BENSALEM, Pa. – We should pause for a moment, keeping the people of Florida and other affected areas in our thoughts. Hurricane Irma sacked the southeast this week; now the healing begins. The wounds and loss cut deep. This wrath of nature unleashed fury on innocent communities—probably like the ones we live in.
Just two weeks ago, the images from television reports from Texas—mostly Houston—was of devastation, loss and despair. There’s transference of those emotions to Floridians, who have also suffered. It’s been a tough go in several states but things will always get better.
Things still haven’t gotten back to normal in parts of Texas and add Florida to that list. Coincidentally, both are high school football hotbeds and usually when they flip the switch to illuminate the Friday Night Fields, emotions shift to the gridiron. Hey, it’s an escape for many—albeit it for 2 or 3 hours. Until things get back to normal with six teams from the Blue Star Media Elite 25 high school football rankings from affected areas, those squads will stay frozen in their current rank.
As for the rest of the nation, it was “game on.” Last weekend featured great games and individuals helping carry their respective teams over the finish line.
This weekend top-ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) plays No. 23 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) on Saturday in California. BC tumbled 13 spots after absorbing a home to loss to Archbishop Wood.
Moving forward, the Elite 25 rankings will appear next on Sept. 19 and hopefully there is good news in Florida and Texas that games will be played and the fans will show up in unison to support the sport that many believe (and they should) is our recognized national pastime and passion.
There are games being played in every nook and cranny, so get out and watch one live. The band, cheerleaders, booster clubs and locals spinning yarn in the stands are worth soaking up the atmosphere. It’s a heckuva diversion and inexpensive entertainment. Besides you might be watching the next NFL superstar before he is a coveted player in a fantasy league.
Having said that, I’m out, but please remember those affected and act on your urge to donate a few bucks to the recovery causes. You’ll feel better that you did.
Hope to see you at a game soon. – Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Football Rankings Sept. 12, 2017
1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (3-0)
Previous rank: 1.
Recap: Defeated La Mirada, 42-0. Junior QB JT Daniels threw for 248 yards and three touchdown passes of 40, 28 and 50 yards to WR Nikko Remegio (6 receptions, 152 yards) in the first half as the Monarchs scored all 42 points in the opening 24 minutes and put the game on ice. This weekend in Orange County will a season defining moment for the Monarchs.
Next: Saturday vs. No. 23 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) to be played at nearby Mission Viejo High School.
2. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (2-0)
Recap: Game against Flanagan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) was postponed due to a Hurricane Irma alert. Broward County officials hope to reschedule at a later date.
Next: Friday vs. Stranahan (Fort Lauderdale), TBD.
3. Allen, Texas (2-0)
Recap: Defeated Evangel Christian Academy (Shreveport, La.), 28-0. Brock Sturges for a one-man wrecking crew, accounting for all four TDs. Sturges ran for scores of 33, 4 and 60 yards and caught another for 29 yards and finished with 175 yards on the ground.
Next: Friday vs. Coppell.
4. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (2-0)
Recap: Idle. Game vs. St. Frances Academy was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma as is Friday’s against this Friday vs. St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.). The Ascenders have won over then-No. 8 Chandler (Ariz.), 27-14, and Corona (Calif.) Centennial, 40-20.
5. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (2-1)
Recap: Defeated Chaminade (West Hills), 31-17. S Jaiden Woodbey, an Ohio State recruit, had an 83-yard pick-six to give the Braves a 7-0 lead at the intermission. The running attack trio of QB Re-al Mitchell, Demetrious Flowers and George Holani carried the load for nearly 250 rushing yards. Holani dashed 37 yards for a TD in the fourth and the Iowa State-bound Mitchell ran and passed for scores.
Next: Saturday vs. Dorsey (Los Angeles), to be played at Mission Viejo High School.
6. Grayson, Loganville, Ga. (4-0)
Recap: Defeated No. 13 John Curtis Christian (River Ridge, La.), 22-9. The Rams scored the game’s final 13 points.
Next: Sept. 22 vs. International School of Broward (Hollywood, Fla.).
7. Central, Miami (3-0)
Previous: Not ranked
Recap: Defeated then-No. 5 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 24-20. RB James Cook sealed it with 87-yard TD burst with 2:27 left. The nation’s No. 3-rated RB finished with 13 carries for 199 yards and two scores. It was an emotional win for the Rockets, who before the game said they would be playing for south Florida, which was hit by the hurricane.
Next: Thursday vs. Edison (Miami), TBD.
8. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (3-0)
Recap: Defeated St. Francis (Mountain View), 31-7. Junior DT Michael Puckett’s 56-yard fumble recovery return for a score snapped a 7-7 in the second period and the Spartans rolled. RB Kairee Robinson rushed for two TDs.
Next: Saturday at No. 18 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas).
9. Katy, Texas (0-0)
Recap: For the second straight week, the Tigers will skip the regular season as the Houston area recovers from Hurricane Harvey. They did play Manvel last Friday in a scrimmage with hopes of kick-starting the season this weekend. Games against Westlake (Austin) and Klein Collins were already cancelled.
Next: Saturday vs. The Woodlands, TBD.
10. Converse (Texas) Judson (2-0)
Recap: Defeated San Antonio Brennan, 44-28. QB Julon Williams ran for two TDs and passed for another.
Next: Friday vs. San Antonio Roosevelt.
11. Colquitt County, Moultrie, Ga. (4-0)
Recap: Blanked Roswell, 28-0.
Next: Friday at Brookwood (Snellville).
12. American Heritage, Plantation, Fla. (2-0)
Recap: Game against Miramar was postponed due to a Hurricane Irma. Broward County officials hope to reschedule at a later date.
Next: Friday vs. Coconut Creek, TBD.
13. Northwestern, Miami (2-0)
Recap: The game with South (Homestead) was postponed over concerns of Hurricane Irma. The word was handed down on Sept. 5 that all Miami Dade County games scheduled for south Florida would be played at a future date.
Next: Friday vs. Hialeah-Miami Lakes, TBD.
14. Bingham, South Jordan, Utah (4-0)
Recap: Defeated Kahuku (Hawaii), 17-0, at the inaugural Polynesian Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. QB Ryan Wood and RB Amoni Kaili rushed for TDs.
Next: Friday vs. Pleasant Grove (Utah).
15. DeSoto, Texas (2-0)
Recap: Routed Guyer (Denton), 42-13. The Eagles scored 14 points in each of the first three quarters to record their second win. QB Courtney Douglas completed 10 of 12 passes for 214 yards and four scores, including three to WR Jamal Brown.
Next: Friday vs. Midland.
16. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (2-0)
Previous rank: 23.
Recap: Defeated then-No. 21 St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.), 28-21. The Hawks have a pair of quality wins in the young season and play a heated league rival this weekend in Widener University in Chester, Pa.
Next: Friday vs. Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.).
17. Poly, Long Beach, Calif. (2-0)
Previous rank: 11.
Recap: Idle. The Jackrabbits get an early season respite but are back after a fortnight’s rest.
Next: Friday vs. Mission Viejo.
18. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (1-2)
Recap: Lost to Central (Miami), 24-20. UCLA-bound QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for two TDs before suffering an injury late in the game. It is the first time in more than a decade the Gaels have dropped back-to-back games. However, the Gaels remain in the Elite 25 on strength of schedule that continues this weekend in the desert.
Next: Friday vs. No. 8 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.).
19. Corona (Calif.) Centennial (2-1)
Recap: Defeated Etiwanda, 73-0. The Huskies scored 42 points in the opening period and never looked back. This weekend’s game will be much tougher.
Next: Friday vs. Narbonne (Harbor City).
20. St. Xavier, Cincinnati (3-0)
Previous: Not ranked
Recap: The Bombers extended their win streak to nine games, dating back to last season’s Division I state championship run, following a 50-7 victory over Walnut Hills (Cincinnati).
Next: Friday vs. Cathedral (Indianapolis).
21. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (2-1)
Recap: Defeated Franklin (Reisterstown), 36-0. The Stags pitch a second straight shutout.
Next: Friday vs. McDonogh (Owings Mills).
22. Archbishop Wood, Warminster, Pa. (2-1)
Previous: Not ranked
Recap: Defeated then=No. 10 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), 27-21. Virginia Tech-bound Nasir Peoples rushed for 119 yards and a 49-yard TD gallop on 22 carries.
Next: Friday at No. 16 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia).
23. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (1-1)
Recap: Lost to Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), 27-21. The Crusaders stay in the Elite 25 by a thread. The schedule only intensifies starting this week in California.
Next: Saturday at No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) to be played at Mission Viejo High School.
24. Hoover, Ala. (2-1)
Recap: RB Vonte Brackett’s 11-yard run late in the fourth period gave the Bucs breathing room in a 31-21 win over Mountain Brook (Birmingham).
Next: Friday at Spain Park (Birmingham).
25. John Curtis Christian, River Ridge, La. (1-1)
Recap: Lost No. 7 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), 22-9. The game was tied at 9 late before Grayson pulled away.
Next: Friday at Parkview Baptist (Baton Rouge).
Dropped: No. 8 St. Joseph Regional, Montvale, N.J.; No. 18 Chandler, Ariz.; and No. 21 St. Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, N.J.
High-Fives by Region
- Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (3-0)
- St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (2-1)
- Pine-Richland, Gibsonia, Pa. (3-0)
- Wise, Upper Marlboro, Md. (2-0)
- St. Joseph Regional, Montvale, N.J. (1-1)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Ben Davis, Indianapolis (4-0)
- Kimberly, Wis. (4-0)
- Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill. (3-0)
- Omaha (Neb.) Burke (3-0)
- Eden Prairie, Minn. (2-0)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- South Pointe, Rock Hill, S.C. (3-0)
- Trinity, Louisville (4-0)
- Union, Tulsa (3-0)
- Lowndes County, Valdosta, Ga. (3-0)
- Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy (4-0)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Mission Viejo, Calif. (3-0)
- Saint Louis, Honolulu (3-0)
- Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (3-0)
- Mountain Pointe, Phoenix (2-1)
- Chaminade, West Hills, Calif. (2-1)
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.