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Five things I learned this weekend

OU commit shines despite injury

Entering the week, Durron Neal (Creve Coeur, Mo./DeSmet) wondered if he’d even be on the field playing Friday. The four-star athlete and Oklahoma commit tweaked his knee late in last week’s game against St. Louis (Mo.) University.

Neal not only suited up Friday but also showed why he was such a heavily recruited athlete. Neal caught three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth in a 51-7 win against St. Louis Mehlvill. Neal finished with 164 yards on six touches, three rushes and three receptions.

Neal, No. 60 in the latest ESPNU 150, in addition, helped DeSmet earn a postseason berth with the victory. Another DeSmet player, recent Ball State commit KeVonn Mabon, had three rushes for 12 yards and one catch for 14 in the lopsided win.

Refugio putting up ridiculous numbers

Throughout most of the season, Refugio (Texas) has put up numbers as if it were a basketball team and not a football team.

Refugio, one of Texas Class 2A’s undefeated teams, is averaging nearly 67 points per game. The Bobcats are fresh off a 74-0 victory over Kingsville (Texas) Santa Gertrudis Academy and their fourth shutout of the year.

Refugio’s first game saw its lowest-scoring outing of the season, a 26-7 win against Rice Consolidated (Altair, Texas). Since then, Refugio has scored 64 points or more in seven ball games, including an 82 spot against Kaufer (Riviera, Texas) on Sept. 30 and a 91 spot against Freer (Texas) the week after.

The Bobcats feature three-star athlete and Baylor commit Lynx Hawthorne, as well as rising sophomore quarterback Travis Quintanilla.

UA All-American praises Joe Paterno

As Joe Paterno became the winningest coach in Division I college football history Saturday, four-star offensive lineman and Under Armour All-American Joey O’Connor (Windsor, Colo.) became more and more appreciative of his commitment to Penn State.

Paterno earned career win No. 409 with the Nittany Lions’ 10-7 win over Illinois. Paterno surpassed Eddie Robinson on the all-time wins list. O’Connor paid close attention to Penn State on Saturday, and while the Nittany Lions didn’t win in blowout fashion, the effort was enough to not only get the win but also put Paterno in the record books.

“It was great to see Coach Paterno get the win along with the team,” said O’Connor, ranked No. 105 in the latest ESPNU 150. “It was an exciting game, and it’s an honor to know that I am going to be part of the Penn State organization.”

Future Cougar helps Broken Arrow

Recent Houston commit Levi Copelin (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow) did his part in not only helping Broken Arrow halt a skid but also put itself in decent company.

Copelin, recruited by Houston because of his versatility, made plays on offense, defense and special teams in a 31-21 win against Jenks (Okla.) in a game that had district-championship implications. Copelin had two interceptions in the secondary, and his last pick late in the fourth iced the Tigers’ victory.

Broken Arrow hadn’t beaten Jenks since 2003. Coincidentally, the Tigers hadn’t won a district title since then.

Grayer shows worth in blowout win

To speedy running back Paxton Grayer (Abilene, Texas/Abilene), every game is an audition of sorts. Friday’s 62-6 win against cross-town rival Abilene (Texas) Cooper proved to be no different.

Grayer, an uncommitted senior, rushed 16 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the surprise blowout win. Cooper entered the game riding a six-game winning streak, but Abilene forced eight turnovers on the night. Those plays turned into opportunities for Grayer, a 5-foot-9, 180-pounder with 4.3 speed in the 40.

“He’s the captain of our team, and he’s got the qualities of a really good running back,” Abilene coach Steve Warren added. “He’s fast, he’s strong runs well, he catches passes, and he returns kicks. Someone’s going to get a real steal when they get him.”

Grayer has no offers as of yet but is getting looks from East Carolina, North Texas, Sam Houston, Texas Tech and Louisiana Tech, in addition to looks from FCS schools.

“I’m not really big on D-I vs. D-II. I’m just very determined to play football, and I work hard. It’s all about getting to that next level and playing football. I’m down to go anywhere. I’ll go to Europe if I have to.”