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September 4, 2010

Friday in the Heartland, Lakes and West

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A game featuring two teams called the Salthawks and the Hawklets was just as crazy as it sounds. It started with a safety and was decided on the ability to make a point after.

When it was over, No. 89 Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst defeated No. 92 Hutchinson (Kan.) High in overtime, 29-28, in a battle of perennial powers in the Heartland.

Hutchinson coach Randy Dreiling has led the Salthawks to six state titles in Kansas but put the blame for this rare home loss on himself when he chose to go for the point after in overtime, even though his team had missed its previous two attempts.

"I should have gone for two, there's no question," he told the Hutchinson Daily News. "We debated it at the time. You just put too much pressure on a young kid."

Actually, it was too much pressure by the Hawklets' defensive line, which surged in and blocked sophomore Travis Hirt's kick.

Rockhurst then won its initial overtime possession, getting a 1-yard run from Frank Arbanas - then the key point after by Griffin Bins.

The game only went to overtime because Hutchinson failed on a conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter after tying the game at 22-22. On that occasion, a botched snap prevented the kick from even being attempted.

Rockhurst was led by Noah Pearl, who rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns. But as was the case last week, when it beat Kansas City rival Blue Springs, Rockhurst won it with a last-second kick.

  • RivalsHigh take:Two evenly matched teams went into overtime. It is nice to see games where the rankings bear out. The two teams were No. 89 and No. 92 entering the contest and played just like it. It is tough when the game comes down to special teams in high school.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in the Hutchinson Daily News.

    A look at some of the other games involving Top 100 teams from the Great Lakes, Heartland and the West Friday night:

    No. 9. Hamilton 35, Westview 21

    Hamilton won its third straight game this season (and 28th overall) by pulling away from Westview in a game it was never seriously threatened. But even the team left questioning if it is playing at its best.

    The offense sputters at times; the defense doesn't get after it. Not what you'd expect from the state's top team and (at least for now) a Top-10 team nationally.

    "We just have to find a rhythm, offensively and defensively. We need to be more intense," head coach Steve Belles told the East Valley Tribune. "It's the little stuff, you know?"

    Jai Johnson ran for 151 yards and two scores while quarterback Kyren Poe passed for 78 yards and ran for 54 more, including a TD.

  • RivalsHigh take: Hamilton looked like it couldn't find its energy in this one. Beating up on lesser opponents can make you lethargic, but that is when a team will mess up and take a loss. Hopefully the Huskies can start bringing their A-game each week.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in the East Valley Tribune.

    No. 36 The Woodlands 46, Fort Bend Hightower 39 (2 OTs)

    Woodlands quarterback Joseph Schneider threw for 214 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 184 yards and two more scores to help the Highlanders triumph in a double-OT thriller.

    The Woodlands (Texas) High needed every yard of his effort to hold off Missouri City (Texas) Fort Bend Hightower and its star quarterback, Bralon Addison.

    Addison had four touchdowns and 332 yards of total offense (165 rushing, 167 passing). He added the two-point conversion run to send the game to overtime, but was stopped a yard short of a first down on the game's final play.

    The Woodlands sent the game into double overtime when Schneider hit Jackson LaPlant for a 29-yard TD on a 4th-and-14 play.

  • RivalsHigh take: The Woodlands pulled out what was an impressive game against a solid opponent. The opening week game against Prepa Tech (Mexico) was little more than a dressed scrimmage and did not prepare the Highlanders for this contest. The Highlanders should enter the playoffs undefeated after beating their toughest regular season test.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in the Houston Chronicle.

    No. 50 Wheaton South 44, Maine South 7

    Consider this one a game of numbers.

    There's the 44-7 rout for Warrenville (Ill.) Wheaton South, which figures to give it a chance to improve its No. 50 ranking in the RivalsHigh Top 100.

    There are the three TD passes for Reilly O'Toole (who went 16-for-23 for 223 yards), the three rushing touchdowns for Matt Rogers (22 carries for 100 yards) and the three turnovers the defense forced against an overmatch Park Ridge (Ill.) Maine South.

    Then there are the ominous signs for Maine South, a two-time defending state champion who opened the season with a 28-game winning streak.

    It begins its season 0-2 for the first time since 2006 - which happens to be the last time it lost by 37 points or more. And possibly the last time it had a running clock used when it was trailing.

  • RivalsHigh take: This game was so one-sided it wasn't funny. However, it does bring up the question: "Why in the world does Illinois have eight classes for high school football?" WWS is the number one team in the state by far. Maine South needs to pick a quarterback and stay with him so this season doesn't completely unravel. The Hawks were out of sync all game and as much as WWS outclassed them, the constant quarterback change doesn't help.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in the Daily Herald .

    Alemany 20, No. 81 Oaks Christian 17

    Vernon Adams threw for a score and ran for one but it was his good hands on a last-second field goal attempt that led Alemany to a 20-17 victory in Westlake Village.

    Adams handled a low snap in time for Martin Meza to kick an 18-yard field goal with 14 seconds left for Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany.

    It was the second field goal of the game for Meza, who had just five all of last season.

    "I felt nervous, but I knew I had to get it done," he told the Los Angeles Daily News. "I've got to give Vernon credit for his hold because once it dropped to the turf, he got it right back up. It feels great."

    Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian quarterback Trevor Gretzky, son of Wayne Gretzky, fared well in his debut, going 17-for-22 for 211 yards. He scored on an 18-yard run.

  • RivalsHigh take: A surprise to some; an expected result for others. This is not the Oaks team from last year and may have been overranked to begin with. The team lacks depth and apparently the top-end talent it had just a year ago. If the loss to Alemany is any indication to how the season will go, it may be a four-loss campaign for Oaks this year.
  • For complete coverage, read this game story in the Los Angeles Daily News.

    Centennial 48, No. 96 Chandler 42

    Funny how a game with 13 touchdowns could be decided by defense.

    But that's what happened with Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial stopped Hamilton (Ariz.) Chandler star quarterback Brett Hundley on four straight passing attempts inside the 10 in the final minute to secure the 48-42 victory at home.

    Hundley was 17-for-36 for 227 yards and two scores. He rushed 12 times for 117 yards and another score. And after Chandler recovered a late onside kick, it appeared as if he would lead it to victory. Centennial, however, picked the perfect time for the big stop.

    The game was filled with big plays as six of the TDs went for at least 37 yards.

    Centennial, which ran out to an early 28-7 lead, was led by Gary Ross. He had 141 total yards and three TDs, including a 15-yard run with a reverse with 2:43 remaining that gave his team a 48-35 lead and seemingly put the game away.

    For complete coverage, read this game story in the Arizona Republic.

  • RivalsHigh take: This game was billed as the No. 3 and No. 4 teams in Arizona with a spot in the rankings on the line. While the loss will cost Chandler its spot in the RivalsHigh100, the performance may not have earned Centennial one.

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