No. 6 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Maryland) has a schedule that, on paper, is very difficult. A handful of Super 25 teams come after the Panthers, starting with No. 15 Miami Central (Florida) in the first game of the season.
But the opener proved to be no challenge.
The Panthers extended their winning streak to 24 games with the 49-13 win as running back Blake Corum scored four touchdowns and had 155 total yards.
Here are a few quick takeaways from the game:
Corum shoulders the load
Corum was all over the field, finishing the first half with nine rushes for 25 yards, four receptions for 51 yards and two touchdowns. By the end of the third quarter, he had four touchdowns as St. Frances extended its insurmountable lead.
He very nearly punched home his fifth touchdown early in the fourth quarter, racing 68 yards past defenders to the house, but it was called back due to an illegal block.
So Corum, listed on 247Sports as 5-foot-8, 193 pounds, will have to settle for four. He finished the game with 104 rushing yards, 51 receiving yards, and two rushing and receiving scores apiece.
He is ranked as the No. 16 running back and No. 198 player in the class of 2020. How much higher could Corum climb if he continues to have performances like this against a difficult schedule?
With this game against a good Miami Central team, Michigan has to like what they see from their four-star commit.
John Griffith has a variety of abilities
Sophomore quarterback John Griffith looked strong throughout the game, but there was one drive in particular that really stood out.
He ran the ball about 20 yards on a QB keeper. Then, Griffith rolled out of the pocket to his right and lofted the ball toward Lamar Patterson streaking toward the sideline. The defender’s hand was up, but the ball was an inch higher, and with two defenders nearby, Patterson caught the pass with little room to spare.
On the next play, Griffith stepped up in the pocket and fired a laser to LJ Robinson to put the team around the 10 yard line.
Finally, Griffith and Corum finished up the drive with a wheel route in which the defense didn’t even look at, let alone touch, the running back.
Showing soft touch on the move, the ability to rear back and fire from the pocket, and skills at reading the defense and keeping the ball for a big gain? St. Frances has a good one in young Griffith.
St. Frances’ defense was stifling
Another year, another impenetrable Panthers defense. Miami Central couldn’t get into St. Frances territory until there were about three minutes left in the first half, and by that point, the Panthers had already pulled ahead 23-0.
It only took three plays in the game for St. Frances’ defense to force a turnover, when Jordan Toles intercepted a pass. And we can’t not mention the interception of defensive tackle Jonathan Chambers, who made an impressive pick as five-star defensive end Chris Braswell pressured the quarterback.
Chambers, listed at 280 pounds, rumbled down field and set up a one-play touchdown on the offensive side.
In the end, there was no challenge. St. Frances continues to look unbeatable. But with games this year against top-10 Super 25 teams including Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California) and IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida), this was just the first test for the Panthers.