Well, both showed they are still elite backs against very tough defenses in this game.
The defensive line controlled the game on both sides. Brown had the run of the night in the third quarter when he scampered 26 yards for a touchdown before it was called back because of a penalty. He got to the line, made a linebacker grab air, he ran through a tackle, and then broke away from a third defender for the score.
Malcome had some very nice runs showing his down hill running style and pure strength as a running back. The 6-foot 218 pound back would often get hit at or behind the line of scrimmage and somehow end up with a five or seven yard gain. He made a couple of nice cuts to open space, he always kept his legs churning, his body lean was great, and he was dragging people for his yards much of the night.
Brown, the five-star back showed good wiggle, great lateral movement and he also blocked very well in this game. He had to hold off four-star defensive end T.J. Stripling a few times and he held his own. The 5-foot-11, 191 pound back out of M.L.K. really hung in there and showed some toughness. He did not get that space he needs to be as effective as he can be, but he made some guys miss in traffic and ran hard.
On the defensive side of the ball was where the action was. It was tough for either team to get anything going. Southwest Dekalb defensive end T.J. Stripling was in the backfield all night it seemed.
The 6-foot-6, 210 pound rush end is extremely quick off the ball and his biggest strength is pursuing the football. He would get tied up a bit when the ball was ran right at his gap, but if the play went the way he seemed to be in the mix all evening.
He had what looked to be a crucial sack in the fourth quarterback and an unofficial seven quarterback pressures. As soon as the UGA commitment had space he was chasing down the football. He did a nice job stringing some plays out that came his way on the ground and he was in on a few tackles when M.L.K. ran the ball, but his pressure against the double team and just his pure speed to track the QB down was impressive.
Vanderbilt commitment Sharrod Golightly played physical Friday night and was n afraid to play inside the box. He was lining up as an extra linebacker playing the run more than he was dropping back into coverage. A slot receiver and tight end did get behind him in the middle of the field in the first half, but it did not hurt the Panthers because one ball was overthrown and the other was just dropped by sophomore Blake Tibbs.
The stars played hard, the game was full of emotion, and the better team that night won the game 13-9. M.L.K. defeated Southwest Dekalb in a defensive showdown.
Nobody's stock was really affected much in this game. Brown will still be a five-star back, he still showed the wiggle and ability to make guys miss in space, and the future Florida Gator has star on the next level written all over him.
Stripling is a nightmare for opponents when he has the opportunity to get into chase mode. He has trouble fighting off blocks head on at times, but that should improve as he adds weight. He could bump up slightly in the next rankings after this performance.
The Star of the Game
M.L.K. quarterback Cameron Myers made the big plays Friday night. While he was hot and cold with his arm, he made the plays when needed the most. He threw two touchdown passes, he threw the ball very well outside the pocket, and his legs allowed him to keep many plays alive when many would have been sacked.
He kept his eyes down field when Stripling had him running for his life at times from sideline to sideline. Myers made some big runs, big throws, and he made some good decisions.
Corey Jarvis (M.L.K. Head Coach) has to be proud of the way he managed the game. Even though it was a season opener, it was played in the atmosphere of a state championship game.
Look for Myers to receive some attention this fall. He is a very good athlete that could also play safety on the next level.
Underclassmen to Watch
Terrance Smith is a 6-foot-3, 210 pound linebacker/defensive end out of Southwest Dekalb that is going to be their top recruit in 2011. He was held at bay much of the night, but he showed good quickness, nice range, and he did make two plays in the backfield. He is the son of former Clemson running back Terry Smith.
Blake Tibbs is an athlete that is close to 6-feet 1-inch tall and 170 pounds and he is a receiver to watch in the class of 2012. Tibbs has great length, he is a long strider with speed, and he has the skills to be the next top tier recruit out of Coach Jarvis' program.
Jarvis has a couple of tackles to put on the radar as well. Both saw significant time against Southwest Dekalb and the two were lining up on crucial plays in the fourth quarter against Stripling and Smith.
Joshua Outlaw is a 6-foot-4, 275 pound freshman that took care of business on the left side in this game. He is a little stiff, but he showed very good feet and toughness. Julian Williams is over 6-feet 5-inches tall and close to 280 pounds while wearing a size 20 shoe. Alabama has already called Coach Jarvis about this young man.
Those two look to be future marquee recruits for the Lions.
Chad Simmons is the Recruiting Analyst for the South Region and he can be reached at ChadSimmons@Scout.com.