Regional Players of the Week
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East Region Player of the Week
Ryan Izzo, Walpole (Walpole, Mass.)
The senior running back piled up 421 yards on 24 carries and scored five touchdowns in a 37-18 triumph over Thanksgiving Day rival Weymouth. Izzo, who broke the state career scoring record two weeks ago, reached the end zone on runs of 85, 88, 2 and 78 yards. According to the Boston Herald, he also caught a 4-yard touchdown pass and kicked a field goal. In fact, as has happened several times this season, Izzo scored all of Walpole's points. The 5-8, 165-pounder finished his career with 742 points and more than 6,000 yards rushing.
Southeast Region Player of the Week
Dylan Favre, St. Stanislaus (Bay St. Louis, Miss.)
The senior led the Rocks to their first state championship game by connecting on 19 of 30 passes for 330 yards and five touchdowns in a 35-16 victory over Greene County (Leakesville, Miss.). Favre, a safety on defense, also made seven tackles in the Class 4A semifinal. The 330 yards for one game was below average for Favre, but the total pushed him above 5,000 yards for the season. He also has 61 TD passes and has accounted for more than 6,100 yards in rushing and passing and 76 TDs. St. Stanislaus (13-1) will face 14-1 Lafayette County (Oxford, Miss.) on Friday.
Midwest Region Player of the Week
Matt Perez, Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.)
The ESPNChicago.com player of the year and Indiana University recruit ended his prep career in style as the FAB 50-ranked Hawks recorded their second straight 14-0 campaign and won their second straight Class 8A state title with a 41-17 victory over Marist (Chicago, Ill.) After not practicing all week while nursing injuries -- "the doctors said he looked like he got hit by a car," coach David Inserra said -- Perez set Class 8A title-game records with 316 rushing yards (on 27 carries) and five rushing touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 50 yards. The 6-foot, 205-pound Perez finished the season with 2,246 yards on 208 carries.
Southwest Region Player of the Week
Herschel Sims, Abilene (Abilene, Texas)
Sims was inserted into his team's Wildcat offense for its Texas state playoff game against FAB 50 No. 3 Ceder Hill, and he burned the state's No. 1 team for four touchdowns. Sims ended a spectacular night with 30 carries for 276 yards and led Abilene to a stunning 41-17 victory. His most sensational run came just after Cedar Hill was threatening to close the gap on a 27-17 score but was stopped on downs at the Abilene 5-yard line. Sims took a direct snap, broke into the secondary and went 95 yards to all but cement the victory. The 5-9, 185-pound junior has rushed for 1,930 yards and scored 25 touchdowns this season.
West Region Player of the Week
Cannon Sanchez, Hanford (Hanford, Calif.)
For the fourth straight week, at least one Golden State quarterback passed for 500 yards or more in a game. This time, it was the aptly-named Sanchez, who completed 22 of 34 passes for 537 yards and six touchdowns as the Bullpups edged Delano 44-39 in the second round of the CIF Central Section Division III playoffs. Sanchez came within seven yards of the CIF Central Section record of 544 set last year by Derek Carr of Bakersfield Christian (Bakersfield, Calif.). To make the evening even sweeter, Cannon's younger brother, Brayden, was just as outstanding catching the ball. Brayden Sanchez finished with eight catches for 344 yards and five touchdowns. His yardage and touchdown totals broke school records.
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