Football Recruits Weekly Update

Defensive end Matt Conrath

We are now down to the nitty gritty of the 2006 high school football season. Cardinal recruits and their teams across the nation are either winning championships, nearing title games or suffering high school career-ending defeats. Read on for the latest stats and notes on Stanford Football's recruits from this weekend's action.

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 careers...

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 four 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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