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Insider

Webb, Meeks lead teams to tough wins

9/10/2012

Here's a look back at the two games I attended this weekend -- Gainesville (Fla.) defeating Lake City (Fla.) Columbia 17-14 on Thursday and Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips holding off Orlando (Fla.) Olympia 31-18 on Friday.

Laremy Tunsil, OL, Columbia -- On running plays ESPN's top-rated offensive lineman put at least one defender on the ground, and usually more than one. On passing plays it was harder to gauge the five-star Tunsil because the defensive end assigned to him, senior Alex Gonzales, would not engage and instead dropped into short zone coverage. Tunsil outweighed Gonzales by over 100 pounds, so the strategy made sense.

Marcell Harris, DB, Dr. Phillips -- It wasn't a stellar performance for the ESPN 150 athlete. He found himself out of position on a few plays and missed tackles. He was also flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit (correct call). In the second half Harris settled down considerably and showed good timing and instincts from the safety position.

Alton Meeks, QB, Dr. Phillips -- Amazing dual-threat performance from a quarterback that could be quite the player at the next level. Meeks used all of his 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame on each of his runs. But his passing was accurate and his decision making with the ball was good all night. Meeks finished with 165 yards passing with two touchdowns and 74 yards on the ground. He would have had more but suffered a fractured right fibula in the third quarter. Hopefully he will return at some point this season.

Keith Kelsey, LB, Gainesville -- It was a solid performance from the Gainesville defense led by Kelsey and junior linebacker Juan Jenkins. Kelsey was a tackling machine, recording 11 solo tackles, and also proved to be useful playing some pass defense in the middle of the field.

Deondre Francois, QB, Olympia -- The class of 2015 quarterback needs to get a little taller (5-11, 175) to become an elite prospect but Francois showed that he could effectively pass and run out of the spread offense. The Olympia line struggled at times with protection and that effected Francois' accuracy (17-of-35 passing) but the talent and tools are there.

GAINESVILLE: Senior Raphael Webb (5-9, 185) was more effective running the ball Thursday than highly-touted junior Tony James (5-9, 170), who struggled to find space and lost a fumble. Senior wide receiver Case Harrison (5-11, 175) emerged as a threat with six receptions for 100 yards and a couple of solid third-down runs late in the game. Florida commit Chris Thompson could not repeat his four-touchdown performance from the week before as he was double covered quite often, leaving room for Harrison to make plans.

COLUMBIA: Quarterback Jayce Barber, a Jacksonville State commit, continues to have issues with the high ball and finished just 7-of-25 passing. He was victimized by about seven drops too, with senior tight end Shaquille Johnson watching three balls bounce off his hands. Class of 2014 defensive back Trey Marshall dropped two touchdown passes but made up for it on the defensive side of the ball with tremendous coverage on Thompson and a forced fumble.

DR. PHILLIPS: Keep an eye on junior athlete Deionte Gaines (5-8, 160), who caught a 24-yard touchdown pass and added a 25-yard run on a fake punt. He already has a Cincinnati offer. Senior Eric Harrell (5-9, 175) and junior Marvin Marshall (5-8, 160) both helped salt away the game with their tough running down the stretch.

OLYMPIA: Four-star offensive lineman Shawn Curtis doesn't blow you away with his stature but he's a smart player that uses his arms very well and helps out his smaller linemates. Three-star athlete John Armstrong is an exciting talent that finds the open spaces well. Defensively Olympia had a tough day but three-star defensive end/linebacker Ramar Dennis had a sack and caused most of Dr. Phillips' negative plays.