Fuller's star shines brightly in big win; California WR breaks record
Kendall Fuller led Our Lady of Good Counsel in Maryland showdown over DeMatha
Drew Wolitarsky broke Steve Smith's California state record for career receptions
Hartsville (S.C.) OL Ronald Rouse tragically collapsed and died on field Friday night
The arrival of October signals the transition from big national intrastate games to league play. Will there be more blowouts? It's likely, but luckily the passion of rivalry games and the battle for bragging rights stimulates plenty of these matchups. Community water cooler talk resonates better when neighboring cities are playing, anyway.
Last week's headlining league battle was in Maryland, as Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) took on DeMatha (Hyatsville, Md.), two teams that annually produce multiple Division I players each year.
And even if record-breaking feels like a common theme every week, another significant mark held by a state legend was broken.
Onto the headlines:
Crabcakes and football: Our Lady of Good Counsel's Kendall Fuller, a Virginia Tech commit, has already earned plenty of headlines and he's proven that he is one of the most dynamic athletes in the Class of 2013. So it came as little surprise that the budding star shined against his archrivals.
Fuller returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown and helped anchor a stout defensive performance in the Falcons' 13-10 win. Fuller is now the star of a squad that had an electric performer (Stefon Diggs, now of Maryland) last season and is improving after an opening-season loss to Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas). Fuller was the MVP of the game, but it took a balanced effort from the Falcon defense and a steady running output from the offense to seal a difficult win. While Fuller garners most of the headlines, Our Lady of Good Counsel's Dorian O'Daniel, a Clemson commit, forced a key fumble before leaving the game with an injury.
The Falcons have now won five straight, and this win added another marquee victory to their resume after knocking off one of New Jersey's best (St. Joseph Regional) three weeks ago. They now transition into an easier part of their schedule, but there are no guarantees in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
Catching Records: Two weeks ago, we spotlighted the record that Yulee (Fla.) running back Derrick Henry broke and one he could be on his way to breaking. Canyon Country Canyon (Calif.) receiver Drew Wolitarsky won't be committing to Alabama or seeing Emmitt Smith at any of his games, but he now holds the California state record for receiving yards. Whose record did Wolitarsky break? Carolina Panthers star receiver Steve Smith's.
Wolitarsky caught nine balls for 149 yards in his team's 49-7 victory over Golden Valley, and he now has 240 catches for 4,585 yards in his career. Now, Wolitarsky is within striking distance of Smith's state receptions record. Wolitarsky is 32 catches away from breaking the record of 271. Wolitarsky is a three-star prospect by Rivals.com who is thought to be favoring Minnesota.
Tragedy hits in South Carolina: Terribly sad news hit the small town of Hartsville, S.C. last Friday when Ronald Rouse, 18, of Hartsville High collapsed on the field and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
The Hartsville principal canceled the second half of the game. A town of only 764, the entire Hartsville community was shaken by Rouse's death; the mayor ordered the flags at half mast and issued a statement urging residents to take time and pray for Rouse's family. The autopsy diagnosed eventually diagnosed Rouse with an enlarged heart.
And now onto the rankings:
Previous rank: 1
Last week: Won 56-0 over Braden River (Bradenton, Fla.)
Next week: vs. Cypress Bay (Weston, Fla.)
The Hurricanes raced out to a 49-0 lead at half and easily coasted over city rival Braden River Friday night.
Previous rank: 2
Last week: Won 21-0 over Servite (Anaheim, Calif.)
Next week: vs. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
The Eagles survived their first game without star quarterback Johnny Stanton, and the defense did a great deal of the legwork. Defensive end Nick Begg (committed to ASU) terrorized Servite all night, but the real test comes next week when the Eagles host vaunted powerhouse Mater Dei.
Previous rank: 3
Last week: Won 48-14 over Carver (New Orleans)
Next week: vs. Newman (New Orleans)
Curtis coasted to an easy victory again, but it was the first time the Patriots surrendered double-digit points in a game this season. They now have three games remaining, none of which should present any substantial test until the playoffs come around.
Previous rank: 4
Last week: Won 70-7 over Interlake (Bellevue, Wash.)
Next week: @ Mount Si (Snoqualmie, Wash.)
The Wolverines steamrolled another local last week, but now the big test is on the horizon. Since Bellevue is not in the same league as Skyline (led by USC-bound Max Browne), the Wolverines will face its biggest league game of the year against Mount Si. The Wildcats have shut out opponents in four of its six games and have not allowed more than eight points in a game this season.
Previous rank: 6
Last week: Won 49-0 over John Adams (Cleveland)
Next week: @ St. Francis (Athol Springs, NY)
The Wildcats scored another dominant victory over a local rival and now oddly travel to upstate New York in October to take on a winless team. The big game for St. Ignatius comes in two weeks it faces St. Xavier (Cincinnati).
Previous rank: 5
Last week: Won 34-17 over Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.)
Next week: @ Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.)
The score doesn't scream "domination" like several other of this week's finals, but the Spartans controlled the game from the opening possession and easily dispatched Foothill.
Previous rank: 7
Last week: Won 39-12 over Coffee (Douglas, Ga.)
Next week: vs. Tift County (Tifton, Ga.)
The Wildcats notched an impressive victory over a talented Coffee team and now gets two fairly easy games in succession over the next three weeks. Quarterback Brice Ramsey and company will have two stiff tests come November, however, when they will travel to both Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.) and Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.), the latter coached by the famous Rush Propst of Two-a-Days fame.
Previous rank: 8
Last week: Won 64-0 over Riverside (Greer, S.C.)
Next week: @ Gaffney (S.C.)
The entire South Carolina high school football community was shaken by the death of Hartsville's Ronald Rouse, but Byrnes easily maintained their supremacy in the Palmetto State.
Previous rank: 9
Last week: Won 55-27 over DuPont Manual (Louisville)
Next week: vs. Male (Louisville)
The virtual all-star team recorded an emphatic victory on Friday (don't let the 27 points fool you, the score was 34-7 at halftime) and now the Shamrocks take on Male before a high-profile throwdown with Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati) in two weeks.
Previous rank: 10
Last week: 6-0
Last week: Won 58-14 over Temecula Valley (Temecula, Calif.)
Next week: vs. Great Oak (Temecula, Calif.)
The Broncos were involved in a bit of a shootout early (they allowed 14 points in the first quarter), but they proceeded to score 37 points in the second quarter. You read that correctly, 37 points, to take a 58-14 halftime lead. Vista Murrieta has vastly improved its offensive output and looks to be jelling on both sides of the ball.
Next five: Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.), Miami Central (Fla.), Katy (Texas), Butler (Matthews, N.C.), Hoover (Ala.)