The DeLaSalle and Richfield football teams kicked off their 2017 campaigns when the two teams faced off at Richfield High School Sept. 1. While the Islanders came out on top 51-13, players from both sides stood out during the contest. With a few days to reflect, here, in no particular order, are the top five impressive players from the game.
Running back Sage Booker– DeLaSalle
Booker got off to a slow start to the game, but, once the second quarter hit, the Islander running back began to thrive. Booker ran for three touchdowns in the second quarter and ended the game with 188 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries. Booker showcased both his speed and physicality in the game, and gave Islanders fans a reason to be excited about the 2017 season. With plenty of time left in the year, it will be interesting to see how Booker improves as the season goes on.
Wide receiver Emmanuel Blackshear– Richfield
Blackshear missed most of the second half as he dealt with severe leg cramps, but his first half performance was enough to give Richfield the boost it needed. Blackshear caught two touchdowns in the contest, with both coming off deep fade routes. As Blackshear kicks off the rust and he continues to build rapport with quarterback Caleb Carlson, Richfield will look for Blackshear to provide the team with big plays down the stretch.
Running back/linebacker Jevonte Howard-Richfield
Howard, who shined at times for Richfield last season, had his coming out party against DeLaSalle. Howard, now one of the focal points on the Spartan defense, picked up three quarterback sacks from his linebacker position and also shined as a running back, although DeLaSalle successfully shut down the Spartans' rushing attack. As the new-look Richfield offensive line begins to build chemistry, Howard will look to translate his success on defense over to the offensive side of the ball.
Quarterback Evan Francois– DeLaSalle
While Francois' numbers were simply modest against Richfield, he completed three of his seven passes for 77 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score, Francois' impact came as a facilitator for the DeLaSalle offense, as he helped the Islanders rush for 326 yards and four touchdowns. Francois ran the Islanders' option offense nearly perfectly and he kept the Richfield defense off-balance throughout the contest. Despite sharing snaps with Da'San Frazier, Francois made the most out of his opportunities.
Running back/wide receiver Xavier Roberts– DeLaSalle
While Booker was able to do most of the damage against the Spartans, it was Roberts who got the ball rolling on offense for the Islanders. Roberts kicked off the Islanders' scoring with a 69-yard touchdown run and also caught two passes for 58 yards in the contest. Roberts' speed both at the running back and wide receiver positions should continue to help the Islanders offense in the games to come.