September 9, 2011

From the East Coast to the West Coast and everywhere in between, good high school football games are being played.

And analysts, publishers and photographers will be there to witness a ton of the action.

The crew will get its first weekend on the sidelines and it couldn't start any better, as publisher John Otterstedt and writer Pat Rice will get to see the No. 1 team in the nation, Don Bosco Prep, take on Mission Viejo in a battle between two nationally-ranked teams.

On the West Coast, Douglas Benton from will be taking in a battle between two teams in two of the top leagues in Northern California in Archbishop Mitty and San Ramon Valley.

And in Oklahoma, publisher Justin Mitchell will take in one of the nation's best rivalries, as Jenks and Union go head-to-head. Both teams are nationally ranked, which is not unusual for the "Backyard Bowl."

Here's a look at all the games we'll be attending this weekend:

Find your region: Atlantic East | Heartland | Lakes | South | West (based on where game is played)

Rankings as of 9/6
No. 40 Mission Viejo (Calif.) High at No. 1 Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep John Otterstedt, Pat Rice
Saturday: Don Bosco, the top team in the RivalsHigh100, hosts No. 40 Mission Viejo. The visiting team already has a solid 35-6 victory over Bakersfield Centennial under its belt, while Don Bosco will be opening its season.
No. 71 Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay at No. 3 Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas Steve Berrey (@FlaVarsity)
Friday: Two nationally-ranked teams meet at Brian Piccolo Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney vs. No. 22 Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward Marc Givler (@MarcGivlerBG)
Saturday: Two of Ohio's top programs square off in a game loaded with Division I talent. St. Edward has more than 10 prospects either holding offers or receiving heavy Division I interest while Cardinal Mooney boasts two of Ohio's top juniors in linebacker Courtney Love and safety Marcus McWilson.
No. 29 Baltimore (Md.) Gilman vs. No. 28 Olney (Md.) Good Counsel Mike Farrell, National Analyst (@rivalsmike) Reggie Turner
Saturday: The top two teams in the state and the only Maryland teams ranked in the RivalsHigh Top 100 do battle on Saturday night for state - and perhaps national - bragging rights. A number of top prospects will be on the field including Rivals250 members Stefon Diggs and Ryan Watson, both from Good Counsel, and athlete Cyrus Jones (Gilman) as well as four-stars outside the 250 like offensive lineman Mike Madaras and running back Wes Brown (both Good Counsel). An underclassman to watch will be Good Counsel cornerback Kendall Fuller.
No. 30 Tulsa (Okla.) Union at No. 63 Jenks (Okla.) High Justin Mitchell (@justinrmitchell)
Friday: The Backyard Bowl is one of the nation's top matchups and always a wild one. Jenks is hoping to get Oklahoma commit Alex Ross back from an ankle injury but junior Trey'Vonne Barre filled in very well in his absence last week. Union, meanwhile, has won the last three Class 6A state titles and features RB Kendall Holmes.
No. 52 Miami (Fla.) Central vs. Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington Chris Nee, Florida Analyst (@RivalsCNee)
Friday: The defending state champ, Miami Central, has reloaded with a number of transfers. It currently has seven players committed to Division I schools led by four-star defensive back Donaldven Manning, who is bound for Virginia Tech. Two intriguing prospects for the Rockets are sophomore running backs Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook. Booker T. Washington is a team that relies on a lot of youngsters, led by junior linebacker Matthew Thomas, two-way junior lineman Denver Kirkland, sophomore wide receiver Lamar Parker and sophomore athlete Treon Harris. Harris is commonly utilized as a quarterback.
Carson (Calif.) High at No. 56 Long Beach (Calif.) Poly Gerald Martinez
Friday: USC commit Darreus Rogers is coming of a 235-yard, 3 TD performance. He takes on a Poly squad that beat Sacramento Grant last week, 24-23.
No. 66 Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson at Tifton (Ga.) Tift County Keith Niebuhr, Southeast Analyst (@KeithRIVALS)
Friday: Stephenson is one of the top teams in the South. Already, 12 Stephenson seniors have committed to FBS programs. Three of its players are in the Rivals250 - running back/Florida commit Mike Davis, weakside defensive end/Virginia Tech commit Jarontay Jones and outside linebacker/Miami commit Raphael Kirby. Linebacker Darreon Herring, a three-star Vanderbilt commit, arguably is the team's most underrated recruit.
Gilbert (Ariz.) Mesquite at No. 73 Chandler (Ariz.) High Kevin Stewart (@KevinPStewart)
Saturday: Chandler has several DI players and has outscored its first two opponents, 117-0. This week should be different when it hosts Mesquite (2-0), which had an impressive 8-7 defensive battle win over a tough Red Mountain team last week and has a few weapons of its own, including recent Arizona commit Anthony Lopez.
No. 89 Olive Branch (Miss.) High at Smyrna (Tenn.) High Dallas Jackson, Senior Analyst (@RivalsHigh)
Friday: The Conquistadors opened the season with an impressive win on the road against Madison Central which pushed the team into the RivalsHigh 100. Its win over its rival, South Panola, pushed it to the driver's seat in the North of the state. The team will head out on the road against a Smyrna team that has been among the best in Middle Tennessee over the last dozen years or so. The expectation is a win for Olive Branch but sizing the team up before a stretch of games in Mississippi will be important.

Delaware, Maryland, N. Carolina, New England, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, S. Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
Baltimore (Md.) Calvert Hall vs. Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Mike Farrell, National Analyst (@rivalsmike) Reggie Turner
Friday: Calvert Hall is out to prove it belongs among the state's elite when it takes on perennial power DeMatha in primetime on Friday night. The game is being played at Navy Marine Corps Stadium as part of the Patriot Classic. Players to watch include DeMatha defensive ends Brent Wilkerson and Michael Moore, both Rivals250 prospects.
Bethesda (Md.) Landon vs. Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara Mike Farrell, National Analyst (@rivalsmike)
Friday: Landon defensive back Deion Wellington has an offer from Bryant but is looking for more, while athlete Johnny Sharp is still waiting for his first offer. Likewise, Bishop McNamara defensive backs Jordan Martin and Tony Squirewell are also both seeking their first offers.
Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep vs. Montclair (N.J.) High Matt Hladik
Friday: Big test for the Mounties, who caught fire last season en route to a runner-up finish in North I, Group IV. While both teams return a lot, the Marauders are replacing top talents Savon Huggins (Rutgers) and Sheldon Royster (South Carolina). Good test for both teams in the game, which will be played at Rutgers.
Seabrook (N.J.) Cumberland at Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek Shawn Brown
Friday: The opener for the talented Timber Creek squad which lost WR Damiere Byrd and LB Quinton Alston but return LB Quanzell Lambert, DE Dajaun Drennon and transfer DT Greg Webb.
Washington Township (N.J.) Westwood at Oradell (N.J.) River Dell Brian Carr
Friday: Westwood and River Dell are traditional sectional contenders in North Jersey.
Old Tappan (N.J.) High at Hillsdale (N.J.) Pascack Valley Brian Carr
Friday: Old Tappan made it to the state sectional final last year behind four-star quarterback/athlete Devin Fuller.
McKees Rocks (Pa.) Montour at Aliquippa (Pa.) Hopewell Andrew Chiappazzi (@achiappazzi)
Friday: Montour's a heavy favorite in the state with D-I prospects in QB Dillon Buechel, RB Julian Durden, WR Devin Wilson, OL/DL Matt Barone, and DT Tyler Haddock. Their heaviest tests will come in their own section, including four-star RB Rushel Shell and Hopewell.
York (Pa.) Central York at Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Cumberland Valley Lucas Campbell
Friday: Cumberland Valley was a state semifinalist last year and will lean on OT Kyle Friend and ATH Jeremy DiPetro to return in 2011.
Clearfield (Pa.) High at Wingate (Pa.) Bald Eagle Tim Mack
Friday: Clearfield was a surprise contender last year, losing just one game. Its high-powered offense is back, led by dual-threat QB Curtis Frye.
Birdsboro (Pa.) Daniel Boone at Royersford (Pa.) Spring-Ford Rebecka Rice
Friday: The battle of QBs in Southeast Pennsylvania, featuring 2012 QB Thomas Bodolus from Daniel Boone (2,130 yards in 2010) against 2013 Spring-Ford QB Hank Coyne (1,759 yards in 2010).
Leland (N.C.) North Brunswick at Camp Lejeune (N.C.) Lejeune Adam Powell (@heelillustrated)
Friday: Heading to one of the most secure high school stadiums in the country - aboard U.S. Marine Base Camp Lejeune - for a game featuring three-star defensive standout Keilin Rayner of North Brunswick, the state's No. 27 prospect.
Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley at Durham (N.C.) Hillside Ben Doster (@WakeRivals)
Friday: Checking in on Hillside's three-star DT Jamal Marcus, who has 13 offers (including one from Wake Forest).
Kannapolis (N.C.) A.L. Brown at Indian Trail (N.C.) Porter Ridge Deana King (@NCPreps), Josh McKinnon (@JoshMcKinnon)
Friday: Two top teams in their respected divisions. North Carolina commit ATH Damien Washington is off to a great start in 2011.
Oxon Hill (Md.) Potomac vs. Severn (Md.) Archbishop Spalding Mike Farrell, National Analyst (@rivalsmike) Dave Lomonico
Saturday: Notre Dame commit Ronald Darby and the talented Potomac Wolverines take on private school up-and-comer Spalding, which boasts several potential Division-I recruits.
Severn (Md.) Annapolis Area Christian vs. Bear (Del.) Red Lion Mike Farrell, National Analyst (@rivalsmike)
Saturday: Red Lion boasts many talented underclassmen, led by defensive end Kenny Bigelow and 2015 prodigy David Sills.
Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph's vs. Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga Mike Farrell, National Analyst (@rivalsmike)
Saturday: St. Joseph's is led by three-star quarterback and Penn State commit Skyler Mornhinweg.
Gloucester City (N.J.) Gloucester Catholic at Cherry Hill (N.J.) Camden Catholic Shawn Brown
Saturday: A chance to see a top 2013 LB prospect in Jarred Alwan of Camden Catholic.
Wayne (N.J.) DePaul at Montvale (N.J.) St. Joe's Pat Rice
Saturday: Two talented teams face off. St. Joe's has won the last three, including two wins last year. This could be a preview of a playoff game in Non-Public Group 3.
Glassboro (N.J.) High at Carneys Point (N.J.) Penns Grove Shawn Brown
Saturday: A matchup of rivals which could be a rematch for the South Group 1 championship in December.
Dallas (Pa.) High at Scranton (Pa.) Scranton Prep Mike Iorfino
Saturday: Dallas is trying to establish a foothold as a competitor in Class AAA as a district behind senior athlete Paul Brace.
Clairton (Pa.) High at Industry (Pa.) Western Beaver Andrew Chiappazzi (@achiappazzi)
Saturday: Clairton is loaded with Division I talent again and has won 32 straight games. Western Beaver is led by WR/DB Dustin Creel and QB Eric Blinn.

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas
Houston (Texas) Langham Creek at Houston (Texas) Cypress Ridge Brian Perroni, Southwest Analyst (@bperroni)
Thursday: Langham Creek's offense is rolling behind standout junior quarterback Connor Feist. Cy Ridge has a big-time transfer from Detroit Cass Tech in junior offensive tackle David Dawson.
Wichita (Kan.) Kapaun Mt. Carmel vs. Wichita (Kan.) Southeast Bob Hovey (@Hovpen)
Thursday: Both teams enter after losing their opening games last week. Kapaun Mt. Carmel lost to Wichita Northwest, 28-6, while Southeast fell to Dodge City in a shootout, 69-46.
Brenham (Texas) High at Houston (Texas) Lamar Brian Perroni, Southwest Analyst (@bperroni)
Friday: Brenham features the most number of prospects of any team in the Houston area, led by Rivals250 members Malcom Brown and Timothy Cole. The Cubs are in a weak district so Lamar will likely be their only challenge until the playoffs.
Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill at Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill South Nick Krueger, AMP Videographer
Friday: Rivals100 Michigan commit Ondre Pipkins and Park Hill take on a cross-town rival. In two games so far this season, Pipkins has led his defense to holding both opponents to a combined 7 points.
Imperial (Mo.) Seckman at Kirkwood (Mo.) High Bill Gunn (@mosportsdotcom)
Friday: Missouri No. 4-ranked Kirkwood Pioneers return to field following bye week in a Suburban South conference game against the 0-1 Jaguars.
Rose Hill (Kan.) Hill at Wichita (Kan.) Collegiate Bob Hovey (@Hovpen)
Friday: Even though we saw Rose Hill last week, we'll take another look at Derrick Decker as a defensive hitter and get some video on Collegiate's Trace Clark who currently holds 16 offers as well as linebacker Myles Copeland, junior quarterback Markus Phox and running back Isaiah Franklin.
Galena Park (Texas) North Shore at Klein (Texas) Oak Brian Perroni, Southwest Analyst (@bperroni)
Saturday: North Shore is a perennial state power but Klein Oak could give it a challenge behind quarterback Nicky Baratti, a Notre Dame pledge, and linebacker A.J. Hilliard, who is committed to Arizona.
Oklahoma City (Okla.) Douglass at Oklahoma City (Okla.) Millwood Justin Mitchell (@justinrmitchell)
Saturday: The Soul Bowl is always a good time and features two of the OKC Metro's top programs in Douglass and Millwood. Douglass is hoping to bounce back after its 63-0 beating at the hands of DeSoto at Cowboys Stadium on Monday. Texas signee Josh Turner is gone for Millwood but it'll finally get the services of LB Marc Robinson, who was forced to sit out last season after transferring from Heritage Hall.
Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest at Joplin (Mo.) High Nick Krueger, AMP Videographer
Saturday: The nation's No. 1 prospect, Dorial Green-Beckham, and Hillcrest visit a town and a team working together to overcome last Spring's tornado. Through the first two weeks of the season, Green-Beckham has finished with receiving totals of 284 yards and 142 yards on 25 total catches.
St. Louis (Mo.) DeSmet vs. St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers Bill Gunn (@mosportsdotcom)
Friday: The DeSmet Spartans, ranked No. 2 in Missouri Class 6, will face No. 3-ranked CBC in a key Metro Catholic Conference test.

Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
Cleveland Heights (Ohio) High at East Cleveland (Ohio) Shaw Greg Ladky, AMP Videographer
Friday: Wisconsin commit Kyle Dodson headlines a matchup between two fast-paced, exciting teams.
Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine at Bedford (Ohio) High Greg Ladky, AMP Videographer
Friday: Three-star WR Mike Roberts goes head to head against Ohio State DB commit Tyvis Powell and Pittsburgh DE commit Myles Hilliard.
Broadview Heights (Ohio) Brecksville-Broadview Heights vs. Hudson (Ohio) High Marc Givler (@MarcGivlerBG)
Friday: Two of Ohio's top junior prospects do battle in Hudson linebacker/athlete Ben Gedeon and Brecksville-Broadview Heights quarterback Tommy Tupa.
Naperville (Ill.) Naperville North at Wheaton (Ill.) Wheaton North Tim O'Halloran (@EDGYTIM)
Friday: Wheaton North features senior WR Johnny Daniels and Naperville North features senior OL David Meyerhoff and junior OL Colin Goebel.
Peoria (Ill.) Richwoods at Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Jake Brown (@Jake_Brown)
Friday: Joliet Catholic has two of the best running backs in the Midwest with junior Ty Isaac and Northwestern commitment Malin Jones. Isaac already holds offers from Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Notre Dame, Purdue and Toledo.
Shaker Heights (Ohio) High vs. Hunting Valley (Ohio) University School Marc Givler (@MarcGivlerBG)
Saturday: Shaker Heights has a handful of talented underclassmen led by junior two-way lineman Donovan Munger and junior athlete De'Niro Laster. Senior safety/athlete Antonio Johnson is also a Division I prospect.
Lake Forest (Ill.) Lake Forest Academy at Wilmette (Ill.) Loyola Academy Tim O'Halloran (@EDGYTIM)
Saturday: Lake Forest Academy features four-star ranked DT Faith Ekakitie. Loyola is one of the top teams in Class 8A.

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee
Homestead (Fla.) South Dade vs. Miami (Fla.) Felix Varela Chris Nee, Florida Analyst (@RivalsCNee)
Thursday: South Dade looks to improve to 2-0 on the season behind the running of senior three-star back Torry Clayton. Clayton is hoping a big senior season on the field can lead to more offers and after his 200-plus yard performance last week he added West Virginia. Can he continute the trend? Varela counters with running back Bernard Saunders, who had 169 rushing yards a week ago, as well as three-star athlete Jordan Armstrong and two-star wide receiver John Green, a Connecticut commitment.
Pine Bluff (Ark.) Dollarway vs. Little Rock (Ark.) Parkview Luke Matheson (@ArkansasVarsity)
Thursday: The first part of a doubleheader at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium.
Pine Bluff (Ark.) Dollarway vs. Little Rock (Ark.) Parkview Luke Matheson (@ArkansasVarsity)
Thursday: The second part of a doubleheader at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium. Southside and Central will be the game of the evening between two Class 7A powerhouses. Southside is expected to compete for a state championship while Central is back on the rise.
Pine Bluff (Ark.) Watson Chapel vs. Pine Bluff (Ark.) High Luke Matheson (@ArkansasVarsity)
Friday: It's a huge cross-town rivalry. Watson Chapel is unveiling a new artificial turf field as well. Should be a lot of fireworks in this one.
Vicksburg (Miss.) Porter's Chapel at Decatur (Miss.) Newton County Academy Josh Smith
Friday: It's the Small School Spotlight Game. Two small schools with a lot of pride put it to the test this weekend in a key MAIS contest early in the season.
Orlando (Fla.) Olympia at Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips Eric Clark
Friday: Nick Patti will lead the Panthers against Olympia and James Hamilton in a rematch of a playoff game from 2010. Last year, Dr. Phillips eliminated the Titans, 52-3. This year will be different.
Batesville (Miss.) South Panola at Gulfport (Miss.) High Josh Smith
Saturday: It's the Game of the Week. South Panola and Gulfport entered the season as No, 1 and 2 respectively in the Both dropped early games but could be rounding into form. Many still project this as as Class 6A state championship preview. Both squads are loaded with talent. South Panola is led by Issac Gross and Antonio Connor while Gulfport counters with Travon Travis and Antwar Ashley.

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Fort Collins (Colo.) High at Castle Rock (Colo.) Douglas County Christian James
Friday: Two teams battling to earn respect this fall in 5A.
Henderson (Nev.) Foothill at Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Oasis Will Levi
Friday: Desert Oasis LB Kyle Henry and crew will look to slow down big play wide receiver Kyle Keplinger and the Falcons high-scoring offense.
Palmdale (Calif.) High vs. Newhall (Calif.) Hart Dave Rogahn, Dave Keefer (@DaveKeefer)
Friday: After a loss to a tough Tesoro team last week, Hart will try to bounce back with its talented young soph/frosh combo of quarterback Connor Wingenroth and receiver Trent Irwin.
Temecula (Calif.) Chaparral at Oceanside (Calif.) High Edward Lewis (@EdwardLewisASR)
Friday: San Diego State commit Matt Morin and potential Aztec recruits Teddy Queen, Joe Robinson and Eduardo Middleton will participate in this game.
Danville (Calif.) San Ramon Valley at San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty Douglas Benton (@NorCalPreps)
Friday: In a match-up featuring teams from two of the best leagues in Northern California (East Bay Athletic League and the West Catholic Athletic League), San Ramon Valley will try to even its record after a season opening loss to Folsom. The Wolves are led by California commit quarterback Zach Kline, who is a four-star prospect. Mitty is in the process of replacing current Cal quarterback Kyle Boehm with Andrew Barna, who scored three total touchdowns last week in a win over San Jose (Calif.) Pioneer.
Salinas (Calif.) Palma at Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis Steve Hu
Friday: Palma tied St Francis 7-7 in last year's season opener and then defeated the Lancers 17-10 in the postseason. Another defensive struggle would not be surprising in Mountain View. Starting off its season with a win would be a good indicator for Palma to defend the Tri-County League. Starting off 0-2 would portend a bad season for the Lancers as the WCAL is quite loaded this year again. In close games, watch for a key turnover or a special teams play to be the difference maker.
Rocklin (Calif.) High at Rocklin (Calif.) Whitney Michael Benton
Friday: The Quarry Bowl is becoming one of the fastest growing rivalries in the area and is headlined this year by Whitney Division I recruits in quarterback Jake Rodrigues (Oregon) and tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (USC). Whitney could be poised to make a run at a section title in 2011. For Rocklin, it was the Division II state runner-up in 2010 as it tries to work its way back up in the difficult Sierra Foothill League. Wide receiver Matt Laughrea has 157 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games.
Vacaville (Calif.) High at Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic Douglas Benton (@NorCalPreps)
Saturday: Vacaville ran for more than 400 yards last week in a win over Rodriguez behind 60 yards and three scores from Melvin Mason. The Bulldogs are among the most consistent programs in Northern California as it works to erase some of the memories from blowout losses to San Jose Valley Christian and Folsom last year. Marin Catholic reached the Division III state title game in 2010 before falling and should be in the discussion for a bowl bid again. The Wildcats are 26-3 in their last 29 games heading into an interesting North Coast Section vs. Sac-Joaquin Section contest.
Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista at San Mateo (Calif.) Serra Steve Hu
Saturday: The winner of Monte Vista and Serra will feel good about itself at 2-0 as they each will have to battle league favorites De La Salle and Bellarmine later in the season. Last year had Serra winning 28-21. The defensive strategies should be obvious for each team this season. Monte Vista has to stop the Padres run attack led by Colorado commit Erich Wilson and force a first-year quarterback to create the offense. Serra needs to slow down the passing game of the Mustangs led by Jeff Lockie through its defense or through a ball control running game.

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