BENSALEM, Pa. – The Southeast took a beating last weekend, mostly in Georgia where three of the top four seeds in the Class AAAAAAA were upset. So it opened the door for three teams to join the Blue Star Media Elite 25 high school football rankings.
No. 22 North Gwinnett (Suwannee, Ga.), No. 23 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) and No. 25 Klein Collins (Spring, Texas) are the latest members of the Elite 25. North Gwinnett is three wins away from capturing Georgia’s largest classification. St. Frances won a second straight MIAA A Conference championship and completed an unbeaten campaign. Klein Collins is also unbeaten but is still five wins way from the Texas Class 6A, Division II title.
This is a busy week in the football world. There are several states, mostly in the Northeast, that play on Thanksgiving Day and on Friday and Saturday there are state champions to be crowned.
This is also a time for spending time with your family; cherish the moments. Happy Thanksgiving to all and we’ll return with the rankings for the final time in this month on Nov. 28.
Hope to see you at a game soon. — Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Football Rankings Nov. 21, 2017
1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (12-0)
Previous rank: 1.
Recap: Defeated Poly (Long Beach), 55-13, in the CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinals. USC-bound QB J.T. Daniels accounted for five touchdowns, three in the air and two on the ground. Daniels threw for 299 yards and tossed a pair of scores to WR Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Next: Friday at No. 15 Mission Viejo in the CIF-Southern Section Division I semifinal.
2. Allen, Texas (11-0)
Recap: Defeated Hebron, 48-17, in Class 6A, Division I bi-district playoff game. Junior QB Grant Tisdale accounted for five TDs, throwing for three and running for a pair and 142 yards.
Next: Friday vs. South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie) in the Class 6A, Division I Area playoff game to be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
3. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (8-0)
Recap: The Ascenders do not compete for a state championship. Season complete.
4. Katy, Texas (9-0)
Recap: Defeated Fort Bend Travis (Richmond), 45-14, in the Class 6A, Division I bi-district playoff game. The Tigers scored 14 points in the each of the first two quarters for a 28-0 lead at halftime.
Next: Saturday vs. Cypress Ranch (Houston) in the Class 6A, Division I Area playoff game at NRG Stadium in Houston.
5. American Heritage, Plantation, Fla. (10-0)
Recap: Defeated Bishop Moore (Orlando), 56-21, in the Class 5A, Region 4 semifinals. Miles Jones took the opening kickoff 96 yards for a score.
Next: Friday vs. Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale) in the regional final.
6. Archer, Lawrenceville, Ga. (12-0)
Recap: Defeated Mill Creek (Hoschton), 16-10, in the Class AAAAAAA second round. QB Carter Peevy threw for 169 yards and a TD.
Next: Friday vs. Colquitt County (Moultrie) in the Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals.
7. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (11-2)
Recap: Rolled past previously unbeaten Arbor View (Las Vegas), 42-7, in Class 4A, Sunset Region final. The game was tied at 7 through one quarter when the Gaels exploded for 28 points in the second quarter. The running game won it as Amod Cianelli rumbled for 105 yards and two TDs on 11 carries and QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson rushed for 121 yards and a score on 11 carries and tossed a 4-yard TD pass to Cedric Tillman.
Next: Friday vs. Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) in the Class 4A semifinals to be played at Rancho High School in Las Vegas.
8. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (11-0)
Recap: Defeated Northeast (Philadelphia), 31-0, in PIAA District 12 Class AAAAAA final.
Next: Saturday vs. Parkland (Allentown) in PIAA Class AAAAAA quarterfinals.
9. Ben Davis, Indianapolis (13-0)
Recap: Crushed Avon, 57-20, in Class 6A Semistate. The Giants led 29-13 at halftime.
Next: Saturday vs. Penn (Mishawaka) in 6A final to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
10. South Pointe, Rock Hill, S.C. (13-0)
Recap: Shut out Eastside (Taylors), 48-0, in the Class 4A quarterfinals
Next: Friday at Greer in the Class 4A semifinals.
11. Bingham, South Jordan, Utah (13-0)*
Recap: Defeated East (Salt Lake City), 27-14, to win the state inaugural Class 6A championship game. It was the second straight state title for the Miners, who triumphed in 5A last year, and fourth in five years. Brandon Wissler and Amoni Kaili each ran for TDs. Season complete.
12. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (10-1)
Recap: Defeated Clayton Valley Charter (Concord), 45-7, in the CIF-North Coast Section Open Division semifinals.
Next: Dec. 2 vs. Pittsburg in the CIF-North Coast Section Open Division final.
13. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (10-2)
Recap: Defeated Rancho Cucamonga, 55-28, in CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinals. The Braves have a tall order this weekend. One of the top games to be played this week.
Next: Friday vs. No. 20 Corona (Calif.) Centennial in the sectional semifinals.
14. Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (13-0)
Recap: Defeated Simon Kenton (Independence), 49-17, in Class 6A quarterfinals. QB Nick Bohn fired four TD passes in the first half, finishing 21 of 27 for 246 yards, and the Shamrocks moved their win streak to 28 games. Bohn threw a pair of TD passes to Texas-bound Rondale Moore and Nick Strothman.
Next: Friday vs. Central Hardin (Cecelia) in the 6A semifinals.
15. Mission Viejo, Calif. (12-0)
Recap: Defeated Orange Lutheran, 48-35, in CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinals. Akili Arnold rushed 313 yards and scored five TDs.
Next: Friday vs. No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) in the sectional semifinals.
16. Northwestern, Miami (10-2)
Recap: Defeated then-No. 19 Central (Miami), 24-18, in the Class 6A, Region 4 semifinals.
Next: Friday vs. Carol City (Miami Gardens) in the regional final.
17. Westlake, Austin, Texas (11-0)
Recap: Defeated San Antonio MacArthur, 62-14, in the Class 6A, Division II bi-district playoff game
Next: Friday at Smithson Valley (Spring Branch) in the Area playoff game to be played at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio.
18. Pine-Richland, Gibsonia, Pa. (13-0)
Recap: Defeated Central Catholic (Pittsburgh), 42-7, in WPIAL Class AAAAAA final
Next: Saturday vs. State College in PIAA Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals in Greensburg.
19. Pearl, Miss. (14-0)
Recap: Defeated Hancock (Kiln), 41-3, in Class 6A quarterfinals.
Next: Friday vs. Meridian in the 6A semifinals.
20. Corona (Calif.) Centennial (10-1)
Recap: Defeated Murrieta Valley (Murrieta), 77-34, in the CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinals.
Next: Friday vs. No. 13 St. John Bosco (Bellflower) in the CIF-Southern Section Division I semifinals.
21. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (10-2)
Recap: Defeated West Broward (Pembroke Pines), 38-7, in Class 7A, Region 4 semifinals. It marked the 100th playoff victory in program history and 17th straight win in the postseason.
Next: Friday vs. Doral Academy (Miami) in the 7A, Region 4 final.
22. North Gwinnett, Suwannee, Ga. (11-1)
Previous: Not ranked.
Recap: Defeated then-No. 14 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), 35-28, in the Class AAAAAAA second round.
Next: Friday vs. Marietta in the Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals.
23. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (12-0)*
Previous: Not ranked.
Recap: Won second straight MIAA A Conference championship, beating Gilman School (Baltimore), 44-7. The Panthers led 9-7 at halftime but scored 28 points in the third quarter. Junior RB Joachim Bangda ran for three of his four TDs in the second half and finished with 148 yards on 16 carries. Season complete.
24. John Curtis Christian, River Ridge, La. (10-1)
Recap: Defeated St. Paul (Covington), 35-21, in Division I quarterfinals
Next: Friday vs. Scotlandville (Baton Rouge) in the semifinals.
25. Klein Collins, Spring, Texas (10-0)
Previous: Not ranked.
Recap: Defeated Dekaney (Houston), 49-9, in the Class 6A, Division II bi-district playoff game.
Next: Friday vs. Stony Point (Round Rock) in the Class 6A, Division II Area playoff game.
Dropped: No. 13 Lowndes County, Valdosta, Ga.; No. 14 Grayson, Loganville, Ga.; and No. 19 Central, Miami.
High-Fives by Region
- Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (9-2)
- Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (11-0)
- Wise, Upper Marlboro, Md. (12-0)
- St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (9-2)*
- Parkland, Allentown, Pa. (13-0)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Kimberly, Wis. (14-0)*
- Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill. (12-0)
- Eden Prairie, Minn. (12-0)
- Dowling Catholic, West Des Moines, Iowa (12-1)*
- Mentor, Ohio (11-1)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy (11-0)
- Wake Forest, N.C. (12-0)
- Union, Tulsa (12-0)
- Central, Phenix City, Ala. (11-0)
- West Monroe, La. (12-0)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Saint Louis, Honolulu (10-0)*
- Chandler, Ariz. (11-2)
- Folsom, Calif. (12-0)
- Perry, Gilbert, Ariz. (12-1)
- Liberty, Henderson, Nev. (11-1)
Geography: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
* Won state, sectional or conference/league postseason championship
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.