FAB 50 weekend preview

October, 16, 2008

Here's a look at this weekend's full slate of FAB 50 games, including a huge clash in South Florida for some big-time Broward County bragging rights.

 Denard Robinson and Deerfield Beach will look to upset St. Thomas Aquinas.
Game of the week: No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas (5-0) vs. No. 10 Deerfield Beach (5-0)
Friday, 8 p.m. ET
• This one should be a doozy as the Raiders, Florida's top-ranked 5A team, host the Bucks, tops in the state 6A poll. Last year's matchup was an instant classic: The lead changed hands three times in the final 3:03 alone, and Deerfield Beach pulled off a mild upset when Diego Ramos hooped a 19-yard field goal at the gun for a 43-41 win. Deerfield Beach's speed gave St. Thomas Aquinas a lot of problems, and the Bucks dominated in the statistics, rushing for 408 yards and outgaining St. Thomas Aquinas 593-325 overall. Aquinas went on to win the 5A title last year with the Deerfield Beach loss as its only blemish. The Bucks eventually fell to FAB 50 national champion Miami Northwestern in the 6A semifinals, 19-14, in the final two minutes. Deerfield Beach also edged Aquinas 18-15 in 2006, and 20-15 in 2004, but the Raiders drilled the Bucks in '05, 41-14. St. Thomas Aquinas has lost only six games over the past four seasons -- three to Deerfield Beach and three to Lakeland.

• The Miami Herald predicts a big win for St. Thomas Aquinas, 42-21.

• Christy Cabrera Chirinos of The Sun-Sentinel has some quotes from each coach as "The Game of the Year" approaches.

Potential roadblocks:
No. 14 South Panola (7-0) at Tupelo (6-1) -- Tupelo poses a legitimate threat to South Panola's 82-game winning streak. The Golden Waves have a dynamic passing attack, with LSU-bound Chris Garrett throwing to Kentucky commit Justin Bean and ESPNU 150 prospect Chad Bumphis. South Panola topped Tupelo twice in '07, 22-9 in the regular season and then 28-21 in the playoffs.

No. 15 Plano (7-0) vs. Allen (5-1) -- Allen has a loss, but it was definitely a quality one, 24-14 to FAB 50 No. 1 Euless Trinity. Super junior QB Matt Brown (1,483 yards of total offense, 19 total TDs) leads a potent spread attack, and the Eagles have Division I talent all across the board, led by Texas A&M commits Uzoma Nwachukwu at wideout and Steven Terrell in the secondary. Allen won this game 35-26 a year ago, as Brown torched the Wildcats' defense for 249 yards through the air and another 112 on the ground, accounting for all five Eagles TDs.

No. 18 Skyline (6-0) at Issaquah (6-0) -- Not sure whether anyone can challenge Skyline for Washington supremacy, but Issaquah, off to a surprising 6-0 start, could keep it close. The Eagles held Skyline to 24 points a year ago, the second-lowest output for the Spartans, and beat them in '06, but that was a long time before Jake Heaps rose to prominence. Scoring would be a small victory for Issaquah, as Skyline's defense has surrendered just eight points in six games.

No. 21 St. Ignatius (7-1) at St. Xavier (4-4) -- This Saturday contest looked like one of the state's and nation's top games in the preseason, before the Blue Bombers' tough schedule and injuries caught up to a team that was No. 9 in the preseason FAB 50. Now St. Ignatius will have to battle overconfidence against a four-loss St. Xavier squad that certainly won't be intimidated, having already faced five teams that are or have been ranked in the FAB 50 at some point during the year. Luke Massa's injury has only added to St. X's offensive woes, as it averages just over 12 points per game, but the Blue Bombers' defense could keep this one closer than it would look on paper.

No. 23 Bellarmine Prep (5-0) at Valley Christian (5-0) -- Two of Northern California's top three teams, according to the latest CalHiSports.com state rankings, hook up in this one. Both are led by explosive offensive playmakers -- Bellarmine by Usua Amanam and Valley by Cameron Marshall. The Bells edged Valley Christian last year, 20-14.

No. 24 Bastrop (5-0) vs. Evangel Christian (4-2) -- Bastrop won this meeting of two state powers last fall, 41-20, and will be favored again in this one. But Evangel has been coming on as of late, and the Eagles' two losses are nothing to be ashamed of (FAB 50 No. 12 Lake Travis out of Texas and Texas 5A school Longview -- although that will go down in the record books as a win because Longview was using ineligible players). In the last three weeks, Evangel has whipped its opponents by a combined score of 186-0.

No. 27 Arrowhead (7-0) vs. Catholic Memorial (7-0) -- A big battle of undefeateds in Wisconsin. Some comparative scores indicate that Catholic Memorial may be able to run with the Warhawks, who are led by super junior Brian Crook. Arrowhead won last year's meeting 45-10. It enters the game with a 21-game winning streak and has won 26 of 27 overall since losing to Catholic Memorial in 2006, 14-7.

FAB 50 weekend scores, schedule

No. 44 Cretin-Derham Hall 33 (8-0), Mounds View 0 (6-2) / Game recap from The Pioneer Press.

No. 31 Plant 44 (5-1), Hillsborough 28 (5-2)
No. 32 Prattville 50 (7-1), Lanier 20 (3-5)
No. 47 Tulsa Union 58 (6-1), Choctaw 0 (2-5)

No. 1 Euless Trinity (7-0) vs. Keller Central (2-4)
No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas (5-0) vs. No. 10 Deerfield Beach (5-0)
No. 4 Gateway (7-0) at Connellsville (0-7)
No. 5 Byrnes (7-0) vs. Hillcrest (2-5)
No. 6 Long Beach Poly (5-0) vs. Millikan (2-4)
No. 7 Armwood (6-0) vs. Plant City (3-3)
No. 8 Oscar Smith (7-0) at Nansemond River (1-6)
No. 12 Lake Travis (7-0) at Hendrickson (5-1)
No. 13 Camden County (6-0) vs. Johnson (4-2)
No. 14 South Panola (7-0) at Tupelo (6-1)
No. 15 Plano (7-0) vs. Allen (5-1)
No. 16 Carmel (8-0) vs. Davis (5-3)
No. 18 Skyline (6-0) at Issaquah (6-0)
No. 19 Corona Centennial (5-0) vs. King (2-3)
No. 20 Maryville (8-0) vs. South-Doyle (3-4)
No. 22 Phoebus (7-0) at Menchville (2-5)
No. 23 Bellarmine Prep (5-0) at Valley Christian (5-0)
No. 24 Bastrop (5-0) vs. Evangel Christian (4-2)
No. 26 Quince Orchard (6-0) at Sherwood (6-0)
No. 27 Arrowhead (7-0) vs. Catholic Memorial (7-0)
No. 29 North Shore (4-0) at Channelview (0-4)
No. 30 Permian (6-0) at Lubbock (0-7)
No. 33 Stone Bridge (7-0) at Madison (4-3)
No. 34 De La Salle (4-1) vs. Foothill (4-1)
No. 35 John T. Curtis (5-1) at Riverside (3-2)
No. 37 Blue Springs (7-0) at Blue Springs South (5-2)
No. 40 The Woodlands (5-0) at Oak Ridge (2-3)
No. 41 Madison County (4-0) at Bartram Trail (2-4)
No. 43 Rockhurst (6-1) at Lee's Summit (2-5)
No. 45 Oceanside (5-0) at Westview (5-0)
No. 46 St. Bonaventure (4-1) vs. Buena (3-2)
No. 49 Peoria Centennial (6-0) at Tolleson (2-4)
No. 50 South Pointe (7-0) vs. Ridge View (3-4)

No. 9 Glenville (8-0) vs. East Tech (1-7)
No. 21 St. Ignatius (7-1) at St. Xavier (4-4)
No. 28 Elder (7-1) vs. Benedictine (3-5)
No. 36 North Penn (7-0) at Souderton (4-3)
No. 39 Maine South (7-0) vs. New Trier (5-2)
No. 42 Good Counsel (6-0) vs. Bishop McNamara (3-3)

No. 2 Lowndes (6-0) Next: Houston County (Oct. 24)
No. 11 St. Xavier (6-0) Next: at Pleasure Ridge Park (Oct. 24)
No. 17 Lakeland (6-0) Next: vs. Jenkins (Oct. 24)
No. 25 Don Bosco Prep (4-1) Next: at Ridgewood (Oct. 24)
No. 38 Abilene (7-0) Next: vs. Haltom (Oct. 24)
No. 48 Northside (6-1) Next: vs. Tift County (Oct. 24)

Other notes:
• Sad news out of New Jersey, where Montclair High junior Ryne Dougherty has passed away after collapsing in a game this past Monday. Dougherty was rushed to Hackensack University Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery after being diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage.

• The GHSA has handed down nine one-game suspensions, including two coaches, and also fines for both schools in the wake of the fight that ended Saturday's game between Lakeside and Stone Mountain two minutes before completion.

• The AP state rankings in Oklahoma are unusual when compared to most, as two one-loss teams (Union and Jenks) sit at Nos. 1 and 2 while two undefeated teams (Midwest City and Mustang) are at 3 and 4 in Class 6A. Quite a dilemma for pollsters, when No. 1 Union beat No. 2 Jenks, 24-17, but lost to now No. 8 Broken Arrow, 24-9, while Jenks beat Broken Arrow 21-7. No. 6 Muskogee also beat Broken Arrow, but has lost to both Union and No. 5 Norman North, whose only loss came to undefeated No. 4 Mustang by one point. Meanwhile undefeated No. 3 Midwest City is rolling along but doesn't have another 6A top-10 team on its schedule.



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