Instant Replay: Playoffs in full swing with a rankings bang

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

The playoffs are under way, and that means that the RivalsHigh 100 upheaval is in full swing, as well. After a first week of games pitted between fellow highly ranked teams, the shakedown is sure to only intensify further in the weeks to come.

No. 78 Matthews (N.C.) Butler 42, Charlotte (N.C.) Independence 20: This games was pitched as an early round playoff rivalry grudge match, but turned into much more of a whitewash than either side truly anticipated. Butler ran away with this one early, scoring on five of its first six possessions to cruise its way into the third round.


Pittsburgh (Pa.) Gateway 34, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Penn-Trafford 9: It's not often that you see two unranked teams meander their way into the top games of the week at this point in the season, but this Western Pennsylvania revenge match packed plenty of defensive punch and a conference rivalry to boost. In the end, Gateway was much more efficient on offense and sturdy on defense, holding Penn-Trafford to just three points on four consecutive first-half drives that reached the Gateway red zone. That's clutch defense.

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Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier 28, No. 61 Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain 15: St. X escaped with another big win over the Cardinals for the second time this season, but this was more of a surprise. After a powerful finish to the season, Colerain entered as one of the favorites for Ohio's ever tough Division I playoff tournament. It exited prematurely thanks to a near-flawless start by the Bombers, who scored touchdowns on their first three possessions to run away from a cross-town rival.

No. 22 Westlake (Calif.) 35, No. 58 Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure 14: This wasn't an official playoff matchup, but it was a way for Westlake to make a big statement on a statewide -- and maybe even nationwide -- level. The Warriors improved to a perfect 10-0 with a dominant performance against a fellow Rivals 100-ranked foe, rolling past St. Bonaventure with another dominant rushing performance from back Dashon Hunt.

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No. 60 Southlake (Texas) Carroll 23, Plano (Texas) East 16: This first-round playoff matchup wasn't supposed to be close, but people seem to have forgotten to tell that to Plano East. In fact, the Dragons had to withstand a final Plano East drive after a last-minute interception to ensure they advanced on to the second round of the state tournament for yet another year.

No. 27 Prattville (Ala.) 13, No. 42 Daphne (Ala.) 3: This defensive struggle was close until the fourth quarter, when a deep touchdown pass pushed Prattville out of reach. Still, it provided a disappointing coda to a promising season for Daphne, which was never able to get going offensively against a staunch Prattville defensive front, holding star running back T.J. Weldon to fewer than 100 yards.

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