Brandon Huffman, National Recruiting Analyst
Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian vs. Legacy (Colo.)
Luke Del Rio (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor Christian), is headed to Oklahoma State to play in the Cowboys high-powered offense, and he's got plenty of practice in VC's offense. It was a workmanlike night for Del Rio, who threw four touchdown passes in the first half, and was out with the other starters by halftime. Del Rio looks noticeably bigger since we saw him during the Elite 11, and he showed tremendous pocket presence, something we didn't get to see on the camp tour, as well as the ability to make all the throws. He was especially adept in the short and intermediate routes, putting good spin on his throws and threading the needle.
Christian McCaffrey (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor Christian), is a Scout 300 back in the 2014 class, and the son of former NFL standout Ed McCaffrey has the speed his father didn't. He's ridiculously quick out of the backfield and has another gear in the open field. McCaffrey did a good job of seeing the hole and hitting the hole, fending off tacklers and showing the burst in space. He's not just quick, he's fast too, and has really good vision.
Ralston Valley (Colo.) vs. Castle View (Colo.)
Dan Skipper (Ralston Valley, Colo.), is a mammoth offensive linemen, a legit 6-9, 290, and for as big as he is, surprisingly showed a good amount of athleticism and agility. He's really flexible, and has a lot of nasty, really good in run blocking and strong in pass protection. Ralston Valley had a running clock for the entire second half, so he was limited in his reps, but he's one of the rare, big guys, who plays like he's a tight end.
Greg Biggins, National Recruiting Analyst
El Toro (Calif.) at Mission Viejo (Calif.)
Mission Viejo safety Max Redfield had a huge game in all three phases of the game. He had several big hits at safety, caught a 48 yard touchdown at receiver and blocked a punt as well. Redfield has gotten a lot more physical in the last year and plays with an edge to him now. He enjoys contact and doesn't shy away from stepping up in the running game. He's very good in the pass game and is the most athletic safety in the west this year.
Mission junior quarterback Ian Fieber had a solid game and is a good looking prospect. He's looks about 6-0, maybe 6-0.5 but has a very live arm and can really spin it. He gets great depth on his drops, throws with accuracy and knows when to put touch or throw with heat. He can roll out and buy time and is always looking down the field and throws very good outside the pocket.
Mission junior receiver Sean Modster is Fieber's top target and looked very good. He has the speed to get down the field but has the hands and route running ability of a possession receiver as well. Modster made several clutch catches on third down and is a very tough cover because of his speed off the line and quickness in and out of his breaks.
Mission offensive tackle Eric Bunte had a solid game and at this point, is much further along as a run blocker than a pass blocker. He got beat off the edge a handful of times in pass protection as El Toro had some very quick defensive ends. In run blocking, he looked strong and physical and had close to double digit pancake blocks. Despite being 6-7, Bunte probably projects better as a guard in college, the position he actually played as a junior at Santa Margarita.
El Toro quarterback Connor Manning came in to this game with just three interceptions in nine game but threw six against Mission Viejo including three in the 1st quarter and a late pick six in the 4th quarter. Manning got rattled and was hit on just about every throw. Physically, he looks good, has put on some good weight and has one of the quickest releases you'll see at the HS level. He has good arm strength and has the ability to make all the throws but this was definitely a rough one for him.
Annabell Stephan, West Field Reporter
Etiwanda (Calif.) vs Upland (Calif.)
The stakes were high for both teams: if Upland (Calif.) grabbed the win, they would finish the regular season undefeated in undefeated in back to back years. If Etiwanda (Calif.) managed the upset, they would continue into playoffs.
Though the game went back and forth for a while, as both offenses managed to rack up a combined total of over 1000 yards, Upland rallied to clench the 57-39 victory, making them 20-0 in regular season play, as Nate Romine became 22-1 as the Scots' starting quarterback. Romine had 309 yards for four touchdowns in the first half alone; the signal-caller finished the night going 11-18 for 361 yards and five touchdowns. Romine also showed off his run game, racking up 96 rushing yards and an additional touchdown before back-up Zac Sturdivant took over in the fourth quarter. Highly-touted defensive end Joe Mathis, who has consistently faced double and triple coverage as his reputation as a threat on the field has grown, was forced to leave the game with an injury in the first quarter, perhaps part of the reason that Upland's defense allowed 39 points, a season high. Mathis did, however, get a safety for the Scots within the first few minutes of the game. Cornerback Delvin Batiste (a San Diego State commit) and safety James Johnson, Jr. (an Arizona State commit) both had an impact on the field and each displayed versatility at defensive back, as well as showing off some offensive skills throughout the night. Johnson also had a pivotal red-zone pick and return in the second quarter. Receiver and tight end Anthony Romero had a big night, as well, accounting for three of Upland's touchdowns, including a 65-yarder in the first quarter, racking up over 180 yards.
Upland also has a few 2014 prospects to keep an eye on: athlete Jeff Farrar had a big touchdown catch in the second quarter and had two picks on defense, breaking up a few other passes throughout the night. Receiver Trevor Wright had back to back touchdowns in the first half: approximately a 45-yarder, followed by an 84-yard catch and run into the end zone.
Though Etiwanda suffered the loss, receiver Jordan Villamin had quite the night, reaching 101 yards for a touchdown on five receptions through the first two quarters. In the second half, the momentum continued for the Oregon State commit, running in two more touchdowns to finish the night with 215 yards. A legitimate 6-foot-4, 210-pounds, Villamin also played a prime role in the Eagles' defense, impressing with his blocking ability.
Jason Jewell Southwest Analyst
Phoenix (Ariz.) Paradise Valleyat Peoria (Ariz.) Liberty
First round playoff action and I had the chance to watch two of the state's top passers in Ryan Finley from Paradise Valley and Tyler Rogers from Liberty.
Finley, the early commit to Boise State, was not able to lead his team to a victory but still looked the part. Finley runs a very complex no huddle scheme and handles it with poise. At 6 foot 4, he has plenty of size and his frame will allow him to bulk up to be 200 pounds plus. He throws a nice catchable ball, is very accurate and has a strong arm. What I like most about Finley is his decision making; he does not throw many picks and he makes very smart throws, typically placing the ball where only his receiver has a chance to make a play.
I have been saying it all season, I am shocked Tyler Rogers only has offers from South Dakota State and Air Force, this kid can play. Rogers has plenty of size (6-2/190), has a strong arm, is extremely mobile and maintains a 4.0 grade-point-average.