Instant Replay: Drama-less Don Bosco dominance

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

What happens when the top team in the RivalsHigh 100 faces a stern test from one of the best programs on the opposite coast? It either justified its ranking or falls by the wayside. In the case of Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep, the New Jersey powerhouse fulfilled the former opportunity, leading the way for a handful of other highly ranked teams across the country that were featured in the Weekend Watch.

No. 1 Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep 35, No. 40 Mission Viejo (Calif.) High 7: Don Bosco's season-opening victory at home was more than a big win, it was a statement of intent that spoke to the organization's dogmatic determination to go out and win another national title. Just how dominant was Don Bosco on Saturday? Just listen to Mission Viejo quarterback Alex Bridgford's comments to RivalsHigh senior analyst Dallas Jackson: "We knew they were good, but we saw them on film and thought they may be a little small or maybe overhyped," he said. "But they were great. Their front wasn't the biggest, but they were well disciplined and ran their stunts well. We couldn't contain them."

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No. 26 Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier 17, No. 8 Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain 14: One of the better early-season matchups thus far, this game had it all: Stout defense, key plays and even dramatic late field goals. In the end, the Bombers escaped with Colerain missed a chance to send the game to overtime, a setback which could prove to be a prelude to revenge in the later Ohio High School Athletic Association state playoffs.

No. 2 Allen (Texas) 42, No. 27 Longview (Texas) 23: This was a beatdown that was actually worse than it even appeared, with Allen rolling up a massive 28-7 first half lead before Longview eventually made the game competitive in the second half. Still, the scoreline might not be a derogatory statement against the Lobos; the Eagles and Alabama-committed quarterback Alec Morris might just be that good.

No. 44 Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure 29, No. 35 Centennial (Calif.) High 27: Another game that lived up to the hype, St. Bonny needed both a key defensive play and an extraordinarily gutsy decision to go for two late in the game to hold on against a fellow Southern California hard-charger.

No. 97 St. Paul's (La.) School 15, No. 98 Arcadiana (La.) 14: Sometimes a game completely validates the ranking for both teams. Yet it's rare that a game could provide that service for two teams who were ranked directly next to each other. Somehow, that's what happened on Friday, when St. Paul's rallied for a stirring victory against rival Arcadiana at New Orleans' Superdome. Perhaps fittingly, the winning touchdown came with just more than a minute left, when St. Paul's quarterback Patrick Duncan bought himself enough time to let receiver Kris Brumfield get free in the secondary, eventually connecting with his teammate for the winning score.

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