For Hoboken (N.J.), it was the last game of the season. For St. Peter's Prep it was a pit stop on their way to the state championship game Saturday against Don Bosco Prep.
As expected, 5-star athlete Will Hill didn't log a lot of minutes against Hoboken in St. Peter's Prep's 35-13 victory because of the state title game this weekend.
He played quarterback for two series, and each resulted in a touchdown. One came on a trademark 38-yard run by Hill on his team's first possession.
What we've learned about Hill during the last year is that his play on the field seems almost effortless at times. This was definitely showcased during his 38-yard run down the sideline on the Marauders first possession of the game.
On the defensive side of the ball, Hill saw a bit more action. Besides recovering a fumble, he wasn't in on too many plays because the St. Peter's Prep defensive line did most of the damage.
Another starter on offense that saw limited action for the Marauders was junior running back Nyshier Oliver. As the season has progressed, Oliver's play has as well. He still looks as though he could fill out his frame a little more, but he hits the hole extremely fast and is elusive in the open field. He also showcased his hands during the game by making a couple of receptions out of the backfield.
Leading the way for the juniors on Saturday was defensive end Anthony Blake. Although a bit undersized at 6 feet 1 and 240-pounds, he has a great motor and seemed to be in on every play. He showed a variety of pass rushing moves and also played the run very well.
Juniors Daryl Greene and Khalil Wilkes also played well on the defensive line. Greene, listed at 6 feet and 315-pounds, is a prototypical run-stopping defensive tackle. He is impossible to move, but at the same time has some surprising explosiveness. Some conditioning is likely needed, but overall there is definitely potential there.
Wilkes is listed at 6 feet 3 and 290 pounds. He almost looks small lining up next to Greene, but he also bring a lot to the table. He's quick off the ball and is strong. However, he needs to improve his footwork.
The final junior that caught our eye is offensive tackle Sean Pearson. At 6 feet 5 and 290 pounds, he's obviously not easy to miss. Pearson has a lean, impressive frame and showed very good technique. However, he does need to work on his upper body strength and footwork in the coming months.
The cupboard is far from bare for St. Peter's Prep after the junior class. Sophomore Corey Davis is already starting at cornerback for the Marauders, and he has made the most out of his opportunities at running back.
He won't intimidate you with his size, but he plays bigger than his 5-foot-8, 160-pound frame. He also has great feet and flies to the ball.
Outside of Will Hill, the player with the most potential for the Marauders may be a freshman. Running back Savon Huggins has obviously played a limited role with Oliver and Davis in front of him. However, during his time on the field Friday he showed flashes of brilliance. He's already bigger than listed (5-9, 165) and he runs with purpose. He has destroyed the competition in freshman football, and the sky is the limit for this youngster.
While St. Peter's Prep dominated the play on the field, Hoboken definitely also has its share of talent. Leading the way is a trio of junior linemen that are sure to be heard of over the next year.
Defensive end Bernardo Nunez is quick to the ball and has good technique, but there are some questions about his strength at this point. He has a frame that can put on substantial mass, so an offseason of dedication in the weight room could help him take his game to another level.
On the interior line for Hoboken are juniors Isaac Holmes and Michael Douglas. While Nunez might get most of the early recruiting attention, Holmes might be the one with the most potential down the road. Since he plays on both sides of the ball, we had a chance to see him do a little bit of everything. That said, his future is likely at defensive tackle. He has very good feet for a player of his size and moves well from side to side. Strength may be an issue right now, but he uses his leverage well and also shows good balance.
Douglas is the most raw out of the trio, but the potential is there. He may be more suited at offensive guard at the moment, but with a little work in the weight room and some improved footwork he can also find a home at defensive tackle.
Hoboken also has a couple of skill position players worth watching. First is junior running back Desmond Bates, whose brother Damien graduated from Hoboken last year and is currently at Hutchinson JC in Kansas. Desmond Bates has a thinner frame than his brother, but is quick to the hole and accelerates well.