The first week in November should be a week that seperates teams from the pack. In two major states there are some great game to keep an eye on for the week 10 of Weekend Watch 2009.
In New Jersey, two of the best teams in state - the nation's No. 2 squad Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep is set to take on Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter's Prep. St. Peter's has been hot of late and and already notched wins over Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic and Montvale (NJ) St. Joe's Regional and a win over Bosco would catapult them back into the national scene.
WHEN: Friday 11/6, 7:00 PM LAST MEETING: 11/21/08, Don Bosco won 38-13.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Junior RB Savon Huggins of St. Peter's Prep. For the Marauders to have a chance in this game, Huggins will have to continue to amazing play. Over the last two games, which included a victory over rival St. Joseph's-Montvale two weeks ago, Huggins has rushed for 514 yards and 8 touchdowns on 43 carries. For Bosco keep an eye on senior RB Tony Jones, who seems to shine in games like this. The last time Jones had the spotlight on him was against Prattville-AL, and he responded with 220 yards and 3 touchdowns on 22 carries.
PLAYER'S TO WATCH: If you're looking for star power, you should definitely make your way to Don Bosco Prep on Friday night. Bosco's defense is loaded with D1 talent, but has been anchored by Bryan Murphy, a Pittsburgh commit, and James Kittredge, a Vanderbilt commit. For St. Peter's Prep, junior RB Savon Huggins has been on everyone's recruiting radar for the last two years, but he seems to have turned his game up a few notches over recent weeks. And while Huggins gets most of the publicity for St. Peter's Prep, junior Sheldon Royster is also a star in the making.
BEST MATCHUP: Will Bosco's defensive line slow down Savon Huggins, especially now that he seems to have hit a new gear. With Kittredge and Brandon Sacco inside, while Murphy and Steele Divitto man the outside, the Ironmen definitely have the horses to slow down any running attack. For St. Peter's, establishing Huggins is vital, not only for their own success on offense, but also to keep the potent Bosco offense on the sideline.
PREDICTION: Up until two weeks ago, this had the potential to be another Bosco blowout win. However, since then Bosco struggled during a 28-20 victory against Bergen Catholic, while St. Peter's Prep played their most complete game of the season during a 42-19 victory over St. Joseph's-Montvale. While it seems as though this game has the potential to be a lot closer than many thought a few weeks ago, you still have to go with Bosco. They always seem to these occasions, and this occasion should prove no different.
Don Bosco Prep 31, St. Peter's Prep 17
WHEN: Friday 11/6, 7:30 pm
LAST MEETING: 11/07/08, Peachtree Ridge won 19-7.
KEEP AN EYE ON: The defenses in this game. Both North Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge have stingy defenses, giving up only 9.7 and 10.9 points respectively. Peachtree Ridge has given up an average of 5.9 points per game to teams that aren't named Lowndes (the Vikings dropped 51 points on the Lions). Peachtree Ridge has the slight edge when playing without the ball, partly in thanks to LB Eric Odonkor and ball-hawking Indiana commit DB Brian Williams. North Gwinnett's LB David Park will help anchor a stout Bulldog defense whose strength is their defensive front.
PLAYER'S TO WATCH: There will be plenty of talent on these teams' offenses as well. The key position for both teams is quarterback. Peachtree Ridge's Nick Lombardo has been solid and North Gwinnett's quarterback C.J. Uzomah, who has offers from all over the SEC, can make plays with his arm and feet. Uzomah missed last week's game due to injury, but he should be back for this weekend's big game. Also look for Vanderbilt WR commit Brad Roby to take some heat off of Brandon Stanly and the Peachtree Ridge running game.
BEST MATCHUP: North Gwinnett OL versus any Lion pass rusher. Jawuan James (a 6-foot-6 four-star prospect) and Austin Shepherd (a 6-foot-5 three-star committed to Alabama) help anchor a stellar offensive line that will attempt to keep their quarterback's jersey clean at all costs. Uzomah and the Bulldog O regularly put up 30 points on opposing defenses and one of the biggest reasons for that is the time that Uzomah has in the backfield. If Peachtree Ridge can get some pressure on Uzomah, it will certainly make things harder for the North Gwinnett offense. Peachtree Ridge can score points, but the lower scoring the game is, the better shot they have at winning.
PREDICTION: Uzomah is a rare talent that will garner huge offers from all over the country by the time he graduates in 2011. The only problem is that he and his Bulldogs have not really been tested all that much recently. Their early 14-11 win over Prattville (AL) was big, but since then, North Gwinnett has not played too many tough games. Peachtree Ridge, on the other hand, had to travel down to Valdosta to take on one of the country's toughest teams and more recently hosted a hungry, undefeated Collins Hill team. Ultimately, the Lions' experience in big games gives them an edge. North Gwinnett has homefield advantage, but it will not be enough to get them the W and the Region 7-5A championship. Peachtree Ridge wins a tight game. Peachtree Ridge 20, North Gwinnett 17