not break.

    Allen quarterback Alec Morris threw for 265 yards and a TD and running back Jonathan Williams rushed for 109 and another TD, but this game was decided when Marcus had the ball.

    Marcus got plenty of yards from its dynamic duo at running back - Rufus Mason and Dagan Newsome - but little in the passing game from run-first quarterback Deion Sanders Jr. , who didn't complete a pass until the fourth quarter.

    Marcus moved the ball, getting inside the 40 six times. But it only came away with two scores on those possessions.

  • RivalsHigh take: Allen has seen a string of tough-nose games. That could mean that the team is primed for the playoffs to start (and a potential second round game with Euless Trinity) or it could mean that we have overrated it and it could be a quick end to the season come November.
  • For complete coverage, check out this game story in the Dallas Morning News.

    No. 38 Servite 32, St. John Bosco 24

    Anaheim (Calif.) Servite won its 18th straight game Friday night. But it may have been the hardest in the streak.

    Malik Felton ran for 199 yards and a TD on 24 carries in a relief role, but afterward, much of the talk was about Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco's efforts.

    "They made us earn it, that's for sure," Servite coach Troy Thomas told the Orange County Register. "I really felt like this was going to be a good test for us."

    Bosco's 24 points were the most Servite (7-0) has given up all season. And for the first time all season, Servite trailed at halftime; it was down 12-7.

    It rallied in the second half, then hung on. The game wasn't really over until Jody Thomas had a key sack in the closing seconds.

    "I'm thankful we scored enough to get it done tonight," Thomas said. "Going into the game, I felt like they would score points, I was just hoping we would score more than they would."

  • RivalsHigh take: The strength of the Friars is their defense. It is a little surprising to see Servite give up 24 points, but it was good to have the team band together and earn a win. It will have plenty of tougher opponents once the playoffs begin.
  • For complete coverage, check out this game story in the Orange County Register.

    Fort Smith Southside 38, No. 49 Har-Ber 31

    Fort Smith (Ark.) Southside lost to Springdale (Ark.) Har-Ber twice last season.

    But both of those game were in Springdale.

    Playing back at home - a place where they dominate Har-Ber - Southside (5-3) came away with a 38-31 victory that could get it into the postseason.

    It certainly adds to an up-and-down season in Arkansas, where no team seems to want the No. 1 spot.

    Har-Ber, which will fight to stay in the RivalsHigh Top 100, came into the game on a ten-game winning streak. It, however, has never won at Southside, where it is now 0-4.

  • RivalsHigh take: The wild and wacky Class 7A in Arkansas. This game likely will push Bentonville to the No. 1 spot in the state, which is tenuous at best since the two teams play Nov. 5.
  • Red Mountain 31, No. 56 Centennial 24

    Mesa (Ariz.) Red Mountain was more than happy to celebrate the upset victory.

    Forgive Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial if it wasn't sure what to do.

    Centennial saw its 35-game home winning streak (which dates back to 2005) end when Red Mountain used a 44-yard scoring pass from Aaron Eiseler to E.J. Cordova in the final minute.

    "Our seniors were (in middle school) the last time we lost on this field," Centennial coach Richard Taylor told the Arizona Republic. "Everything has to come to an end. Red Mountain's a very good team. We did not take advantages that we had. And we couldn't get rid of them.

    "They kept hanging around. And eventually, when the game was on the line, they made the play."

  • RivalsHigh take: So much for the hype machine that was pushing Centennial for the No. 1 spot in Arizona. A week after nearly knocking off Chandler, Red Mountain does take care of Centennial. Hamilton is secure in its spot atop the Arizona rankings, where it has been all season.
  • For complete coverage, check out this game story in the Arizona Republic .

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