From the archives: October 2008

Heaps leads Skyline to come-from-behind win

October, 31, 2008

No. 13 Skyline 16 (9-0), Bothell 12 (6-3)

 Jake Heaps led Skyline past Bothell.
For FAB 50 No. 13 Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.), last night's ESPNU-televised game with KingCo 4A league challenger Bothell was much more trick than treat, as the Spartans had to rally late to pull out the victory, the Seattle Times reported. Even though Skyline showed great resolve in coming back with under five minutes remaining to drive for the winning score against a game opponent that played its heart out, it will be tough for me as a FAB 50 pollster not to move Skyline down some in next week's poll (depending, of course, on how others do as well). This was a great opportunity for the Spartans to show the nation that they were a top 15- or top 10-caliber squad nationally, and while they did win the game, they might not have won impressively enough, a phrase we hear a lot now in the BCS age of college football. Their body of work is still solid, but given the team's performance as a whole product last night, it's hard to say that they would be favored in a matchup at a neutral site against some of the teams currently ranked below them. Corona Centennial, Permian, Phoebus, and Ohio powers St. Ignatius and Elder come to mind as teams that I'd probably tap as favorites in that type of hypothetical matchup; thus I should probably put them ahead of Skyline in next week's poll. However, it is a long weekend, and we'll see who else has near-stumbles or even is beaten. … I did think that junior quarterback Jake Heaps, despite a twisted ankle and two early interceptions, showed a lot to get his team down the field to win when everything wasn't going Skyline's way, and sophomore receiver Kasen Williams has a chance to be a Julio Jones-type prospect in two years if he keeps developing. (Jones is a current Alabama freshman.)

No. 5 Long Beach Poly 45 (8-0), Long Beach Cabrillo 0 (0-8)
The Jackrabbits had no problem whatsoever with Moore League foe Cabrillo, as Morgan Fennell threw for three scores and the Poly defense returned two fumbles for touchdowns in an easy win, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.

No. 38 St. Bonaventure 51 (7-1), Santa Barbara 21 (3-5)
The Seraphs, who suffered their lone loss at Poly a couple of weeks back, put a beating on Channel League foe Santa Barbara High on Thursday, the Ventura County Star reported. Junior running back Devon Blackledge scored on runs of 54 and 28 yards while also returning a kick for a score, while USC commit Patrick Hall ran for a TD and caught another.

Other notes:
• The blog had a chance to speak with North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.) junior quarterback Clint Trickett the other night, and the 6-foot-2, 170-pounder is excited to share that his first offer has come in, from the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Trickett, who impressed at last year's Nike Camp and EA SPORTS Elite 11 QB regional camp in Tuscaloosa, is also getting strong early interest from Ole Miss, Central Michigan, LSU, Boston College, Clemson, Tulsa, Auburn, Oregon and Stanford. So far this fall in seven games (including NFC's jamboree), Trickett has completed 95 of his 127 passes (74 percent) for 1,387 yards with 14 TDs and five interceptions. He's also rushed for 207 yards and three scores.

• The blog also chatted with Elite 11 QB A.J. McCarron out of St. Paul's Episcopal (Mobile, Ala.), who is preparing to play his final high school game this evening, as the Saints, currently at 3-6, will not qualify for the state playoffs this fall after winning the Class 5A state title last year. Much has been said about McCarron's scheduling official visits to some other schools besides Alabama, including this weekend to Ole Miss, but the senior laughed at some Web sites that had switched him to a "soft commit" to Alabama because of it, saying he's as solid to the Tide as he's ever been. You wonder if Alabama thinks the same, however, as another Elite 11 QB, Eugene Smith, will be in Tuscaloosa this weekend for a visit of his own.

FAB 50 weekend preview

October, 30, 2008

Game of the week: No. 39 Madison County (Fla.) (6-0) vs. Godby (Fla.) (7-0) (ESPNU, 8 p.m. ET)
There are many compelling matchups this week inside of the FAB 50, but we'll give this clash of Big Bend undefeateds the nod because we love it when powers schedule big-time non-district or out-of-class matchups. This game pits 2A defending champ Madison County and 3A undefeated Godby, and will feature three Florida State commits in Madison's Jacobbi McDaniel and Chris Thompson as well as Godby's Willie Downs. More notes from ESPN RISE's Kynon Codrington:

 A.J. Graham leads a potent Godby offense
Madison County coach Frankie Carroll took over the head coaching position in 2002. Carroll has been coaching in the county since 1976 as an assistant at Greenville High School. He came to Madison 1995. The Cowboys were state 4A runners-up in 1998, losing 33-28 to Glades Central. Following the season, the school dropped down in classification to 2A. Madison County won the state title in 2001 by defeating Clewiston, which started a successful run as one of top teams in the state. The 2001 title was the first in school history. In 2007, the Cowboys finished the season 13-1 and defeated Tampa Catholic, 28-7, for Carroll's first state championship. Carroll's overall record at Madison County is 78-7-1, including this year's 6-0 start.

Madison County has produced 42 college prospects in Carroll's tenure. Middle Tennessee State RB Desmond Gee is a back-to-back All-Sun Belt performer as an all-purpose back. Clemson OG Bobby Hutchinson starred at Madison County before moving on to the ACC. Former FSU LB Geno Hayes is a sixth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is making the most of his time on special teams.

Madison County returns 17 starters from last year's state championship team and boasts 28 seniors. This year's squad is led by a pair of Under Armor All-Americans in RB Chris Thompson (5-8, 175) and ESPNU 150 DT Jacobbi McDaniel (6-0, 274), both future Seminoles. In his junior campaign, Thompson ran for 2,256 yards and 33 touchdowns on 187 carries. In the 2007 state title game, Thompson, the catalyst for the Wing-T offensive attack, rushed for 203 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns and was named game MVP.

Other notable players to watch for are RB Corey Akins (5-10/193), LB/ROV Jordan Jefferson, and OL/DL Chad Mitchell. Akins holds offers from Florida Atlantic and MTSU and is receiving interest from many others. Akins spent the summer in school improving his GPA. Jefferson is receiving letters and waiting on his first offer, but Carroll thinks a team will be getting a steal. Mitchell has offers from Florida International and FAU.

The 2A powerhouse plays its home games at the famed Boot Hill Stadium, which holds 5,000 spectators. The numbers exceed 10,000 for rival games and the Boot is the place to be on Friday nights.

The Godby Cougars, located in Tallahassee, are perennial 3A state powers. Coach Shelton Crews has been coaching since 1983, starting as an assistant at Godby and taking over as head coach during the 1999 season. He has 97 wins in his tenure as a head coach, with 75 of those wins roaming the sidelines for Godby. Crews was an assistant on the 1987 state championship team that defeated Blanche Ely of Ft. Lauderdale. Godby has captured three state championships in 1976, 1986, and 1987 in Class 4A. The school was reclassified to 3A for 1999 and 2000. The FHSAA moved the Cougars up to Class 4A for 2001 and 2002, and they returned to 3A in 2003.

Last season Godby finished 9-4 and reached the playoffs. The Cougars defeated Pensacola 28-7 in the first round. In the second round the Cougars blanked Arnold of Panama City, 41-0. Their title run came to an end in the region finals as St. Augustine eliminated the Cougars, 44-14. The offense was led by RB British Footman, a 2008 Florida State pledge. Footman was a game-breaker at tailback and ran for over 1,000 yards his senior season.

The team has run more shotgun as the base offense this season even though Crews relies on a pro-style attack. They will give multiple set looks with variations of the spread and I-formation. Junior RB Lavoire Johnson has been a nice replacement for Footman. Johnson was fourth in rushing for the Big Bend area entering last Friday's game against Wakulla.

This year's squad returns eight starters on offense and seven starters on defense. Senior QB A.J. Graham (6-foot-4, 194 pounds) is a talented signal-caller and spreads the ball to his weapons on the perimeter. Graham is uncommitted, but has offers from Illinois, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Marshall and Clemson, to name a few. He has the luxury of throwing to WR Willie Downs (6-2, 190), another Florida State commit. Downs has 25 receptions and leads the team with eight touchdown receptions. WR Kesie Graham has 28 grabs and four touchdowns. The third target, WR Chris St. Hilaire, has 20 catches and three touchdowns.

During Crews' tenure, he has sent 48 players to college. This year's 2009 class figures to add to that total. On defense, LB's Justin "JJ" Jones (5-10, 196) and Brandon Hover (5-10, 191) anchor the front seven. Fielding offers from Iowa State, Ball State, Middle Tennessee State, Georgia Southern, and Tulane, Jones has 68 tackles this season and. Hover lists offers from Georgia Southern, Troy and Florida A&M.

Other notables are three-year OL/DL starters Corey Gaines (6-0, 274) and Denzel Bonner (6-1, 290). Gaines, an All-State selection as a junior, is being recruited as a defensive lineman because of his speed and quickness. Gaines has a reported 4.86 40-time and has multiple offers from BCS conference schools, including Arkansas, Tennessee, Iowa State, Auburn, Colorado and Ole Miss. Bonner is the bigger of the two and boasts offers from Ball State, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Troy, FIU and Middle Tennessee.

Godby football alums who have played for Crews and gone onto the NFL include CB Travis Fisher, LB Edmund Miles and OG's Bryan Johnson and Nevin McCaskill. Fisher played at Central Florida before being drafted in the second round by the St. Louis Rams in the 2002 draft. He is currently with the Detroit Lions. Miles starred at Iowa and spent last season on the Miami Dolphins roster before being cut this year. Johnson attended LSU and is on the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad. McCaskill, a former Hampton Pirate, saw time on the Buffalo Bills' practice squad and was recently signed to the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad.

Potential roadblocks:
There are too many of these to go into tremendous detail on this week like we typically do for four to five games a week, but don't be surprised if three or four FAB 50 teams go down this week with all of the huge matchups on Friday and Saturday.

No. 9 Lake Travis (8-0) vs. Dripping Springs (9-0) -- Undefeateds meet in battle for District 25-4A supremacy. Lake Travis took this game 34-24 last year and has won four straight in the series.

 Miami-bound RB Mike James hopes to lead Ridge Community past Lakeland.
No.15 Lakeland (7-0) at Ridge Community (7-0) -- This is a sneaky-tough game for the 'Naughts that no one is really talking about. Ridge pushed Lakeland to the limit in a 22-19 'Naughts win last year and comes into this year's game at 7-0, powered by Miami commit Mike James at running back.

No.21 Don Bosco Prep (5-1) at Bergen Catholic (6-0) -- Two private school powerhouses in Jersey collide. Bergen Catholic hasn't beaten Bosco since December of '04, when they avenged a 42-21 regular-season loss with a 13-10 win in the state title game.

No. 27 De La Salle (6-1) vs. Monte Vista (7-0) -- The two top teams in the East Bay meet up, as junior quarterback Brett Nottingham hopes to lead the Mustangs to what would be a monumental upset of De La Salle. The Spartans haven't lost to a Bay Area opponent since Pittsburg beat them in 1991.

No. 28 Prattville (7-1) vs. Tuscaloosa Central (8-0) -- Two defending state champs, Prattville (6A) and Central (4A), hook up in both teams' season finales before the playoffs get underway. Central is a consensus top five team in the state by those in Alabama and should be competitive.

No. 29 Plant (6-1) vs. Chamberlain (8-0) -- Even if Aaron Murray is in the lineup, this figures to be a dogfight. With him out, Chamberlain, which only lost to Plant by seven last year and comes in as the state's No. 3 team in 5A behind FAB 50-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas and Lakeland, probably should be considered the favorite.

No.32 Abilene (8-0) vs. Richland (8-0) -- Richland probably doesn't have the horses to keep up with Abilene, but the Eagles could get tight if the game stays close for sometime, as they haven't been in a close contest for a while.

No.35 The Woodlands (7-0) vs. Lufkin (4-4) -- Lufkin may only be 4-4, but the Panthers are always loaded with talent and have won all four meetings since the two became district rivals in 2003.

No.40 Cretin-Derham Hall (10-0) vs. Woodbury (9-1) -- This third-round playoff matchup is a redo of a Sept. 12 regular-season meeting, in which CDH had its toughest test of the year in a 22-16 victory. However, the Raiders were without star RB Marques Binns in the first meeting.

FAB 50 weekend schedule

No.25 Arrowhead 49 (10-0) vs. Manitowac Lincoln 19 (4-6)

No.5 Long Beach Poly (7-0) at Cabrillo (0-7)
No.13 Skyline (8-0) vs. Bothell (6-2) (ESPNU, 8 p.m. ET)
No.38 St. Bonaventure (6-1) at Santa Barbara (3-4)

No. 1 Euless Trinity (8-0) vs. Justin Northwest (5-3)
No. 2 St Thomas Aquinas (7-0) at McArthur (5-2)
No. 3 Lowndes (8-0) at Coffee (7-1)
No. 4 Gateway (9-0) vs. Mount Lebanon (2-7)
No. 6 Armwood (8-0) at Tampa Freedom (2-5)
No. 7 Oscar Smith (9-0) vs. Lakeland (3-6)
No. 9 Lake Travis (8-0) vs. Dripping Springs (9-0)
No. 10 St Xavier (7-0) vs. Louisville Central (5-2-1)
No. 11 Camden County (8-0) vs. Savannah (0-8)
No. 12 South Panola (9-0) at Starkville (2-7)
No. 14 Corona Centennial (7-0) at Riverside North (4-3)
No. 15 Lakeland (7-0) at Ridge Community (7-0)
No. 18 Maryville (9-0) at Lenoir City (1-8)
No. 22 Permian (8-0) at Tascosa (2-6)
No. 23 Stone Bridge (9-0) at Woodson (7-2)
No. 24 Dorman (9-0) at Hillcrest (2-7)
No. 26 North Penn (9-0) vs. Pennridge (6-3)
No. 27 De La Salle (6-1) vs. Monte Vista (7-0)
No. 28 Prattville (7-1) vs. Tuscaloosa Central (8-0)
No. 29 Plant (6-1) vs. Chamberlain (8-0)
No. 31 John Curtis (7-1) at St. James (5-2)
No. 32 Abilene (8-0) vs. Richland (8-0)
No. 33 Byrnes (8-1) at Mauldin (5-4)
No. 36 Allen (7-1) at Plano East (0-8)
No. 37 Oceanside (7-0) at Orange Glen (1-7)
No. 39 Madison County (6-0) vs. Godby (7-0) (ESPNU, 8 p.m. ET)
No. 40 Cretin-Derham Hall (10-0) vs. Woodbury (9-1)
No. 41 South Pointe (9-0) vs. Spring Valley (1-8)
No. 42 Peoria Centennial (8-0) vs. Sunrise Mountain (1-7)
No. 43 Tulsa Union (7-1) vs. Oklahoma City Grant (1-7)
No. 44 Northside (7-1) vs. Warner Robins (5-3)
No. 45 Rockhurst (8-1) vs. Joplin (7-2)
No. 46 Center Grove (9-1) vs. Bloomington South (8-2)
No. 47 Independence (8-0) vs. East Mecklenburg (9-1)
No. 48 Jenks (7-1) at Muskogee (6-2)
No. 49 Naperville North (9-0) vs. Simeon (6-3)
No. 50 Bellevue (8-0) at Interlake (5-3)

No.8 Glenville (10-0) vs. Brecksville-Broadview Hts. (7-3)
No.16 Phoebus (9-0) at Denbigh (3-6)
No.17 St Ignatius (9-1) vs. St. Edward (6-4)
No.19 Elder (9-1) vs. Centerville (7-3)
No.20 North Shore (6-0) at Baytown Lee (2-4)
No.21 Don Bosco Prep (5-1) at Bergen Catholic (6-0)
No.25 Arrowhead (10-0) vs. Oshkosh West (7-3)
No.30 Good Counsel (8-0) vs. Gonzaga, DC (2-6)
No.34 Maine South (9-0) vs. Stevenson (5-4)
No.35 The Woodlands (7-0) vs. Lufkin (4-4)

Other notes:
• State playoffs get underway in the Beehive State this weekend, and the full schedule can be found here courtesy of The Salt Lake City Deseret News. Utah doesn't yet have a team ranked in the FAB 50, but 9-0 Timpview is a favorite in 4A and with a run to the state title should jump into the FAB 50 by year's end.

• The Des Moines Register reviews Iowa's expanded state playoff system as postseason action began last night. Last season, 96 of 361 programs (26.5 percent) qualified for first-round playoff games. This fall, 192 of 359 programs (53.4 percent) made the sub-state round. The Iowa High School Athletic Association will receive an extra $200,000 to $400,000 in revenue prior to expenses, according to the report. Complete brackets can be found on the IHSAA's Web site. Midwest Region No. 14 West Des Moines Valley is the state's top-ranked team and won last night 55-14 to advance to round one.

• As the premier programs begin to advance through the Indiana state playoffs, The Indy Star's Nat Newell takes a look at two added elements that help these usual suspects stay on top -- facilities and booster clubs.

• Big game in Northern California's Redwood Empire this Friday night between Cardinal Newman and Rancho Cotati. Newman is currently ranked No. 9 in Northern California rankings and these two teams over the years have always been heated rivals with the winner of the game usually winning their North Bay Legaue. Both teams are 7-0 and The Press-Democrat takes a look at Cardinal Newman's dynamic "Salt and Pepper" duo in the backfield.

• Oak Park (Calif.) coach Dick Billingsley is retiring from coaching at the end of the year, and Oaks Christian head man Bill Redell has some parting shots for his old nemesis in a colorful preview from The Thousand Oaks Acorn. The two coaches go back and forth with potshots that read off like a celebrity roast. "Well, Billingsley is now old enough to get his Social Security check, so I guess it's a good time for him to retire," Redell quips. Billingsley fires back with, "That's funny, I saw Redell's college football picture, and I know it was old because he wasn't wearing a facemask in it." All joking aside, there is a healthy mutual respect between the two coaches, and although Oaks should win pretty handily this year, Billingsley is the only opposing coach to beat Redell at Oaks Christian twice in his tenure.

• The New York Daily News has the story of a sophomore football player at elite Stuyvesant High School who pulled a not-so-smart prank on two teammates -- spiking their energy drink with the dangerous chemical fungicide copper sulfate. The perpetrator was kicked off the team and suspended from school.

• More troubling news in the high school football world comes from New Mexico, where six former players are now being formally charged with criminal sexual penetration, kidnapping and other crimes from a hazing incident at a preseason football camp, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News. After the allegations surfaced, the six football players were suspended 10 days for violating the district's anti-bullying policy. Five were subsequently suspended for the rest of the year; the sixth was expelled. Head football coach Ray Woods and six assistants resigned Sept. 6.

Felice sets national high school receiving record

October, 30, 2008

J.D. Felice of Rose Bud High School (Ark.) set a national high school receiving yards record after catching 24 passes for 421 yards and five touchdowns against England High. Click here for the full game story.

Barkley tosses 4 TDs in rout of JSerra

October, 29, 2008

Northside Warner Robins rolls over Tift County

October, 29, 2008

Center Grove downs Terre Haute South in Sectionals

October, 29, 2008

St. Xavier (Ky.) defeats Pleasure Ridge Park 57-6

October, 29, 2008

Blog notes: Northeast edition

October, 28, 2008

Somber news in Pennsylvania, where Pittsburgh Central Catholic junior Kyle Wilson died overnight at Pittsburgh's Childrens Hospital, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Wilson suffered an apparent stroke while attending the Gateway-McKeesport game Thursday night. The 5-foot-7, 160-pound junior was the Vikings' third-leading rusher this fall with 241 yards on 59 carries with four touchdowns. The 7-2 Vikings have decided they will play their scheduled playoff game Friday night against Penn-Trafford at Fox Chapel High School. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Wilson's family and friends, and the Central Catholic team and community.

• Central Catholic is part of the WPIAL in Pennsylvania, which begins playoff play this weekend. The full schedule can be found here, courtesy of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which also has a detailed look at the upcoming playoffs. FAB 50-ranked Gateway opens Friday against Mt. Lebanon. The winners of the WPIAL finals, played Nov. 22 at Heinz Field, then feed into the PIAA state playoffs. Most other teams outside of the WPIAL in Pennsylvania have one more regular season game this weekend.

• ESPN RISE's Doug Huff has the story of a new national record set this past weekend in Arkansas, where Rose Bud High's J.D. Felice totaled 421 yards receiving in the Ramblers' 64-55 loss to England. Congrats to J.D. and look for video of his record-breaking performance on Thursday's ESPN RISE segment on ESPNNEWS (4:40 p.m. ET). Gotta admit, as a former WR, I'm a little bit envious of his stat-line -- 24 catches for 421 yards and five TDs -- and just wish I got fed the rock like that in high school.

• More state playoff brackets are out, including Vermont's, which come courtesy of The Burlington Free-Press. I like undefeated Hartford in DI, the Whalers have a heck of a team this year. … Oh wait, wrong Hartford. The Hartford High Hurricanes (White River Junction, Vt.) are the defending DI state champs and have outscored their opponents 257-60 so far this year.

• Staying in the Northeast, Tom Yantz of The Hartford Courant has his updated state rankings here. New London, in at No. 2, is led by Florida-commit Jordan Reed at quarterback.

• Two games are in doubt in New Jersey, where reps from Cranford and Scotch Plains are refusing to send their teams to play games in Newark this week after drive-by shootings in the city killed two and injured another last Friday, reports the Newark Star-Ledger.

• Congrats to coach Paul Longo and the Floyd Colonials (Mastic Beach, N.Y.), who won the program's 40th straight game on Saturday, topping Connetquot, 27-9. The 40 consecutive victories broke the Suffolk-record unbeaten streak of Central Islip (37-0-2) and continued to extend the county's all-time winning streak, which the Colonials shattered last year with a Long Island-championship victory that was their record-setting 33rd in a row.

Playoffs under way in many Midwest states

October, 27, 2008

Each week, I've shared my FAB 50 ballot with the readers of this blog. This week, Mark Tennis, ESPN RISE's senior editor and foremost rankings authority, contributes his thoughts on this week's poll and a look at his ballot. Here's what Mark had to say:

 Walt Canty helped Dorman past Byrnes and into the FAB 50.
Where to put Dorman and where to drop Byrnes were the two most difficult decisions of this week's rankings. Just looking at the 35-28 score, you'd assume that it was a closer game than it was, but Dorman was ahead by 35-7 at one point, so this does not look like a situation in which Byrnes should be ranked right behind Dorman. With Byrnes all the way up at No. 5, Dorman's impressive win deserved a huge jump. I placed them right outside the top 25 at No. 26 on my ballot. One voter had Dorman at No. 33, while another had it at No. 17. Dorman finished the process ranked No. 24. Byrnes was dropped as low as 39th on one ballot and was as high as No. 28 on another. The team ended up at No. 33.

When there's room for another new team at the bottom, this is where there tends to be the most disagreement among the panelists. Usually, though, if one team gets the vote of just two of the five panelists, that is enough. That was what happened this week with Naperville North of Illinois. The teams that were listed as "also receiving votes" were only listed on one ballot.

I would expect eventually that an Ohio team will be close to the top five or higher. If Glenville finishes the season undefeated or St. Ignatius wins out and perhaps avenges its only loss along the way, those two would seem to be strong candidates. Wouldn't it be something, though, if Elder ends up being the one to win the Division I state title in Ohio? With that one win over Elder, that would certainly make St. Thomas Aquinas' case for being No. 1 in the nation much stronger.

Mark Tennis' FAB 50 ballot:
1. Trinity (Euless, Texas)
2. Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.)
3. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
4. Gateway (Monroeville, Pa.)
5. Poly (Long Beach, Calif.)
6. Armwood (Seffner, Fla.)
7. Glenville (Cleveland)
8. Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.)
9. Lake Travis (Austin, Texas)
10. St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.)
11. Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.)
12. Centennial (Corona, Calif.)
13. South Panola (Batesville, Miss.)
14. Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.)
15. Phoebus (Hampton, Va.)
16. Lakeland (Lakeland, Fla.)
17. St. Ignatius (Cleveland)
18. Elder (Cincinnati)
19. North Shore (Houston)
20. Maryville (Maryville, Tenn.)
21. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)
22. Permian (Odessa, Texas)
23. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
24. North Penn (Landsdale, Pa.)
25. Arrowhead (Hartland, Wis.)
26. Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.)
27. Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.)
28. Prattville (Prattville, Ala.)
29. John T. Curtis (River Ridge, La.)
30. Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.)
31. Plant (Tampa, Fla.)
32. Abilene (Abilene, Texas)
33. Good Counsel (Olney, Md.)
34. Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.)
35. The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas)
36. Allen (Allen, Texas)
37. Oceanside (Oceanside, Calif.)
38. Madison County (Madison, Fla.)
39. St. Bonaventure (Ventura, Calif.)
40. Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.)
41. Tulsa Union (Tulsa, Okla.)
42. South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.)
43. Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.)
44. Northside (Warner Robins, Ga.)
45. Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.)
46. Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.)
47. Independence (Charlotte, N.C.)
48. Jenks (Jenks, Okla.)
49. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
50. Bellevue (Bellevue, Wash.)

• It's state playoff time in many states beginning this week. Ohio has always had a terrific playoff system, and it doesn't get any better than in Division I. The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mike Pettica breaks down all six brackets -- Division I, Division II, Division III, Division IV, Division V and Division VI. Some of the big stories in DI include defending champion St. Xavier, a preseason FAB 50 team, failing to make the field, and Glenville only getting a four-seed in Region I, which means it potentially will match up with St. Ignatius in the second round.

• The state playoff pairings are out in Michigan, as over 250 schools will compete to advance to the finals at Ford Field in late November. All the first-round matchups can be found on the MHSAA's Web site. Also in Michigan, former Michigan State star and NFL vet Courtney Hawkins has returned to his high school, Flint Beecher, to restore pride and teach life lessons in the form of football, reports Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press. And finally, congrats to Holland High, which has advanced to the MHSAA state playoffs for the first time in school history. It could be a short run, however, as the Dutch take on powerhouse Muskegon in the first round.

• Another Midwestern state that will kick off postseason play on Halloween is Illinois. Links to the first-round pairings in all eight classes can be found on the IHSA's Web site. Maine South and Naperville North, the state's two FAB 50-ranked teams, both drew No. 2 seeds on opposite sides of the 32-team Class 8A brackets, and could potentially match up in the 8A final, if both advance through the weekly gauntlet to get there. Two other 9-0 teams, Bartlett and Bolingbrook, grabbed the two No. 1 seeds.

• The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the Wisconsin high school football playoffs first-round pairings listed here. FAB 50-ranked Arrowhead should be the favorite coming in and defending last year's Division I crown, and they open with 4-5 Manitowac at home tomorrow night.

• In Georgia, folks at Milton High are celebrating after the Eagles stunned rival Roswell 20-19, for just the school's fourth victory in the past 27 tries against Roswell. Milton lost last year to their rivals 45-0, and had dropped eight straight in the series. Staying in the Peach State, here are The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's most updated state rankings by class.

• For the first time in 30 years, the Kentucky state high school football championships will be played outside of Louisville. The KHSAA board voted 14-1 to move the games to Western Kentucky's Smith Stadium for 2009 and 2010, reports The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal.

• Saturday's USC-Arizona matchup was a reunion of 2004 Elite 11 quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Willie Tuitama. The Arizona Daily Star takes a look back at the two quarterbacks' career paths since then.

• An update on Darin "Doogie" Weiks, whom we mentioned last week in the blog. The senior, playing in his first and last high school football game because of a rare genetic liver disease, hooped three of five extra points in Athens' (Wis.) 33-19 win over Abbottsford on Friday night.

• Pittsburgh Central Catholic junior Kyle Wilson is in critical condition at Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital after suffering an apparent stroke Thursday night. The Vikings will still play in Friday night's WPIAL playoff opener, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. PIAA state playoff brackets will be released later this evening. …

 Tom Hauck
 Javon Ringer has been running past Michigan State's opponents.
NIKE CAMP ALUM OF THE WEEK: Michigan State RB Javon Ringer
For anyone who has followed college football this fall, Ringer could have probably been mentioned here almost every week. The 5-foot-9, 202-pound running back ran for 194 yards and two scores on 37 carries to help his team to a 35-21 victory over rival University of Michigan this past week, continuing his tremendous senior campaign. Through nine games, Ringer has led the Spartans to a 7-2 mark by rushing 300 times for 1,373 yards and 16 touchdowns, leading all players in Division I in all three categories. In high school, Ringer starred at Chaminade-Julienne (Dayton, Ohio), where he starred for three years, earning Student Sports Sophomore All-American honors in '02, rushing for 2,038 yards and scoring 30 rushing TDs. He also ran for 2,356 yards and scored 30 rushing TDs as a junior and had 1,790 yards and 21 TDs through seven games as a senior in '04 before suffering a torn ACL. Ringer was one of the top players in attendance at the '04 Ohio State Nike Camp, where he clocked a 4.44 40 and also posted top-10 marks of 3.87 in the shuttle and 36.9" in the vertical jump.

Final FAB 50, regional scoreboard

October, 26, 2008

No. 40 Cretin-Derham Hall 35 (9-0) , Hastings 7 (1-8)

No. 25 Arrowhead 37 (9-0), Pius XI 23 (2-7)

No. 4 Gateway 31 (9-0), McKeesport 27 (7-2)
No. 17 Phoebus 48 (9-0), Kecoughtan 0 (4-5)

No. 1 Euless Trinity 45 (8-0), Grapevine 0 (0-8)
No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas 49 (7-0), South Broward 8 (3-5)
No. 3 Lowndes 52 (8-0), Houston County 14 (3-5)
No. 6 Long Beach Poly 34 (7-0), Wilson 7 (4-4)
No. 7 Armwood 46 (8-0), Hillsborough 7 (5-3)
No. 8 Oscar Smith 49 (9-0), Deep Creek 0 (2-8)
No. 9 Glenville 40 (10-0), Cleveland East 0 (0-10)
No. 11 St. Xavier 57 (7-0), Pleasure Ridge Park 6 (3-4)
No. 12 Camden County 70 (8-0), Jenkins 0 (1-7)
No. 13 South Panola 35 (9-0), Southaven 7 (6-3)
No. 14 Skyline 41 (8-0), Redmond 6 (1-7)
No. 15 Corona Centennial 56 (7-0), Riverside Poly 6 (4-3)
No. 16 Lakeland 42 (7-0), George Jenkins 7 (3-5)
San Mateo Serra 31 (4-3), No. 19 Bellarmine Prep 23 (6-1)
No. 21 Elder 49 (9-1), Western Hills 20 (4-6)
No. 22 North Shore 49 (6-0), Baytown Sterling 3 (5-2)
No. 24 Permian 56 (8-0), Coronado 31 (4-4)
No. 26 Stone Bridge 70 (9-0), Jefferson 7 (2-6)
No. 28 De La Salle 34 (6-1), Amador Valley 14 (3-4)
No. 29 Plant 52 (6-1), Leto 10 (2-6)
No. 30 North Penn 41 (9-0), Hatboro-Horsham 13 (4-5)
No. 31 John Curtis 42 (7-1), McDonogh 20 (3-4)
No. 32 Abilene 70 (8-0), Haltom 6 (2-7)
No. 33 Good Counsel, Md. 42 (8-0), St. John's, D.C. 3 (6-2)
No. 35 The Woodlands 34 (7-0), Conroe 10 (5-2)
No. 36 Allen 49 (7-1), Dallas Jesuit 17 (2-6)
No. 37 Oceanside 59 (7-0), Mt. Carmel 14 (3-5)
No. 38 Madison County 44 (6-0), Fort White 28 (6-2)
No. 39 St. Bonaventure 24 (6-1), Ventura 6 (3-4)
No. 41 Tulsa Union 61 (7-1), Ponca City 0 (2-6)
No. 42 South Pointe 44 (9-0), Blythewood 0 (4-4)
No. 43 Peoria Centennial 14 (8-0), Westview 0 (7-1)
No. 44 Northside 30 (7-1), Tift County 14 (5-3)
No. 45 Rockhurst 56 (8-1), Lee's Summit North 14 (3-6)
No. 46 Center Grove 49 (9-1), Terre Haute South 14 (3-7)
No. 47 Independence 48 (8-0), Weddington 14 (0-9)
Lowell 35 (9-0), No. 48 East Grand Rapids 12 (8-1)
No. 49 Jenks 50 (7-1), Bartlesville 13 (4-4)
No. 50 Bellevue 24 (8-0), Liberty 7 (6-2)

Dorman 35 (9-0), No. 5 Byrnes 28 (8-1)
Note: The No. 5 Rebels, ranked No. 1 in some other national polls, go down at Dorman. Here's the game recap from The Spartanburg Herald-Journal's Jason Gilmer. Dorman RB Ash Butler rumbled for 190 yards as the Cavaliers jumped out to a 35-7 halftime lead and then held on for dear life in the second half.

No. 18 St. Ignatius 34 (9-1), St. Edward 12 (6-4)
No. 23 Don Bosco Prep 51 (5-1), Ridgewood 7 (4-2)
No. 34 Maine South 52 (9-0), Niles West 0 (3-6)
No. 40 Cretin-Derham Hall 49 (10-0), Tartan 14 (6-4)

No. 10 Lake Travis (8-0) Next: vs. Dripping Springs (Oct. 31)
No. 20 Maryville (9-0) Next: at Lenoir City (Oct. 31)
sNo. 27 Prattville (7-1) Next: vs. Central (Oct. 31)

East Region Top 20
No. 1 Gateway (Monroeville, Pa.) 9-0 def. No. 10 McKeesport, 31-27
No. 2 Oscar Smith, (Chesapeake, Va.) 9-0 def. Deek Creek, 49-0
No. 3 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 5-1 def. Ridgewood, 51-7
No. 4 Phoebus (Hampton, Va.) 9-0 def. Kecoughtan, 48-0
No. 5 Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.) 9-0 def. Thomas Jefferson, 70-7
No. 6 North Penn (Lansdale, Pa.) 9-0 def. Hatboro-Horsham, 41-13
No. 7 Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) 8-0 def. St. John's (D.C.), 42-3
No. 8 Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) 8-0 vs. No. 20 State College, Sunday
No. 9 St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.) 6-0 def. Greenwich, Conn., 47-7
No. 10 McKeesport (McKeesport, Pa.) 7-2 lost to No. 1 Gateway, 31-27
No. 11 Oakton (Vienna, Va.) 9-0 def. Westfield, 30-18
No. 12 Garnet Valley (Glen Mills, Pa.) 9-0 def. Lower Merion, 35-6
No. 13 Bethel Park (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 9-0 def. Baldwin, 42-7
No. 14 Wilson (West Lawn, Pa.) 9-0 def. Penn Manor, 42-0
No. 15 St. Anthony (South Huntington, N.Y.) 6-2 lost to Iona Prep, 41-21
No. 16 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) 6-0 def. Paramus Catholic, 41-16
No. 17 Loyola Blakefield (Towson, Md.) 8-0 def. Gilman, 31-20
No. 18 Liberty (Bethlehem, Pa.) 8-1 def. Easton, 42-0
No. 19 Neshaminy (Langhorne, Pa.) 7-1 def. Bensalem, 35-20
No. 20 State College (State College, Pa.) 9-0 def. No. 8 Bishop McDevitt, 20-19

Southeast Region Top 20
No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 7-0 def. South Broward, 49-8
No. 2 Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.) 8-0 def. Houston County, 52-14
No. 3 Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) 8-1 lost at Dorman, 35-28
No. 4 Armwood (Seffner, Fla.) 8-0 def. Hillsborough, 46-7
No. 5 Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.) 8-0 def. Jenkins, 70-0
No. 6 South Panola (Batesville, Miss.) 9-0 def. Southaven, 35-7
No. 7 Lakeland (Lakeland, Fla.) 7-0 def. George Jenkins, 42-7
No. 8 Maryville (Maryville, Tenn.) 8-0 idle
No. 9 Prattville (Prattville, Ala.) 6-1 idle
No. 10 Plant (Tampa, Fla.) 6-1 def. Leto, 52-10
No. 11 John Curtis (River Ridge, La.) 7-1 def. McDonough, 42-20
No. 12 Madison County (Madison, Fla.) 6-0 def. Fort White, 44-28
No. 13 South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C) 9-0 def. Blythewood, 44-0
No. 14 Northside (Warner Robins, Ga.) 7-1 def. Tift County, 30-14
No. 15 Independence (Charlotte, N.C.) 8-0 def. Weddington, 48-14
No. 16 Miami Northwestern (Miami) 7-1 def. American, 39-0
No. 17 Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount, N.C.) 9-0 def. Southern Nash, 24-7
No. 18 Wayne County (Waynesboro, Miss.) 9-0 def. South Jones, 42-10
No. 19 Apopka (Apopka, Fla.) 7-1 def. Olympia, 37-35
No. 20 Deerfield Beach (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) 6-1 def. Taravella, 23-20

Midwest Region Top 20
No. 1 Glenville (Cleveland, Ohio) 10-0 def. Cleveland East, 40-0
No. 2 St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.) 7-0 def. Pleasure Ridge Park, 57-6
No. 3 St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) 9-1 def. St. Edward, 34-12
No. 4 Elder (Cincinnati, Ohio) 9-1 def. Western Hills, 49-20
No. 5 Arrowhead (Hartland, Wis.) 9-0 def. Milwaukee Pius XI, 37-23
No. 6 Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.) 9-0 def. Niles West, 52-0
No. 7 Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.) 9-0 def. Hastings, 35-0
No. 8 Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) 9-1 def. Terre Haute South, 49-14
No. 9 East Grand Rapids (Grand Rapids, Mich.) lost to No. 11 Lowell, 35-12
No. 10 Naperville North (Naperville, Ill.) 9-0 def. No. 15 Warrenville South, 7-6
No. 11 Lowell (Lowell, Mich.) 9-0 def. No. 9 East Grand Rapids, 35-12
No. 12 Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.) 9-0 def. Shakopee, 48-14
No. 13 Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio) 10-0 def. Reynoldsburg, 28-0
No. 14 Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa) 9-0 def. Sioux City North, 35-7
No. 15 Warrenville South (Wheaton, Ill.) 8-1 lost to No. 10 Naperville North, 7-6
No. 16 Wayzata (Plymouth, Minn.) 10-0 def. Robbinsdale Cooper, 42-7
No. 17 Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) 7-1 def. Seneca, 65-17
No. 18 Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 9-0 def. Jenison, 64-27
No. 19 Coldwater (Coldwater, Ohio) 10-0 def. New Bremen, 38-0
No. 20 Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.) 9-1 lost to Warren Central, 49-21

Southwest Region Top 20
No. 1 Trinity (Euless, Texas) 8-0 def. Grapevine, 45-0
No. 2 Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) 8-0 idle
No. 3 North Shore (Galena, Texas) 6-0 def. Baytown Sterling, 49-3
No. 4 Permian (Odessa, Texas) 8-0 def. Coronado, 56-31
No. 5 Abilene (Abilene, Texas) 8-0 def. Haltom, 70-6
No. 6 The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas) 7-0 def. Conroe, 34-10
No. 7 Allen (Allen, Texas) 7-1 def. Dallas Jesuit, 49-17
No. 8 Union (Tulsa, Okla.) 7-1 def. Ponca City, 61-0
No. 9 Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.) 8-1 def. Lee's Summit North, 56-14
No. 10 Jenks (Jenks, Okla.) 7-1 def. Bartlesville, 50-13
No. 11 Pearland (Pearland, Texas) 6-0 def. South Houston, 50-7
No. 12 Highland Park (Dallas, Texas) 8-0 def. Royse City, 46-43
No. 13 West Brook (Beaumont, Texas) 5-0 def. Port Arthur Memorial, 26-0
No. 14 Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.) 9-0 def. Omaha South, 54-0
No. 15 Bentonville (Bentonville, Ark.) 8-0 def. Northside, 35-14
No. 16 Midwest City (Midwest City, Okla.) 8-0 def. Putnam City, 49-7
No. 17 Fort Zumwalt West (O'Fallon, Mo.) 7-2 lost vs. Jefferson City, 56-55
No. 18 Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas) 6-1 def. Flower Mound Marcus, 38-14
No. 19 Longview (Longview, Texas) 7-2* def. Hallsville, 21-7
No. 20 Copperas Cove (Copperas Cove, Texas) 8-0 def. Shoemaker, 31-14

West Region Top 20
No. 1. Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 7-0 def. Wilson, 34-7
No. 2. Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.) 8-0 def. Redmond, 41-6
No. 3. Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 7-0 def. Riverside Poly, 56-6
No. 4. Bellarmine Prep (San Jose, Calif.) 6-1 lost San Mateo Serra, 31-23
No. 5. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 6-1 def. Amador Valley, 34-14
No. 6. Oceanside (Oceanside, Calif.) 7-0 def. Mt. Carmel, 59-14
No. 7. St. Bonaventure (Ventura, Calif.) 6-1 def. Ventura, 24-6
No. 8. Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.) 8-0 def Westview, 14-0
No. 9. Bellevue (Bellevue, Wash.) 8-0 def. Liberty, 24-7
No. 10. Timpview (Provo, Utah) 9-0 def. Provo, 51-7
No. 11. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) 7-1 Idle
No. 12. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) 7-0 def. St. Paul, 35-0
No. 13. Lake Oswego (Lake Oswego, Ore.) 8-0 def. Sprague, 48-21
No. 14. Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 8-0 def. Apache Junction, 42-0
No. 15. Grandview (Aurora, Colo.) 9-0 def. Mullen, 17-10
No. 16. Los Alamitos (Los Alamitos,Calif.) 7-0 def. Huntington Beach Edison, 23-19
No. 17. Mountain View (Mesa, Ariz.) 8-0 def. Westwood, 45-20
No. 18. McQueen (Reno, Nev.) 8-0 def. Hug, 30-0
No. 19. Oak Grove (San Jose, Calif.) 7-0 def. Lincoln, 45-20
No. 20. Granite Bay (Granite Bay, Calif.) 7-0 def. Rocklin, 41-13