<
>
Insider

What to watch this weekend

10/27/2011

Triple-digit receptions for Oliver?

ESPNU Watch List wide receiver Jake Oliver (Dallas, Texas/Jesuit) has proven to be one of the best in the state at his position regardless of classification. The highly touted athlete has 87 catches for 1,259 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season.

No other Texas Class 5A player in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is within reach of his numbers. Second place in receptions is 29 behind. Oliver leads the yards race by 100. Oliver, at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, will get his chance to reach the 100-reception mark on Friday against Samuell (Dallas, Texas).

Oliver has reached double figures in receptions in six of Jesuit’s eight games this season. He is coming off a 15-catch, 187-yard, two-touchdown performance last week in a 49-42 overtime win against Lake Highlands (Dallas, Texas).

Oliver’s hit his season-high 17 catches twice this season. He had 17 grabs for 205 yards and two touchdowns in Jesuit’s season-opener against Flower Mound (Texas), and he had 17 for 245 yards and two scores in a win against Coppell.

Private vs. public in Colorado

Between public school Columbine (Littleton, Colo.) and private school Mullen (Denver, Colo.), eight state championships have been won in the last 12 years. The two Colorado heavyweights will battle Friday for the state’s Big 6 League title.

Columbine is 8-0 on the season and possesses a consistent ground game led by Cameron McDondle. The 5-foot-8, 200-pound senior has rushed for 1,315 yards and 19 touchdowns this season.

While Columbine enters the game undefeated, Mullen (7-1) enters as the three-time defending Colorado Class 5A state champion. Quarterback Cyler Miles, a Washington commit, controls the offense, while defensive tackle Tyler Henington, a Colorado commit, leads the defense.

TV exposure for district rivals

Four-star running back Barry Sanders (Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall) will choose one of four schools -- Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma State and Stanford -- sometime around January. In the meanwhile, he will prepare for a night of national exposure.

Heritage Hall will host district rival Bethany (Okla.) in a matchup to be televised by ESPNU on Friday. The game will feature Sanders (No. 78 in the ESPNU 150), receiver and Oklahoma commit Sterling Shepard (No. 56 in the ESPNU 150) and several BCS prospect in the last installment of ESPN’s high school football showcase series.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Sanders said. “There are millions of high school athletes, and we get the chance to play. It’s exciting.”

Heritage Hall defeated Bethany twice last year, once during the regular season and again in the Oklahoma Class 3A semifinals. Heritage Hall went on to win the state title.

A former Fab 50 team’s last chance?

It wasn’t long ago when Coppell (Texas) was ranked as high as No. 30 in the Fab 50 national poll. The Cowboys now are fighting for their playoff lives.

Coppell lost to Northwest (Justin, Texas), 10-7, over the weekend and has dropped three of its last four games since starting the season 4-0. With two regular season games remaining, Coppell is in danger of failing to clinch a postseason berth. The Cowboys will need to win their last two games to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs.

Coppell suffered a big blow when quarterback Jake Larson was lost for the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee earlier this month. Larson, who was being recruited by Oklahoma State, Missouri and Arkansas, is scheduled to have surgery on Thursday. The team has a Texas commit in kicker Nick Jordan and top recruits in safety David Busby and offensive linemen Sam Rice and Jake Williams to help run the show.

RB showcase in Oklahoma clash

Three of Oklahoma’s best running backs will be featured Friday, as Jenks (Okla.) and Broken Arrow (Okla.) will square off for a district championship.

Jenks is led by junior Trey’Vonne Barr’e, who has done an excellent job in handling full-time duties in the backfield after Oklahoma commit Alex Ross (No. 38 in the ESPNU 150) went down with a collarbone injury two weeks ago. Barr’e has rushed for 1,080 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Broken Arrow features the versatile tandem of junior Cameron Wrenn and sophomore Devon Thomas. Wrenn is a yard short 800 for the year and has a team-leading 16 rushing touchdowns. Thomas has 12 touchdowns and leads the team in rushing with 1,043 yards.