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November 3, 2011

The only way to identify and keep track of the best teams and top players is to go see them.

All weekend.

Here's a look at just some of the hot spots where we'll be this weekend:

Find your region: Atlantic East | Heartland | Lakes | South | West (based on where game is played)

No. 16 DeSoto (Texas) High at No. 64 Longview (Texas) High
TheOldCoach.com : Michael Garland
Thursday: One of the top games in the state pits a pair of rivals.com top 100 teams battling it out for the District 11-5A title. Last year Longview went to DeSoto and stunned the heavily favored Eagles, this year a revamped DeSoto defense led by Texas A&M commit DE Michael Richardson will try and slow down a much more balanced Longview offensive attack. Junior QB Bivins Carraway and Arkansas verbal Eric Hawkins are one of the state's most deadly pass/catch combos. DeSoto's secondary led by Texas commit Bryson Echols and LSU commit Jalen Mills will have their hands full.
Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice at No. 20 Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison
ChippewaCountry.com: Derek Dickinson (@ChippewaCountry)
Saturday: Central Michigan Commit [db] Dylan Anderson [/db] to go with multiple other D1 prospects will be playing.
No. 30 Grayson (Ga.) at Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett
Rivals.com : Keith Niebuhr, South Analyst (@KeithRIVALS)
Friday: This game has no playoff implications, but it features one excellent team and several big-name prospects. Grayson, which is unbeaten and ranked No. 30 in the latest RivalsHigh 100, is led by junior defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, arguably the top junior in Georgia, if not the entire Southeast. Central Gwinnett counters with an outstanding 11th-grader of its own, outside linebacker Trey Johnson, an Auburn commit.
No. 79 Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis at Avon (Ind.) High
Rivals.com : Josh Helmholdt, Midwest analyst
Friday: This is a third-round playoff game in the state of Indiana and features not only two great teams, but several top prospects. I am specifically looking forward to seeing Avon 2013 DE [db]Elijah Daniel[/db] and Ben Davis 2013 safety [db]Antonio Allen[/db] for the first time. Ben Davis also features Indiana 2012 commit [db]Caleb Cornett[/db] while Avon has Louisville 2012 offensive line commit [db]DeAndre Herron[/db] and several more Division I caliber prospects.
Greenwood (Ind.) Community vs. No. 80 Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral
HickoryHusker.com: Leigh Evans (@HickoryHusker)
Friday: Greenwood Community (8-3) carries the hopes of many Indiana traditional public schools as they take on heavily favored parochial school powerhouse Cathedral (8-3) for the 4A Sectional 14 title.
Centerville (Ohio) High at No. 87 Middletown (Ohio) High
Rivals.com : Josh Helmholdt, Midwest analyst
Saturday: Centerville just squeaked into the OHSAA playoffs after starting the season 1-3. They are led by Rivals100 DE [db]Ifeadi Odenigbo[/db] and Michigan State offensive line commit [db]Benny McGowan[/db], as well as stud 2013 OL [db]Evan Lisle[/db]. Middletown has one of the Midwest's most exciting athletes in the 2013 class, [db]Jalin Marshall[/db], running their offense from the quarterback position and he has several Division I quality players around him.

Delaware, Maryland, N. Carolina, New England, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, S. Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
Eldersburg (MD) South Carroll High @ Westminster (MD) High
MdHigh.com : Dave Lomonico
Friday: Checking out talented prospects like Westminster's Romie Cheese, Dan Bartley and Abu Fofanah and South Carroll's Dan Mullen and Ryan Patrick.
Sandy Spring (MD) Sherwood High @ Potomac (MD) Churchill High
MdHigh.com : Wayne Yarborough
Friday: Evaluating potential big lineman prospects at Churchill and watching a stellar match between two teams fighting for playoff position.
Denver (N.C.) East Lincoln at Boonville (N.C.) Starmount
NCPreps.com : Deana King (@NCPreps )
Friday: First round of the NCHSAA playoffs begin this week. This game should be one of the top match-ups at the 2A level. Starmount is one of 19 undefeated teams in the Tar Heel State.
Thomasville (N.C.) Ledford at Kannapolis (N.C.) A.L. Brown
NCPreps.com : Josh McKinnon (@JoshMcKinnon )
Friday: Kannapolis Brown comes as close to being NC's version of Friday Night Lights. It's one of the top places to watch a high school football game.
Franklin Lakes (N.J.) Ramapo vs. Old Tappan (N.J.) High
NJVarsity : Pat Rice
Friday: Old Tappan, a state finalist a year ago, needs a win to earn a return trip to the state playoffs. The squad, which has won 4 of the last 5, is led by 4-star athlete Devin Fuller. Ramapo has 3 losses on the season, but all 3 have been to top opponents.
Piscataway (N.J.) High at Sayreville (N.J.) High
NJVarsity : Matt Hladik
Friday: In the latest installment of what has become one of the top rivalries in Central Jersey, Piscataway needs the win to keep its bid to defend the North 2, Group IV title alive. Quarterback Nadir Barnwell and tailback Tevin Shaw have propelled the team to a string of easy wins following back-to-back early season losses to South Brunswick and Woodbridge. Sayreville possesses a balanced offensive attack paced by Rutgers commit Delon Stephenson, running back Alex Yannuzzelli and jack-of-all trades Isaiah Cureton.
Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph at Wayne (N.J.) Hills
NJVarsity : John Otterstedt and Bobby Deren (@rivalsnewjersey)
Friday: The state's No. 4 (Wayne Hills) and No. 5 (St. Joseph) squads battle it out in Wayne. At the very least, the state's No. 4 slot is up for grabs, with an outside shot for one to overtake Montclair for No. 3. Both squads are perennial state contenders, and both feature top D1A juniors in Ricky Jeune (St. Joseph) and Kevin Olsen (Wayne Hills).
Imperial (Pa.) West Allegheny at Saxonburg (Pa.) Knoch
Papreps.com : Andrew Chiappazzi(@achiappazzi)
Friday: The first-round playoff game in the WPIAL features a perennial contender in West Allegheny, led by senior dual-threat quarterback Dylan Bongiorni, going up against running back/defensive back Andrew Rumburg-Goodlin and undefeated Knoch.
Plymouth (Pa.) Wyoming Valley West at Williamsport
Papreps.com : Tim Mack (@MaddMack )
Friday: Checking in on four-star athlete Eugene Lewis and running back Tashawn Bunch as Wyoming Valley West looks to secure a playoff spot in the District 2/4/11 Class AAAA subregional.
Birdsboro (Pa.) Daniel Boone at Reading (Pa.) Exeter Township
Papreps.com : Rebeka Rice (@Beka_Rice )
Friday: This regular-season finale between two neighbors features Daniel Boone QB Tom Bodolus and athlete Darrell Scott trying to preserve a high seed for the playoffs against Exeter TE Christian Menet and quarterback Kyle Yocum.
Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) GAR Memorial at Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Elmer L. Meyers
Papreps.com : Mike Iorfino (@iorfino31 )
Friday: GAR Memorial is hoping to secure the top spot in the District 2 Class A playoffs with a win. A loss could mean a much lower seed.
Carlisle (Pa.) at Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Cumberland Valley
Papreps.com : Luke Campbell
Friday: Cumberland Valley's Jeremy DiPetro and OL Kyle Friend can help their team secure the top overall seed in Class AAAA in District 3, while a win for Carlisle would likely secure a playoff spot. A loss for Carlisle could end their season.
Saddle Brook (N.J.) High vs. Glen Rock (N.J.) High
NJVarsity : Pat Rice
Saturday: Glen Rock and Saddle Brook were big rivals in the early part of the 2000's. Glen Rock has one loss and Saddle Brook is undefeated. Saddle Brook is led by Rutgers-bound linebacker Steven Longa.
Greenbelt (MD) Eleanor Roosevelt High at District Heights (MD) Suitland High
MdHigh.com : Dave Lomonico
Saturday: A battle between two 9-0 teams; also checking out Division-I caliber prospects like Roosevelt's Shawn Petty (Maryland) and Suitland's Taivon Jacobs.

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee
El Dorado (Ark.) High at Pine Bluff (Ark.) High
ArkansasVarsity.com : Luke Matheson (@ArkansasVarsity)
RedWolfReport.com : Luke Matheson (@RedWolfReport)
Thursday: The game will feature two 6A South powerhouse teams in Pine Bluff and El Dorado. El Dorado has won back-to-back state championships and has a team which could make another run this year. Pine Bluff is a team that could also make a run if they can put everything together.
Rison (Ark.) High at Fordyce (Ark.) High
ArkansasVarsity.com : Luke Matheson (@ArkansasVarsity)
RedWolfReport.com : Luke Matheson (@RedWolfReport)
Friday: Rison vs. Fordyce is one of the longest running rivalries in the state of Arkansas, and could be one of the best as well. Rison has locked up the 7-3A conference championship, but could earn the number one playoff seed with a victory. Quanterio Heath, Jerry Marshall, Juan Jones, and A.J. Smith will be players to watch for the Wildcats. Three-State defensive back and Arkansas State commit Marquis Walker is out after ACL surgery, and Heath is close to committing to Arkansas State with Walker as well.
Destrehan (La.) High at Boutte (La.) Hahnville
Rivals.com : Brian Peroni, Southwest analyst (@bperonni )
Friday: It is the last chance to see Destrehan and class of 2013 wide receiver Rickey Jefferson as they will not make the postseason this year. The team also features a pair of three-star defensive linemen in Marrick Charles and Bryan Singleton.
Magnolia (Miss.) South Pike at Laurel (Miss.) Northeast Jones
MagnoliaPreps.com : Josh Smith
Friday: This is the first week of high school playoffs in Mississippi for most classes and this looks to be a great match-up in Class 4A. South Pike finished the season 6-5, but played one of the toughest schedules in the region while Northeast Jones had a fantastic season finishing 9-2 and a second-place finish in the region.
Gulfport (Miss.) High at Biloxi (Miss.) High
BigGoldNation.com : Lanny Mixon
Friday: In Mississippi, rivalries don't get much bigger than Biloxi vs. Gulfport. This year, it's for the Region 4-6A Championship. Biloxi (8-2, 6-0) is in the driver's seat to win its first region crown since 1984. Gulfport (7-3, 5-1) enters the game as the only team that can stand in the way. Gulfport will be trying to win their first Region Championship since 2004. Gulfport has won three straight in a series that dates back to 1920.

Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
Wheaton (Ill.) Wheaton-Warrenville South at New Lenox (Ill.) Lincoln-Way East
EdgyTim.com : EdgyTim (@EdgyTim)
Friday: Why? Checking out Lincoln-Way East 2012 Illinois verbal commit WR Jason Robertson and Wheaton South/Northwestern verbal commit Dan Vitale in this Class 7A Round 2 game.
Midland (Mich.) High at Grand Blanc (Mich.) High
ChippewaCountry.com: Derek Dickinson (@ChippewaCountry)
Friday: I will be checking out Central Michigan Commit [db] Jordan Fields [/db] to go with multiple other D1 prospects .
Canton (Mich.) High at Detroit (Mich.) Catholic Central
ChippewaCountry.com: Derek Dickinson (@ChippewaCountry)
Saturday: Central Michigan target [db] Ryan Jones [/db] and [db] Matt Doneth [/db] and multiple other D1 prospects will be on display.
Lake Forest (Ill.) High at Batavia (Ill.) High
EdgyTim.com : EdgyTim (@EdgyTim)
Saturday: Top Class 6A matchup featuring 2012 RB Owen Williams for Lake Forest and 2012 Michigan preferred walk on WR Bo Dever.
Chicago (Ill.) Mount Carmel at Bolingbrook (Ill.) High
EdgyTim.com : EdgyTim (@EdgyTim)
Saturday: Class 8A, Round 2 game features Bolingbrook: 2013 QB Aaron Bailey and 2012 ILB Antonio Morrison (Florida) and OG Robbie Bain. Mount Carmel 2012 RB/DN Brandon Grrer[/sb], Western Michigan OL Nick Roach and Illinois three-star verbal commit DT Vontrell Williams.

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas
Copperas Cove (Texas) High at Killeen (Texas) Harker Heights
Rivals.com : Brian Peroni, Southwest analyst (@bperonni )
Thursday: Two Texas commits in Orlando Thomas and Camrhon Highes see their teams face off while top junior Darius James is also in action.
Keller (Texas) High vs. Keller (Texas) Fossil Ridge
TheOldCoach.com : Matt Diggs
Thursday: Fossil Ridge can wrap up a playoff spot and potentially send Southlake Carroll to the 5A Division 1 bracket with a win this week against their arch rival Keller. Keller is 2-7 on the year, but they've played both Denton Guyer and Southlake Carroll close in losing efforts, so they won't be a pushover for the Panthers, who are coming off a blowout loss to Denton Guyer.
McPherson (Kan.) High at Wichita (Kan.) Mt. Carmel
HovpenSports.com : Bob Hovey
Friday: McPherson brings the No. 1 quarterback in the Midlands region in Tyler Matthews, who in his last two games has thrown for 742 yards. For the season, Tyler has thrown for 2,455 yards in nine games for 20 TDs against 5 INTs. Wide receiver Jordan Hart has caught 65 passes for 1,279 yards and 13 Touchdowns.
Gretna (Neb.) High at Ralston (Neb.) High
Huskerlandpreps.com : Bob Jensen (@HuskerlandBob )
Friday: Gretna is the hottest team in Class B, Nebraska's second-largest threat, and considered the favorite heading into the second round of the playoffs.
Lewisville (Texas) High at Plano (Texas) East
TheOldCoach.com : Matt Diggs
Friday: Despite the late-season surge by Plano East, the Panthers do not control their own playoff destiny. Plano East, however, can eliminate itself from contention with a loss, so the first order of business for the Panthers is to take care of business against Lewisville, which is in the District 8-5A cellar. Look for East to jump on the Fighting Farmers early and cruise to a win.
Tatum (Texas) High at White Oak (Texas) Lewisville
TheOldCoach.com : Michael Garland
Friday: Tatum is looking to gear up for a possible deep playoff run and the key to the Eagles success is the health of Texas commit QB [db]Jalen Overstreet. When Overstreet is healthy, Tatum is one of the top 2A teams in the state and they are one of several small school teams in East Texas capable of making a run.
Joshua (Texas) High at Everman (Texas) High
TheOldCoach.com : Matt Steep
Friday: Everman has already wrapped up their 13th consecutive playoff appearance in the Class 4A playoffs, they are now looking to potentially wrap up the top seed in Division 2 this week. Missouri commit Torey Boozer is one of the top linebackers in the DFW area and he along with DE Lincoln Richard leads a tough and fast Everman defense.
San Antonio (Texas) Clark vs. San Antonio (Texas) O'Connor
TheOldCoach.com : Brent Kinard
Friday: This is game dripping with playoff implications in the Alamo City, both teams are sitting at 4-3 in district play and the winner is assured a playoff spot. For Stevens (a 2010 state semi-finalist) its win or go home. Clark, led by Arizona commit QB Josh Kern can advance with a loss but they would need a lot of help.
San Antonio (Texas) Brandeis vs. San Antonio (Texas) Jay
TheOldCoach.com : Brent Kinard
Saturday: Brandeis led by Texas A&M commit DB Collin Blake and Oklahoma commit OL Kyle Marrs will look to tune up before the Class 5A playoffs against Jay who is known more for their basketball prowess than their ability on the gridiron.

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Saugus (Calif.) High vs. Valencia (Calif.) West Ranch at College of the Canyons
CaliforniaPreps.com: Dave Rogahn and Dave Keefer
Friday: Saugus is involved in an historic four-way tie for first place in the Foothill League and needs a win to stay alive for a playoff berth. West Ranch (5-3) could get back in the playoff picture with a win.
Patterson (Calif.) High at Modesto (Calif.) Central Catholic
NorCalPreps.com : Douglas Benton(@NorCalPreps )
Friday: Each team is looking for a quality win to conclude the regular season heading into the playoffs. Central Catholic has been atop the Division IV bowl rankings since the start of the season and goes into the playoffs as the favorite to grab the bowl bid behind the two-way play of Craig Jones. Patterson is led by USC defensive line commit Pio Vatuvei and will look to improve its seeding for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.
Sacramento (Calif.) Grant at Elk Grove (Calif.) Franklin
NorCalPreps.com : Michael Benton
Friday: The NorCalPreps.com Game of the Week features a Grant team which looks to be hitting its stride behind the quarterback play of 5-star defensive back recruit Shaq Thompson. The defense has also played well recently. Franklin is 7-2 on the year behind a very talented group of juniors looking to make an impact in the Sac-Joaquin Division I playoffs. Franklin defensive line recruit Nathan Di Donato is a sleeper to watch out of the region.
Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos vs. Upland (Calif.) High
Rivals.com : Adam Gorney, West Coast analyst
Friday: Arizona State commits go head-to-head as Los Osos offensive lineman Dylan La Frenz leads his team against four-star wide receiver Kenny Lawler and undefeated Upland. Athlete Christian Powell, running back Donta Abron and 2013 prospect Joe Mathis (Washington commit) and quarterback Nate Romine should also be watched.
San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty at San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian
NorCalPreps.com : Cameron Schott (@CSchott_NCP )
Friday: A key WCAL matchup which features 2nd placed Mitty and 4th placed Valley Christian. 4-star running back Byron Marshall will be in action, as he and the Warriors look for another win over the Monarchs after last season's 15-13 victory.
Las Cruces (N.M.) vs. Las Cruces (N.M.) Mayfield
NMPreps.com : Kyle Henderson(@nmpreps)
Friday: Roughly 30,000 are expected for the State of New Mexico's Biggest Rivalry Game. Las Cruces High is 8-1, while Mayfield is 7-2. Las Cruces High has won this game four times in a row, but Mayfield is last year's defending Class 5A State Champs.

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