Friday Night Lights: Auburn at Kentwood

Auburn RB/DB Alphonse Wade (Bates/Seattle Times)

There was a big matchup at French Field in Kent this past Friday as Auburn, ranked fifth in the state, traveled to meet up with Kentwood, a traditional state power. Dawgman.com's Scott Eklund was in the stands and saw some standout prospects including 2010 Husky commit Chris Young, a safety/fullback for Auburn...

Let's start it off by stating, this was a sloppy game. Both teams made myriad mistakes and there were a ton of penalties on Auburn that nullified some big plays by the Trojans. That being said, this was still a great game and one that was a lot of fun to watch as Auburn pulled out a thrilling, 35-28 win over the Conquerors.

Here's a look at the top prospects on both rosters...

Auburn S/FB Chris Young (2010)- The Husky commit can definitely lay the lumber when he gets the chance. He was flying around on defense all night, hitting anything that came into his area and acting as the de facto sheriff in the Trojan secondary. He was also a devastating lead-blocker for the Auburn backs. On one play he blew up three Conquerors, allowing the Trojan running the ball about 25 yards of free space before he saw another Kentwood defender. While he was a huge hitter on defense, there were times he came up to make the highlight hit instead of wrapping up and this resulted in one long touchdown by Kentwood QB Tristen Askew. He also was beat deep for another long play when a Kentwood wide receiver got behind him in coverage. Young will be a great linebacker at the next level, but he's got to work on wrapping up and playing a little better in space. Also of note was the fact that Young had 94 yards rushing and scored the final two touchdowns to give the Trojans the win.

Auburn RB Alphonse Wade (2011)- Wade was the most dynamic player on the field last night. He rushed for 213 yards on 13 carries and caught a 52-yard touchdown pass. On the first play from scrimmage, Wade broke free for a 60 yard run, but fumbled on the 10, thwarting the Trojans' bid to get a very early lead. As it was, they still managed to get out a 14-0 lead, but it could have been even more if Wade hadn't fumbled. He's not a jitterbug back, running with determination and good power for a back that only goes about 5-10, 180 pounds. He also showed above-average breakaway speed, running away from people once he got into the open field. He needs to put on some size, but he's definitely a back to keep an eye on for the next recruiting class.

Austen WR/RB Austen Embody (2011)- He doesn't have amazing athleticism or breakaway speed, but all he seemed to do was make a big play. If it wasn't going for 117 yards on eight carries, it was getting behind the Conquerors' secondary for a 35-yard touchdown. He's not very big (5-11, 180), but he just seems like a football player. There were a couple of times he lowered his shoulder on a carry and delivered punishment rather than taking it. He's another skill player who recruitniks should keep an eye on.

Auburn DT Danny Shelton (2011)- Shelton looked great on both sides of the ball, but he's destined for the defensive side of the ball at the next level. Shelton has great feet, so he was able to easily engulf Kentwood pass-rushers. On defense, he isn't asked to penetrate much, but one one play he exploded through the line and met the Kentwood running back in the backfield for a four yard loss. One of the questions with him has been his motor and how hard he was willing to work and while I only have a small sample, he seems to have rectified some of that. Shelton definitely will be one of the top linemen in the state for the 2011 class.

Kentwood QB/DB Tristen Askew (2010)- If he wasn't so skinny (5-10, 165) I'd say he was someone to look at possibly picking up an invited walk-on offer from a D-1 school. He's got great speed and he's pretty tough, bouncing off a big hit by Young to go for a 57-yard touchdown. He came right back early in the third quarter, going for a 24-yarder as well. He's adept at running Kentwood's option-attack and he could be a difference-maker for them the rest of the season.

Worth noting is the Josh Smith, one of the top basketball players in the country, only played a handful of snaps with Kentwood head coach Rex Norris telling the Seattle Times, "He hasn't played for five years. We're not going to throw him to the wolves."

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