GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 1 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 4-0 vs. No. 6 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 6-0, 6 p.m., Saturday at Fordham University (Bronx, N.Y.)
The featured third game of a high school tripleheader Saturday at Fordham University will have major POWERADE FAB 50 ranking implications.
Don Bosco, the 2009 FAB 50 champion, has been No. 1 since the preseason and enters the showdown with a 39-game win streak after losing the 2008 season opener to another Ohio foe, St. Xavier (Cincinnati), 17-10.
The Ironmen already this season have defeated two teams that ranked in the preseason top 10 -- No. 5 Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and No. 6 Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.). They also are seeking their sixth straight Non-Public Group 4 state championship under coach Greg Toal.
The Ironmen are led on offense by running back Elijah Shumate while lineman Darius Hamilton is a force on a veteran defensive unit.
St. Edward, meanwhile, is riding a 21-game win streak after posting a 15-0 mark last season while winning the Eagles' first-ever Division 1 state crown.
The Eagles have a clock-eating ground attack that runs behind a massive line anchored by University of Michigan recruit Kyle Kalis. Junior Dwayne Aaron leads the rushers and had 35 carries for 155 yards and one touchdown in last week’s game.
After this showdown, the Eagles will have to turn their attention to three in-state tests, including those against FAB 50 ranked foes St. Xavier (Cincinnati) and unbeaten Moeller (Cincinnati) plus rival St. Ignatius (Cleveland), which has lost just once so far.
The first two games of the tripleheader pit Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) vs. Friendship Collegiate Academy (Washington, D.C.) and St. Peter's (Jersey City, N.J.) vs. Ursuline (Youngstown, Ohio).
PLAYER TO WATCH
Jonathan Williams, Allen (Allen, Texas)
One of the top running backs in Texas, Williams could be becoming more oKf a focus in Allen’s multi-faceted offense.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior entered the season as part of a 1-2 punch with junior quarterback Alec Morris. In Allen’s first four games, though, it was Morris (committed to Alabama) who was piling up the passing yards and touchdowns. In last week’s 45-13 win over Lewisville (Lewisville, Texas), Williams took center stage with 233 yards rushing and one score.
Williams, Morris and the rest of the 5-0 Eagles, who are No. 3 in the FAB 50, will be on display Thursday night in an ESPN2 matchup against 2-3 Plano East (Plano, Texas).
Williams, who has committed to Missouri, rushed for 2,078 yards and scored 19 touchdowns as a junior. He also caught 17 passes for another 174 yards and one score. He is one of those combo backs who can break tackles running inside and has the speed to go outside.
Hillgrove (Powder Springs, Ga.) at No. 33 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.), 7:30 p.m., Friday
This game is to see which team has the most power in Powder Springs as the two rivals are off to 5-0 record starts.
It’s also a chance, however, for Hillgrove to make a rankings' statement since the Hawks are unranked in the FAB 50 or the Class AAAA top 10 for the state.
The two teams have only played once. It happened last season when McEachern won 64-48 in a shootout and went on to post a 10-2 record.
Hillgrove is led this season by Kenyan Drake, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound running back and University of Alabama recruit. Last week, in a 21-14 victory over rival Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.), Drake scored twice on a rush and a pass reception.
McEachern, meanwhile, belted South Cobb (Austell, Ga.) 45-7 last weekend. Quarterback Trent Thompson passed for 254 yards and three touchdowns and Mike Sherman rushed 16 times for 132 yards.
The matchup of unbeaten city rivals could be another offensive shootout.
Upset Alerts so far this season: 2-3
TEAM ON THE RISE?
Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.) 5-0
When last seen in the FAB 50 during the 2009 season, the Coyotes had climbed all the way to No. 5 and were riding a 39-game winning streak. They were then stunned in the Class 5A Division II state semifinals by Marcos de Niza (Tempe, Ariz.).
This year’s team remained unbeaten with a 21-7 victory last week against Ironwood Ridge (Glendale, Ariz.) and has been ranked higher within the state than Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.), the team Centennial lost to in last year’s playoffs.
Although Chaparral’s loss was to FAB 50 No. 9 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and arguably should still be ranked higher, there’s no doubt that the Coyotes are continuing their winning ways after going 14-0, 13-1 and 12-2 in the last three seasons.
Heading into a showdown game Thursday at 6-0 Deer Valley (Glendale, Ariz.), coach Richard Taylor’s team features quarterback Justin Sanchez (902 yards passing, 10 TDs) and junior running back Jalen Ortiz (560 yards rushing, eight TDs scored). The top college prospect on the team is fullback-strong safety Zach Hoffpauir (6-0, 210), who has committed to Cal.
GAME OF THE WEEKNo. 1 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 4-0 vs. No. 6 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 6-0, 6 p.m., Saturday at Fordham University (Bronx, N.Y.