BENSALEM, Pa. – The latest Blue Star Media Elite 25 high school rankings will feature only one addition but there are still a handful of teams that had their bye weeks with several chomping at the bit while in the one of the four regions. There are 20 teams that believe they are worthy and waiting their turn.
Once the Elite 25 moves into mid October the feeling is movement and those that sit among the nation’s elite are either there for good the long run or ripe for the picking (think upset).
Welcome No. 20 Lowndes County (Valdosta, Ga.), which enters a Georgia’s second-ranked team in Class AAAAAAA (large school). The Vikings won’t have an easy road down the stretch with a treacherous schedule to navigate and a challenging postseason.
There is a special game on the West Coast that is worth watching this weekend.
This premier matchup is between No. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and No. 8 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) on Friday at El Camino College in Torrance. This one should give the winner the inside track to the Trinity League championship, but could be a prelude to a second meeting in the CIF playoffs that get under way in November.
Also coming in highly recommended is No. 4 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) going to Archer (Lawrenceville) for a key game in Class AAAAAAA on Friday. Both Atlanta area teams are ranked in the state’s top-four. This one has the potential to shake the Elite 25 if Archer wins.
The Elite 25 rankings return on Oct. 17. Expect the unexpected but get out and see a game before they disappear. The regular season will end the campaign for some while others hit the road in the playoffs. We are that close to playing for keeps.
Hope to see you at a game soon. – Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Football Rankings, Oct. 10, 2017
1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (6-0)
Previous rank: 1.
Recap: Defeated Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita), 70-35, in an offensive explosion. QB J.T. Daniels lit up the scoreboard for five touchdowns, including two to WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. Rivalry week is here in the Trinity League.
Next: Friday at No. 8 St. John Bosco (Bellflower) to be played at El Camino College’s Murdock Field in Torrance.2.
2. Allen, Texas (5-0)
Recap: Defeated at Plano West, 59-0. WR Theo Wease caught nine balls for 135 yards and three TDs in a rout.
Next: Friday vs. Plano.
3. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (5-0)
Recap: Defeated Venice, 38-12. Leading 17-12, the Ascenders received rushing TDs from T.J. Pledger and Trey Sanders to put away a quality instate opponent.
Next: Oct. 20 at East (Salt Lake City, Utah).
4. Grayson, Loganville, Ga. (6-0)
Recap: Defeated Shiloh (Snellville), 52-6. QB D.J. Irons ran for a pair of TDs in the first quarter to set the pace. The Rams have a huge district game this weekend.
Next: Friday at Archer (Lawrenceville).
5. Katy, Texas (3-0)
Next: Friday at Seven Lakes (Katy).
6. Converse (Texas) Judson (5-0)
Next: Friday at East Central (San Antonio).
7. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (4-1)
Recap: Defeated Deerfield Beach, 14-0. Great bounce back win by the Raiders, who scored all 14 in the second quarter. Nikolas Bonitto had a 10-yard, pick-six and Daniel Carter ran 5 yards for the second TD.
Next: Friday vs. Fort Lauderdale.
8. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (5-1)
Recap: Defeated Orange Lutheran, 42-21. The Braves passed their final test before playing top-ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana) in must-see prep football.
Next: Friday vs. No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) to be played at El Camino College in Torrance.
9. Central, Miami (6-1)
Recap: The Rockets blasted Edison (Miami), 50-0, and Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach), 65-14. Finally they are caught up with the schedule and no more two games in five days to deal with. This week’s district game is the start of three straight to conclude the regular season and they won’t be easy.
Next: Saturday vs. Hialeah (Miami Lakes).
10. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (5-2)
Recap: Blanked Clark (Las Vegas), 56-0. It was 35-0 after one quarter. Since returning to instate competition the Gaels have produced 177 points in three games allowing zero. UCLA-commit QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson tossed two TDs passes to Jalen Nailor, who also had a 21-yard pick-six on defense. Now the Gaels entertain another regional opponent on Homecoming Night.
Next: Friday vs. Desert Oasis (Las Vegas).
11. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (5-0)
Previous rank: 11.
Recap: Shut out Roman Catholic (Philadelphia), 49-0. QB C.J. Duell threw for a TD and run for another.
Next: Saturday at Father Judge (Philadelphia).
12. American Heritage, Plantation, Fla. (4-0)
Recap: Defeated Stranahan (Fort Lauderdale), 42-3.
Next: Friday at Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale).
13. Bingham, South Jordan, Utah (8-0)
Recap: Defeated Hunter (West Valley City), 41-13. It was 10-7 after one quarter before the Miners scored 21 unanswered points. The Miners wrap up the regular season this weekend.
Next: Friday at American Fork,
14. DeSoto, Texas (5-0)
Recap: Defeated MacArthur (Irving), 40-12. The Eagles took a 26-9 lead into halftime by scoring 16 points in the second quarter. QB Shundarion Ward totaled 303 yards and three TDs,
Next: Friday vs. Grand Prairie.
15. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (6-1)
Recap: Shut out California (San Ramon), 42-0. The Spartans put up 35 points in the first half. Kairee Robinson and George King each scored two TDs.
Next: Friday at Foothill (Pleasanton).
16. Ben Davis, Indianapolis (8-0)
Recap: Crushed Lawrence Central (Indianapolis), 42-7. The Giants close out the regular this weekend and looking to complete a perfect mark in winning Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference.
Next: Friday vs. North Central (Indianapolis).
17. South Pointe, Rock Hill, S.C. (7-0)
Recap: Defeated Westwood (Blythewood), 48-7. The Stallions poured it on with all 48 points in the opening three quarters.
Next: Friday vs. Lancaster.
18. Corona (Calif.) Centennial (4-1)
Recap: Defeated Roosevelt (Eastvale), 72-33. It was another offensive juggernaut performance as the Huskies returned brilliantly after a rare two-week bye. QB Tanner McKee threw for 286 yards and three scores and rushed for 209 yards and another score for 496 yards from scrimmage and four TDs.
Next: Friday vs. Santiago (Corona).
19. St. Xavier, Cincinnati (7-0)
Recap: Defeated La Salle (Cincinnati), 42-7. The Bombers came out red hot, scoring 28 unanswered points in the opening period to wrap up the Greater Cincinnati League South championship.
Next: Friday vs. Mississauga (Ontario, Canada) North Prep/Clarkson Secondary.
20. Lowndes County, Valdosta, Ga. (7-0)
Previous: Not ranked
Recap: Defeated Mount Zion (Jonesboro), 68-7. The Vikings led 14-7 after one quarter before exploding for 28 points in the second to wrap up their seventh win. The final three regular season games are the toughest and all are in Region 1, Class AAAAAAA.
Next: Friday at Tift County (Tifton).
21. Hoover, Ala. (5-1)
Recap: Defeated Oak Mountain (Birmingham), 59-7. The Bucs moved to 4-0 in the region. A strong running game saw junior Larry McCammon run for 117 yards and TDs of 25 and 22 yards and Jacquez Allen added two scoring runs.
Next: Friday at Huffman (Birmingham).
22. John Curtis Christian, River Ridge, La. (5-1)
Recap: Defeated Jesuit (New Orleans), 56-28. The Patriots celebrated their annual Homecoming and honored the 1977 state championship team on a glorious autumnal evening. Sophomore QB Collin Guggenheim ran for 186 yards and four TDs on just 10 carries.
Next: Friday vs. St. Augustine (New Orleans).
23. Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (8-0)
Recap: Defeated Eastern (Louisville), 45-0. The Shamrocks were up 24-0 at halftime and coasted from there. QB Nick Bohn hit on 20 of 23 passes for 214 yards and a TD.
Next: Friday vs. Seneca (Louisville).
24. Mission Viejo, Calif. (7-0)
Recap: Defeated Tesoro (Rancho Santa Margarita), 42-6.
Last week veteran coach Bob Johnson announced he would step down when the season is over. He enters Friday’s game with 340 career wins.
Next: Friday at San Juan Hills (San Juan Capistrano).
25. Centennial, Peoria, Ariz. (7-0)
Recap: Defeated Shadow Ridge (Surprise, Ariz.), 24-3. The Coyotes are Arizona’s top-ranked Class 5A team and looking unbeatable.
Next: Friday at Sierra Linda (Phoenix).
Dropped: No. 20 DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md.
High-Fives by Region
- Pine-Richland, Gibsonia, Pa. (7-0)
- St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (6-0)
- Gonzaga, Washington, D.C. (6-1)
- Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (7-0)
- Wise, Upper Marlboro, Md. (6-0)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Kimberly, Wis. (8-0)
- Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill. (7-0)
- Eden Prairie, Minn. (6-0)
- Belleville, Mich. (7-0)
- Prairie Ridge, Crystal Lake, Ill. (7-0)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Westlake, Austin, Texas (6-0)
- Central, Phenix City, Ala. (6-0)
- Union, Tulsa (6-0)
- Pearl, Miss. (8-0)
- Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy (7-0)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Saint Louis, Honolulu (7-0)
- Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (6-0)
- Mountain Pointe, Phoenix (6-1)
- Chaminade, West Hills, Calif. (5-1)
- Camas, Wash. (6-0)
Geography: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
About: The Blue Star Media Elite 25 High School Football Rankings are released weekly from September until the conclusion of the high school season. Criteria considered are the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. The rankings are compiled by Blue Star Media’s Christopher Lawlor, who consults with a national network of coaches, talent evaluators and prep sports writers. The final rankings will be released in late December. Follow him on Twitter at #clawlor.