Game of the Week
No. 6 St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) 11-0 vs. No. 30 Glenville (Cleveland, Ohio) 10-1
This is the first mammoth state playoff game of the season. The Ohio Division I playoffs have already proved their worth with FAB 50-ranked Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati) getting knocked out in the first round by Middletown. Now, in the second round Saturday, we have a matchup between two of the nation's top 30-ranked squads. The Wildcats handed the Tarblooders their only loss, 14-13, in the first game of the season for both. St. Ignatius prevailed by the same score in last season's playoffs. Don't think for a minute, though, that Glenville can't win a close game against the Wildcats. Coach Ted Ginn Sr.'s bunch won in last year's regular-season matchup 20-17.
If Glenville wins and goes on to take the Ohio Division I title, the Tarblooders will be in contention to be near the top of the national preseason rankings next year. Many of their top players are non-seniors, including quarterback Cardale Jones, wide receiver-defensive back Shane Wynn and running back Robert Walton. St. Ignatius has been fueled by junior running back Bobby Grebenc, but the Wildcats also have an experienced, college-bound quarterback in Mark Myers. He has committed to Pitt and has had strong outings against the team's best opponents.
Player to Watch
Miami Central (Miami, Fla.)
It will likely take only one completion for Godfrey to push his career passing yards total past 6,365 and make him the all-time leader for Dade County. He'll likely also need to have many more completions than that to make it an all-around great night since the FAB 50 No. 29-ranked Rockets (8-1) are playing FAB 50 No. 20 Booker T. Washington (9-0) at Traz Powell Stadium. Booker T. has never beaten Miami Central and Miami Northwestern in a season and already defeated the Bulls, 35-28. Miami Northwestern bounced back the next week to beat Godfrey and company 22-14 in a game shown on ESPNU. Godfrey has passed for 27 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He'll be going against a ball-hawking Tornadoes' defense led by Florida-bound defensive end Lyndon Trail. The game has no state playoff implications, but when you get two of the top all-around programs in talent-laden Dade County going up against each other you never know what can happen.
No. 28 Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.) 8-0 vs. Cocoa (Cocoa, Fla.) 9-0
This is an under-the-radar matchup that Sunshine State fans are looking forward to as the defending Class 2A state champs from Bolles host the defending Class 3A champs from Cocoa. Both teams have rolled through their district competition and it's great to see them schedule this game as a tuneup before postseason action kicks off next week. Bolles has been playing without arguably its best player, offensive tackle and Georgia recruit Brent Benedict, for the past four weeks. Cocoa is powered by a defense that has allowed only 34 points all season and hasn't surrendered a touchdown in over a month. The Tigers hope to test the similarly stingy Bolles defense with superb junior running back Chavelle Buie, who has over 1,100 yards of offense, scored 16 times this season and holds offers from the likes of Georgia and South Carolina.
Team on the RISE?
Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
The Diablos, who finished at No. 2 nationally in the 2004 FAB 50, have served notice that they are back after a few "down years" of multiple losses and second-place league finishes. Mission, 9-0 and No. 15 in the ESPN RISE West Region Top 20, hosts 8-1 Dana Hills on Friday, and with another convincing win could make a strong push toward the FAB 50. The Diablos don't have some of the starpower they've had in the past, such as quarterback Mark Sanchez and defensive end Nick Reed, but have re-established their physical brand of football with the return of line coach Marty Spaulding, outscoring foes by an average of 46-8.
Mark Tennis is a deputy editor for ESPN RISE.