CANTON — Somebody at ESPN might be getting a phone call Monday morning.
How do you explain letting Sunday's 58-0 IMG Academy thrashing of Columbus-based Bishop Sycamore air on national television? A rout that was all-too-predictable at that. IMG Academy has built a well-deserved reputation as a national powerhouse that bolsters a plethora of Division I talent, while Bishop Sycamore is an online-only school that went 0-6 last season, one of those losses being a 56-6 drubbing to IMG Academy.
It went so poorly for Bishop Sycamore that ESPN personalities were roasting the school on air and essentially admitting they were duped into believing the school had Division I prospects. Others in the Twitterverse apologized for putting them on national television.
Sorry. They had no business being in that game today. None. I feel bad for the kids. Player health and safety was at risk today. It was uncomfortable for anyone who watched. https://t.co/Eq39vdywLm— Anish Shroff (@AnishESPN) August 29, 2021
But, it was a rare opportunity for us to have the chance to watch a bunch of Ohio State targets based in Florida play in Ohio, so Eleven Warriors was on hand to document the action, even though the bloodbath didn't come as a surprise.
The game started with Ohio State 2023 wide receiver target Carnell Tate one-handing a touchdown catch on the game's opening drive despite the defensive back grabbing his facemask. Words were exchanged after the play was over.
Carnell Tate catches a touchdown on the games opening drive. Not hard to see why hes one of Ohio States top wide receiver targets in the recruiting class of 2023. pic.twitter.com/Kmjx80SVXm— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) August 29, 2021
Tate got into the end zone again on the very next drive after stretching out across the goal line. He endeared himself to any Ohio State fans attending the game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium by throwing up an O-H after the play.
Carnell Tate fights his way to the goal line for his second touchdown of the day, then celebrates with an O-H. pic.twitter.com/ii0CAnnUI2— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) August 29, 2021
After IMG Academy took a 21-0 lead, play was stopped after thunder was heard in the area. That didn't stop Tate, who has set an Oct. 8 commitment date set, from flashing the O-H again.
Carnell Tate throws up an O-H once again as the teams hit the locker room for a lightning delay: pic.twitter.com/dgDRZJEZPd— Griffin Strom (@GriffinStrom3) August 29, 2021
When play resumed, it was more of the same. As dominant as IMG Academy's offense was, its defense was equally as effective.
James Smith (22) and Malik Bryant (5), two top 2023 defensive prospects with Ohio State offers, with the pressure to force this third-down incompletion. Smith is a top-10 overall prospect in the 2023 class, and hes looked the part today. pic.twitter.com/1keUY3gXWw— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) August 29, 2021
Stacy Gage, a 2024 running back that was just offered by the Buckeyes last week, added two touchdowns on the ground in the second half.
Ohio State offer running back Stacy Gage punches in a TD on the ground for IMG Academy: pic.twitter.com/giNIVrCFie— Griffin Strom (@GriffinStrom3) August 29, 2021
Another touchdown for Stacy Gage, and IMG Academy goes up 51-0: pic.twitter.com/zvcG8GrgY9— Griffin Strom (@GriffinStrom3) August 29, 2021
After the game, Eleven Warriors caught up with Tate, Gage and 2023 five-star linebacker Malik Bryant. Hear from them below.