Prepzone hits its stride this week with two of the best matchups you'll find anywhere including more college prospects than some entire states. Here is a look at the games and the players to watch this week.
No. 6 St. Bonaventure @ No. 1 Santa Margarita
9/21 7PM PST
Maybe the game of the year early on, this one could help decide who represents the south in either the Open or D1 Bowl game at the conclusion of the season.
St. Bonaventure is battle tested having already beaten No. 9 Corona Centennial and Redlands East Valley, but Santa Margarita presents a different test. The Seraphs will lean heavily on running back Zachary Green (Arizona) who is a punishing between the tackles runner and a good receiver out of the backfield. Tight end Bryce Dixon ('14) could end up being one of the more heavily recruited players in the Southland next year.
Santa Margarita makes its second consecutive appearance on the Prepzone after humiliating Carson 72-0 last week. The starters should be crisp after many of them took snaps in the fourth quarter with a 10 touchdown lead. Nebraska commitment Johnny Stanton may be the best high school quarterback in the country because of what he can do with his legs and his arm. In front of him are a pair of D1 lineman in center Dane Crane (Washington) and Riley Sorenson. The Washington Huskies are well represented in this one with another commitment from safety Connor O'Brien as well.
Prediction: St. Bonaventure will take the fight right to Santa Margarita after the Eagles have preyed on three weak opponents to the tune of 162-6 the last three weeks. Sophomore quarterback Ricky Towns will need to stay poised and manage the game for St. Bonaventure to have a chance. In the end, too much power up front, too much Johnny Stanton as Santa Margarita holds on to the No. 1 spot.
Narbonne (3-0) @ No. 8 Serra (4-0)
9/21 7PM PST
How much do we really know about Narbonne? While talented, the Gauchos have
blown out three terrible teams to the tune of 158-6. Serra has been in some
battles already including a win over No. 17 Notre Dame on Prepzone. Narbonne is
no fluke though, this same Gaucho team beat Serra last year and both teams are
returning a bevy of college level prospects.
Narbonne is led by Washington commitment Troy Williams at quarterback. Williams will leave Narbonne having started games in all four of his seasons. He is incredibly poised and has a plus arm with command of his offense. Cal commitment A.J. Richardson is Williams' go-to receiver. Linebacker Keishawn Bierria is one of the more unheralded players in the Southland, but he's one of the most active backers we'll see on the Prepzone. He is looking at offers from the likes of Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon State among others. Defensive end Paulo Lepua is one of the fastest rising prospect in California and boasts offers from Utah, Arizona, and Oregon State.
Serra is not exactly coming to the field empty handed when it comes to talented players, though most of the Cavaliers talent lies in the underclass. Junior quarterback Jalen Green is a strong armed lefty who can run by most defenders on this level. Defensive back Adoree Jackson already holds offers from UCLA, Washington, and Nebraska, and he will be tested early and often by Williams. Linebacker Dwight Williams is part of a talented linebacker crew, and Williams already has an offer from UCLA as well.
Prediction: Senior talent wins out over Junior talent as Narbonne continues its winning ways in a hard fought shootout with Serra.
Valencia (1-2) @ Santa Monica (2-1)
9/21 7PM PST
Two evenly matched opponents square as Santa Monica looks to rebound from its blowout loss to Mater Dei last week. Santa Monica will look to get USC commitment Sebastian LaRue more involved in the action as he's a threat receiving and on returns.
Valencia's Gabe Perez is a linebacker prospect drawing the attention of schools from San Diego State to Boise State. He looks to be leaning to the Broncos at the moment.
Prediction: Valencia is able to contain Santa Monica and LaRue to even its record at 2-2.
Birmingham (3-1) vs. Hart (2-1) @ College of the Canyon
9/21 7PM PST
The top prospect in this game is only a sophomore in Hart's receiver Trent Irwin. Irwin is a player I've likened to Reggie Miller of NBA fame. Irwin has an elite talent and boundless energy to get open, just like Miller working for his shot. Only Irwin's elite talent instead of shooting is catching. If the ball is near Irwin, he's going to catch it. Big junior tight end Davis Koppenhaver is a player to keep an eye on as well. At 6'5/210, he's not hard to find.
Prediction: Hart gave No. 11 Tesoro all it wanted in Week 1. The Titans needed a game saving drive at the end of the game to eek out a 10-7 win. Hart has won comfortably the last two weeks and should be able to do the same against Birmingham.