BENSALEM, Pa. – There are countless football fans just waiting for the entire Blue Star Media Elite 25 football rankings to regain that mojo or confidence hum again. About five weeks ago, the preseason rankings were newly minted and the anticipation for another term was simply busting at the seams.
Mother Nature had other plans and the football hotbeds of the south and southwest, mainly Florida and Texas, were torn off the hinges. This weekend the Super 25 appears all-in … and that’s a very good thing. Currently there are four teams from the hurricane-ravaged areas, with teams hoping to hit pay dirt.
According to one report, No. 7 Central (Miami) was stranded in Las Vegas, Nev., for a week after their road game and the Miami Dolphins took up a collect amongst its players to help pay for the costs of feeding and housing players on the extended stay in Nevada. That’s good karma for the Fins, who had their opening weekend NFL game postponed but won on Sunday at the Chargers in Los Angeles.
If Central gets back to action this weekend, it’ll play at No. 4 IMG Academy (Bradenton) on Friday.
The season is nearly two months old and in some states, the postseason is four weeks out. The Blue Star Media Elite 25 rankings will appear next on Sept. 26. We’re thinking most of Florida will be playing again. Earlier this week, No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) played a makeup contest. That’s a good sign for the Floridians who live in a football-rich state.
Four undefeated teams joined the Elite 25 rankings: No. 17 Ben Davis (Indianapolis); No. 18 South Pointe (Rock Hills, S.C.); No. 24 Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) and No. 25 Mission Viejo (Calif.). All are no strangers to winning and the national rankings. At least three from that quartet are favorites to win state titles in their respective states.
I’m excited to get reports from Florida and Texas, chronicling the recovery efforts and prep games, which will transform the ravaged communities and neighborhoods in functioning hubs again. Don’t be bashful; get out to a game this weekend. There are too many great stories ready to pop.
Hope to see you at a game soon. – Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Football Rankings Sept. 19, 2017
1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (4-0)
Previous rank: 1.
Recap: Hammered then-No. 23 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), 62-14. The passing combination of Junior QB JT Daniels (300 yards, five touchdowns) hooked for three scores with WR Amon-Ra St. Brown in the first half when the Monarchs led 41-7. The defense also scored two TDs and special teams blocked a punt. That’s dominance!
Next: Saturday at St. Mary’s (Stockton, Calif.) to be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
2. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (2-0)
Recap: Idle. The Raiders are still dealing with the hurricane effects.
Next: Sept. 29 at Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.).
3. Allen, Texas (3-0)
Recap: Defeated Coppell, 35-23. The Eagles led 21-13 at halftime and held on. The bye week has arrived.
Next: Sept. 29 vs. Boyd (McKinney).
4. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (2-0)
Recap: Idle. For the second straight week, the Ascenders had a game cancelled in the aftermath of the hurricane.
Next: Friday at No. 7 Central (Miami).
5. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (3-1)
Recap: Defeated Dorsey (Los Angeles), 69-14, at the Brother In Arms Classic. QB Re-al Mitchell tossed three TDs by the second quarter as the Braves rolled to a 35-0 edge.
Next: Saturday at St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.).
6. Grayson, Loganville, Ga. (4-0)
Next: Friday vs. International School of Broward (Hollywood, Fla.).
7. Central, Miami (3-0)
Recap: A non-district game with Edison (Miami) was cancelled. The Rockets, who played in Las Vegas last weekend, have not been to get flights home. According to reports, at least 65 members of Central traveling party have been stranded and finally left on Friday, six days after their Sept. 9 game with ranked Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas).
Next: Friday vs. No. 4 IMG Academy (Bradenton).
8. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (2-2)
Recap: Defeated then-No. 8 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), 34-7. Trailing 7-0 early, the Gaels rallied and the defense took over. A loss would have vanquished the Gaels from the Elite 25 but they should run the table again versus Nevada competition.
Next: Saturday at Bonanza (Las Vegas).
9. Katy, Texas (1-0)
Recap: After two cancellations due to Hurricane Harvey, the Tigers played and topped The Woodlands, 24-21, as Texas A&M-bound Seth Small nailed a 39-yard FG as time expired. Katy led 14-7 early as RB Josh Oglesby scored both TDs. It was Katy’s first game at 12,000-seat Legacy Stadium, which cost $70 million, but serves 77,000 district students in grades K through 12.
Next: Friday vs. Cinco Ranch (Katy).
10. Converse (Texas) Judson (3-0)
Recap: Shellacked San Antonio Roosevelt, 62-21. The Rockets blasted off early, taking a 28-0 lead through one period and piled up 580 yards of offense.
Next: Friday at New Braunfels.
11. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (3-0)
Previous rank: 16.
Recap: Defeated Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), 27-7. It was 7-7 early before senior K Anthony Tigano booted a FG and later added one from 40 yards for a 20-7 lead in the third period. Junior Marcus Mason added a late 2-yard TD run to salt away the game.
Next: Friday at Archbishop Carroll (Radnor, Pa.).
12. American Heritage, Plantation, Fla. (2-0)
Recap: For the second straight week the effects of the hurricane canceled a game.
Next: Friday vs. Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood).
13. Northwestern, Miami (2-0)
Recap: Idle. Hurricane wiped out another game. But this weekend’s game promises to be one of the best played in the nation this weekend.
Next: Friday vs. Booker T. Washington (Miami).
14. Bingham, South Jordan, Utah (5-0)
Recap: Overwhelmed Pleasant Grove (Utah), 44-14. QB Ryan Wood tossed TD passes of 14, 58 and 16 yards to WR Ryan Wood. Braedon Wissler scored twice but electrified the crowd with a 90-yard kickoff return as the Miners tallied the first 44 points of the contest.
Next: Friday at Westlake (Saratoga Springs).
15. DeSoto, Texas (3-0)
Recap: Defeated Midland, 41-21. The Eagles coasted to a 21-0 lead at the break.
Next: Sept. 29 vs. Cedar Hill.
16. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (3-1)
Recap: Lost to then-No. 18 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 34-7. The Spartans allowed the final 34 points of the game.
Next: Saturday vs. Central (Fresno).
17. Ben Davis, Indianapolis (5-0)
Previous: Not ranked
Recap: Crushed Warren Central (Indianapolis), 45-16. The Giants are stomping opponents, averaging 53 points per game while racking up a 3-0 mark in the ultra competitive Metropolitan Conference.
Next: Friday at Lawrence North (Indianapolis).
18. South Pointe, Rock Hill, S.C. (4-0)
Previous: Not ranked
Recap: Clemson-bound QB Derion Kendrick chucked it for 134 yards and two TDs during an impressive 33-27 road win at Georgia powerhouse Buford. The Stallions handed the 11-time state champion their first home loss to an out-of-state opponent and a first home loss in five years.
Next: Friday vs. Shelby (N.C.).
19. Corona (Calif.) Centennial (3-1)
Recap: Defeated Narbonne (Harbor City), 52-6. RB Octavio Cortes scored four TDs (three on the ground) and rushed for 120 yards on 20 carries. The Huskies have rare double-bye weekends on the horizon.
Next: Oct. 6 at Roosevelt (Eastvale).
20. St. Xavier, Cincinnati (4-0)
Recap: Defeated Cathedral (Indianapolis), 31-7. QB Chase Wolf completed 21 of 30 passes for 284 yards and four TDs, including three to WR Andrew Wittrock (5 receptions, 166 yards). The Bombers rolled to a 31-0 lead after three quarters.
Next: Friday at Moeller (Cincinnati).
21. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (3-1)
Recap: Edged McDonogh (Owings Mills), 17-14. The Stags trailed 14-7 at halftime but rallied with 10 points in the second half, including a FG in the fourth to snap a 14-all tie. DeMarcco Hellams and Dominic Lyles each caught scoring passes.
Next: Friday vs. Friendship Collegiate (Washington, D.C.).
22. Hoover, Ala. (3-1)
Recap: Defeated Spain Park (Hoover), 27-24. QB Jalen Parker fired a 25-yard TD pass to Auburn-bound WR Shedrick Jackson (his uncle is Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson) with 1:18 left to rally from a 24-20 deficit. Parker hit on 13 of 21 passes for 227 yards. George Pickens opened the scoring in the first quarter returning a punt 58 yards.
Next: Friday vs. Tuscaloosa County (Northport).
23. John Curtis Christian, River Ridge, La. (2-1)
Recap: Routed Parkview Baptist (Baton Rouge), 66-28. Darryan Washington scored three TDs and QB Collin Guggenheim ran for 158 yards and a score as both teams combined for 61 points in the final 24 minutes.
Next: Friday at Brother Martin (New Orleans).
24. Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (5-0)
Previous: Not ranked
Recap: QB Nick Bohn clicked on 35 of 40 passes and 414 yards and four TDs, with three going to Texas-bound WR Rondale Moore (18 receptions, 242 yards) in a 28-7 victory over Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah, Fla.).
Next: Friday at Jeffersontown (Louisville).
25. Mission Viejo, Calif. (4-0)
Previous: Not ranked
Recap: Upended then-No. 17 Poly (Long Beach, Calif.), 12-7. Trailing 7-6 late, UCLA-commit CB Ojaijah Griffin had a 52-yard pick-six with 6:36 left, allowing the Diablos to go ahead for good. Ryan Kennedy then posted his team’s fourth INT of the contest with 90 seconds to ice it.
Next: Friday at Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) to be played at Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo.
Dropped: No. 11 Colquitt County, Moultrie, Ga.; No. 17 Poly, Long Beach, Calif.; No. 22 Archbishop Wood, Warminster, Pa.; and No. 23 Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J.
High-Fives by Region
- Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (4-0)
- St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (2-1)
- Pine-Richland, Gibsonia, Pa. (4-0)
- St. Joseph Regional, Montvale, N.J. (2-1)
- Wise, Upper Marlboro, Md. (3-0)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Kimberly, Wis. (5-0)
- Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill. (4-0)
- Omaha (Neb.) Burke (4-0)
- Eden Prairie, Minn. (3-0)
- Belleville, Mich. (4-0)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Lowndes County, Valdosta, Ga. (4-0)
- Union, Tulsa (3-0)
- Pearl, Miss. (5-0)
- Central, Phenix City, Ala. (3-0)
- Oakland, Murfreesboro, Tenn. (4-0)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Saint Louis, Honolulu (4-0)
- Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (3-0)
- Mountain Pointe, Phoenix (3-1)
- Chaminade, West Hills, Calif. (3-1)
- Camas, Wash. (3-0)
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.