Thanks to the decision by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, there were eight Michigan football commits playing last weekend, which is enough to kick off this year’s series of Friday Night Lights!
If you’re new around here, Friday Night Lights is where I recap Michigan commits’ performance in their high school games across the country every week. With few enough players going, I can individually highlight each player’s game and share their statistics or any notable plays. At the end, I’ll post a chart so you can track how the teams and individuals are doing throughout the entire season. Let’s get to it with Michigan’s highest profile player.
JJ McCarthy and Greg Crippen (IMG Academy - FL)
After an idle week following their opening win blowout against Venice, the pair of Michigan commits faced off against Edgewater, MaxPreps’ No. 5 team in the state of Florida.
Given IMG Academy is the No. 1 team in the state (and the country) the result wasn’t much different this week with a 48-7 final score. While J.J. McCarthy led the charge in their first game, the team focused more on running the ball this week. McCarthy completed 12-of-21 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown.
Greg Crippen helped lead an offensive line that helped pave the way for 253 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Even McCarthy chipped in a little there, carrying the ball four times for 26 yards. Next week will be an even bigger game, when IMG travels to Tennessee to take on Ravenwood Academy, home of Junior Colson.
Giovanni El-Hadi (Stevenson - MI)
It was a much closer game for El-Hadi and the Stevenson Titans, but they ended up pulling out the narrow 7-3 victory over their rival Eisenhower to open the season.
While El-Hadi anchors Stevenson’s offensive line, he actually made a bigger impact on defense. Late in the fourth quarter with Eisenhower trying to take the lead, El-Hadi came through with a huge sack to stall the offensive possession.
El-Hadi (No. 58) records a huge sack late in the game with Utica Eisenhower attempting to mount a game-winning drive with only 1:34 remaining.— Austin Fox (@AustinFox42) September 19, 2020
Stevenson leads 7-3. pic.twitter.com/Cghpg0lBdt
Stevenson moves on to face Dakota next week on the road.
Raheem Anderson (Cass Tech - MI)
One of Michigan high school football’s greatest rivalries wrote another chapter last week, with Cass Tech coming away with the 34-26 win over Detroit King.
Former Michigan target and current Penn State commit Kalen King was responsible for most of the scoring. Despite getting ready to be a cornerback in college, he caught four passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns. King and Raheem Anderson are both captains.
Cass Tech, Michigan’s No. 7 team according to MaxPreps, takes on Mumford next week.
Junior Colson (Ravenwood Academy - TN)
Last week was already Colson and Ravenwood’s fifth game of the year, since Tennessee started the high school football season as usual.
They suffered their second loss in a row to cross-town rival Brentwood Academy, 28-21. After sitting out with a minor injury last week, Colson returned with six tackles, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. The fumble recovery came late in the fourth quarter and help set up a short field to tie the score, but Brentwood ended up going on a game-winning touchdown drive.
Colson will get a crack at McCarthy and IMG Academy on his home turf next week.
Rod Moore (Northmont - OH)
Michigan lost a commitment from a Northmont wide receiver earlier this month, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the box score.
Besides recording four tackles and a pass break-up from the safety spot, Rod Moore led the team in receiving as well, racking up 11 catches, 150 yards and three touchdowns. He was a major player in Northmont’s comeback victory that saw them down 28-7 at one point. The Thunderbolts eventually won 38-35 in overtime.
Here’s Moore’s third touchdown grab on the night, a 20-yard score:
Cade Rice throws 20-yard TD to Rod Moore on 4th-and-10 with 612 left. Northmont has come back from 28-7 deficit to tie Springfield. pic.twitter.com/BKMt2pZ3C4— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) September 19, 2020
Now 4-0 and in control of their division, Northmont will travel to Miamisburg next week.
Tommy Doman (Orchard Lake-St. Mary’s - MI)
Tommy Doman continued to show why he is considered one of the country’s top kicking prospects on Thursday night. In OLSM’s 28-7 win, all five of Doman’s kickoffs were touchbacks, with two of them hitting the uprights.
Orchard Lake Saint Mary's 2021 K/P Thomas Doman Jr. (Michigan commit) kicked 5 "no doubt" touchbacks last night.— The D Zone (@TheD_Zone) September 18, 2020
2 of the kickoffs hit the field goal posts
UM is getting a great one! @tdoman36 @OLSMUpdates @OLSMFootball pic.twitter.com/faD7pscb06
Doman also went 4/4 on extra points for the night. They play at Warren De La Salle next week in what should be a great game.
Alex VanSumeren (Garber - MI)
Moving on to the 2022 class, Alex VanSumeren helped bottle up Birch Run’s offense in Garber’s 32-14 win.
VanSumeren tallied seven tackles in the game, three tackles for loss. Garber will play at Bridgeport next week.
(click to enlarge)