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What I learned this weekend

11/28/2011

Hidden message from Edwards?

Sometimes, the subliminal messages are the ones that have potential to speak the loudest.

Fab 50 team Ryan (Denton, Texas) suffered a 19-7 loss to Midway (Waco, Texas) on Friday, and the top-ranked player in the ESPNU 150, Ryan’s five-star defensive end Mario Edwards, spoke with reporters shortly after the game. He did interviews while wearing a gray Florida State sweatshirt.

Edwards is verbally committed to the Seminoles, but he has been exploring other options just to make sure he made the right decision. Edwards has been open about his interest in both LSU and Oklahoma.

Edwards was all over the field in the loss. In addition to his primary duties at defensive end, Edwards utilized his 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash by lining up at tight end and catching a pass. Edwards additionally was a special teams contributor, blocking a Midway field goal just before halftime.

Florida State’s 21-7 victory over in-state rival Florida on Saturday probably didn’t hurt in the Seminoles’ mission to keep Edwards, who committed to Florida State back in March.

Texas Fab 50 teams upset

Texas’ two top-ranked teams, according to the Fab 50, suffered early postseason exits on Saturday, making way for new favorites in the state’s two playoff divisions of the Lone Star State’s highest football classification.

The greater Houston area witnessed No. 3 Katy being stunned by La Porte (Texas), 9-7, in a 5A Division II semifinal. The greater Dallas area watched No. 5 Trinity (Euless, Texas) suffer a 19-7 setback to Martin (Arlington, Texas) in a 5A Division I semifinal.

The losses opened the doors for Texas’ next highest-ranked teams -- No. 15 Skyline (Dallas, Texas) and No. 16 Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) -- to make a run at a top-10 national spot. Lake Travis, which features four-star tight end and TCU commit Griffin Gilbert and high two-star safety and SMU commit Colin Lagasse, is a four-time defending state champion.

Staley, BS South among Missouri champs

The Missouri state football championships came to a conclusion over the weekend, and while one team earned its first title in five years, another capped a season that included a four-overtime state-semifinal win some are considering the nation’s game of the year.

Blue Springs (Mo.) South edged Christian Brothers College (St. Louis, Mo.), 40-37, to win the Missouri Class 6 title on Friday. South, which won its first title since 2006, featured the talented-but-uncommitted duo of speedy running back Steven Sullivan and all-purpose athlete Connor Harris.

While Sullivan rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns, Harris rushed for a touchdown, returned an interception for a score (he had two picks on the night, the second one to ice the game) and kicked two clutch field goals. Harris lines up at quarterback, safety and kicker for South.

In the Class 5A title game, Staley (Kansas City, Mo.) defeated Kirkwood (Mo.), 35-21, to claim the program’s first football state title in the school’s four-year history. Staley, still fired up from last week’s 76-70, four-overtime win against 2010 champ Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West, was led by its duo of three-star running back and Missouri commit Morgan Steward and dual-threat 2013 quarterback Trent Hosick.

Steward rushed for 205 yards and a touchdown, while Hosick finished with 91 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the win. Most importantly, Staley finished with an unblemished, 14-0 record.

Kansas team wins first title, snaps streak

Olathe (Kan.) South celebrated its first Kansas Class 6A state championship in its 30-year history Saturday, defeating defending champion Heights (Wichita, Kan.), 41-37, and snapping Heights’ 25-game win streak.

“It took a long time,” South coach Jeff Gourley told the Kansas City Star, “but this is what I came here to do. Olathe South deserves this, and more importantly, these kids deserve this.”

South was led on offense by fullback Jordan Ward, who rushed for 265 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, South featured junior linebacker Chase Hanson and junior safety Dylan DeVries, who arguably made the play of the game, forcing a fumble at the 1-yard line to halt Heights’ drive that would have given it the lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Spavital trifecta means title opportunities

Broken Arrow (Okla.) coach Steve Spavital has the luxury every week to predict a “Spavital trifecta.” After Saturday evening, Spavital smiled as he and his sons Zac and Jake all were victorious on the coaching sidelines.

Zac, the safeties coach at the University of Houston, watched his Cougars defeat Tulsa, 48-16, to stay undefeated and earn a spot in the Conference USA championship game on Dec. 3. Younger brother Jake, the quarterbacks coach at West Virginia, watched his Mountaineers edge Pittsburgh, 21-20, in the Backyard Brawl.

Most importantly for Steve, his Broken Arrow team will play for its first 6A title this weekend. Broken Arrow features BCS commits in three-star tight end Zac Veatch (Oklahoma State) and high two-star defensive back Levi Copelin (Houston), a young-but-talented running back tandem of junior Cameron Wrenn and sophomore Devon Thomas, and underrated senior Quad Ware, who could be the team’s best athlete.