By Kevin Askeland
Aaron Murray of Plant had a huge game this week, throwing for seven scores in the first half of his team’s victory over Middleton. Murray’s effort highlight this week’s MaxPreps Player of the Year Watch.
Matt Barkley, Mater Dei, Santa Ana (Calif.)
Mater Dei and Centennial clashed in another offensive showcase, this time with the Huskies claiming a 47-35 victory. Monarch quarterback Matt Barkley completed 23 of 45 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns, but he also had three interceptions. In three games, Barkley has completed 52 of 94 passes for 944 yards and 11 scores.
Garrett Gilbert, Lake Travis, Austin (Texas)
Gilbert lifted the Cavaliers to a 4-0 record with his best game of the season in a 46-31 victory over Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.). He completed 25 of 41 pass attempts for 414 yards and five touchdowns – all-season highs. For the season, Gilbert has completed 81 of 133 passes for 1,306 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Aaron Murray, Plant, Tampa (Fla.)
The MaxPreps National Player of the Week had a phenomenal first half against Middleton as he completed 18 of 25 passes for 391 yards and seven scores in a 56-14 win. All but one incomplete pass occurred in the first half for Murray, who has completed 47 of 82 passes for 829 yards in three games for Plant.
Russell Shepard, Cypress Ridge, Houston (Texas)
Shepard’s Rams have not played since defeating Klein 51-21 on Sept. 5. Cypress Ridge hosts Cypress Woods on Friday. For the season, Shepard has completed 27 of 47 passes for 419 yards and three touchdowns while rushing 34 times for 224 yards and two scores.
Bryce Brown, Wichita East (Kan.)
Brown had his best outing of the season in a 34-24 win over Kapaun as he carried 20 times for 263 yards and scored four touchdowns. He had scoring runs of 80, 67 and 50 yards. For the season, Brown has 518 yards on 69 carries with 12 touchdowns.
Tajh Boyd, Phoebus, Hampton (Va.)
Boyd and the Phantoms routed another opponent last week, defeating Warwick 48-0. Boyd completed just six of 12 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns in a game that was played with a running clock in the second half. For the year, Boyd has completed 32 of 50 passes for 574 yards and seven scores.
Morgan Newton, Carmel (Ind.)
The Greyhounds upped their record to 5-0 with a 27-6 victory over Lawrence North last week. Newton completed 15 of 20 passes for 144 yards and also carried eight times for 21 yards and a touchdown. He has completed 58 of 74 passes for 582 yards and five touchdowns. He has gained 497 yards rushing on 65 carries with eight touchdowns.
Rueben Randle, Bastrop (La.)
Randle is getting used to his role as the Bastrop quarterback as he completed 9 of 20 passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 40-12 win over Richwood. Randle also scored on a 5-yard run and a 59-yard punt return. For the season, Randle has completed 17 of 34 passes for 220 yards and four scores.
Trent Richardson, Escambia (Fla.)
Richardson sprinted for three more touchdowns to lead the Gators to a 28-23 upset victory over Pace. He finished with 131 yards on 25 carries and scored on runs of 3 and 1 yard. He also had a 90-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter. For the season, Richardson has run 79 times for 741 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Washaun Ealey, Emanuel County Institute (Ga.)
Ealey continues to improve each week as he increased his yardage total for the third straight game in rushing for 283 yards on 17 carries in a 41-0 win over Wheeler County. He had three touchdowns and a two-point conversion, giving him 767 yards on 72 carries with 13 total touchdowns on the year.
Jeremiah Young, Steelton-Highspire (Pa.)
Young overcame Palmyra’s attempt to slow him down by rushing for 180 yards in the second half to finish with 242 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns in a 46-0 victory. One of the touchdowns was a 74-yard run on his first carry of the second half. For the season, Young has gained 711 yards on the ground.
Cierre Wood, Santa Clara, Oxnard (Calif.)
Wood led Santa Clara to a 35-7 victory over Channel Islands by rushing for a season-high 259 yards on just 12 carries and three touchdowns. One of the scores came on an 80-yard run. Wood has run for 568 yards on 34 carries for a whopping 16.7 yards per carry. He has scored nine touchdowns.