Inside the FAB 50: Maine South junior plays like seasoned veteran
October, 4, 2011
By Mark Tennis & Doug Huff | ESPN.com
Matt Alviti may only be a junior, but the starting quarterback for FAB 50 No. 12 Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.) has already led the Hawks to a state championship.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder has definitely picked up where he left off after last season when he guided Maine South to a 12-2 record and the Class 8A state crown.
Due to that accomplishment, plus an outing he had last weekend, Alviti is this week’s choice as the POWERADE FAB 50 Spotlight Player of the Week.
As a sophomore, Alviti passed for 3,108 yards and 24 touchdowns. This season, he has led the Hawks to a 6-0 record and favorite’s status for the upcoming state playoffs.
In the last four games, Alviti has passed for 15 scores. Last weekend, in a 55-15 win over Niles West (Skokie, Ill.), he had his most productive game yet by completing 17 of 25 passes for 287 yards and five scores.
Next up is a Thursday game against Evanston (Evanston, Ill.).
THE FAB 50'S TOP PASS-CATCH COMBOS
Many of the best teams in the nation become so hard to beat because they can pass and run equally well on offense. And among those who throw it, some have a pass-catch combination that makes opposing defenses shake their heads in preparation.
Here are the top pass-catch combos in this week’s FAB 50:
QB Alec Morris to WR Andrew Rodriguez of No. 3 Allen (Allen, Texas)
Morris, committed to Alabama, is one of the top juniors in the nation and has completed a bulk of his passes to Rodriguez.
QB Brooks Haack to WR Jordan Thompson of No. 5 Katy (Katy, Texas)
Haack enters this week with 15 touchdown passes and no interceptions with eight of those scores going to Thompson.
QB Travis Wright to WR James Quick of No. 7 Trinity (Louisville, Ky.)
Both juniors will be back next season with Quick possibly as high as the No. 1 junior receiving prospect in the nation.
QB Perry Hills to WR Anthony Nixon, No. 14 Pittsburgh Central Catholic (Pittsburgh)
Both players have verbally committed to Maryland.
QB Bart Houston to WR Anthony Williams of No. 23 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
While the Spartans’ offense has had some struggles, Williams has scored on several big plays so far this season, mostly on deep passes from Houston (committed to Wisconsin).
QB Andrew Goodman to WR Corey Miller, No. 24 Mallard Creek (Charlotte, N.C.)
Goodman is a transfer from a small private school who has been a solid replacement for graduated standout Marquise Williams while Miller is emerging as a legit college prospect.
QB Spencer Iacovone to WR Monty Madaris, No. 37 Moeller (Cincinnati)
These two have helped the Crusaders average nearly 400 yards per game.
QB Devante Kincade to WR Thomas Johnson of No. 38 Skyline (Dallas)
Kincade had 335 yards passing last week with two of his four touchdowns going to Johnson, a Texas pledge and one of the top wideouts in Texas.
QB Riley Ferguson to WR Uriah LeMay, No. 39 Butler (Matthews, N.C.)
Ferguson had to take over as Butler’s QB last season as a sophomore when Uriah’s older brother, Christian, encountered some disciplinary actions.
HIGHEST RISING NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK
No. 48 North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.)
The Tigers broke into the FAB 50 this week after a 5-0 start that also extends their win streak to 12 games.
Last season, the Tigers capped a 15-1 campaign with a Class AAAA state title, the second for coach Art Walker. The Tigers' mentor since 2005, Walker previously guided Pittsburgh Central Catholic -- currently No. 14 in the FAB 50 -- to back-to-back state title games in his last two seasons there and won it all with a 16-0 mark in 2004.
North Allegheny was senior-led in 2010 and the team didn't get much of a preseason buildup. The breakthrough win was on Sept. 16 when the Tigers bested Upper St. Clair (Pittsburgh) 28-21 in a clash of unbeatens. The Tigers followed that win with a 49-14 domination of Erie McDowell (Erie, Pa.) and a 49-28 romp over Seneca Valley (Harmony, Pa.) last weekend.
The maturation of junior quarterback Mack Leftwich, who has a solid line in front of him anchored by Zach Harvey (6-3, 250) and Peter Thistle (6-1, 230), has been one of the reasons for the team’s success.
Up next for North Allegheny is a Friday visit to Kiski (Kiski, Pa.).
BISHOP GORMAN'S WIN HUGE FOR SEVERAL REASONS
Last weekend’s 31-28 victory by Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) over Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) was important not only for this football season, but also for the Gaels in their quest to be one of the top all-sports schools in the nation.
If Servite had won and handed Bishop Gorman a second loss, it would then have been very difficult if not impossible for the Gaels to end the season within the top 25 of the FAB 50. Instead, with a likely dominant run to another state title in Nevada, coach Tony Sanchez’s team probably ensured itself of a top 10 final ranking.
The POWERADE FAB 50 rankings team also is currently involved in the preseason listings for boys basketball. Bishop Gorman looks like a top 10 team there as well with all five starters returning, including Shabazz Muhammad, perhaps the top ranked player in the nation.
Then there’s the Gaels’ baseball team. That was the first team at the school to break through the state border and achieve high national rankings. The 2012 edition of the team not only is a
likely preseason top 10 team for the nation, but will be considered for preseason No. 1.