State football championships are underway in every state, with championship games playing out this week in Idaho, Utah, Iowa and Nebraska, among others; however, it is a game for a conference championship that highlights this week’s Top 10 Games of the Week.
DeMatha and Our Lady of Good Counsel play for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship this week in a rematch of one of the top battles in the nation’s capital this season. DeMatha, which is undefeated, scored three times in the fourth quarter to hand Good Counsel its only loss of the season.
High School Football playoffs on The Friday 5
Top games and plays of the week.
MaxPreps Projections was 8-2 last week and leads the race with an 88-32 record. Mitch Stephens is next at 83-37 while Stephen Spiewak is at 83-38 and Kevin Askeland is 80-40.
MaxPreps Top 10 Games of the Week
DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) vs. Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.)
DeMatha and Good Counsel played a thriller the last time these two teams met. The Stags trailed 21-3 at one point, but scored three times in the fourth quarter on runs by Marcus Coker to pull out the 24-21 win. Coker scored on runs of 17, 37 and 64 yards and finished with 213 yards on 25 carries. Coker suffered an injury the week following the Good Counsel game and missed a pair of games before returning to action two weeks ago. He appears back to full strength, as he rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries in a win over Gonzaga. He has 1,583 yards on 157 carries with 20 touchdowns on the season.
Good Counsel is 10-1 on the season with the only loss coming against DeMatha. None of Good Counsel’s other games have even been close, as it has won all of its games by at least two touchdowns, including last week’s 35-6 playoff win over McNamara. Zach Dancel leads the attack for Good Counsel. The junior quarterback has thrown for 1,097 yards, including 146 in the loss to DeMatha.
Mitch Stephens: DeMatha 21, Good Counsel 20
Steve Spiewak: DeMatha 24, Good Counsel 20
Kevin Askeland: DeMatha 24, Good Counsel 21
MaxPreps Projection: DeMatha 28, Good Counsel 22
Kenton (Independence, Ky.) at St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.)
St. Xavier heads into its 6A state quarterfinal matchup with Simon Kenon as the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and the top-ranked team in the state of Kentucky. Kenton isn’t far behind, however, with a No. 3 overall ranking and an 11-1 record. St. Xavier spreads the wealth with three running backs with nearly 600 or more yards rushing. Lamont McMurry leads the team with 759 yards while Michael Montano has 664. Jermiah Neal has 594 yards, but is the leading scorer with 17 touchdowns. Brian Buehner has been waylayed with an injury for the last month, but still has 810 yards passing with nine touchdowns.
Kenton, meanwhile, has one of the leading rushers in the state in senior Miles Simpson. Besides rushing for 2,126 yards on just 214 carries, he also has 38 rushing touchdowns and three other scores for a total of 41 touchdowns. Kenton is not the only threat, however. Quarterback Chad Lawrence has thrown for 1,573 yards and 17 touchdowns while backfield mate Chad Lawrence has rushed for 1,018 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 149 carries.
Mitch Stephens: St Xavier 42, Kenton 21
Steve Spiewak: St. Xavier 35, Kenton 28
Kevin Askeland: St. Xavier 38, Kenton 35
MaxPreps Projection: St. Xavier 41, Kenton 28
Timpview (Provo, Utah) vs Springville (Utah)
Timpview and Springville match up for the Utah 4A state championship and both will rely on strong play from the quarterback position to get the job done. Timpview has the experience with 6-foot-6 senior Trevor Brown pulling the trigger behind center. He’s thrown for 2,039 yards and 20 touchdowns this year, but also leads the team in rushing with 764 yards on the ground. He had his best rushing performance of the season in last week’s playoff win over Mountain Crest as he ran 24 times for 187 yards and four touchdowns. He has scored 16 rushing TDs on the season.
Springville quarterback Steve Bate has only been a starter since mid-season. A sophomore, Bate took over the team when the regular starter was banged up in a game in late September. All Bate has done since then is throw 18 touchdown passes. His best outing came against Maple Mountain when he completed 17-of-23 passes for 261 yards and four scores.
Mitch Stephens: Timpview 35, Springville 21
Steve Spiewak: Timpview 28, Springville 17
Kevin Askeland: Springville 27, Timpview 21
MaxPreps Projection: Timpview 31, Springville 20
Carroll (Southlake, Texas) at Allen (Texas)
Two of the state’s top quarterbacks square off when Carroll and Allen meet in a Texas 5A state playoff game in Allen. Carroll’s David Piland is one of the leading passers in the Dallas area, with 2,447 yards (168-of-267) on the year. He has also thrown 20 touchdowns passes. Matt Brown of Allen, meanwhile, has thrown slightly fewer yards at 2,237 (137-of-212), but has two more touchdowns than Piland with 22.
Carroll has a little more depth in the running game, however. Tommy Avers leads the Dragons with 1,480 yards and 20 touchdowns while Brown is Allen’s leading rusher with 1,005 yards and 16 scores. Carroll is coming off a 24-10 win over O’Connor of Helotes while Allen shut out Nimitz last week 35-0. Both teams are 10-1 on the season.
Mitch Stephens: Allen 21, Carroll 20
Steve Spiewak: Allen 24, Carroll 20
Kevin Askeland: Carroll 28, Allen 21
MaxPreps Projection: Carroll 31, Allen 26
Phoebus (Hampton, Va.) at Great Bridge (Chesapeake, Va.)
Phoebus hopes to keep its winning streak alive against a team that rallied last week to advance to Friday’s meeting with the Phantoms. Phoebus has won 26 straight games and is 63-3 over the past five years. Great Bridge, meanwhile, has won only one game in a row and that was a nailbiter last week against Churchland in the first round of the playoffs. After losing to Oscar Smith in the season finale 47-17, Great Bridge overcame a 14-0 deficit in the fourth quarter against Churchland and won the game on a 36-yard field goal by Aric Speziale as time expired.
Phoebus, meanwhile, opened the playoffs with the same opponent it finished the regular season with. However after struggling to defeat Bethel in the regular season 17-14, the Phantoms had no trouble last week, winning 34-6. Colby Goodwyn was a difference maker for Phoebus as he rushed for 162 yards, had a 64-yard punt return to set up a touchdown and also had two interceptions on defense.
Mitch Stephens: Phoebus 28, Great Bridge 14
Steve Spiewak: Phoebus 17, Great Bridge 14
Kevin Askeland: Phoebus 45, Great Bridge 14
MaxPreps Projection: Phoebus 35, Great Bridge 14
Millard South (Omaha, Neb.) vs. Millard West (Omaha, Neb.)
It will be all Millard all the time in the Nebraska A state championships as Millard South will take on Millard West in the finals. Millard South is undefeated at 12-0 and is fresh off a 36-17 win over Elkhorn in the semifinals. Tre Sacks had 114 yards rushing for Millard South with three touchdowns, including two scores in the fourth quarter when it put the game away.
Millard West got a boost from Zach Leinbaugh’s 100-yard return of an interception that broke a 14-14 tie in the third quarter and resulted in a 35-14 Wildcat win over Lincoln Southwest. The game is a rematch of last year’s state finals when Millard West defeated Millard South 21-8. Millard West is 10-2 on the season with its last loss being a 28-0 defeat to Millard South.
Mitch Stephens: Millard West 24, Millard South 21
Steve Spiewak: Millard South 30, Millard West 20
Kevin Askeland: Millard South 35, Millard West 17
MaxPreps Projection: Millard South 31, Millard West 26
Eagle (Idaho) vs. Capital (Boise, Idaho)
After missing the state finals last year due to a leg injury, Eagle’s Taylor Kelly will be in the spotlight this week when his team faces Capital for the Idaho 5A state championship. Kelly is one of the leading passers in Idaho this year, completing 163-of-249 passes for 2,345 yards and 21 scores. He has also rushed for 893 yards and eight touchdowns in leading Eagle to a 10-1 record.
Eagle’s opponent, however, comes in as the favorite. Capital, ranked No. 1 in the state by MaxPreps, reached the finals by dropping defending state champion Highland 38-3 in the semifinals. Jeremy Powers paces Capital’s offense, throwing for 1,416 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 424 yards and 10 scores.
Mitch Stephens: Capital 31, Eagle 17
Steve Spiewak: Capital 28, Eagle 21
Kevin Askeland: Capital 28, Eagle 14
MaxPreps Projection: Capital 35, Eagle 21
East St. Louis (Ill.) at Wheaton Warrenville South (Wheaton, Ill.)
After struggling to a pair of tough losses to Ohio’s Elder and Middletown, East St. Louis has found Illinois opponents much more to its liking as the Flyers have won 10 straight games heading into this week’s matchup with Wheaton-Warrenville South. East St. Louis, the defending Illinois 7A state champion, is ranked No. 10 in the state by MaxPreps while Wheaton-Warrenville South is No. 2.
The Flyers have a pair of impressive offensive performers in quarterback Detchauz Wray and running back Courtney Molton. Wray has thrown for 1,909 yards and 18 touchdowns while Molton has gained 2,092 yards and scored 29 TDs. Warrenville South, meanwhile, operates on the arm of Riley O’Toole, who threw for 181 yards and a touchdown in his team’s 23-14 win over St. Rita in last week’s playoff game.
Mitch Stephens: East St. Louis 35, Wheaton Warrenville 27
Steve Spiewak: Wheaton Warrenville South 21, East St. Louis 17
Kevin Askeland: Wheaton Warrenville South 30, East St. Louis 28
MaxPreps Projection: Wheaton Warrenville South 35, East St. Louis 28
Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.) at Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.)
Two of the better offensive teams in the AAAAA playoffs clash when Lowndes and Camden County meet in the second round of the Georgia state playoffs. Lowndes averaged 45 points per game while the Wildcats are a shade behind at 44. Camden County began the season as one of the state’s top-ranked teams, but losses to Grayson and Hoover in the first three weeks dropped the Wildcats from the upper ranks. All Camden County has done since then is pummel opponents, scoring over 50 points on five occasions.
Lowndes, meanwhile, was riding high but lost a 10-7 game to Northside in midseason. The Vikings have been on a roll ever since thanks to the running trio of Khary Franklin, Troy Braswell and Robert Anderson. Franklin leads the team with 943 yards and 13 touchdowns while Braswell has gained 810 yards with 12 scores and Anderson has 821 yards with nine touchdowns.
Mitch Stephens: Lowndes 34, Camden County 21
Steve Spiewak: Lowndes 21, Camden County 10
Kevin Askeland: Lowndes 43, Camden County 21
MaxPreps Projection: Lowndes 42, Camden County 17
Iowa City (Iowa) vs. Marshalltown (Iowa)
Iowa City and Marshalltown each enter the Iowa 4A state championship game with spotless 13-0 records. Marshalltown has the state’s top passer in 6-foot-7 Chanse Creekmur. He has completed 236-of-394 passes for 3,316 yards and 33 touchdowns. Iowa City’s A.J. Derby hasn’t been too shabby himself, completing 88-of-167 passes for 1,677 yards and 21 scores.
Iowa City has a bit more depth in the running game as Ellis Jordan has 1,294 yards and 12 touchdowns and Derby has 707 yards and 14 scores. Austin Ruddick leads Marshalltown with 798 yards and eight scores while Creekmur has gained 463 yards on the ground with nine touchdowns.
Mitch Stephens: Iowa City 30, Marshalltown 20
Steve Spiewak: Iowa City 35, Marshalltown 21
Kevin Askeland: Iowa City 42, Marshalltown 27
MaxPreps Projection: Iowa City 31, Marshalltown 20