We are now down to the final days of high school football, but don’t be too upset. We had a heck of a run this season. Only five Husker commits were still in action this week, as Willie Hampton, Tristan Gebbia, Keyshawn Johnson Jr., Brenden Jaimes and Robert Porcher IV all looked to keep their state title hopes alive. All five succeeded, with Porcher setting his school’s career and single season sack record in the process.
- Jaevon McQuitty
- Austin Allen
- Avery Roberts
- Deontre Thomas
- Matt Sichterman
- Broc Bando
- Ben Miles
- Guy Thomas
- Reese Leitao
- Deiontae Watts
American Heritage (Fla.) defeated Tampa Jesuit (Fla.) 21-14.
The Patriots held off a late rally from Tampa Jesuit to win 21-14 and advance to the Florida Class 5A state finals. Hampton played one of his finest games of the season in the victory, leading all linebackers with five tackles and one tackle for loss. Heritage will now look forward to its state final matchup against Ponte Vedra, an undefeated squad led by star quarterback Nick Tronti.
Season stats: 58 tackles, 14 TFLs, 2 FF, 1 INT
Next: Heritage (13-0) will face Ponte Vedra (13-0) in Orlando for the Class 5A State Championship
Keyshawn Johnson Jr.
Calabasas (Calif.) defeated Capistrano Valley (Calif.) 35-14.
Calabasas stormed to a 35-0 lead and coasted to an easy 35-14 victory over Capistrano Valley, clinching its second consecutive CIF Division 5 championship. Johnson played a key role in the victory, catching a 25-yard touchdown pass to open up the scoring. Calabasas can now look forward to a matchup with Madison in the California Division 2-AA Regional Finals. Calabasas will look to do better than last season, when the team reached the regional finals but lost to Citrus Hill 56-21.
Season stats: 47 receptions, 823 receiving yards (17.5 yards per catch), 10 TDs
Next: Calabasas (14-0) will travel to face Madison (11-2) in the Division 2-AA Regional Finals
Calabasas (Calif.) defeated Capistrano Valley (Calif.) 35-14.
Despite playing in damp conditions and facing the second best defense in the state, Gebbia put together one of his finest performances to help the Coyotes capture their second consecutive CIF Division 5 title. Gebbia completed 35-of-46 passes for 491 yards and five touchdowns as the Coyotes burst out to a 35-0 lead midway through the third quarter before coasting to a 35-14 victory. With two Division 5 championships in his possession, Gebbia will now attempt to lead the Coyotes past Madison and into the Division 2-AA Finals, a game that Calabasas has never reached in school’s history.
Season stats: 298/418 (71.3 percent completion percentage), 4,746 passing yards, 54 TD’s, 8 INTs
Next: Calabasas (14-0) will face Madison (11-2) in the Division 2-AA Regional Finals
Lake Travis (Texas) defeated Westlake (Texas) 51-3.
Jaimes and his teammates proved that they were clicking on all cylinders, destroying crosstown rival Westlake 51-3 in the Texas Class 6A state quarterfinals. Jaimes helped the Cavaliers’ offense roll up 420 yards of offense in the victory, as the Cavs jumped on Westlake with 37 unanswered points to start the ball game. Jaimes and his offensive line mates have helped pave the way for Lake Travis to score 50 or more points in 10-of-14 games this season.
Next: Lake Travis (13-1) will face Atascocita (12-1) in the Texas Class 6A Semifinals. The game will take place in the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Robert Porcher IV
Dr. Phillips (Fla.) defeated Seminole (Fla.) 37-34.
Dr. Phillips advanced to the Florida Class 8A finals in dramatic fashion, upsetting undefeated Seminole High 37-34 in double overtime last Friday. Porcher was dominant in the victory, tallying seven tackles and a sack in the victory, which allowed the Panthers to advance to their first state title game since 2010. With his sack on Friday, Porcher set both the career and single season sack records at Dr. Phillips High School. Porcher and his teammates will need another monumental effort against Miami Southridge in the Miami Class 8A state final game next Saturday.
Season stats: 90 tackles, 35 TFL, 16 Sacks, 5 PBU, 2 INTs, 1 FR
Next: Dr. Phillips (12-2) faces Miami Southridge (11-2) in the Miami Class 8A state final.
Recruit Of the Week: Cody Liske
For the second to last recruit of the week, we once again focus on the walk-on class. This time we highlight Bennington, Nebraska, linebacker Cody Liske. A 6-0, 195-pound linebacker/fullback, Liske helped lead the Bennington Badgers to a 5-5 record and a berth in the Nebraska Class B playoffs this fall.
Liske contributed on both offense and defense this season, rushing for 657 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, while also leading the Badgers with 95 tackles from his middle linebacker position. Liske recently sat down with Hail Varsity to talk about receiving his walk-on offer and his senior season at Bennington.
HV: You received and accepted a preferred walk-on offer from Nebraska recently. How long had you been in contact with coaches at Nebraska?
CL: Well, I had started talking to them over the summer at their recruiting camps. They asked me to come to a football game in November and I went. It was awesome and I was hoping they’d want me, I just didn’t know it would be this soon.
HV: Which coach or staff member reached out to you and let you know that you would be getting a walk-on offer?
CL: Coach [Kenny] Wilhite was the one who called me and let me know that they would be offering me.
HV: What was it like being able to go home and tell your parent that you’d be a Husker?
CL: They were super excited and it felt great to tell them. It’s been a dream for me since I was a kid and it felt really good to go and tell my parents that it’s going to come true.
HV: You played middle linebacker and fullback for Bennington. Have you had any discussions on which position you will play at Nebraska?
CL: Not really, but I’m guessing I’ll be playing something like outside linebacker.
HV: This season you helped lead the Badgers to a 5-5 record and a berth in the Class B playoffs. What you will remember the most from this fall?
CL: My senior season was good for me. I feel like I played well and I really enjoyed it. I’ll mostly remember the Columbus game and the Roncalli game.
HV: What do you believe is your greatest strength on the football field at this point? And what area do you feel like you still need work on?
CL: I feel like my speed and strength are probably my advantages. I think I need to work on my block shedding.
HV: You have already stated that you will be attending Nebraska as a walk-on. If you hadn’t received a walk-on offer to Nebraska, where were you planning to attend school next year?
CL: I probably would have still gone to Nebraska, and I would have gone through the walk-on tryouts to try and make the team.
HV: Any final things you’d like to say to Nebraska fans?
CL: Go Big Red!