BENSALEM, Pa. – There are communities and neighborhoods that build on the Friday nights. For a few hours, the gridiron becomes the focal point of the week. It’s where generations gather and memories are born.
Essentially that’s high school football and we’re so proud to bring you the Blue Star Media Elite 25 rankings. It’s something that we take serious and without our loyal readers and devotees it cannot exist. Having said that it’s playoff fever outbreak in a chunk of the nation with the rest to fall in line.
In Alaska, the first of the state champions were crowned. Take a bow Anchorage Bartlett in Division, undefeated Soldotna in Division II and Barrow in Division III. Barrow (or Utqiaġvik), is at the northernmost tip of Alaska—the Iñupiats are the area’s indigenous people and darn proud of their devoted Whalers, who play games next to the Bering Sea and 320 miles north of the Artic Circle. That’s cool!
Football is alive at the top of the world and in a few weeks, so will hundreds of teams when they are crowned champions.
We add No. 24 Westlake (Austin, Texas) and No. 25 Pine-Richland (Gibsonia, Pa.), a pair of unbeatens to the Elite 25. Westlake is two weeks from competing the Class 6A playoffs while Pine-Richland is three wins from a WPIAL Class AAAAAA championship.
So that’s it.
Hope to see you at a game soon. — Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Football Rankings Oct. 31, 2017
1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (9-0)
Previous rank: 1.
Recap: Defeated 51-21, Orange Lutheran. The Monarchs led 14-0 after one quarter and 34-14 at halftime. Junior QB JT Daniels tossed five TDs, including three to WR Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Next: Friday vs. Servite (Anaheim).
2. Allen, Texas (8-0)
Recap: Defeated McKinney, 49-14. RB Brock Sturges rushed for 210 yards and three TDs.
Next: Friday vs. Plano East.
3. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (6-0)
Next: Friday at Hoover (Ala.).
4. Katy, Texas (6-0)
Recap: Shellacked Tompkins (Katy), 62-0.
Next: Thursday vs. Strake Jesuit (Houston).
5. Converse (Texas) Judson (8-0)
Recap: Defeated Schertz Clemens, 31-14. RB Jay Miller rushed for 71 yards and two TDs.
Next: Friday vs. Smithson Valley (Spring Branch).
6. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (7-1)
Recap: Defeated Ely (Pompano Beach), 35-6. The Raiders close out the regular season this weekend and then Class 7A playoffs.
Next: Friday at Miramar.
7. American Heritage, Plantation, Fla. (7-0)
Recap: Blanked Hallandale, 44-0. The defense posted their second shutout of the campaign.
Next: Friday vs. Coconut Creek.
8. Archer, Lawrenceville, Ga. (9-0)
Recap: Defeated South Gwinnett (Snellville), 14-0. The regular season closes this weekend.
Next: Friday at Shiloh (Snellville).
9. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (8-2)
Recap: Defeated Sierra Vista (Las Vegas), 43-0. The Gaels went 2-2 in the national portion of their schedule and 6-0 against the locals, outscoring Sunset Regional teams, 342-0.
Next: Friday vs. Palo Verde (Las Vegas) in Class 4A, Sunset Region quarterfinals.
10. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (8-0)
Recap: Defeated Archbishop Ryan (Philadelphia), 42-6.
Next: Friday vs. Father Judge (Philadelphia) in Philadelphia Catholic League Class AAAAAA semifinals.
11. Ben Davis, Indianapolis (10-0)
Recap: Defeated Lawrence Central (Indianapolis), 33-20, in Class 6A, Sectional 6 first round.
Next: Friday vs. Warren Central (Indianapolis) in the sectional final.
12. South Pointe, Rock Hill, S.C. (10-0)
Recap: Defeated York, 41-27. The Stallions clinched the Region III championship and top seed in the Upper State bracket.
Next: Friday vs. Midland Valley (Graniteville) in the Class AAAA Upper State first round.
13. Bingham, South Jordan, Utah (10-0)
Recap: Defeated Cyprus (Manga), 65-7, in Class 6A first round. Amoni Kaili and Cameron Mitchell rushed for two TDs each and Braedon Wissler returned a punt 60 yards for a score in the first quarter.
Next: Friday vs. Syracuse in 6A quarterfinals.
14. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (8-1)
Next: Friday vs. San Ramon Valley (Danville).
15. Lowndes County, Valdosta, Ga. (10-0)
Recap: Outlasted Colquitt County (Moultrie), 51-45, in two overtimes. The wild offensive display was knotted at 38 through regulation. The Vikings clinched the Region 1 championship.
Next: Nov. 10 vs. TBD in the Class AAAAAAA first round.
16. Grayson, Loganville, Ga. (8-1)
Recap: Shut out Rockdale County (Conyers), 38-0. The Rams will celebrate Senior Night.
Next: Friday vs. South Gwinnett (Snellville).
17. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (7-2)
Recap: Defeated Servite (Anaheim), 42-17. Junior RB George Holani ran for 209 yards and a TD on 20 carries.
Next: Friday at JSerra (San Juan Capistrano).
18. Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (10-0)
Recap: Idle. The Shamrocks are a top seed in the Class 6A playoffs.
Next: Friday vs. Seneca (Louisville) in the Class 6A first round.
19. Mission Viejo, Calif. (9-0)
Recap: Idle. A late season bye will allow the Diablos to gear up for the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
Next: Friday vs. San Clemente.
20. Northwestern, Miami (7-2)
Recap: Upset by Norland (Miami), 28-27. The Bulls blew a 27-7 lead but still are the District 16-6A champions and headed to the regional playoffs.
Next: Friday vs. Jackson (Miami).
21. Central, Miami (8-2)
Recap: Defeated Carol City, 26-13. James Cook, a Georgia commit, had two pick-sixes late to snap a 13-all tie. The Rockets are back in the playoffs after missing them last year.
Next: Nov. 10 vs. TBD in Class 6A, Region 4 playoffs.
22. Corona (Calif.) Centennial (7-1)
Recap: Defeated Norco, 63-28. The Huskies found themselves in a real dogfight at halftime, tied at 28, but broke away in the third quarter.
Next: Thursday at King (Riverside).
23. John Curtis Christian, River Ridge, La. (8-1)
Recap: Defeated Archbishop Rummel (Metairie), 42-34. The Patriots wrap up the regular season this weekend.
Next: Saturday at Archbishop Shaw (Marrero).
24. Westlake, Austin, Texas (8-0)
Previous: Not ranked.
Recap: Crushed Lehman (Kyle), 56-7. The Chaps have two games left in the regular season.
Next: Friday vs. Leander.
25. Pine-Richland, Gibsonia, Pa. (10-0)
Previous: Not ranked.
Recap: Closed out a perfect regular season, beating North Allegheny (Wexford), 48-28. The Rams churned out 628 rushing with three players surpassing 100 yards, including Notre Dame-bound QB Phil Jurkovec.
Next: Friday vs. Norwin (Irwin) in the WPIAL Class AAAAAA quarterfinals.
Dropped: No. 11 DeSoto, Texas and No. 24 Centennial, Peoria, Ariz.
High Fives by Region
- St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (9-0)
- Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (6-2)
- Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (10-0)
- Wise, Upper Marlboro, Md. (9-0)
- St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (6-2)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- St. Ignatius, Cleveland (9-1)
- St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (9-1)
- St. Xavier, Cincinnati (9-1)
- Kimberly, Wis. (11-0)
- Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill. (10-0)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy (9-0)
- Union, Tulsa (9-0)
- Central, Phenix City, Ala. (9-0)
- West Monroe, La. (9-0)
- Wake Forest, N.C. (10-0)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Saint Louis, Honolulu (8-0)
- Chaminade, West Hills, Calif. (8-1)
- Poly, Long Beach, Calif. (8-1)
- Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (9-0)
- Eastside Catholic, Sammamish, Wash. (8-0)
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.