1. Great Scott! Keep an eye out for Spartanburg quarterback
It’s rare that players from Super 25 teams are among the nation’s statistical leaders. Players who put up Nintendo-like numbers are usually from smaller schools where one player can dominate the competition. That’s what makes the start this season of Spartanburg, S.C., quarterback Austin Scott so impressive. Last week in a 41-14 defeat of Gaffney, he threw five touchdown passes, all of them to Tavaris Scott (no relation). For the season, Austin Scott has thrown for 1,007 yards and 11 touchdowns.
While Tavaris Scott (26 catches for 370 yards and six touchdown receptions) is the team’s top receiver, running back Tavien Feaster has caught 12 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns.
“We have plenty of guys out there, it was just the things we were running were leaving them open and Austin was getting (Tavaris) the ball and he was making plays,” Spartanburg coach Chris Miller said. “We’re a passing team. We’re a spread team and we throw the ball as much as we can. We definitely mix it up with the run and of course, if you were spreading everything out, we would run the ball.”
Austin Scott has gotten offers from smaller schools such as Elon, but some bigger schools such as Purdue are starting to show interest. He opened a lot of eyes when he outdueled highly touted Wakulla (Crawfordsville, Fla.) quarterback Feleipe Franks, an LSU commit, in a 42-14 win on ESPNU on Aug. 30. Scott completed 22 of 31 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns in that win while Franks was 8-for-19 for 101 yards with a touchdown pass.
The No. 19 Vikings (3-0) play host to Greenwood on Friday. Though the Eagles are 1-2, but it’s unlikely Spartanburg will look past this game. Greenwood won last year’s meeting, 17-2.
“They’re a well-coached football team and they’re going to be disciplined,” Miller said. “They didn’t have a winning record going into this game and they came up and beat us. We have to focus and do what we’ve been doing. …. I’ve let our players know we weren’t prepared last year and if we aren’t prepared, we will get beat.”
2. What difference will Malik Henry make for Long Beach Poly?
The Jackrabbits are 2-0 and got good news Monday when quarterback Malik Henry, a Florida State commit, was cleared to play by the CIF’s Southern Section. Poly plays Friday at No. 1 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas). The Jackrabbits’ signal-caller their first two games was Nolan McDonald, who has thrown for 237 yards and two touchdowns and run for 151 yards and a touchdown. Henry, the No. 3 quarterback recruit in the 2016 class according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings, transferred in June from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and played last season at Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.).
Bishop Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said not knowing whom Poly will start doesn’t complicate things for the Gaels (3-0).
“You just have to prepare for the team and you generalize how they run their offense,” Sanchez said. “Plus, teams are always throwing in a couple of wrinkles. The quarterback who played in their first two games and (Henry) are very similar. We just have to be concerned with how we play, how we tackle.”
3. Can No. 4 DeMatha Catholic break the Philly curse?
The Stags host La Salle (Wyndmoor, Pa.) on Friday. Last season, DeMatha was 0-2 against Philadelphia-area teams, losing 41-39 at La Salle and 34-13 at Archbishop Wood (Warminster). The La Salle loss was particularly frustrating because the Stags staged a late rally, scoring the final 19 points of the game, only to fall short. At least the Stags won’t have to worry about quarterback Kyle Shurmur, who torched DeMatha for 239 yards and four touchdown passes and also had a receiving touchdown. He’s a freshman at Vanderbilt this season. New La Salle quarterback Chris Ferguson has the advantage of an experienced line to work behind, however.
4. No. 10 American Heritage has a big district game
The Patriots play host to Coconut Creek Friday in a District 16-5A game. Both teams are 2-1 with their only loss coming to a Super 25 team. American Heritage fell 23-22 earlier this season to DeMatha while Coconut Creek is coming off a 21-14 loss to No. 16 Flanagan (Pembroke Pines) on Sept. 4.
American Heritage will try to contain quarterback Jhakari Harrison, who threw touchdown passes to four different receivers last week in a 46-21 defeat of Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lakes). One interesting side note: all of American Heritage’s games have been delayed at some point by lightning.
5. Can Allen’s streak be stopped?
The No. 6 Eagles have won 46 consecutive games going into their contest Friday with Plano. Only Edgewood Academy of Elmore, Ala., (62 games) and Maine-Endwell of Endwell, N.Y. (53 games) have longer current win streaks among 11-man high school football teams. Plano hasn’t beaten the Eagles since 2005 and the three-time defending state champions have two solid quarterbacks this season in Seth Green and Mitchell Jonke.