Instant Replay: Early playoff surprises thin out the ranked herd

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

The playoffs are under way almost everywhere, and that means that long, hard-fought seasons tend to evaporate even more quickly than they do during other stretches of the season. That was certainly the case in Week 10 of football action, with a handful of the nation's most highly hyped games -- courtesy of the Weekend Watch -- throwing up surprising results and shaking up the RivalsHigh 100.

No. 32 Carmel (Ind.) 34, No. 7 Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central 30: Huge rivals on the football field and basketball court, Carmel found a way to edge past one of the nation's top 10 teams with a handful of gutsy calls and a bit of karma, sliding past Warren Central after falling to their rivals on a last-second field goal earlier in the season.

No. 99 Westlake (Calif.) Oaks Christian 17, Moorpark (Calif.) 14: Oaks Christian survived to fight another week in the RivalsHigh 100 ... barely. A late field goal by Steve Pelino proved enough to let Oaks Christian -- which was playing without injured star running back Carlos Mendoza -- escape from a potential pit fall on the verge of the playoffs, thanks in part to kicking struggles from Moorpark, which missed two extra points itself.

Lake Zurich (Ill.) 10, No. 57 Glenbard (Ill.) West 3: Tell us if you think these stats sound like the offensive output of a playoff winner: 5 first downs, 132 total yards. If you don't, then you haven't seen Lake Zurich's defense, which completely shut down the defending Illinois Class 7A champs in a stunning 10-3 upset that was keyed as much by excellent work from punter Mark Weber as it was from the Lake Zurich offensive line.

No. 59 Lithonia (Ga.) Martin Luther King 50, No. 60 Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson 49: Games don't confirm rankings much better than this one did. Two teams separated by just a single spot in the RivalsHigh 100 played a game to a one-point conclusion, with MLK eventually escaping with a victory thanks to a kickoff return touchdown by MLK super stud Blake Tibbs with less than 30 seconds remaining.

No. 64 Longview (Texas) 23, No. 16 DeSoto (Texas) 21: Rarely, if ever, has a safety been more impactful than the one that Longview scored on Thursday night. Deadlocked in a 21-21 game, Longview defensive lineman Jalen Porter forced a fumble by DeSoto quarterback Desmon White with just 1:21 remaining in the game, with the loose ball eventually recovered by the Eagles in the end zone. Incredibly, that safety was probably the best possible outcome for the Lobos, who suddenly found themselves with a two-point lead and receiving the ball en route to an upset that all but ends DeSoto's outside chance of running the gauntlet and stealing away a surprising national title.

No. 100 Martinsburg (W. Va.) 41, Dover (Del.) 7: It's rare to see a cross-state showdown this late in the season, but Martinsburg showed it's ready for the forthcoming West Virginia state playoffs with a one-sided rout of the Dover Senators in a game which ballooned from a seven-point edge at halftime in a one-sided second half.

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