POWDER SPRINGS, GA — With the temperature at kickoff hovering just below 40 degrees at the Football Hotbed National Freshman Showcase, players from both teams played opened the game a bit stiff.
Yet after the players shook off the early game jitters, it was Team Granite that came out on top defeating Team White 21-0 Monday at Walter H. Cantrell Stadium at McEachern High School.
In the game that featured top level talent from seven different states, Team Granite running back Kye Robichaux (Ellerslie, GA) was a true difference maker in the game.
Robichaux tallied 141 yards of total offense (90 rushing, 51 receiving) and two touchdowns to earn MVP honors for the Granite team.
After a quiet first quarter, the elusive running back made his presence felt at the start of the second quarter.
Robichaux caught a screen pass from QB Andrew Butler (Wayne, NJ) and was escorted by a convoy of blockers on the way to a 38 yard touchdown. Kicker Louie Jackson (Orlando, FL) booted the extra point to make it 7-0, with 9:45 in the second quarter.
Although they never crossed the goal line Team White quarterbacks Colt Minson (Virginia Beach, VA) and J.J. McCarthy (LaGrange Park, IL) developed a nice connection with receiver Demarko Williams (Atlanta).
Midway through the second quarter McCarthy found Williams on a screen pass and he took it 40 yards for a big gain.
Williams was named Team White MVP after he finished with eight receptions for 113 yards and added three tackles as a defensive back.
“It was a blessing to be picked up and selected for the team and we’re all here for a reason, so we just all balled out,” he said.
While the Team White freshmen struggled offensively, the Granite freshmen flourished.
They found the endzone again when quarterback Corbin Lafrance (Kennesaw, GA) tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to receiver Malachi Rohling (Powder Springs, GA).
Rohling finished with three receptions for 52 yards and a score.
With Team White hoping to rally back in the fourth quarter, Robichaux had other plans. He took a handoff from the shotgun and dashed 15 yards to the endzone to put Granite ahead 21-0 and put the game out of reach for Team White.
Lafrance was perfect for Team Granite, he finished 5-for-5 with 63 yards passing and a score.
His counterpart Butler went 3-for-4 for 56 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, Granite linebacker Carlos Estronza (Palm Bay, FL) finished with seven tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Devonte Sanchez (Lauderdale Lakes, FL) was also difference maker for the Granite freshmen. He finished with four tackles, a fourth quarter interception that sealed the game and a pass deflection. He also delivered some crushing hits on special teams that drew some “oohs” and “awes” from the crowd.
For Team White, McCarthy finished 5-for-17 with 92 yards and an interception while his counterpart Minson finished 6-for-11 for 50 yards.
The sophomore showcase game capped an eye-opening weekend for the Class of 2020 after players took unofficial visits to several top FBS programs including Clemson, Auburn, Georgia Tech and Georgia State.
Williams said the college tour only intensified his desire to play college football.
“I went to my dream school Clemson, that was the best,” he said. “It makes you really want to work to go to college, to earn a scholarship offer, to grind harder and that’s what I tried to do out here today.”