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Friday Night Recaps Week 12: Survive and advance

Several commits find themselves deep in the playoffs and close to a championship.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The high school football season trucks on, with five undefeated teams featuring six Michigan commits still remaining. The playoffs have kept weeding out recruits though, as five more players had their seasons end last weekend.

One prospect, Cade McNamara, has the first chance to end his season with a win in the Nevada State Championship next weekend. A couple more teams reached their state’s semifinals. Let’s eulogize some commits’ seasons, while highlighting one team that had to fight through extra hardships to win.

Oaks Christian overcomes devastating week for thrilling victory

Thousand Oaks, California has been the victim of two horrific tragedies in the short span of a week. First, a man killed 12 people in a local bar. Now, untamed forest fires are raging through the areas and destroying thousands of homes.

Despite all the heartbreak, Oaks Christian, featuring Zach Charbonnet, came together to pull off a 35-34 victory over JSerra Catholic in the CIF Southern quarterfinals.

The fires caused the game to be postponed a day, but that didn’t affect Charbonnet. The stud running back ran for almost 200 yards and a touchdown. He also leapt for a crucial two-point conversion, crowd-surfing into the end zone and pulling his team within three.

Yet, it still came down to a field goal with 18 seconds left that gave the Lions the lead. Now they will face an even stiffer test in the semifinals. St. John Bosco is MaxPreps’ No. 1 team in the country and Oaks Christian will be without their best player, Kayvon Thibodeaux. The No. 1 player in 2019 was thrown out of the game this past weekend, meaning he has to sit out his next game.

Season Wrap-up:

Gabe Newburg

Northmont ended its season in the Ohio regional semifinals against defending state champions Pickerington Central. This is the second consecutive season Central has knocked Northmont out of the playoffs, and this year it was especially brutal.

Three of the four touchdowns scored against Northmont were on pick-sixes. Newburg was a major part in Northmont making the playoffs two years in a row, ending up with a 10-2 record this season. He tallied 5.5 sacks, while not being hung up by an ankle injury, which was good enough to break his school’s career record. Given the defensive line talent Michigan is bringing in, expect to see Newburg on the field after a few years of tuning. But you can never count out Greg Mattison spitting out another all-conference player ahead of schedule.

Charles Thomas

Thomas went from a school with some of the most coverage in the country to a small private school in Connecticut. Transferring from IMG Academy to St. Thomas More just before the season pretty much ensured he would stay around his current ranking, despite always being talked about as underrated.

With a roster full of FBS talent, St. Thomas More only went 5-3 this season, ending the year with a 17-0 loss to Cheshire Academy, the former home of Tarik Black.

Playing middle linebacker, Thomas racked up around 50 tackles with double-digit tackles for loss. Clearly he has a nose for the ball and the speed and instincts to get there quickly.

Quinten Johnson

One of the oldest mantras in football is “it’s hard to beat the same team twice in a season.” Johnson and St. John’s proved that true after falling to Gonzaga 24-14 in the first round of the playoffs after beating them 34-17 in the regular season finale. Johnson contributed to the scoring though, stealing the ball from the opposing running back on the goal line and returning it all the way for a touchdown.

Johnson had a knack for big plays all season, whether it be a strip-sack or a long touchdown catch. He’s likely to line up at either strong safety or viper for the Wolverines.

Nick Patterson

While playing for easily the worst team of any Michigan commit, Patterson was a bright spot. He was a favorable target for the San Antonio Christian quarterback, who found him for about 30 catches and four touchdowns in the course of a 2-7-1 season. He could break big gains, like his 71-yard touchdown reception, or leap over multiple defenders to make a grab. The 2020 tight end prospect will look to turn things around at his school next season.

Cornell Wheeler

In a Michigan playoff battle featuring three Michigan commits, Wheeler ended up on the losing side of a 13-10 battle against Belleville. West Bloomfield was up 10-0 thanks to some Belleville mishaps, but the Tigers righted the ship and scored 13 unanswered points to advance to the state semifinals.

Wheeler pulled double-duty, lining up at middle linebacker and getting a few carries as a bruising tailback. On the season, he racked up 100 tackles and three sacks. Check out Wheeler’s senior highlights here.


Due to the fires in California, Giles Jackson’s game that was supposed to take place last Friday has been postponed to next Saturday.

Jack Stewart and New Canaan are the only team left still playing the regular season. They have next week off before wrapping up the regular season against Darien on Thanksgiving.

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