- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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OUTLOOK All eyes will be on the Lions this year because of Clausen (box, page 63), who has led his team to the CIF Southern Section Division XI title each of the last three seasons, but he's not the only reason Oaks Christian is ranked this high. Tyler (box, page 64) rushed for 2,195 yards and 39 touchdowns in '05, adding 421 yards and six TDs on 22 receptions. Two-way standout Jones scored 15 TDs, including two on defense. Both gamebreakers have committed to USC. Lemmens, Matthews and Gildon head up a tough defense. "I'd rather deal with the high expectations than everyone expecting you to lose," says coach Bill Redell.
4 Warren Central ( Indianapolis) 2005 RECORD: 14-1
OUTLOOK No Indiana school has ever won four consecutive state championships, but the Warriors are one Class 5A title shy of accomplishing that feat. They have a new coach, Steve Tutsie, the defensive coordinator for the past five seasons, who was promoted after longtime coach Kevin Wright left for Union ( Tulsa). Sixteen returning starters, including two of the nation's top recruits ( Evans and Finch), will help Tutsie's cause. Evans, who has committed to Virginia Tech, rushed for 2,165 yards and 39 touchdowns in '05, while the Michigan-bound Finch is a two-way standout. Seniors Matt Upshaw and Durell Martin will battle for playing time at quarterback.
5 Carroll (Southlake, Texas) 2005 RECORD: 16-0
TOP PLAYERS RB Tre' Newton (6'1", 185, Jr.); QB Riley Dodge (5'11", 175, Jr.); DL Kyle Russo (6'3", 245, Sr.); LB Justin Padron (6 feet, 215, Sr.)
KEY GAME Sept. 14 vs. Evangel Christian ( Shreveport, La.)
OUTLOOK The Dragons are coming off their third state Class 5A Division II title in four years and were SI.com's No. 1 team for '05. But repeating will be much tougher this year because coach Todd Dodge has to replace 53 graduated seniors. The new quarterback is the coach's son, Riley, who in part-time duty last season threw for 767 yards and seven touchdowns while also running for 717 yards and seven more scores. He'll be looking for senior wideouts Blake Tomlin and Anthony Ford. Newton, whose father, Nate, was a Pro Bowl tackle for the Dallas Cowboys, rushed for 1,372 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. Russo, who had 14 sacks, and Padron, who was in on 186 tackles, key the defense.
6 Independence ( Charlotte) 2005 RECORD: 15-0