Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton vs. Snellville (Ga.) South Gwinnett
There was plenty of prospects in this game, but the top ones really stepped up, and made plays in the first round of the playoffs. Milton lost the game 27-20, but four-star defensive end Carl Lawson (Auburn commitment) made an impact. He had a couple of sacks and he hurried the quarterback a few times. He was not a real factor against the run, but in passing situations, he showed his speed off the ball, his ability to dip the shoulder, get around the corner, and attack the quarterback. Ole Miss commitment Peyton Barber was very impressive in the run and passing game. He is a very strong runner, he runs with good balance, but the most impressive thing about him in this game may have been his hands. He has the best hands on the team. He is not a blazer, but very strong, durable, and productive. The Eagles have a quarter of D1 offensive linemen, but the one that played the best in this game and may have the most upside is TCU commitment Eason Fromayan. He has a very good frame, he moves his feet the best, and he could be a tackle or guard on the next level. Treyvon Paulk split time with Barber and the 2014 running back was impressive. He is a slasher that runs with speed and quickness.
Jamie Newberg, National Recruiting Analyst
Lake Wales (Fla.) vs Bradenton (Fla.) Southeast
Courtney Allen is an ultra-smooth junior running back prospect from Southeast. He's a diminutive back (5-8/185) but that runs bigger than his size. Allen is not afraid to lower his shoulder and run through you. He'll run between the tackles but is most effective getting to and around the perimeter because of his outstanding speed. In the open field Allen is dangerous because of his quickness as well. I would have loved to have seen Allen get more touches. He had around ten, including a touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
John Garcia Jr., Southeast Recruiting Analyst
Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County vs Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern
In a thrilling game in which Colquitt County narrowly pulled it out to advance to the second round of the 6A playoffs, some offensive players stole the show. CC quarterback Cole Segraves isn't the flashiest passer or most elusive runner, but he's efficient in both regards and paced the tempo all night long en route to a win. Seagraves was 22 of 28 passing on the evening, and he proved tough as a runner on a pair of scores despite limited space. He made the right decisions more times than not and executed completion after completion with accuracy and enough touch. 11 of his connections were with Ole Miss commit Bobby Hill, who is a crafty receiver in open space. He may project best in the slot, but his route-running and speed is good enough to play on the outside at the next level. The 6-foot-0, 165-pounder is one of the smoothest players in the Peach State in terms of how easy he makes routine catches look.
Geoff Vogt, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Dwyer vs Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeast
The first round of playoffs kicked off Friday night and this was perhaps the most intriguing game in the 7A classification. Dwyer won 25-3 behind a stifling defense and the strong play from junior wide receiver's Johnnie Dixon and Ezra Saffold. Dixon (5-10/180) is a burner, but he really did most of his damage working underneath. We liked the way that he caught the football and he could easily project to either side of the football at the next level as a wide receiver or cornerback. Dixon already sports some major BCS offers including UF and FSU. Saffold (5-8/165) is very explosive with Roscoe Parrish type moves in the open field. He will likely be recruited as a slot receiver and he has the attributes to be a BCS level prospect. A beautiful TD catch was his highlight of the night.
Mike Bakas, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Winter Haven (Fla.) vs New Smyrna Beach (Fla.)
Winter Haven running back Adam Lane ran for over 150 yards and a touchdown. He showed some pretty good speed on a long first half touchdown. However, his game is best suited between the tackles. He doesn't make a lot of people miss and isn't much of a threat as a pass-catcher but he can flat out get you the tough yards inside. He's a downhill runner who breaks a lot of tackles at the high school level. It'll be interesting to see how well his game will translate to the college level since breaking tackles won't be quite so easy. However, he has good running instincts and the three-star prospect is already committed to Florida.
Yancy Porter, Mississippi Recruiting Analyst
Noxubee County (Miss.) vs Itawamba AHS (Miss.)
Ashton Shumpert (Itawamba AHS) sustained leg cramps in the first half. This took away his explosiveness while playing tailback but he was still in on several tackles while manning the safety position. The 6-foot-2 and 210-pound athlete finished the season with over 1,800 yards rushing despite missing the first four games with mono. Charles Moore for Itawamba also had several nice plays on defense while also being a focal point on offense this year with over 1,300 yards rushing.
Kristen Ledlow, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Lovejoy (Ga.) vs East Point (Ga.) Tri-Cities
Lovejoy High School notched its first-round playoff win in an unexpectedly decisive win over Tri-Cities High School Friday night. Tri-Cities' Shamire DeVine, currently committed to Georgia Tech, did not play. He says he's feeling good after 'going to hard in practice' and will be able to train again in the coming days. He also admits that his commitment to Georgia Tech is '100%' solid. Lovejoy's A.J. Jackson, currently committed to Auburn University, is not as solid. Jackson, a 6-foot-5 and 240-pound tight end, admits that his commitment could be swayed by a possible coaching change at Auburn. He will visit others, including Florida State, Tennessee and Ole Miss.
Amy Campbell, Florida Field Reporter
Perry (Fla.) Taylor County vs Yulee (Fla.)
Derrick Henry made history Friday night when he broke a record that had been in place since 1953. The Yulee running back topped Ken Hall's 11,232 all-time high school rushing yards record and now sits on the top of the list with 11,612-yards. Henry broke the record at the beginning of the second quarter when he broke loose on a 52-yard touchdown run. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Alabama commitment finished the game with 482-yards on 58 carries and 6 touchdowns in Yulee's 41-26 win over Taylor County.
Brandon Huffman, National Recruiting Analyst
Bellevue (Wash.) vs. Gig Harbor (Wash.) Peninsula
Myles Jack (Bellevue, Wash.) is the top defensive prospect in the Pacific Northwest, a four-star outside linebacker, the top player at his position in this class out West. And Jack, as he's done all year, did it on both sides of the ball, plus special teams. He blocked an early field goal, that would have put Bellevue down, had a big touchdown run that sealed the game, and had double-digit tackles on a wet and rainy night for the Wolverines. Peninsula did their best to double him, but his quickness off the ball, and ability to get in the backfield, made it difficult for them all night. Jack, and the backups, played sparingly for most of the second half, after a running clock, but he continued to make a case for state player of the year, with another big night for the #5-ranked team in the FOXSportsNext Top 50. The UCLA verbal helped his team make it to the state semifinals, where they're targeting their fifth straight state title.
Jason Jewell, Southwest Recruiting Analyst
Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep vs. Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe
Brophy struggled to get anything going offensively, with two of their playmakers hobbled. Four-star wide receiver Devon Allen didn't get a touch in the game and running back Marche Dennard out with a knee injury. As a result, Washington State commit, Tyler Bruggman, ended his career on a sour note losing 30-0.
Jake Worthen, West Recruiting Analyst
Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline vs. Seattle (Wash.) Roosevelt
There is little left to figure out about Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline quarterback and USC commit Max Browne. The nation's top rated passer was at his best against Roosevelt Friday night. Browne finished with four touchdown passes as Skyline lit up the scoreboard 54-21. Browne showed great accuracy and ability to read the coverage. He stayed patient in his progressions and found the open receiver.
Kevin Carden, West Recruiting Analyst
Lompoc (Calif.) vs Culver City (Calif.)
Lompoc extended their win streak to 32 games with a 49-6 win over Culver City on Friday night, thanks to a stingy defense and their power running game. Washington commit, Lavon Coleman, has been banged up for much of the year but still had a solid performance, rushing 21 times for 121 yards and a score. Coleman had a 28-yard run in which he busted through the line, stiff-armed a defender, and ran by the defense that really showed his potential as a power back.
Annabel Stephan, West Field Reporter
Santa Monica (Calif.) vs Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Though it was eventually called back due to penalty, Serra began the game by returning the ball for a touchdown, and kept that momentum throughout the night, leading them to nab the 58-6 victory. Perhaps one of the most unique features about Serra's team is the amount of talented players on the roster. Led by 2014 quarterback Jalen Greene, who had two touchdowns in the contest, the Cavs struck early, scoring within the first two minutes of the game. 2015 running back Malik Roberson was an offensive threat, finishing the game with ten rushes for just under 230 yards and two touchdowns. 2016 running back Marques Rodgers also had a 21-yard touchdown. Serra's defense did not let up throughout the entire game. Linebackers Dwight Williams, a 2014 prospect who picked up his fifth offer from Boise State earlier in the day, and Nick Usher, who holds an Oregon State offer, were both impressive on the field. 2014 athlete Adoree Jackson, who already holds nine offers, had one of the games' strongest performances. At running back, he had two rushes for touchdowns. At cornerback, he broke up passes and did a nice job of covering the receivers, including Santa Monica's biggest playmaker, Sebastian LaRue, a USC commit. LaRue had some great moments on the field, including a big return to the 16-yard line for the Vikings.
Brian Dohn, East Recruiting Analyst
Gloucester (N.J.) Catholic vs Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata
Immaculata cruised to a 47-6 win in the Non-public Group II opening round of the playoffs, and four-star defensive end Tashawn Bower was a standout in the domination. Bower, an Auburn commit, showed very good explosion, and his game has changed markedly since training camp. He gets off blocks quickly now and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. He was often double teamed and was able to beat them with his quick or strength. He also did a very good job of locating the ball carrier once he disengaged the offensive lineman.
Michael Clark, East Recruiting Analyst
Elizabeth City (N.C.) Northeastern vs. Tarboro (N.C.)
Tarboro put this third round playoff game away early. The Vikings jumped out to a 38-10 halftime lead and ended up winning the game 52-24. Ohio State commit Tyquan Lewis, who sprained his ankle a week ago, played through the pain and rarely came off the field. He registered a sack (his ninth in the past four games) and pressured the quarterback on several occasions. Despite the injury, Lewis still showed his quick first step and played extremely hard. He also looks like he has gotten bigger (235-240 pounds). Lewis is a big reason why Tarboro appears to be poised for their fifth straight 2A state championship game appearance.
Greg Powers, National Recruiting Analyst
Arlington (Texas) Bowie vs. Keller (Texas) Central
Bowie had an easy time dispatching Central 49-3 in the 5A-DI Bi-District playoff pairing. Edwin Freeman had a nice game on the defensive side of the ball and TCU corner Steve Wesley was rarely tested, but when he was he passed with flying colors. Class of 2015 athlete Tony James had a big game at quarterback, racking up over 200 yards and scoring four touchdowns. Class of 2013 sleeper Eric Rivers hauled in four passes and scored twice. Bowie also has some talented young offensive linemen to keep a close eye on.
Ahmard Vital, Midlands Recruiting Analyst
Houston (Texas) Sharpstown vs Missouri City (Texas) Marshall
From start to finish, this was all about Marshall and the scoreboard proved it with a 56-12 rout of Sharpstown. UCLA commit edge rusher/outside linebacker Deon Hollins was once again solid, even though he did not play much after the first half. Because of Sharpstown's ability to move the ball offensively, Hollins was able to get into what the team calls "jet-mode," an all-out, pin the ears back rush off the edge. Hollins was held most of the night, but was still able to wreak havoc in the backfield.
Allen Trieu, National Recruiting Analyst
Detroit (Mich.) Loyola vs Flint (Mich.) Beecher
The top junior in the Midwest, Loyola lineman Malik McDowell did not disappoint. In a winning effort, McDowell was constantly in the backfield on defense, netting three sacks and numerous hurries. On offense, he was impressive, clearing the way for several touchdowns and consistently dominating the man across from him. He's 6'6, 300-lbs, with athleticism and length. There isn't much not to like here. I think he's a big time guy as a defensive or offensive lineman. The competition he faces isn't the greatest, but he does what he's supposed to do against it: dominate it, and he has physical tools that are rare. Junior lineman Ka'John Armstrong is 6'5, 270-lbs, and also goes both ways. He has good technique, does well with his hands and made a few plays in the backfield as well. Senior fullback Keymonne Gabriel is a tough runner who should get some late looks. I also liked junior cornerback Keith Graves, sophomore linebacker Darryl Clemons, and junior guard Chris Davis.
Bill Greene, Ohio Recruiting Analyst
Toledo Central Catholic vs. Avon.
Toledo Central Catholic avenged last year's playoff loss to Avon by rolling in this year's rematch 42-14. For Central Catholic, four-star safety Jayme Thompson was dominant on the defensive side of the football, coming up with a pick-six, and pressuring the quarterback on blitzes. Junior quarterback DeShone Kizer holds several BCS offers, and is vastly improved over his sophomore season, both in his arm strength and decision making. Kizer is a dual threat quarterback, and it's easy to see why college recruiters love him. For Avon, three-star cornerback Ross Douglas saw his career come to a close, but the Michigan commit fought to the end, and has a bright future with the Wolverines. Senior cornerback Ralph Smith (Ball State commit) played well in defeat.
Dave Berk, Ohio Recruiting Analyst
Ottawa (Ohio) Glandorf vs. Columbus (Ohio) Bishop Hartley
In a game where both teams combined for 72 points and 734 yards of total offense and three fourth-quarter lead changes, Bishop Hartley hung on keeping Ottawa-Glandorf from making a last minute drive to win 41-31. Jawaun Woodley came up big for Hartley on both sides of the ball and showed why Toledo is getting a steal with the 5-foot-10, 210-pound future linebacker. Notre Dame pledge Jacob Matuska also played both ways being more of a blocker from his tight end position while jumping from defensive end and outside linebacker on defense. While the stat sheet may not show his name Matuska's size on the line helped Hartley rush for 300 yards on the night against a very stout Glandorf defensive front. Junior Alonzo Saxton came up big early with a 56-yard touchdown reception on Hartley's second play from scrimmage but also pulled his hamstring missing the rest of the game.
Beth Long, Midwest Field Reporter
Crete Monee (Ill.) vs Lemont (Ill.)
In a battle of two heavyweights, Crete Monee came back to claim the lead for the first time in the game and held on for the victory. The Warriors won 28-27 over Lemont. Crete Monee was highlighted by a host of special players, including 2013 wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, who is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the Midwest and his current top five are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Michigan and Michigan State. Crete Monee also relied on big plays on the defensive side of the ball with 2014 Linebacker Nyles Morgan and 2013 defensive back Jaylen Dunlap, along with 2013 Wide receiver Lance Lenoir. Lemont fought to the end with LSU offensive lineman commit Ethan Pocic, who had an impressive night run blocking.