Welcome to Week 10 of Friday Night Recaps!
Ohio, California, Nevada and Tennessee are starting their playoffs next week, joining Michigan and Illinois as states with Michigan commits ending their regular seasons. This is the last week of the regular season for most other schools.
Season wrap up: Joey Velazquez and Kalil Branham
Five of seven Ohio commits made the playoffs, but two did not, meaning we have the first teams to end their season. Both 2019 Viper Joey Velazquez and 2020 wide receiver Kalil Branham threw, ran and caught the ball for their teams this season. These two had to sacrifice their usual positions and line up at quarterback for a large chunk of the season, with mixed results.
Branham led Northland to an 8-2 record and a Columbus City League North Division Championship, with an undefeated conference record. His team apparently does not participate in the state-wide playoffs. These totals are incomplete, but Branham threw for more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns, while rushing for about 300 yards and a touchdown. They ended their season by beating rival Beechcroft 7-0.
Velazquez lined up everywhere for St. Francis de Sales, having to take over the quarterback position about halfway through the season. He basically ran the wildcat, rushing for more than 800 yards and 13 touchdowns. On defense, he racked up more than 60 tackles, with 17 of them for loss. He also had a knack for knocking the ball loose, forcing six fumbles. The Stallions finished with a 5-5 record.
Another record broken
Last week, I featured 2019 3-star defensive lineman Gabe Newburg breaking his school’s career sack record. Well this week, 2019 4-star quarterback Cade McNamara staked his claim in the record books by breaking the Nevada state record for career passing touchdowns, with 139.
Coming into the night, McNamara was seven away from breaking the record. He coolly tied the record by halftime, with his sixth touchdown to his brother Kyle. Then, in the second half, McNamara placed himself alone at the top with a shovel pass to his fullback Derrick Knoblock.
Record-setting touchdowns number 138 & 139 for Cade McNamara, with some commentary from the kid himself. pic.twitter.com/eQK7whfZLU— Mike Stefansson (@MikeStefansson) October 26, 2018
McNamara has led Damonte Ranch to unprecedented success this season, finishing off a perfect 10-0 regular season, and contending for the best team in the state.
Denver Warren helps end playoff drought
This season, 2020 4-star defensive tackle Denver Warren and West Aurora have rampaged through their schedule, resulting in an 8-1 regular season record. Despite this domination, the school hadn’t won a playoff game 24 years. But, last week they ended the drought, with a 28-20 victory over South Elgin.
This was the second straight week West Aurora faced South Elgin, and this contest was much closer. The first matchup was a 48-10 victory. Still, the Blackhawks buckled down to secure their first playoff win since 1994.
Warren was a big factor in both games, totaling 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks combined. He’s been a bit banged up this season, but has still found a way to contribute to his team.
Play of the Week
St. John’s (DC) has been one of the best teams in the country this season, partly due to the play of 2019 3-star safety Quinten Johnson. This week, Johnson kicked his squad off to a great start, with a strip-sack that was returned for a touchdown.
St. John's take the early 7-0 after a strip sack fumble recovery (see video) lead to a 7-yard touchdown run. 7-0 pic.twitter.com/ogHhHdTDfl— Sentinel Sports (@Sports_PGS) October 26, 2018
That score was crucial, as St. John’s held on to a tight 13-7 victory over DeMatha. There’s been talk of Johnson playing Viper at Michigan, and based off that play he has the skill-set to thrive there.
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