Here are five things to watch heading into this weekend’s Super 25 games:
Buford, Ga., faces No. 8 South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.) in rust bowl: This is a great matchup of teams that have been dominant in their states in recent years. Hurricane Irma has done a number on the teams’ preparation for their game Friday, though. Buford (2-0) hasn’t played since Aug. 25. The Wolves’ game last week with International School of Broward (Hollywood, Fla.) was called off because of the impending storm and then this week, the threat of Irma led Gwinnett County schools to close Monday and Tuesday, meaning no practices those days. South Pointe (3-0) had a bye week last week, and the Stallions missed Monday’s practice because school was closed because of Irma.
Both teams have plenty of well-rested weapons. South Pointe quarterback Derion Kendrick, a Clemson commit, has completed 51 of 64 passes for 687 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s also rushed for three touchdowns. Stallions wide receiver and defensive back Steven Gilmore, Jr., who has said he will commit on Sunday, has six catches for 100 yards and three touchdowns in three games. South Pointe junior running back Joe Ervin has rushed 34 times for 229 yards and two touchdowns. Stallions defensive end Eli Adams, a Virginia Tech commit, already has 6.5 sacks.
Buford running back Christian Turner, a Michigan commit, has run for 224 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns. The Wolves have another big-time running back in Tennessee commit Anthony Grant, who has run for 160 yards on 24 carries. Wolves wide receiver Tyler Gillis has seven catches for 100 yards.
Brothers in Arms quadruple-header: The Under Armour Brothers in Arms Classic, which includes 22 games from Aug. 25 to Oct. 20, moves to Mission Viejo, Calif., on Saturday with a quadruple-header that features No. 5 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif) vs. Dorsey (Los Angeles) and No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) vs. Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.).
It will be Mater Dei’s biggest test since the Monarchs defeated Bishop Gorman two weeks ago. Bergen Catholic (1-1) is coming off a 27-21 loss to Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) last week, but opened with a 48-27 defeat of DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.).
Fight for Philadelphia: No. 13 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) plays host Friday to Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.). The teams have won seven state titles between them since 2011 and St. Joseph’s (2-0) won the 6A title last season while Wood won the 5A title. When they met last season, St. Joe’s won 43-24 at Archbishop Wood. The Vikings (2-1) would love to return the favor this season and are coming off a big upset of then-No. 17 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) last week.
Big matchup in Maryland: No. 15 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), the four-time defending Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champion, has dominated the D.C. region in recent years, but McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) could provide a challenge Friday. The McDonogh Eagles (2-0) forced four turnovers in their 42-7 defeat of Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.) last week and two weeks ago, in their opener, stopped a good La Salle (Wyndmoor, Pa.) team 21-9. DeMatha (2-1) did win last year’s meeting with the Eagles 49-28 and has also been playing well defensively, shutting out its past two opponents.
Will No. 4 Allen’s defense deny Coppell? Last season, Allen, Texas, defeated Coppell 42-20 in a game that was closer than the score. This season, Allen (2-0) has been dominant on defense, allowing a total of 15 points against Cedar Hill and defending Louisiana Division I champion Evangel Christian (Shreveport). Coppell (2-0) is averaging 46 points a game and it is worth noting that the Cowboys were the last team to defeat Allen in the regular season (a 27-24 win in 2012).