BUCHANAN AT BULLARD (1-0)
Two renown coaching minds in the Valley square off in this contest, with Buchanan's Mike Vogt back for one more year, while Bullard's Don Arax continues to place his stamp on the Knights being a physical, hard-nosed football team in this match up at Fresno.
PROSPECT WATCH FOR BUCHANAN: The Bears struck gold when they got Billy East from Kingsburg. Funny thing is, East (photo) is playing for the school he was with last year. A dynamic athlete who's used in a variety of ways, East runs a 4.4 40-yard dash and holds offers from the Ivy Leagues and even Army (four offers total). He's the one playmaker the Bears will look to on offense. Defensively, Connor Martinez is one of the better pass rushers in the Central Valley, after producing 12 sacks in 2011. Though slightly undersized at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, Martinez has a relentless pursuit thanks to a freakish explosion off the line, plus an array of moves ranging from the rip move or even a Dwight Freeney-like spin. He attacks from all corners of the line for the Bears. A future prospect to watch is tall 6-foot-2, 190 pound safety Adam Soseman, who can run, jump and fill space in the running game. Soseman turned heads with his athleticism at the DB Guru Skills Camp over the summer and showed off a wide receiver-like leap when grabbing interceptions. He's playing a position that also produced former Bear and NFL safety Matt Giordano.
PROSPECT WATCH FOR BULLARD: Isaiah Justice was who provided a jolt of electricity for a Knight team that was once down 14-0 versus Paso Robles. The safety took a 90 yard interception for the end zone to cut the deficit to 14-7, then the rest was history in Bullard's 33-14 stomping. Justice, a junior, doubles as play-making safety and wide receiver for the Knights. Tay O' Neal also emerged from the always utilized Knight backfield as he ran for 20 carries, 102 yards and two touchdowns as he looks to replace last year's superstar Demetrius Warren (Sacramento State). Junior fullback and linebacker Josh Newman is a very rugged hitter on both sides of the field for the Knights.
CENTRAL AT LIBERTY-BAKERSFIELD
In what could be one of the more highly anticipated match ups in the 2012 season for the Central Section, the ridiculously loaded Grizzlies face off against an always big and physical Liberty squad, who also seems to carve out a Division-I prospect on their end down in Kern County.
PROSPECT WATCH FOR CENTRAL: Devon Brewer emerged as the next best defensive back prospect for DB coach and guru Tony Perry at Central. The junior intercepted two passes in Central's easy 44-3 stomping over Hanford. With Oklahoma commit Hatari Byrd and four-star cornerback L.J Moore on one side, Brewer could see teams throw the ball away from them, which means Brewer could see a spike in picks. Teshawn Smallwood anchors a rugged defensive front that produced six sacks against what some believe will be a highly touted quarterback prospect in Hanford's Jacob Young last Friday. Offensively, Nick Wilson will look to build on his strong performance in the Grizzly backfield after 181 yards and three touchdowns last week. Helping clear the way is massive 6-foot-7, 300 pound Dorian Smith, who has very quick feet for a tackle and is starting to pick up interest. A big matchup in this game will be the hard-hitting Byrd going against this prospect for Liberty...
PROSPECT WATCH FOR LIBERTY: Corbin Jountii is starting to emerge as one of the premier running backs in the Central Valley. After a highly productive junior year, Jountii hit the ground running with 192 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the Patriots' 56-7 rout over Delano. Another big playmaker starting to get noticed is wide receiver Kenny Davis, who caught three receptions for 90 yards and the opening touchdown. Davis is a speedy presence and the 5-foot-9, 185 pound target could be paired up with L.J Moore in this one. Davis could have his breakout party with a strong contest here versus a stacked Central secondary. Long snapper and Alabama commit Cole Mazza will also be on the field.
EL DIAMANTE-VISALIA AT CLOVIS NORTH
After a 1-9 disaster that saw the Miners get dropped back to the Division-II realm in the Central Section, El Diamante clearly looked nothing like last year in their Friday contest, after dispatching Tulare Union 34-20. As for the Broncos, the reigning Division-II Central Section champion began their pursuit of a D-I Valley title by going down to the 805 and smashing Atascadero 41-21.
PROSPECT WATCH FOR EL DIAMANTE: A potential top 2014 recruit was born in Deangelo Torres, as the 5-foot-9, 210 pound boulder smashed his way to 266 yards on 24 carries with three scores for the Miners last Friday. Blake Edmondson (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) also had a breakout game on the receiving end, thanks to 133 yards on four receptions plus two touchdowns.
PROSPECT WATCH FOR CLOVIS NORTH: On a team loaded with talent, versatile Marcus Rose had a breakout performance with five catches for 110 yards and a touchdown, plus a 35 yard punt return for a score. Quarterback Christian Rossi had a solid outing with 220 passing yards. San Diego State commit David Wells caught four balls for 68 yards from his tight end spot. Isaiah Duran will be one to watch in both trenches, as he doubles as a powerful offensive lineman and high-motor defensive guy.
CARSON AT EDISON (SATURDAY)
Two proud high school programs are facing this unlikely scenario-an 0-2 start in 2012.
PROSPECT WATCH FOR CARSON: The Colts' defense and special teams sputtered bad in their 42-26 loss to Long Beach Poly last week. Pu'e Togia is one to watch with his mean streak, more so on the offensive line.
PROSPECT WATCH FOR EDISON: All eyes will be on quarterback Khari McGee. The dual-threat had one of his worst performances in his prep career with 149 passing yards and four interceptions. How he rebounds from that nightmarish performance versus Clovis will determine what kind of character McGee has.