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August 27, 2012
Dallas Jackson is the National Columnist for Rivals.com. Email him your comments or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
The top-ranked team in the RivalsHigh 100 was in action this past weekend as Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) was able to grind out an opening week win on the road versus then-No. 65-ranked Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy, 27-14.
The game had most of the earmarks of a typical first game of the season as Santa Margarita was flagged for 10 penalties, turned the ball over four times, and had a punt blocked for a touchdown in what was a sloppy, yet decisive victory.
The Santa Margarita offensive line - which would be the fourth-largest on the FBS-level, averaging 309 pounds - wore out the Brophy defenders and pushed the Eagles on a near-six minute drive to close the game out.
Three-star quarterback Johnny Stanton threw for 208 yards and two scores, in addition to running for 99 yards and two more touchdowns in the victory.
The Nebraska-bound Stanton was aided on the evening by running back Ryan Wolpin, who was a key cog in the rushing attack. Wolpin carried the ball for 131 yards on 25 attempts as the team dominated the line of scrimmage, outrushing Brophy by nearly 200 yards.
While the game remained close on the scoreboard much of the night, there was little doubt as to which team was the more dominant squad.
It was an impressive defensive effort by Santa Margarita as the team held a talented Brophy team to just seven first downs on the evening. Santa Margarita limited Washington State commit Tyler Bruggman to just 171 yards on 11-of-31 passing with one interception.
Due to a limited schedule of games, the uninspiring performance will keep Santa Margarita on the top line of the national rankings, but the team stock certainly took a hit. Brophy, which was playing its second game in four days, will stay nationally ranked and maintain its position as the top team in Arizona.
JUST PEACHY: For two decades, the Corky Kell Classic in Atlanta has opened the Georgia high school football season with some top tier games.
Each of the five games played Saturday featured a RivalsHigh 100 team, and four of those teams came away with a victory.
South Carolina commit Brandon Langley paced nationally ranked Marietta (Ga.) Kell to a 19-8 victory over Alpharetta (Ga.) Chatahoochee. Langley had four receptions for 64 yards and two touchdowns as well as 91 yards rushing and another score.
Two Clemson-bound teammates, Wayne Gallman and Robert Nkemdiche, scored on Loganville (Ga.) Grayson's first two drives and helped the Top 10 Rams rush for 314 yards in a 31-12 victory over Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern.
The third game of the day was as exciting as any and was the lone upset as Suwannee (Ga.) North Gwinnett downed No. 57 Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County on a last-second field goal, 16-14. Both Colquitt and North Gwinnett will remain inside the Georgia state Top 10 but outside the national rankings.
Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County was one of the more impressive teams on the weekend, blanking Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge, 42-0. A pair of Georgia commits lead the way as quarterback Brice Ramsey completed six of eight passes for 132 yards and three touchdowns, and J.J. Green had 89 yards rushing on eight carries as Camden County piled up 366 yards of offense.
Not to be outdone, Marietta (Ga.) Walton defeated Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood, 35-24. Alabama running back commitment Tyren Jones stole the show with 254 yards and five touchdowns in the nightcap. Jones led the state with 2,375 yards last season and figures to be the central figure for the Walton attack.
MOVING IN: Seven teams from the Week Zero rankings fell to unranked teams and will fall out of the national rankings. That presents the opportunity for others to move into the spotlight. The top two teams from Illinois claim spots as Bolingbrook (Ill.) High and Park Ridge (Ill.) Maine South gain entry; the No. 3 teams from Oklahoma and Arkansas also move into the rankings with Broken Arrow (Okla.) High and Bentonville (Ark.) High go from the outside in; Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) University School will replace the team it defeated, Trotwood (Ohio) Trotwood-Madison; the best team from Hawaii will move into the fold as Kahuku (Hawaii) High checks into the rankings; and Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern has earned a place in the national rankings after destroying its first two opponents and playing very good defense.
ON THE SLIDE: Previously-ranked No. 24 Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage took on No.85-ranked Cocoa (Fla.) High in a nationally televised scrimmage and was shown to have major flaws on its offensive and defensive lines, causing the team to take a major drop in the national rankings.
American Heritage won the Florida Class 3A state championship in 2011 and returned a very talented backfield headlined by Greg Bryant, but the Stallions were stymied all afternoon and did not look like a team worthy of a Top 25 national ranking.
Bryant was able to top the 100 yard rushing mark, but it took 23 carries to total 108 yards and his long on the day was just 13.
The young offensive line has time to come together and the 25-7 final does not count in the standings, but with the opportunity to evaluate the team, Heritage had to be moved out of the elite area of the rankings.
KEEP AN EYE ON ...: ... how the NorCal region starts to take shape.
At the start of the season there was a logjam, which started at the preseason No. 2 spot and dropped down to the No. 8 ranking. This past weekend, one hurdle was cleared as then-No. 2 ranked NorCal Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln fell to the then-No. 5 team, Elk Grove (Calif.) High.
There weren't any new teams from the region moved into the RivalsHigh100 this week and there is still a glut of teams that will need to sort the situation out: Elk Grove, Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary's, Granite Bay (Calif.) High, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove, Folsom (Calif.) High, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant, San Jose (Calif.) and Bellarmine Prep will all get an extended look.
ABOUT TO BREAK IN: The two teams that just missed out from this week were Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst and Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista and each could earn an entrance next evaluation period.
Rockhurst won a sloppy game against nationally relevant East St. Louis (Ill.) High, 20-12, and will face Bentonville (Ark.) High as well as Hutchinson (Kan.) High in out-of-state games and Blue Springs (Mo.) High and Blue Springs (Mo.) South in the next four weeks and with an undefeated run will certainly come the top spot in the state and national rankings.
Desert Vista already owns a victory over Las Vegas (Nev.) Palo Verde and will have a showdown next week against Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe - which just defeated Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton -- and could earn its way into the national rankings as well.
With Texas and Florida starting its seasons next week, there will become a larger pool of active teams and those from non-power states will need to continue to perform well in the out-of-state games to push for the national rankings.
ON HIS SHOULDERS: While the team is unranked, it would be foolish to ignore the performance of Folsom (Calif.) High quarterback Jack Browning.
The sophomore quarterback tied a national record with 10 touchdown passes and piled up 686 yards through the air in his team's 68-28 victory Friday night.
Browning was in a quarterback competition and was not told that he was starting until Thursday afternoon.
The decision proved to be the correct one as Browning -- who is following in the footsteps of Tanner Trosin and Dano Graves at the program -- started the game with four touchdowns in the first quarter and added two more before halftime.
Browning threw three additional touchdowns in the third quarter and one to tie the record in the fourth.
Folsom is part of the cluster of teams in NorCal looking to prove its worth and with a young gunslinger having games like this, the team will certainly get noticed.
ON TAP THIS WEEK: The Labor Day weekend has recently become the most exciting weekend for high school football matchups outside of December, and this week it will be no different as there are nine games where RivalsHigh 100 teams will play one another.
The weekend starts early as Bellevue (Wash.) High will host Euless (Texas) Trinity in one of the most anticipated games of the year.
The rest of the long weekend is more of the same with Loganville (Ga.) Grayson taking on Miami (Fla.) Central; Olney (Md.) Good Counsel playing Baltimore (Md.) Gilman; Hoover (Ala.) High making a return trip to Batesville (Miss.) South Panola; the Backyard Bowl pits Tulsa (Okla.) Union against Jenks (Okla.) High; South Florida private schools Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas and Miami (Fla.) Columbus square off; Lake Region battle lines are drawn for Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius and Warren (Mich.) De La Salle; and in Texas, a pair of city limit games will showcase Dallas suburbs Arlington (Texas) Martin and DeSoto (Texas) High, while San Antonio is in focus when Cibolo (Texas) Steele and San Antonio (Texas) Madison take the field.
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