Saturday, September 1, 2012

Upon further review: Prospect watch from week one

Here's some more thoughts on all that went down here in California that's getting my attention, especially on the prospect front.

--Last year, Buchanan-Clovis was one of the Tri-River Athletic Conference's laughingstocks. But boy, did the Bears send an early warning to their TRAC foes, and even the Central Section, as they unleashed an onslaught on a more physical and athletic Bullard-Fresno squad by a final score of 36-14. Versatile weapon Billy East combined for 12 touches running and receiving for 111 total offensive yards and two touchdowns. The Knights couldn't find ways to contain him even despite being known for their physical play and being well-coached under head coach Don Arax.  Buchanan also brought the house on defense, with pass rushing specialist Connor Martinez pouncing on two Bullard fumbles, even returning one for a touchdown. Martinez also led a Buchanan rush that held quarterback Niko Pacheco to just 52 passing yards. Safety Adam Soseman was also active in blanketing the Knight receivers and also providing an extra security blanket at tight end. Senior Tyler Fry, who rotated with Nolan Sorensen at quarterback last year, threw two touchdown passes on 11-of-22 passing. Fry, a 6-foot-1, 190 pound quarterback, is actually a very mobile signal-caller who's capable of hurting a defense with his legs too.

--Staying in the Central Section, Kingsburg quarterback Brandon Steele is continuing the Vikings' lineage of quality quarterbacks. Steele, a class of 2014 prospect, combined for five touchdowns running and throwing, plus ran for 132 yards on eight carries in the Vikings' 62-22 rout over Golden West. Steele is a tall, bruising runner who's unafraid of contact. Sounds like Tim Tebow, doesn't it?

--And, staying in the city known as "K Town," a star may have been born in wide receiver Austen Hammerstorm, who caught three passes for 101 yards and had touchdowns of 44 and 40 yards for Kingsburg. He's capable of continuing a solid lineage of receivers from Kingsburg that includes Taylor Abernathy (Humboldt State), Trevor Price (Cal Lutheran) and Fresno City Rams Kevin Hurtado and Zach Bethel.

--The Central Grizzlies are beginning to prove they can get down and dirty, and win without having to score so many points and just using the trenches to claim victory. This was the case in a very physical and hard fought win over Liberty-Bakersfield 10-9. Nick Wilson now has back-to-back 100 yard games with a 24 carry, 107 yard night and one touchdown. The Grizzlies even held on for the win despite Corbin Jountii's 23 carry, 123 yard night including a 65 yard touchdown run. Patriot quarterback Josh Medina wasn't picked off surprisingly against the Grizzlies' stacked secondary, but was held to just 98 yards through the air.

--Clovis North tight end and San Diego State commit David Wells had one of his better prep performances on Friday. The 6-foot-5, 215 pound Wells hauled in seven catches for 64 yards and two scores in the Broncos' come-from-behind 35-21 win over a much improved El Diamante squad. Miners running back Deangelo Torres ran for 142 yards on 21 carries and two scores, a follow up from his last performance where had 266 yards for the Miners. A potential star and feature back for the Broncos, though, may have been born in the form of Carson Guzman, who rushed for 165 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. Bronco quarterback Christian Rossi was near accurate, with 17 completions and just four that fell to the ground. The senior wasn't intercepted once either and is one of the better play-action, pro style quarterbacks in the Central Section.

--Mount Whitney had one of the more impressive blowouts of the evening, as the Pioneers smashed Tulare Western 59-6. Wide receiver Darius Armstead could be one that sneaks up on people in the Visalia realm, after his five catch, 115 yard night with a 36 yard score.

--Corbin Quinnonez continues to make his mark as one of the better quarterbacks in the Central Valley too, after completing 10-of-15 passes for 198 yards and six touchdown passes. Quinnonez found highly-touted tight end/outside linebacker Kevin Palma on four touchdown scores. Elijah Porchia will be one to watch in the 2014 class. The electrifying running back had 100 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns, plus he opened the game with a 70 yard scoring run. The Hawks led 54-0 against Hanford West at halftime, and cruised to the 54-14 romp.

--A huge victory in the 805 came out on Friday, for a school who is now starting to get recognized as a state powerhouse in Lompoc High. All this talk about the Braves not playing enough quality competition and how they would get owned by someone from the Central Valley may have now been put to rest, after the Braves held off Frontier-Bakersfield 21-14. Lavon Coleman is making his mark as one of the best running backs in the state, perhaps even the nation after his 24 carry, 216 yard night against a normally physical Titan defense led by hard-hitting linebacker Triton Douglas. Coleman scored on runs of 72 and 40 yards.

--Staying with the Braves, Ralphie Arrellano is emerging as a quality college prospect for Lompoc. Arellano was very active with 12 tackles, two sacks and one interception from his defensive back spot. He also carries the rock for the Braves. If the 5-foot-11, 180 pound senior continues to remain active, maybe someone will recognize him regardless of school or level.

--One other Southern Section and 805 squad made their huge statement on Friday too, the St. Joseph Knights. The alma mater of former NFL quarterback Mark Brunell went off on traditional Fresno powerhouse San Joaquin Memorial 44-3 on Friday. Wide receiver Zak Karsh even showed off his return game, with two punt returns for touchdowns from 82 and 72 yards out. The Knights improve now to 2-0 and is becoming one to watch down in the 805.

--Junior running back Deven Boston is starting to get recognized in the Southern Section. The Buena Park runner is currently tied in the state in rushing touchdowns with nine total, and is third in the state with 414 yards and a 12.5 yard per carry average. The 6-foot-1, 205 pound Boston is a hard-nosed runner with excellent balance, burst and power.

--Finally, Joshua "Jay Tee" Taylor of Franklin-Los Angeles is now emerging as one of the more dangerous weapons in the state, with four more touchdowns on Thursday, giving him nine total.

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