Instant Replay: Top tier survival and Kentucky pride

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

We're reaching the point in the football season when every single weekend provides a handful of matchups that could determine both state and national pecking order. As predicted in the Weekend Watch, Friday and Saturday hosted on field referendums that also pitted powerful programs from Ohio and Kentucky as well as New Jersey and Florida against each other. When everything was sorted out, there was yet more shifting in the RivalsHigh 100, all as the national pecking order begins to take some definitive shape.

No. 4 Louisville (Kent.) Trinity 17, No. 18 Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier 7: Last week, St. X came through with a huge crosstown victory against fellow Southern Ohio power Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain. This time around the Bombers weren't quite as lucky, with Trinity using a stifling defense to thwart St. X. After averaging 7 touchdowns per game entering the cross-state face off, Trinity held the Bombers to just 82 yards and 7 points.

No. 5 Gaffney (S.C.) 35, Byrnes (S.C.) 13: If explosive offensive plays are likely to stand out as the hallmark of Gaffney's 2011 season, then the squad's stiff defense may be getting unfairly overlooked. On Friday, Gaffney shut down a traditional power, all while providing a platform for its dynamic offense to excel. It did, and ensured that the country's No. 5 team would keep rolling in the process.

No. 1 Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep 22, No. 80 Manatee (Fla.) 16: This was more a case of survival than sending a statement for Don Bosco, which picked up a second straight victory against a national power from hundreds of miles away, though it do so with significantly more stress this time around. Eventually, Don Bosco used a long receiving touchdown and a score shortly after a blocked punt for enough separation to keep Manatee at bay, though that wasn't enough for the perennial national title contenders to keep their top spot in the national rankings.

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No. 34 Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward 30, Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder 10: The Eagles just keep rolling. A year after charging all the way through the RivalsHigh 100 to nearly steal the national title from Batesville (Miss.) South Panola in the final rankings, St. Edward continues to chew up all in-state opposition with a dominant run game and big plays by the defense and special teams (in this case, both an interception and a blocked punt set up second half scores). Add in a rally from a first half deficit, and this victory over a fellow Ohio state title-contender was just another game in a day's work for the Eagles.

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No. 29 Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton 28, Mesa (Ariz.) Desert Ridge 6: In one of the most anticipated matches on the Arizona schedule, Hamilton justified its inclusion high up on the RivalsHigh 100 while Desert Ridge, a fellow rankings contender, showed how far it still has to go to earn a spot. The biggest factor for Hamilton in the Huskies' 44th consecutive victory was an overwhelming defense which limited explosive Desert Ridge star Jordan Becerra to just five touches in the entire game.

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No. 61 Longview (Texas) 24, No. 82 Lufkin (Texas) 10: Longview showed how tough it is -- and just how good the Allen team that beat Longview earlier in the season is -- by rolling through Lufkin in East Texas. After spotting the Panthers a 10-0 lead Longview sprung into action, cutting into the lead with dynamic passing and then controlling the game with a powerful, ball control running game.

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