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Five things to watch this weekend

11/10/2011

2013 RB vs. Fab 50 defense to open playoffs

The Texas high school playoffs kick off Friday, and fans will be treated to the classic football paradox -- the irresistible object vs. the immovable force.

The irresistible object is junior Bryan Driskell (McKinney, Texas/Boyd), a stud running back who has rushed for 1,947 yards and 28 touchdowns this season. Driskell, who is getting looks from Oklahoma, Alabama, UCLA, Notre Dame, Arizona and others, has led Boyd to an 8-2 record.

The immovable force, however, is Skyline (Dallas, Texas), the No. 19 team in the latest Fab 50 that has not only pitched four consecutive shutouts (five total this season) but also allowed only two touchdowns in the last seven games. Skyline’s defense, featuring Under Armour All-American linebacker and Texas commit Peter Jinkens, has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season.

“They’re really good. They play physical, and they’re fast,” Driskell said of Skyline’s defense. “Since they’re so fast, they can recover quickly if they mess up. That’s the thing I notice the most. They watch the ball and have good containment.”

Driskell said Friday’s playoff will be Boyd’s most challenging task, but he is looking forward to the matchup. He’s hoping to pick up the 53 yards and two touchdowns needed for a 2,000-yard, 30-touchdown season, and he’s hoping a victory will accompany both.

“We feel really confident right now,” he said. “We had a good week of practice, and we’ve been executing plays real well. The offense is starting to come together right now.”

DGB to face undefeated Missouri power

Five-star receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, Mo./Hillcrest) is the all-time leader in receiving yards and the No. 3 player in the ESPNU 150. He has led Hillcrest to the Missouri Class 4 quarterfinals.

To make the semifinals, Hillcrest will have to beat one of the state’s best teams in Webb City (Mo.). Although Hillcrest has Green-Beckham, Webb City is 12-0 and features talented juniors in running back Phoenix Johnson and linebackers Nate Brown and Dalton Humphrey. Johnson has rushed for 1,375 yards and 28 touchdowns. Brown and Humphrey have combined for 141 tackles and five sacks on the year.

When the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Green-Beckham is on the field, all eyes will be on Webb City’s secondary, led by cornerbacks Klay James, a senior, and Austin White, another junior. Together, the duo has 35 tackles and seven interceptions.

Guthrie excited about postseason reinstatement

After being forced to forfeit eight wins for the use of an ineligible player, Guthrie (Okla.), was given back its wins after being granted an appeal Wednesday afternoon.

Per the stipulations of the appeal, Guthrie, one of Oklahoma’s top teams, will be placed on a one-year probation by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, and the school will have to surrender the revenue made during postseason games. To add, coach Rafe Watkins volunteered to be suspended from the playoffs. The OSSAA decided to give Watkins an eight-game suspension.

“Knowing that we’ve got another chance ... I’m just excited,” junior receiver/linebacker Richard Brothers said. “After we heard, we all just started crying. We get a chance to prove to everybody that we’re the No. 1 team.”

Brothers is one of Guthrie’s top players. He has received letters from Arizona, Alabama, LSU, UCLA, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. He also has heard from Missouri, as his older brother is Kentrell Brothers, a linebacker for the Tigers.

Also suiting up for Guthrie is offensive lineman Blake Belcher, who has committed to Tulsa.

Finally a test for Grand Junction?

No team has yet to come within two touchdowns of Grand Junction (Colo.) this season. Some feel Chaparral (Parker, Colo.) may be that team to play Grand Junction close.

Chaparral has pitched three shutouts in its last four games and has outscored its opponents, 166-8. The team features running back Chris Page and offensive tackle Shane Callahan. Page is getting looks from Colorado, Colorado State, Kansas, Kansas State and Wyoming. Callahan, the fourth-ranked tackle in Colorado, committed to Auburn in May.

Chaparral will have to contain an undefeated Grand Junction team that is averaging more than 44 points and allowing only 12 points per game. Dual-threat quarterback Sean Rubalcaba, who has offers from Northern Colorado and North Dakota, has over 1,000 yards rushing and passing.

Jerreon Dennis rushed for 256 yards and four touchdowns in Grand Junction’s 51-17 win against Chatfield (Littleton, Colo.). Dennis needs 147 rushing yards and four touchdowns to reach 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns this season.

Battle of running backs in north Texas

The north Texas area will be treated to a clash of potent running games when Frisco (Texas) and Wylie (Texas) East open the Texas Class 4A state playoffs on Saturday.

Frisco features senior running back Carlos Harris, who has rushed for 1,496 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. Harris is getting looks from Texas Tech, TCU, SMU and Kansas State, among others.

Wylie East will be led by junior Jabari Anderson, who could surpass the 2,000-yard mark on Saturday. Anderson has 1,953 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns, and he is averaging more than 10 yards per carry.