Posted: 12:33 am Sunday, September 6th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
No. 5 Jupiter Christian completely outplayed American Heritage in the first half and held on for a 21-14 win over the sixth-ranked Stallions at Jensen Beach on Saturday. Here are five quick hits on the Eagles’ victory:
1. Whether he ends up with FBS offers or not, LB/RB Will Powers is an elite high school player. Powers was the best player on the field Saturday, bar none. He had 15 tackles at linebacker and never let RB James Potts or WR/QB/RB Darius Millines out of his grasp. He finished every tackle. American Heritage’s last possession, a potential game-tying drive, ended with the ball in Powers’ hands after he recovered a fumble. At the end of the third quarter, Potts had two tries from the Jupiter Christian 1-yard line and Powers stopped him both times. On offense, going against BCS-caliber talent, Powers ran for 101 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Hard to say if he can be productive at the next level given his size (5-9, 186) and speed, but in high school, he truly is a star.
2. Millines has to touch the ball more. Millines is the Stallions’ most talented player, but they seem indecisive about how to use him. He took four handoffs for a total of 6 yards and did not catch a pass. When he was at quarterback, Millines ran for 34 yards on four carries and threw an incompletion. QB Billy Strode is a better passer, but Millines creates a lot of uncertainty for defenses when he takes snaps. Either way, he needs more than nine touches in a game.
3. DB Keddy Bostic saved the winning streak. The way Strode and American Heritage marched down the field on their final possession, the Stallions looked they might have won the game if not for a heady play by Bostic, a sophomore. Down by 7, the Stallions started at their own 3-yard line with 5:47 remaining and drove 73 yards on 16 plays. American Heritage had 1st-and-10 at Jupiter Christian’s 24-yard line with 20 seconds left, and Strode hit WR Greg Bryant for a 14-yard pass. Bostic, lined up at safety on the left side that play, met Bryant at the 10 and popped the ball loose with his helmet. Powers grabbed the fumble and the game was done. 28 consecutive wins and counting.
4. WR Isaiah Howard will be a threat to stretch the field if the quarterback has time. Howard caught just one pass for 13 yards in his American Heritage debut, but he was open deep downfield at least twice. Strode slightly overthrew him on one of those opportunities, but as Howard continues to take reps at wide receiver, he will be more apt to make those plays. In Strode’s defense, the Stallions offensive line rarely gave him enough protection to let those routes develop.
5. Nobody squeezes more production out of its players’ talent than Jupiter Christian’s coaching staff. There are a lot of good coaches in this area, but nobody is doing more with less. The Eagles dressed 19 players for Saturday’s game — none of which are likely to ever show up on a BCS roster — against a team with several major college prospects. One reason for the win: The Eagles committed just three penalties. Also, the staff called for a Statue of Liberty play on fourth down in the second quarter that resulted in Powers running 12 yards untouched into the end zone. Instead of their usual 5-3 defense, Jupiter Christian went with an extra safety that helped take away any deep passes. Strode said the Stallions were thrown off by that change.