GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 11 Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) 3-0 at No. 18 St. Xavier (Cincinnati) 3-0, Saturday
The visiting Shamrocks have waited a year to avenge last season's only loss in a 14-1 campaign that was capped by the school's 20th state championship. Trinity also has won state titles in eight of the last 10 years.
This year, both teams are off to 3-0 starts and are ranked among the top 20 in the POWERADE FAB 50.
Trinity's three one-sided victims were all out-of-state contenders as the Shamrocks' schedule includes six of nine from outside Kentucky. Trinity opened with impressive wins over two tradition-laden Tennessee private schools from the Nashville area -- Brentwood Academy 45-7 and Montgomery Bell Academy 66-21. Last weekend, Trinity also traveled to Cincinnati to face Elder and came away with a 56-7 victory, the most lopsided home loss in Elder history.
The Shamrocks are led by the junior duo of quarterback Travis Wright and touted wide receiver and three-sport athlete James Quick, who teamed up for three touchdowns vs. Elder. The running back duo of junior Dalyn Dawkins and senior Garrett Sauer also combined for 287 rushing yards and four scores.
St. Xavier, which defeated Trinity 16-10 in that game last season, is coming off a memorable win of its own. The Bombers snapped the 61-game home winning streak of FAB 50 No. 44 Colerain 17-14. The Bombers are led by senior quarterback Griffin Dolle and three-season running back stalwart Conor Hundley.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Jonathan Germano, Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.)
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound quarterback got his junior season off to a good start by leading the Crusaders to a dominating 41-17 victory over LaSalle (Wyndmoor, Pa.), last season's Pennsylvania Class 4A runnerup. Germano, a converted defensive back, completed 15 of 19 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for a score -- all without committing a turnover.
The win vaulted the Crusaders into this week’s FAB 50 rankings at No. 48 and Germano may have to play even better. This weekend, he will lead the Crusaders to Tampa, Fla., where they will play 2-0 Plant in an intersectional matchup.
Plant is coming off an impressive 36-6 win over Tampa rival Hillsborough. A win in the Sunshine State would solidify Bergen's national ranking while Plant could make a rankings statement of its own with a victory.
No. 22 Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) 3-0 at Desert Ridge (Mesa, Ariz.) 3-0, Friday
This could be it for Hamilton and its Class 5A state record 43-game winning streak. While there’s no question that the Huskies deserve their high ranking with three straight state titles plus a strong opening to the season, there’s also little doubt that the Jaguars are primed to beat them.
In last year’s Class 5A Division I state championship, Hamilton prevailed in a hard-fought 21-13 contest over Desert Ridge, which was led primarily by underclass starters. The Jaguars’ first three wins this season also have all been easy, including 48-0 last week over Highland of Gilbert. Quarterback Parker Rasmussen is one of the returnees and already has 647 yards passing and eight touchdowns. Rasmussen also has a team-best 286 yards rushing with four touchdowns scored.
Hamilton’s game-breaking player is wide receiver Kendyl Taylor, who has committed to Washington. The team also features quarterback Blake Kemp and running back Clayton Stanchik. It was Stanchik who scored on a 37-yard run and returned a punt 89 yards for a score in last week’s 47-7 victory over Notre Dame Prep of Scottsdale. The Huskies didn’t get out to a good start in a 17-7 win in their season opener against Mountain Pointe of Phoenix and then didn’t need to exert much effort in a 52-0 blowout of Santa Fe (Santa Fe Springs, Calif.).
Upset Alerts so far this season: 0-2
TEAM ON THE RISE?
A 38-0 loss to DeSoto in the Class 5A state playoffs to end last season caused the Raiders to perhaps be lower ranked than they should have been at the start of this season. They are definitely zooming up the rankings charts the last two weeks and almost made the FAB 50 this week despite being only No. 18 in Texas the previous week.
Skyline opened the season by defeating Ridgeway (Memphis, Tenn.) 47-7. It was the next win, though, which was 36-20 against Cocoa (Cocoa, Fla.), that put the Raiders on the rankings’ radar. Cocoa entered that game at No. 49 in the FAB 50 and started the season with a 34-game winning streak. Skyline followed that win by dominating a 2-0 squad from Bowie (Arlington, Texas) 47-14. Junior quarterback Devante Kincade sparked the offense by passing for 202 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 48 more yards.
Skyline’s talent has always been among the best in Texas and this season is no different. Two Raider players are committed to the University of Texas – wide receiver Thomas Johnson and linebacker Peter Jinkens. In last week’s win, Johnson caught four passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing score.