This is a dangerous week for the Super 25 with potential upsets lurking at every corner. Here are five games worth watching:
No. 13 Jenks could be Broken Arrow’s target
This may be the best Jenks team in years. The Trojans have won 16 consecutive games and their closest win this season was against rival Union, 45-27, in the Backyard Bowl. Cooper Nunley has led the Trojans (6-0), throwing for 1,722 yards and 23 touchdowns. Friday, the Trojans play host to Broken Arrow. The Tigers are 7-1, including an overtime defeat of Texas powerhouse Coppell and their only loss was 42-18 to Union. Expect Broken Arrow to hand the ball a lot to running back Jamall Shaw (1,313 yards, 17 touchdowns) in an attempt to shorten the game. Last year, Jenks won the meeting 33-14.
Gardendale may not be a routine opponent for No. 6 Clay-Chalkville
Last week, Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala.) wide receiver T.J. Simmons, an Alabama commit, broke out the pom-poms during his team’s 72-6 defeat of Woodlawn (Birmingham). I’m not saying that Clay-Chalkville’s average margin of victory of 40 points has allowed the Cougars plenty of time to check out the cheerleaders on game day, but Simmons did have their moves down for one of their routines. It will be interesting if he’s able to do that again Friday as Clay-Chalkville takes on Gardendale (7-1) for the 6A-6 region title. While the Cougars have not been tested this season, Gardendale has steadily improved and got a bump last week as wide receiver Kevin Howard, a transfer from Pinson Valley, became eligible and responded with six catches for 130 yards in a 38-28 defeat of Fort Payne. Still Clay-Chalkville won last year’s meeting, 45-20.
Bayside might provide a rare test for No. 7 Ocean Lakes
The Dolphins have been dominant, particularly because they don’t give up many points. Only one opponent has scored more than one touchdown on Ocean Lakes and that was Salem (Virginia Beach) in the opening game of the season. If any Virginia Beach team is capable of scoring on the Dolphins, it may be their opponent on Saturday, Bayside. The Marlins are 6-1 and their quarterback, Donte Lampley, a South Carolina State commit, has completed 90 of 177 passes for 1,530 yards and 17 touchdowns. Of course, that doesn’t mean Bayside will be able to stop Ocean Lake junior running back Khalan Laborn, who has run for 1,122 yards and 20 touchdowns.
No. 18 Gonzaga needs to knock off Good Counsel to stay in the Super 25
The Eagles broke into the Super 25 last week with a 24-14 upset of then-No. 5 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.). Gonzaga (7-0) has to go on the road Friday to face another traditional Washington Catholic Athletic Conference power, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.). While the Falcons are an uncharacteristic 5-2, both of their losses, to St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) and to regionally ranked Gilman (Baltimore) were by six points. The Eagles will need to maintain a balanced offense and a big push from their offensive line to handle Good Counsel, which has won nine of the past 10 meetings between the teams, including 17-7 last season.
No. 17 Male faces one-loss rival DuPont Manual for a barrel
Last season, Male ended a streak of four consecutive losses to its fellow Louisville rival, DuPont Manual, needing a late touchdown to defeat the Rams, 28-21. This year’s game is Friday at DuPont Manual. The winner of the game, which dates back to 1893, gets to keep a barrel. It is the longest-running, continuously played rivalry in the state and 10,000 fans are expected to attend the game. DuPont Manual is 7-1 this season, with its only loss coming to Trinity (Louisville), which fell 27-24 last week to Male (8-0). Male running back Devin Gentry has run for 490 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught three touchdown passes while DuPont Manual’s Troy Henderson has rushed for 596 yards and six touchdowns. In the past, students of the two schools have been suspended for pranking the other school and in 2012, the team’s mascots turned a play fight during halftime of a basketball game into a Bulldog on Ram brawl.