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Instant Replay: Tight games, tight rankings in crunch time

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Another week down, another week closer to clarity in the race for the mythical national championship. And with more than one surprising result, yet another seven day stretch in which we were all reminded why high school football is so great to watch, because even at the highest level, it's just so darn unpredictable. Here's how the best of the best games played out, and here's how they've affected the latest iteration of the RivalsHigh 100.

No. 10 Loganville (Ga.) Grayson 35, No. 60 Marietta (Ga.) Colquitt County 31: Grayson couldn't celebrate a spot in the Georgia AAAAA state title game until there was less than a minute remaining, but eventually wide receiver Marcus Lindquist's grab with just 28 ticks remaining sewed up a perfect season and near-certain spot within the national top-10 ... if the Rams can win a 15th game in a row.

No. 56 Miami (Fla.) Norland 29, Belle Glades (Fla.) Glades Central 13: If you don't know Duke Johnson's name yet, now would be a good time to jot it down. The senior all-everywhere running back took control of his team's regional final against Glades Central in the second half, dominating possession while running for 199 of his 248 yards and four touchdowns in the final two quarters alone, earning a spot in the state semifinals for the undefeated Vikings in the process.

No. 35 Southlake (Texas) Carroll 31, No. 38 Arlington (Texas) Martin 14: It's been a long five years since Texas power Southlake Carroll reached the state 5A semifinals, but that wait is finally over after a statement victory against a Martin squad which entered this quarterfinal brimming with confidence. Using a stout defense that has given up a total of just eight points in the second half during the team's playoff run, Carroll rolled past Martin in a game which wasn't even as close as the final score suggests.

No. 52 Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Dwyer 6, No. 53 Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas 3: It took almost the entire game, but Dwyer quarterback Faton Bauta finally put together a game-winning drive that ate up much of the fourth quarter clock, all worth backing up one of the finest defensive efforts anywhere this season as Dwyer advanced to the state semifinals by slipping past the defending state champions and preseason national title contenders.

No. 70 Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian 27, No. 71 St. Bonaventure 24: Oaks Christian dug itself a big hole, falling behind 17-7 in the second period before staging a fierce rally to earn a rematch with heated rival Westlake in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division Finals.

No. 97 Centreville (Va.) 10, No. 96 Hermitage 9: Tight state semifinals don't get much closer than this one, with two tough defenses refusing to budge. After a tit-for-tat first half and a similar second half, one of the more painful special teams miscues you'll ever see -- a missed extra point after a potential game-tying Hermitage touchdown in the fourth quarter -- sent Centreville a step closer to an elusive state title while sending Hermitage home for good.

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