Does Saddleback College have any extra digits on its scoreboard?
Two of the nation’s top quarterbacks face off Friday at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., when No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower) plays Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) in the Trinity League opener for both teams. St. John Bosco (5-0) is averaging 64 points a game and Santa Margarita (4-1) is putting up 40.2 points a game.
Asked whether Saddleback’s scoreboard allows for three-digit scores, St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro laughed (via a text) and then said, “I hope their scoreboard does. We’ve had a good week of practice.”
St. John Bosco has been led by quarterback Quentin Davis, who has completed 75 of 111 passes for 1,296 yards (67.6%) and 14 touchdowns with one interception against a difficult schedule. Braves running back Sean McGrew has only run 38 times but has 584 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has 140 receiving yards and a touchdown catch.
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Santa Margarita quarterback K.J. Costello is a Stanford commit who has completed 76 of 119 passes (63.9%) for 1,235 yards and 14 touchdowns with two interceptions. He’s also run for four touchdowns. St. John Bosco won last year’s game, 58-34.
“It could be (a high-scoring game),” Eagles coach Rick Curtis said. “The key will be the defenses, that’s for sure. … Last year, we had a couple of turnovers in the fourth quarter. They had a scoop and a score and a pick-six. Those two turnovers were the key. We know it’s like a basketball situation where the momentum changes. For us, it’s important to stop the big plays and the momentum. If it’s 3-2 or 55-54, we don’t care.”
No. 22 Mainland has a really long road trip
No. 22 Mainland (Daytona Beach, Fla.) will play at No. 25 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) on Saturday. The nearly 1,000-mile trip would be a long flight, but Mainland is taking the trip by bus, which would be roughly 32 hours, round-trip, without stopping, though the trip will actually be longer because the team planned to stay overnight Thursday in North Carolina. Mainland initially thought its flight was paid for but had to resort to a bus when it found out the game’s promoter, Hercules Sports Management, LLC, had not paid for airfare.
Mainland was traveling, and administrators and coaches did not return phone calls. Hercules Sports Management also did not respond to phone calls or email. St. Edward, which has worked with Hercules in the past, including last week when it played host to Cocoa, Fla., helped ensure the game would happen by setting up hotel rooms and meals in Ohio for Mainland.
“We don’t know what happened,” said St. Edward athletic director Paul Michalko. “We just figured out a way to play the game and they’re on their way and we’re playing Saturday. The rest we’ll work out later. That’s for administrators to take care of. We’re not in touch with the promoter on a regular basis. I know we have been part of games he has been in charge of for three to four years and never really had any issues. We really don’t know all the details, but my only concern was the game and whatever we could do to make it work. … He (the promoter) didn’t follow on his end of the contract, so then it was up to Mainland and they decided they wanted to make the trip and they made their determination and they’re on the bus.”
St. Edward is an independent that struggles to find games because it has been dominant in recent years in northern Ohio. So far this season, the Eagles (5-1) have played more games (four) against out-of-state opponents than against Buckeye state foes (two). Mainland is 6-0 and has only lost to Miami Central in recent years.
However, the Buccaneers may have to play their second game without starting quarterback Denzel Houston, who broke his right (throwing) hand. In his place last week, Cyrus Fagan led Mainland to a 42-14 defeat of Deltona, passing for three touchdowns and running for two. Both teams have outstanding running backs. St. Edward features Cole Gest, who has run for 779 yards and nine touchdowns and has 124 receiving yards with two touchdown catches. The Bucs have speedy running back Adrian Killins, who has run for 567 yards and seven touchdowns.
“What concerns me is their athleticism and speed,” Eagles coach Tom Lombardo said. “They run an offense that tries to get you in one-on-one match-ups in space. … I think we’ve played a better schedule, but does that mean we’re a better team? I don’t know. I give them credit for coming up here on a bus and playing us.”
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Deerfield Beach and No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas play for the Broward County bragging rights
The last Broward County team to take down St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) was Deerfield Beach, which beat the Raiders 22-7 in 2013 and plays host to the unbeaten Raiders on Friday. The Raiders (5-0) had their toughest test two weeks ago, when they came from behind to beat Hallandale (Hallandale Beach) 36-28. Aquinas’ depth is reflected in its scoring. While quarterback Jake Allen has thrown 13 touchdown passes, 16 other players have scored points for the Raiders. Deerfield is 4-1 with is loss coming 33-15 to Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.) two weeks ago.
How will No. 21 La Salle (Cincinnati) respond to last week’s close call?
The Lancers (6-0) needed overtime to take down Moeller (Cincinnati) 13-7 last week. Friday, they face another Greater Catholic League South team in St. Xavier (Cincinnati). The Bombers (4-2) are the last team to defeat La Salle (Cincinnati), topping them 24-21 last October. St. Xavier is coming off its own overtime game as it fell 24-17 to Elder (Cincinnati) last week.
Colquitt vs. Lee County is a matchup of unbeaten QBs
No. 5 Colquitt County (6-0) travels to 6-0 Lee County (Leesburg) on Friday. While Colquitt is the No. 1-ranked team in the state and has faced the tougher schedule, Lee County is ranked No. 7 in the state and has a slightly more impressive win against a common foe, Crisp County (Cordele). Lee won 42-0 while the Packers defeated Crisp 37-7. Expect a high scoring game as Colquitt has averaged 47 points a game and the Trojans are producing 45.7 points a game.
The Packers have been led by the combo of Chase Parrish and wide receiver Kiel Pollard. Parrish has completed 72 of 105 passes for 1,123 yards and 16 touchdowns with two interceptions and has run for 137 yards and a touchdown. His primary target, Pollard, has 25 catches for 412 yards and eight touchdowns. Lee’s combo of quarterback Garet Morrell and Tray Eafford is equally dangerous as Morell has completed 60 of 107 passes for 1,116 yards and 16 touchdowns and has run for 226 yards and three touchdowns. Eafford has 17 catches, including nine for touchdowns and 460 receiving yards.