High-SchoolMissouri: Ray Harris

DeSmet-SLUH rematch highlights next round of Missouri football playoffs

November, 11, 2011
Two weeks from now, several fortunate teams will be ready to eat. Yeah, Thanksgiving is around then, too, but I'm talking about those squads that were hungry enough to reach the Missouri state football championships and will be starving to hoist that crown. Here are some of this week's big matchups:

DeSmet at SLUH
The last time DeSmet tasted defeat this season, it came at the hands of SLUH, which rode QB Trevor McDonagh's 424 yards and five scores to a 37-31 double-overtime win. The Spartans will look to put some more pressure on McDonagh, while building off the 263 rushing yards that they churned out in that same game. The fact that DeSmet could have such a good offensive output, including 165 yards from star Durron Neal, shows how key stopping McDonagh will be in the Spartan's overall success.
My pick: DeSmet 31, SLUH 27

McCluer North at CBC
McCluer North enters this game riding a 10-game win streak, yet it still pales in comparison to what the state's top-ranked team has done this season. Cadets QB Dalton Demos has thrown for 29 scores to anchor an offensive attack that averages more than 44 points per game. CBC will face a test in the Stars' defense, which has the ability to slow down opponents with aggressive play.
My pick: CBC 35, McCluer North 24

Fort Zumwalt West at Francis Howell
A massive crowd is expected at this matchup, which revives an intense contest earlier this season that saw Fort Zumwalt West win 34-28. Both teams can score and in a hurry behind strong-armed quarterbacks (West's Drew Hare has 30 total touchdowns; Howell's Eric Siebenshuh has thrown for 28 scores) and big playmakers (West RB Ray Harris has scored 31 times; Howell's Alex Strong and Corey King have both tallied more than 1,000 receiving yards). Whichever team strikes first will gain a helpful upper hand in what could be a shootout.
My pick: Fort Zumwalt West 42, Howell 41

Webb City at Hillcrest
It doesn't get much bigger than this in Class 4. One of the greatest prep wide receivers ever in Dorial Green-Beckham will go up against one of prep football's greatest dynasties in Webb City this Saturday. For the Cardinals, the focus will obviously be on slowing down DGB, but the Hornets showed in their first-round win against St. Clair that they aren't a one-man team, as Stuart Andress ran for 132 yards and two scores. Webb City, which has won 27 straight games, also has its own ground weapons, which combined to pile up 494 rushing yards in last week's win against Helias. Whichever team wins this contest will be the favorite to win it all.
My pick: Webb City 28, Hillcrest 24

Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Green-Beckham shines, Fort Zumwalt West falls in opener

August, 29, 2011
In some ways, Dorial Green-Beckham is the worst-kept secret in high school football.

Hailing from the relatively small town of Hillcrest, most had heard about the broken records, Randy Moss comparisons and big-game potential possessed by the senior wideout. But outside of a highlight tape, few had actually seen the legend — until Saturday.

Green-Beckham didn't disappoint a national TV audience, reeling in 18 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Hornets to a 48-26 victory against Seneca.

The numbers say it all, but for those who argue that Green-Beckham would struggle against competition in states like Texas, Florida and California, think again. I saw former Georgia star and new Cincinnati Bengal A.J. Green play in high school and Green-Beckham has the same hands and playmaking skills as Green -- and maybe better since Green-Beckham packs more muscle.

Though Seneca put up a good effort, Green-Beckham looked like a man amongst boys for most of the contest, shedding off double coverage for impressive catches and big gains after the catch.

And as will probably be the case for much of the season, DGB's teammates benefited from the extra attention. For instance, sophomore Jawan Johnson looked solid, recording 94 yards on four catches, including a 72-yarder that set up a Hillcrest score.

In much more shocking news, Fort Zumwalt West — a team tabbed by many to battle Rockhurst for the Class 6 title — fell in its season opener to Christian Brothers College, 52-49.

Read More »