Defending MaxPreps National Champion IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
routed a second-straight Ohio high school football team, beating La Salle (Cincinnati)
58-7 on Friday. This time, however, there's unlikely to be the national fallout as the Cincinnati power has a longer track record of excellence than IMG's last opponent — Bishop Sycamore (Columbus, Ohio).
Five days after IMG Academy (2-0) defeated Bishop Sycamore 58-0
nationally televised and scrutinized game, the Ascenders thoroughly
dominated the Lancers, the third-ranked team in Cincinnati and a four-time Division II
champion since 2013.
Penn State-bound running back Kaytron Allen
rushed for three touchdowns in the first 10 minutes for IMG Academy.
The Lancers (2-1) showed in every regard they are a good high school football team. But they were no match for the second-ranked team in the country, which has 29 players rated as a three-star or higher. That includes Allen, a bullish 5-foot-11, 220-pound senior, ranked the No. 12 running back in the country. He finished with 15 carries and 194 yards and four touchdowns.
La Salle coach Pat McLaughlin, whose team plays in the Greater Catholic League-South, one of Ohio's toughest, said before the season that he wanted his team "to play the best teams. So here we go."
And this one went quickly as the second half was played under a running clock, per Ohio state rules.
La Salle went three-and-out on its first four possessions and the Ascenders countered with four touchdowns for a 28-0 lead just inside the second quarter.
Allen set the tone from the start, ripping off runs of 29 and 27 yards
on IMG Academy's first two plays before he capped the 63-yard drive with
a 1-yard plunge, making it 7-0 with 9:20 left in the first quarter.
A 1-yard punt led to a short field and Allen, who rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns against Bishop Sycamore, needed one play to go 23 yards for his second score, making it 14-0 with 7:31 left in the first.
Two pass completions from A.J. Duffy to Shawn Miller
set up Allen's third TD on a 1-yard plunge. Stacy Gage
, tagged the LeBron James of youth football in Florida, showed his skills on the next drive, twice breaking multiple tackles and spinning his way to big yards. His 17-yard score, after being hit hard at the line of scrimmage, made it 28-0 with 10:20 left in the half.
The only thing that could slow the Ascenders was themselves as a fumble in the open field by Miller, gave La Salle the ball at their own 48. A couple of personal foul penalties put the ball at the 5, where quarterback Mason Mattingly
connected with Dylan Eddings
on a touchdown, sending the packed La Salle stands into a frenzy, making it 28-7 midway through the second.
IMG Academy took back control as Duffy found Florida State-bound receiver Tate with a 13-yard touchdown pass, which was followed with a 35-yard field goal on the last play of the half by Jayden Fielding
, giving the Ascenders a 37-7 halftime lead.
That also put the game into a running clock mode to start the second half. By halftime, the Ascenders had 275 yards offense to 38 for La Salle. The final totals were 479-54.
Allen scored his fourth touchdown on a 30-yard run on the first possession of the second half and Duffy threw his second TD pass, a 9-yard to Samuel M'Pemba, making it 51-7 on the last play of the third quarter. A 40-yard touchdown run by Rod Gainey Jr. capped the scoring.
While IMG scored the same amount as Sunday, there will be far less scrunity. The Ascenders never left Ohio after its nationally-televised win in the final game of seven from the GEICO ESPN High School Kickoff. A national media barrage unearthed numerous disturbing facts to discredit
the Bishop Sycamore program, ultimately leading to its final eight opponents cancelling games.
Next week, IMG Academy hosts Northwestern (Miami), while La Salle continues its ambitious schedule, traveling to Kentucky power Trinity (Louisville).