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Friday Night Lights: Apollo 3 launches, efficiency name of the game for other Arizona commits

Commit Matthew Lado on his official visit to Arizona in June 2023
Photo via @matthew_lado on X

High school football is in full swing, and that can mean only one thing...FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!

The Arizona Wildcats bounced back nicely against UTEP as they finished non-con and move into conference play.

This past weekend, all 15 of the Wildcats’ 2024 commitments were in action, as was UA’s lone 2025 commit.

With that, let’s dive into this week’s edition of FNL.

4-star QB Demond Williams Jr., Basha (Chandler, Ariz.)

  • Game Result: Won 45-7 over Mountain View
  • Team Record: 3-1
  • Game Stats: 21-for-22, 268 yds, 4 TD; 4 car, 27 yds
  • Season Stats: 62-for-74, 973 yds, 11 TD, 1 INT; 38 car, 409 yds, 5 TD
  • Notes: Williams had an incredibly efficient night against MVHS. He didn’t have the crazy ground game he usually does. He still managed to show his acceleration and speed, which can be seen in one of his runs below as he flies down the sideline for a first down. He was most effective through the air, only missing one pass all night and notching 4 touchdowns. He made every throw at every level and did a great job at hitting his receivers in stride. Still, Williams is probably most effective when he uses his legs to move in the pocket or roll out.

3-star Adam Mohammed, Apollo (Glendale, Ariz.)

  • Game Result: Won 48-0 over West Point
  • Team Record: 3-1
  • Game Stats: 9 car, 170 yds, 4 TD; 2 rec, 21 yds
  • Season Stats: 66 car, 698 yds, 10 TD; 5 rec, 112 yds
  • Notes: Mohammad teed off against West Point, setting AIA 5A record for touchdowns. Did I mention he was also efficient? He had 4 scores on 9 runs, which is insanely impressive. Not to mention that one of those scores came from one of the craziest runs I’ve seen, a 97-yarder. Enjoy his highlights below.

3-star ATH Landon Bell, Newbury Park (Newbury Park, Calif.)

  • Game Result: Won 53-7 over Royal
  • Team Record: 3-1
  • Game Stats: 3 rec, 82 yds, 1 TD
  • Season Stats: 19 rec, 298 yds yds, 4 TD
  • Notes: Bell had an efficient game against Royal this past weekend. He had a nice 35-yd touchdown when he beat his man with his speed and caught the ball in stride. He also showed off his speed on a punt return where he completely changed course, ran across the field, and bolted down the sideline to put his team in great field position.

3-star WR Brandon Phelps, American Leadership Academy - Gilbert North (Gilbert, Ariz.)

  • Game Result: Won 56-0 over Paradise Valley
  • Team Record: 3-1
  • Game Stats: 3 rec, 70 yds, 2 TD
  • Season Stats: 25 rec, 431 yds, 5 TD
  • Notes: Phelps was another commit who had an efficient game. Out of the 3 catches he had, 2 were for touchdowns. Excellent production and impact.

3-star WR Audric Harris, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)

  • Game Result: Won 49-6 over Liberty
  • Team Record: 5-0
  • Game Stats: 3 rec, 33 yds
  • Season Stats: 29 rec, 534 yds, 5 TD
  • Notes: Harris looked to have a good game against Liberty this past weekend. I don’t think his stats actually reflect what his real performance was and based on his highlights. Harris had a couple of really nice YAC plays where he took the WR screen and blasted through the running lanes in the defense for huge gains. He also proved to be a solid option in the red zone, snagging a short-yardage touchdown.

3-star TE Charlie Crowell, Summit (Bend, Ore.)

  • Game Result: Results not reported
  • Team Record: 1-1
  • Game Stats: Unavailable
  • Season Stats: 7 rec, 177 yds, 1 TD
  • Notes: For whatever reason Summit’s stats and game result against Sherwood hasn’t bee reported at the time of this writing. Crowell does have some highlights where he catches a couple of passes and recovered a fumble while playing defense.

3-star OL Matthew Lado, Apollo (Glendale, Ariz.)

  • Game Result: Won 48-0 over West Point
  • Team Record: 3-1
  • Game Stats: N/A
  • Season Stats: N/A
  • Notes: Lado continued to be a road grader and seal the edge on his side of the line for his current, and future, teammate Adam Mohammad. Lado is going to be a good one in college.

3-star OL Michael Watkins, Apollo (Glendale, Ariz.)

  • Game Result: Won 48-0 over West Point
  • Team Record: 3-1
  • Game Stats: N/A
  • Season Stats: N/A
  • Notes: Watkins showed some excellent athleticism as he flew downfield to block for Mohammad. It is worthy of note that Watkins was also the pulling guard that sprung Mohammad on his 97-yd TD run. He was instrumental from the 3 to past the 50-yard line on that run. Watkins, along with Lado, are easily some of the most under-recruited offensive linemen in the state.

5-star Edge Elijah Rushing, Salpointe Catholic (Tucson)

  • Game Result: Won 50-6 over Valley Vista
  • Team Record: 4-0
  • Game Stats: 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 5 QB Hurries
  • Season Stats: 18 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 27 QB Hurries
  • Notes: Rushing really is a special player, and he proves it week in and week out. He dominated his side of the line all night against Valley Vista, destroying the LT to get into the backfield on a regular basis. His awareness was on full display during his forced fumble. He engaged his blocker, shed it to key in on a player in the backfield, recognized the actual ball carrier go past him, and still managed to get his long arm on the ball carrier and strip the ball out.

3-star Edge Eduwa Okundaye, Tompkins (Katy, Tex.)

  • Game Result: Lost 38-28 to Cinco Ranch
  • Team Record: 1-3
  • Game Stats: 10 tackles
  • Season Stats: 19 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sack
  • Notes: Okundaye had a very productive game. I was unable to find any highlights of him during his team’s loss.

3-star DL Keona Wilhite, Salpointe Catholic (Tucson)

  • Game Stats: Won 50-6 over Valley Vista
  • Team Record: 4-0
  • Game Stats: 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 4 QB Hurries
  • Season Stats: 16 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 PBUs, 17 QB Hurries
  • Notes: While the Valley Vista had his handful, the RT was in agony. He was dealing with Wilhite all night, and it didn’t go well for him. Wilhite was relentless in his pass rush and run defense, making his way through the line with ease. He also showed off his speed as he was able to chase down the opposing ball carrier 12-yards downfield behind him.

Unranked DL Jaedon Langley, Boswell (Fort Worth, Tex.)

  • Game Result: Lost 28-21 to Trinity
  • Team Record: 3-1
  • Game Stats: 1 tackle, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 4 QB Hurries
  • Season Stats: 17 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 8 QB Hurries
  • Notes: Langley had an overall quiet game statistically against Trinity but did a great job of getting through the line and bringing down the opposing QB after he fumbled the ball. You can see the play below.

3-star ATH Sefo Akuila, Tennyson (Hayward, Calif.)

  • Game Result: Won 14-0 over Oakland Tech
  • Team Record: 1-3
  • Game Stats: Unavailable
  • Season Stats: Unavailable
  • Notes: I was unable to find any stats or highlights for Akuila.

3-star CB Isaiah Buxton, Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista, Calif.)

  • Game Result: Won 30-13 over Point Loma
  • Team Record: 1-3
  • Game Stats: Unavailable
  • Season Stats: Unavailable
  • Notes: Buxton and MDC won their first game of the season this past weekend. The dynamic athlete did his part when we flew around the line and into the back when Point Loma attempted a field goal, blocking it and making a big play on special teams.

3-star ATH Kayo Patu, Roosevelt (Seattle, Wash.)

  • Game Result: Won 47-7 over Lakeside
  • Team Record: 2-1
  • Game Stats: Unavailable
  • Season Stats: Unavailable
  • Notes: I wasn’t able to find any stats or highlights of Patu from the weekend.

3-star K Michael Salgado-Medina, Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, Calif.)

  • Game Result: Won 34-28 over Los Alamitos
  • Team Record: 4-1
  • Game Stats: FG: 2-for-5, 40%, Long of 32; Punts: 5 punts for 171 yds, 34.2 YPP, Long of 61
  • Season Stats: FG: 4-for-8, 50%, Long of 37; Punts: 15 punts for 587 yds, 39.1 YPP, Long of 61
  • Notes: Mission Viejo beat another SoCal powerhouse in LosAl, however, MSM did NOT have a great game kicking the ball. He missed 3 FGs, though he did boot a 61-yd punt.

Unranked ATH Bryce Lewis, Blessed Trinity (Roswell, GA)

  • Game Result: Lost 31-14 to Marist
  • Team Record: 3-1
  • Game Stats: 2 rec, 62 yds, 1 TD
  • Season Stats: 9 rec, 136 yds, 2 TD
  • Notes: Lewis had a nice 40-yd touchdown after beating his man on a pump fake and running a post corner route. He also showed toughness with a big catch over the middle, leaving the ground and taking a big hit. Even so, he held on to the ball.