Greg Biggins, National Recruiting Analyst
West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade vs. Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Chaminade quarterback and Miami commit Brad Kaaya had a big game and threw the ball as well as he has all season. Kaaya has a big arm, spins it and threw on time and with accuracy. He showed poise leading his team down the field in the last second to set up the game winning field goal to shock Serra. Sophomore receiver Dymond Lee has a chance to be special. He's an athletic kid who runs well and is a natural pass catcher. Miami has already offered. Lee's older brother Donovan stood out at running back and corner. He's a tough player, runs hard and showed a nice burst. He could play running back, receiver or corner in college. Junior offensive tackle Bar Milo is a tough, physical mauler who plays with a mean streak. He has great size and as he continues to improve his athleticism, Milo could be a national recruit. A sleeper to watch is tight end Brayden Lenius. Lenius is all of 6-foot-5 if not taller and can run. He's from Canada and is new to football but catches the ball well, is a plus athlete and has some definite upside.
As is always the case, even in defeat, Serra athlete Adoree Jackson was the best player on the field. He had two 90+ punt/kick returns for touchdowns and rivals DeAnthony Thomas as probably the most explosive player to come out of the state in the last five years. Wide out and UCLA commit Jordan Lasley had a big game, showing he's among the most dynamic pass catchers in the state. He's very polished, has great hands and the speed to get deep. Linebacker Olajuwon Tucker was a beast all game and made a ton of plays. The USC commit can rush the passer, is strong against the run and even looked solid in pass coverage. Safety Glen Ihenacho had several bone jarring hits and the Oregon commit was strong in coverage as well. Junior linebacker John Houston, a 2015 Scout top 50 player, has incredible upside. He's big, fast and rangy and does everything well.
Brandon Huffman, National Recruiting Analyst
Bellevue (Wash.) vs. Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic
Bellevue safety Budda Baker, the Northwest's top prospect, was keyed on by Eastside Catholic, which allowed the other playmakers for Bellevue to rack up the stats. EC stacked the box against Baker, though he would still make even the shortest gain look exciting. Defensively, Eastside did everything they could to avoid him, but his presence really affected their passing game. Baker finally got into the end zone on the final drive of the game for Bellevue, a fitting ending to one of the finest careers in Bellevue's storied history.
Bellevue defensive tackle Marcus Griffin had his best game of the season, and largely because he got to play an entire game. Griffin had a sack and four tackles for loss and was getting a good push just about every snap against a good interior offensive line for the Crusaders. Griffin also played every snap on offense from his center position.
Bellevue defensive end Shane Bowman had a great game with a sack, three tackles for loss, a QB hurry that led to a pick six and a fumble recovery. Like Griffin, it was Bowman's best game of the season and again, playing all four quarters helped. He showed great quickness off the ball, strength against the block and a motor that didn't turn off.
Bellevue 2015 offensive tackle Henry Roberts, a Scout 300 prospect, was having a dominant game until he broke his elbow in the third quarter. Roberts was down for a long time after going for a cut block and was gone for the rest of the game. It's uncertain how long he'll be out for.
Bellevue offensive guard Morgan Richey lined up next to Roberts and did a great job of pulling and leading for Bellevue's quarterbacks and running back. On a couple of runs, he was the only one near a Bellevue back leading the way He's definitely a guard at the next level, and could play either left or right.
Bellevue quarterback Tim Haehl, who's headed to Harvard, was the MVP for Bellevue. He ran for two touchdowns, threw one, had an interception for a touchdown, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and played just about every snap. The Harvard commit, who had FBS offers, was the star of the game in every facet.
Eastside Catholic sophomore Brandon Wellington was relatively neutralized by Bellevue when he was on offense. But the four-star was at his best on defense and was a key part of the efforts to stop Budda Baker.
Eastside Catholic sophomore quarterback Harley Kirsch had a rough night, getting pressured for most of the evening and Bellevue did a good job of mixing up their coverages and throwing different looks at him.He had a couple of nice throws, that showed his ability, but against a talented defense, which feasted on the youthful offense of EC, he wasn't as effective as he's been.
Pasco (Wash.) Chiawana vs. Camas (Wash.)
Camas offensive lineman Drew Clarkson, who's headed to Oregon State, did a great job protecting Reilly Hennessey and was also stout in run blocking. Because he's dealt with cancer for the past few months, his weight is down, so he'll need to add the weight back to be effective at the next level. But the athleticism and flexibility is all there.
Camas quarterback Reilly Hennessey was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year earlier in the week. He had a slow start, but then got into a groove and nearly rallied Camas before Chiawana mounted a rally of their own. Hennesseey reminds of Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion with his size and release, though he doesn't have the rifle that Mannion does. He's a steal, though, for Eastern Washington.
Chiawana safety Deion Singleton, a transfer from the state of Florida, had a better night at receiver, with a couple of big, athletic grabs from Zamora. He's got great hands and is a very good athlete, so he could go up or dive for passes. He's got great body control but needs to work on his route running. Defensively, he had a couple of times where he took bad angles and didn't wrap up, but then would make a good play in coverage breaking up a pass.
Chiawana linebacker Alex Weber is a big, physical linebacker who loves contact and has a great nose for the ball. He's not afraid to drop the hammer and was constantly making the initial hit. He moves well laterally and also had some nice runs out of the backfield.
Chiawana quarterback Joey Zamora was a warrior, rallying the Riverhawks to an improbable state championship. Down by 13 with two minutes to play and starting from their own five-yard line, Zamora threw a touchdown pass with 55 seconds left, and was crushed, being hit late and staying on the ground for several minutes. After getting up, Chiawana recovered the onside kick and Zamora came in and made a couple of key plays, including picking up a first down at the three yard line with just over 10 seconds left and then quickly getting his team lined up so he could spike it with three seconds left. Zamora then threw the winning touchdown pass with no time on the clock to tie it, and Chiawana kicked the winning PAT. Zamora is tough as nails, getting hit constantly but staying tough in the pocket. He did lock onto his receivers at time, but also wasn't afraid to thread the needle. The toughness and moxie he showed down the stretch, though, was the biggest takeaway.
Lindsey Thiry, West Coast Field Reporter
Murietta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta vs. Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Vista Murrieta and Centennial faced off Friday night for the CIF-SS Inland Division Championship. Both teams boasted powerhouse rosters featuring numerous top prospects, but on this freezing night in Southern California it was Centennial who came out victorious, 26-12. It was the third time in the last four years Centennial beat Vista Murrieta for the Inland Division Championship.
Centennial was powered by the legs of California commit Tre Watson. Watson ran the football 48 times for just under 300 yards, including two touchdowns. The three-star running back remains verbally committed to Cal, but says he's still being pursued by UCLA and would like to earn an offer from USC. After the game Watson credited his offensive line for enabling him to run the ball so well throughout the CIF-SS playoffs. His offensive line features four-star offensive guard Viane Talamaivao, a one-time Alabama commit who recently flipped to USC. Talamaivao told Scout after the game he remains solid to the Trojans since new head coach Steve Sarkisian was announced.
Centennial defensive end Jaylen Johnson proved a force to be reckon with against Centennial; he also announced following the game his decommitment from Boise State since the departure of head coach Chris Petersen for Washington. Johnson says he'll now plan to take five official visits and restart the recruiting process.
Defensive end Austin Maloata told Scout after the game his experiences at Centennial have been a "dream come true" since moving to the United States last spring from Samoa. Maloata, a three-star recruit, is committed to USC. He took an official visit to UCLA the morning after winning the championship.
Lining the sidelines at Friday's game were multiple college coaches, including staff members from Boise State, BYU, UCLA, and USC amongst others.