At this point in the high school football season, prospects who are still
playing are a rare breed, as even many of the best teams fall short in their bids
for state championships. Meanwhile, top prospects continue to visit potential
college destinations and earn post-season recognition. This weekend, Brandon Clear and Byron Clear unofficially visited Clemson, which is becoming a real
player in their recruitments. A week after being named first team all-district
as both an offensive lineman and a defensive lineman, Matt Bentler was named
first team all-state as an offensive lineman. Kellen Kiilsgaard was named his
league's top quarterback, defensive back, offensive back, and punter and seems
to be a prime candidate for state and national honors. For most prospects,
however, late November means the end of highly celebrated high school playing
* George Halamandaris and Moorpark advanced to the semifinals with a 37-15
win. Superstar junior running back Darrell Scott put together his usual dominant
performance, this time running for 277 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries. Scott is clearly one of America's top running backs, and he's only a junior. On
the season, he has over 2800 yards rushing and over 40 touchdowns.
* Oaks Christian won their second round playoff game 49-17 to stay
undefeated. Notre Dame-bound quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who broke the all-time
California record for touchdown passes last week, completed 16-of-20 passes for
318 yards and three more touchdowns. In this game, Clausen passed the 10,000-yard
passing mark for his career. With only a few games left in his high school
career and numerous records and accolades already behind him, Clausen has never
played in the fourth quarter of a football game and has rarely played in the
second half. Clausen's top receiver is Stanford commit Sean Wiser.
* Francis Parker, home of Tyler Mabry and Gino Gordon, won their first round
playoff game, 49-14. Running behind Mabry, Gordon had 212 yards rushing and
touchdowns on 19 carries. Gordon is also Parker's star on defense.
* David Green's high school career ended in disappointment when Mission Viejo
was upset 25-24 in the quarterfinals. Green made a 25-yard field goal and his
extra point attempts.
* Matt Conrath's dream season ended in storybook fashion, as he led his St.
Rita team to a victory in the Illinois state championship. They won the
championship game, 35-21. Conrath, who was unquestionably one of Illinois' most
dominant players this season, contributed seven tackles. In addition to the tackles, Conrath is often credited with funneling ball carriers to St. Rita's
linebackers. Congratulations to Conrath and St. Rita on the state championship!
* Kellen Kiilsgaard's legendary high school career came to an end on Friday
night, as Auburn's dominance was no match for perennial powerhouse Bellevue, who
schooled Auburn 47-0 in the state semifinals. Kiilsgaard, perhaps Washington's
best player and a bona fide multiple position and two-sport college prospect,
suffered a very bitter conclusion to his high school career. In addition to the
blowout loss, Kiilsgaard was limited to eight carries for minus-nine yards and completed
only 3-of-13 passes for 17 yards and an interception. Said Kiilsgaard: "I don't
think we expected them to physically dominate us like that on the line of
scrimmage. It's really disappointing, even embarrassing to be at this part of
the season and struggle to get a first down… It's definitely not how you want to
go out. I just give credit to them. The fact that we weren't prepared for how
physical they were is just a testament to how good they really are up front." Going out like this will be tough to swallow for Kiilsgaard, but his attention
will now turn to his recruitment. He has already visited all of his favorites
and may make a decision soon.
* Chase Minnifield also saw his great high school career end with a
disappointing semifinals loss, falling 56-35. Minnifield had a touchdown pass, a
touchdown reception, and a punt return for a touchdown and racked up 312 total
yards, but he wasn't enough to stop a team led by Louisville coach Bobby Petrino's
undersized but totally dominant son.
* Jesuit, one of the top programs in the nation and the team of potential
Stanford recruits Jamaine Olson and Owen Marecic, staked their claim to being
not only the best team in Oregon but also one of the top teams in America. Facing the #2 seed in the playoffs in a quarterfinal game that many thought
should have been the championship, Jesuit won a 65-7 blowout to stay undefeated
and move on to the semifinals. The opponent was previously undefeated and
featured a potent passing attack that ranks among the best in Oregon, but Olson
and the Jesuit secondary largely shut down the opponent's passing game. Other
than a fourth quarter touchdown drive when the game was already well in hand,
Jesuit only gave up 67 yards passing on the game.
* Chike Amajoyi's Aquinas team advanced to the semifinals with a 15-0
victory. The story of this game was that Aquinas rammed the ball down the
throats of an outmanned opponent. Amajoyi scored both of the game's touchdowns
and ended up with 241 yards on 43 carries. Aquinas now goes on to the semifinals
to play an undefeated team that pounded them in the first game of the season.
* Baton Rouge Catholic, led by potential Stanford recruits Jason Peters and
Jeremy Stewart, also advanced to the semifinals, winning their contest 23-3 to
remain undefeated. Stewart finished with 110 yards rushing on 16 carries. Catholic's defense, led by Peters, was dominant as usual.
* Before unofficially visiting Clemson, the Clear twins saw Hoover advance to
the semifinals with a 37-14 win. Byron Clear contributed five tackles and a sack
to the winning effort. Brandon Clear saw very limited action with an ankle injury.
* Matt Howe and Colleyville Heritage advanced to the next round of the
playoffs with a 38-14 win.
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