It’s HSFB playoff times, guys! This is when great teams, usually led by great players, make their mark in the history books.
Several of Miami’s 20 commits in the 2017 class had playoff games this past week. Let’s get caught up on what happened:
QB N’Kosi Perry and Ocala (FL) Vanguard kept their playoff run going with a 46-23 win over New Port Richey (FL) Michell on Friday night.
The game started off slowly for Perry and Vanguard. The 4-star recruit was off early, as you can see by this tweet:
Perry just 4-14 passing but for 114 with long TD pass. Two INT. Watkins 7-129 with two long TD. Vanguard score 65, 58, 89. TY 324.— Darek Sharp (@DarekSharp) November 19, 2016
After falling behind 23-13 in the 2nd half, Vanguard went on a 33-0 run to close out the game and secure the win. Even in spite of starting 4/14 with 2 INT — including a pick-six — Perry finished the night with 147 yards passing and 2 TDs. Vanguard’s run game got cooking in the 2nd half, highlighted by a 98 yard TD run for the final points of the night.
Vanguard’s win now sets up arguably the game of the year in 6A: a rematch against undefeated Lake Gibson (FL). These teams were both undefeated and met in the regular season finale, with Gibson shellacking Perry and Vanguard 35-14.
Now, Vanguard and Lake Gibson, both ranked in the top 10 in Florida’s 6A classification, face off in the Regional Finals on Friday night with a berth in the State Semifinals on the line. I’m not even from Central Florida, but I can feel the tension from here, and I can’t wait to see how this game plays out.
QB Cade Weldon and Tampa (FL) Jefferson saw their playoff run and season come to an end as they lost to District rival Tampa (FL) Jesuit 42-21 on Friday night.
Weldon, for his part, did all he could for the Dragons. The senior signal-caller ended the night 30 for 48 for 391 yards and a TD for Jefferson. Weldon also added 2 touchdown runs, providing all the scoring for Jefferson on the night.
On the other side of the field, Jesuit RB Malik Davis — a Florida commit — went OFF, scoring 4 TDs and generally being unstoppable for Jesuit on the night.
Even in the loss, Weldon put together a very good senior year. He threw for more than 3,000 yards and 20+ TDs on the year, and added a nice amount of rushing yards and TDs for Jefferson, as well. Weldon is still clearly QB2 in this class, but just like I predicted before the season, his stock will rise based upon his strong play as a senior.
After the playoff loss to Jesuit on Friday night, Weldon and Jefferson end their season at 7-4.
RB Robert Burns and the Miami (FL) Gulliver Prep Raiders are independent, and have no further games.
Their season is over.
WR Kevaughn Dingle and the Carol City (FL) Chiefs beat Miami (FL) Northwestern 34-27 on Friday night.
Dingle was a constant problem for Northwestern to cover on the night, ending with 5 catches for 82 yards and 2 TDs. The 6’1” Dingle showed a variety of skills on the night, and helped Carol City advance to the Regional Finals for the first time in many years.
Carol City, runners up in District 15-6A, now travel to Daytona Beach (FL) Mainland on Friday night for the Regional Finals.
And, if you’re looking ahead a bit, we’re 2 Vanguard wins and 2 Carol City wins from N’Kosi Perry vs Kevaughn Dingle in the 6A State Championship game. But, that’s down the road a bit, and both Vanguard and Carol City have opponents to handle before that hypothetical turns into reality.
WR Evidence Njoku and Wayne Hills (NJ) Wayne Hills, after a tumultuous 2 weeks where they were disqualified from and reinstated to the playoffs in an ineligible player accusation situation, did what they’ve been doing all year long: win a football game. Wayne Hills defeated Roxbury (NJ) 33-7 in their playoff opener.
Njoku, the brother of Canes star TE David, opened the scoring on the night, hauling in a 39 yard score early in the first quarter.
Now fully reinstated, #1 ranked Wayne Hills continues their playoff run by hosting Chester (NJ) West Morris Central on Saturday afternoon.
TE Brian Polendey and Denton (TX) Guyer built a big lead, but saw it slip away as they lost to Cedar Hill (TX) 23-21 on Saturday night.
Guyer built a 21-7 first quarter lead, and shut Cedar Hill down through the first half. But, things turned in the 2nd half, with Cedar Hill pitching the shutout, and overcoming the 14 point deficit to win the game and end Guyer’s season. Guyer was held to 30 yards total offense in the 2nd half, which is never the recipe for success.
Polendey, an infrequent receiving target in Guyer’s power run offense, had 1 catch for 1 yard in his final high school game. The 6’5” 230lb Polendey will complete his coursework at Guyer before enrolling at Miami in January.
Polendey and the Guyer Wildcats end their season at 9-3.
OL Navaughn Donaldson and Miami (FL) Central Rockets missed the playoffs. Their season is over.
The Rockets’ season ended at 6-2, and their streak of 4 consecutive State Championships is over. Florida’s 6A classification will have a new champion in 2017.
OL Zach Dykstra and the Spirit Lake (IA) Indians missed the playoffs and have concluded their season.
The Indians’ season ends at 6-4.
OL Zalontae Hillery, ATH DeeJay Dallas and their Brunswick (GA) Glynn Academy Terrors got their 11th straight win — and a nice dose of revenge — with a 47-7 blowout of Acworth (GA) Allatoona on Friday night.
Allatoona defeated Glynn Academy 10-6 in the State Championship game last year, so Dallas, Hillery, and the Terrors were more than happy to get revenge for that loss, and did so in explosive fashion. Glynn Academy built a 20-0 halftime lead, and blew the game wide open with a 27-point 3rd Quarter that eliminated any doubt in the result.
Hillery’s blocking was obviously a key for a team that put up 47 points, but Dallas was the centerpiece of the Terrors’ offense, just as he has been for years. The 4-star ATH who plays QB for Glynn Academy, Dallas rushed 14 times for 123 yards and 2 TDs, threw a 44 yard TD pass, and caught a 58 yard TD pass on a trick play. Seems like a decent night to me, guys.
Now 11-1 on the year, Glynn Academy moves on to face Warner Robbins (GA) Northside in a 6A Regional Final on Friday night. Northside is a tough team, entering this game at 10-2 and ranked #2 in Georgia’s 6A classification and 8th overall in the State. For Glynn Academy to make a return to the Final 4 or State Championship game, Dallas and company will have to play a flawless game on Friday night.
DT Jon Ford and the Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Dillard Panthers’s lost to Carol City (FL) in the first round of the playoffs a week ago.
Dillard’s season ended at 6-4.
DE Jonathan Garvin and the Lake Worth (FL) Trojans missed the playoffs.
The Trojans’ season ended at 4-5.
DE D.J. Johnson and his Sacramento (CA) Luther Burbank Titans fought valiantly, but saw their season end with a 21-14 loss to Sacramento (CA) Christian Brothers on Friday night.
Christian Brothers did work early with a 90 yard kickoff return for a TD, before the game settled into a tight, defensive battle. Tied at 14 in the 4th quarter, Christian Brothers QB Tyler Vander Waal scored ona QB keeper to give CB the win.
Burbank started the year slowly, losing their first 3 games in blowout fashion, before going on a roll in District play. Johnson was a do-it-all dynamo for the Titans, and showed why he’s such a highly ranked and recruited prospect in the process.
With Friday’s loss to Christian Brothers, Johnson and the Burbank Titans see their season end at 7-4.
LB De’Andre Wilder attends Carol City, but he has aged out of FHSAA eligibility after turning 19 years and 9 months the day after Carol City’s last regular season game. The Chiefs continued their playoff run with a 34-27 win over Miami (FL) Northwestern on Friday night, and will move on to face Daytona (FL) Mainland next Friday.
But, for the age reasons previously listed, Wilder’s HSFB career has already ended.
LB Waynmon Steed and the Miami (FL) Central Rockets missed the playoffs. Their season is over.
News recently broke that Steed played his senior year with a knee injury that will require surgery, which he is scheduled to have on December 2nd. Miami will honor his scholarship, and Steed is on track to enroll at Miami in January.
LB Bradley Jennings Jr. and Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood lost their playoff opener to Sanford (FL) Seminole a week ago.
Their season ended at 7-2.
DB Trajan Bandy and the Miami (FL) Columbus Explorers lost a rematch game against District for Coral Gables (FL) 21-14 on Thursday night.
Bandy and the Explorers defense played well on the night, but they weren’t able to do enough to secure the win.
With the loss to Coral Gables — a team headlined by 2018 Miami commit DB Gilbert Frierson, by the way — Columbus’ season ends at 7-5.
DB Billy Gibson and Miami (FL) Southridge kept their playoff run going with at 26-0 win over Miami (FL) Palmetto in a District rematch.
After another dominating performance, Southridge has pitched 7 consecutive shutouts on defense, and the offense is doing enough to win. The last team to even score a point against Southridge was Miami (FL) Carol City, who defeated The Ridge 18-0 back on September 23rd. Since then, Southridge has defeated South Dade, Killian, Homestead, Palmetto — twice —, Miami High, and Southwest Miami by a combined score of 205-0. That’ll work.
Southridge continues their playoff run against the aforementioned Coral Gables (FL) — the same team that just eliminated Bandy and the Columbus Explorers — on Friday night.
DB Amari Carter and the Palm Beach Gardens (FL) Gators saw their playoff run end with a 33-21 loss to Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic. Gardens had a lead early on in this game, but they eventually proved to be no match for Atlantic.
With the loss, Carter and Gardens end their season at 5-6.
P Zach Feagles and the Ridgewood (NJ) Maroons defeated Montclair (NJ) 31-20 on Friday night, but this game had plenty of tense moments for Ridgewood.
Ridgewood has dominated their opposition all year long, but trailed Montclair 20-7 in the 4th quarter. With their backs against the wall and with their undefeated season on the line, the Maroons put together the kind of performance that had been their standard to this point, scoring 24 unanswered points to secure the win.
Feagles started slowly, as did the entire Ridgewood team, but he ended up doing his normal thing with 23 carries for 112 yards and 2 TDs, including the game-winner. Feagles also had a tackle, and 2 punts for 74 yards (37 yard average) on the night.
Ridgewood looks to keep rolling with a rematch against Wayne (NJ) Passaic County Tech on Friday night. Passaic County Tech lost to Ridgewood 14-7 on October 28th, their only District loss on the yar. Passiac County Tech enters the game at 9-2 on the season, and looking for a major upset to end Ridgewood’s year. They will get the chance to do just that on Friday night.
That’s it for this week’s Commit Recap. Only a handful of commits are still playing in their senior years.
We’ll see who’s still playing this time next week after another week of HSFB playoff action.