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Need more than an elevator pitch? Here are five reasons to watch this premier high school matchup:
1. Lockdown CornersWe've mentioned it a time or six, but American Heritage's Patrick Surtain Jr. is the highest-rated cornerback prospect of all time. He's a black hole for opposing receivers, capable of shadowing the opposition's best player and completely eliminating his impact. Of course, he doesn't move around much in the Patriots' secondary because the team's second-best cornerback, Tyson Campbell, may well be the second-best cornerback in the country. It's not hyperbolic to suggest that this is the best cornerback duo in high school football history.
2. Teradja MitchellThe Bishop Sullivan linebacker is rated as the No. 2 inside linebacker in the nation -- and, unfortunately for the rest of the Big Ten, committed to Ohio State during the summer. He's a game-changer who single-handedly disrupts even the most conventional blocking schemes.
3. Impact TransfersGraduation left a pair of massive holes for both offenses to fill -- with American Heritage in need of a quarterback and Bishop Sullivan searching for a playmaker to soften the loss of Khalan Laborn. The Patriots believe that American Heritage-Delray transfer Cam Smith is the answer, while the Crusaders will look to Virginia Tech commit Armani Chatman early and often.
4. Virginia's BestMake no mistake, Bishop Sullivan is the underdog -- but Chris Scott's Crusaders are no slouch. Ranked inside of the national top 100 by MaxPreps, Bishop Sullivan is the top-ranked team in the Old Dominion state and features a bevy of Division I talent.
5. A National Title ContenderWithout even playing last week, American Heritage moved from No. 12 to No. 9 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25. A road victory at Bishop Sullivan would be an impressive addition to the resume, ahead of another marquee matchup with Henderson Liberty. If the Patriots can get through the first few weeks unscathed, an undefeated run is well within reach -- and an eventual No. 1 ranking is not out of the question.
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