Team spotlight: McGill-Toolen, Northridge

The high school football season got underway this weekend in the state of Alabama, and although it was just a jamboree game, Saturday’s matchup between McGill-Toolen and Northridge featured two of the top teams in the state.

McGill-Toolen cruised to an easy 27-0 win, but the best player on the field was Northridge running back Bo Scarbrough. The 2014 prospect rushed for 98 yards on 10 carries in the first half alone.

McGill-Toolen High School

After Scarbrough broke the first carry of the game for 50 yards, McGill-Toolen’s defense clamped down. For a team known for its offensive weapons, it was the Yellow Jackets defense who looked most impressive on a Saturday night. Anchored by safety Jalen Square, an Arkansas State commitment, the defense made a series of big hits and didn’t miss hardly any tackles the whole game. The offense, led by Auburn commitment Jason Smith, had its moments. Smith looked nervous early but still finished 3-of-4 for 60 yards and a touchdown passing, and he added 55 yards on nine carries rushing. Listed as an athlete, Smith hopes to play quarterback at Auburn, but he looks more like a wide receiver or cornerback at the next level. His lone touchdown pass went to Arkansas State commitment Carl Lee for 14 yards. The offense will go as Smith goes, but the defense looked strong enough to carry McGill-Toolen to a solid season and a shot at a state title.

Northridge High School

All eyes were on Scarbrough on Saturday night. The junior running back, considered one of the top recruits nationally, is coming off a torn ACL and wanted to prove to everybody that he was healthy. On the first carry he took off around the right side for 50 yards, and it was clear he was back. After the opening run, he had nine carres for 48 yards, a solid performance but not spectacular. Scarbrough showed the strength and the nasty stiff arm at times but never really broke the big run he’s capable of. He missed a few plays in the second quarter after injuring his hand on a stiff arm to the opponent’s helmet. As long as he stays healthy, the Northride running back will be easily be one of the best backs in the state this year. Wide receiver James Cox, committed to Southern Miss., had a less than impressive day, but it looked more like an issue with the quarterback. If Northridge hopes to contend this year, it needs to give Scarbrough the ball early and often and get Cox more involved in the game.