High School Sports

Louis Bland, Central Catholic

The 5-foot-11-inch, 197-pound tailback-linebacker carried much of the load in a 35-35 tie with Cardinal Newman, a matchup featuring two of the state's top small schools. Central Catholic was No. 1 in the CalHiSports.com preseason Division IV rankings, while Cardinal Newman was No. 8 in Division II -- the Cardinals are in a higher division because their league has larger schools.

Bland had 25 carries for 190 yards and three touchdowns, and rarely left the field while also playing defense. He was The Bee's Player of the Year as a junior, rushing for 1,876 yards and scoring 32 TDs. He has 3,567 career rushing yards.

"He's in prime shape because of wrestling," coach Mike Glines said. "His peripheral vision allows him to see out of the corner of his eye. He's got great upper body moves that remind me of Gale Sayers. He's a great finisher. You don't see Louis run out of bounds often. He punishes people who try to bring him down."