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Friday Night Recaps Week 11: Elimination Friday

Several Michigan commits got bounced in the playoffs, but others keep on advancing.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

There’s some shake-up in this week’s Friday Night Recaps, with Michigan adding two commitments, Mike Sainristil and Tim Baldwin, and losing Denver Warren.

Sainristil’s addition came right after his season ended in the second round of the Massachusetts state playoffs. Everett was undefeated before its big upset loss, and the opposing coach specifically mentioned limiting Sainristil as the focus of their gameplan.

Baldwin and Broad Run are 9-1 and the top seed in the Virginia playoffs, which start next week. I could only find four games of statistics for Baldwin, but in those he’s rushed for 440 yards on 60 carries and scored four touchdowns.

Elsewhere, it was a tough week for a group of Michigan commits. Seven players ended their careers. Four lost in the playoffs, one didn’t make them and two don’t participate in playoffs. Let’s recap their seasons below.

Season Wrap-up

George Johnson

Johnson’s season ended in a shutout against rival Jensen Beach. Sad ending aside, I learned these two schools, along with South Fork, play for the hilarious and redundantly named Fergie Ferguson Championship Trophy. I’d like to think they’re really big fans of the Black Eyed Peas down in the Treasure Coast.

Johnson did a little bit of everything while clearly carrying his team. He threw for more than 1,000 yards, ran for about 500 and had 100 yards receiving. Strangely, Johnson switched his usual jersey number this game from seven to nine. It turns out he did so in order to support his teammate, a fellow senior who tore his meniscus a few weeks ago. A nice touch from someone playing his last high school game.

Erick All

Ending your high school football career is always tough, but how Erick All experienced his added insult to injury. Things were looking good for Fairfield for a while, up 35-7, in part to a fake punt that All ran to the house for a 44-yard touchdown. But Milford came roaring back and scored 32 unanswered points to walk away with a heartbreaking 39-35 victory. On the season, All scored five touchdowns and caught around 20 passes while lining up at tight end and punter.

Karsen Barnhart

Karsen Barnhart and Paw Paw faced off against Edwardsburg in the second round of the playoffs and faced the same feat as their first match-up in the regular season. Paw Paw lost 49-10, but at least avoided getting shut out once again.

Barnhart started the season playing tight end. He was mostly a blocker, but still found room to catch a couple touchdowns in the Wing-T offense. But halfway through the season, he switched his jersey number and bumped inside to play tackle. He still served out plenty of pancakes, per his senior highlight tape.

Zach Carpenter

Archbishop Moeller, home of Zach Carpenter, had a rough end to their season. The Fighting Crusaders lost four in a row to close out 2018, the last loss coming in a revenge game against Elder. Moeller had won a close 24-21 game against them right before their losing slide, but that wasn’t the case in the playoffs, which resulted in a 3-0 Elder victory.

Carpenter is an interior prospect on the offensive line, and showed some versatility lining up at guard and center for large portions of the season. He’s plenty strong, and can rag doll defenders with as much as a light shove.

Mazi Smith

In another disappointing finish to a season, East Kentwood and Mazi Smith were blown out 42-7 by Saline in the district championship game. The Falcons’ usually stout defense forced four turnovers, but still allowed more than 450 yards.

Smith’s incomplete season totals include 65 tackles, two sacks, 11 TFLs and two forced fumbles playing in the interior of the defensive line. He’ll be leaving East Kentwood soon to enroll early at Michigan.

David Ojabo

David Ojabo’s season ended without any playoff action, since he plays in a league consisting of private boarding schools. Ojabo was consistently dominant this season, racking up nearly double-digit sacks. With this season wrapped up, he’s now played in 14 games of football in his life. He’ll be one of the next pass-rushing stars at Michigan after he refines his skills under the tutelage of Greg Mattison and Don Brown.

DJ Turner

IMG Academy is in a similar situation in that they don’t play in any state playoffs because of their national schedule. Thus, DJ Turner ended his season Friday night against Hoover (AL).

He had the unenviable task of covering Auburn commit George Pickens, a 4-star ranked as the 37th best player in the country by the 247Sports composite. Turner passed this test emphatically, holding Pickens to only four catches for 39 yards. Turner also made some clutch tackles to stop Hoover’s driving offense. On the season, Turner had some highlight plays, including a 100-yard pick six and a forced fumble returned for a touchdown. He’s one of the more underrated cornerbacks in the country.

I can’t see a mass exodus like this happening for the rest of the season as the playoffs of varying length continue. There is an elimination game next week, when Belleville’s Tyrece Woods and Andre Seldon face off against West Bloomfield’s Cornell Wheeler in the Michigan regional finals.


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