BENSALEM, Pa. – The Blue Star Media Elite 25 high school football rankings are in the postseason phase. This will last until two days before Christmas, so sit back and watch as the proceedings unfold.
Last weekend Texas finally finished up the regular season, but Iowa, Hawaii and Utah are headed to their championship weekends. In the coming weekends, state and conference champions will be crowned and you can Elite 25 teams will walk away with the hardware.
There is an addition to the Elite 25 rankings from the Southland Region. No. 22 Pearl (Miss.) upped its record to 13-0 with a 55-14 pasting of St. Martin (Ocean Springs) in the Class 6A first round. The Pirates are top seeded and looking to capture Mississippi’s largest classification crown.
No. 3 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) concluded the regular season Saturday night, beating Bishop Sullivan Catholic (Virginia Beach, Va.), 48-0, and wind up with an 8-0 record. IMG will remain in its present ranking unless something extraordinary happens in the Elite 25. IMG does not compete for a state championship.
We’ll have the look at who’s winning championships and set up the Thanksgiving Day games that are still relevant on the East Coast, mainly in the Northeast (Boston to Washington).
Maybe your local school is still competing in the state playoffs and it would be a great chance to see the local heroes perform on the big stage for one last time. Whenever the best teams compete, the top players rise up. That means future pro and college players are on display and you can say, “ I saw him play when he was a senior in high school!” That’s always neat stuff.
So those add that to your bucket list for the third weekend in November.
Hope to see you at a game soon. — Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Football Rankings Nov. 14, 2017
1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (11-0)
Previous rank: 1.
Recap: Defeated Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) in CIF-Southern Section Division I first round. The Monarchs quest for their first sectional crown since 1999 got off to a rousing start as junior QB J.T. Daniels passed for 220 yards and three TDs, including a pair to WR Amon-Ra Brown, who caught 4 balls for 106 yards.
Next: Friday at Poly (Long Beach) in the CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinals.
2. Allen, Texas (10-0)
Recap: Defeated Wylie, 44-28. Junior QB Grant Tisdale ran for four short TDs.
Next: Friday vs. Hebron in Class 6A, Division I bi-district playoff game.
3. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (8-0)
Recap: Shut out Bishop Sullivan (Virginia Beach, Va.), 48-0. The Ascenders do not compete for a state championship. Season complete.
4. Katy, Texas (8-0)
Recap: Defeated Mayde Creek (Houston), 62-7. The Tigers were up 49-0 at the break.
Next: Friday vs. Fort Bend Travis (Richmond) in the Class 6A, Division I bi-district playoff game.
5. American Heritage, Plantation, Fla. (9-0)
Recap: Defeated Merritt Island, 42-0, in Class 5A, Region 4 first round.
Next: Friday vs. Bishop Moore (Orlando) in the Region 4 semifinals.
6. Archer, Lawrenceville, Ga. (11-0)
Recap: Defeated Meadowcreek (Norcross), 37-0, in the Class AAAAAAA first round
Next: Friday vs. Mill Creek (Hoschton) in the second round.
7. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (10-2)
Recap: Defeated Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas), 51-6, in Class 4A, Sunset Region semifinals. After a span of 34 quarters, the Gaels’ defense allowed points. RB Amod Cianelli rushed for 125 yards and a score on 18 carries and TE Brevin Jordan a pair of short TD runs.
Next: Friday vs. unbeaten Arbor View (Las Vegas) in the Sunset Regional final.
8. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (10-0)
Recap: Defeated La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.), 17-3, in the Class AAAAAA final. Kolbe Burrell’s 2-yard TD run with 3:32 left in the third quarter gave the Hawks a 10-3 lead and QB Marquez McCray’s 1-yard run early in the fourth wrapped up the scoring and the Philadelphia Catholic League AAAAAA championship.
Next: Saturday vs. Northeast (Philadelphia) in PIAA District 12 Class AAAAAA final.
9. Ben Davis, Indianapolis (12-0)
Recap: Defeated Fishers, 50-7, in Class 6A regional final. QB Reese Taylor passed for 217 yards and four TDs and RB Johnny Adams ran for 105 yards and two scores.
Next: Friday vs. Avon in Class 6A Semistate.
10. South Pointe, Rock Hill, S.C. (12-0)
Recap: Defeated Belton-Honea Path, 45-3, in the Class AAAA second round. RB Derion Kendrick, a Clemson recruit, threw for 283 yards and two scores and rushed for 123 yards and two more TDs.
Next: Friday at Eastside (Taylors) in the Class 4A quarterfinals.
11. Bingham, South Jordan, Utah (12-0)
Recap: Defeated Herriman (West Herriman), 31-7, in Class 6A semifinals.
Next: Friday vs. East (Salt Lake City) in 6A final at University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium.
12. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (9-1)
Next: Friday vs. Clayton Valley Charter (Concord) in the CIF-North Coast Section Open Division semifinals.
13. Lowndes County, Valdosta, Ga. (11-0)
Recap: Routed Campbell (Smyrna), 60-6 in the Class AAAAAAA first round.
Next: Friday vs. McEachern (Powder Springs) in the second round.
14. Grayson, Loganville, Ga. (10-1)
Recap: Defeated Norcross, 31-14, in the Class AAAAAAA first round.
Next: Friday vs. North Gwinnett (Suwanee) in the second round.
15. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (9-2)
Recap: Defeated Bishop Amat (La Puente), 35-21, in CIF-Southern Section Division I first round.
Next: Friday vs. Rancho Cucamonga in CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinals.
16. Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (12-0)
Recap: Crushed Campbell County (Alexandria), 51-13, in Class 6A second round.
Next: Friday vs. Simon Kenton (Independence) in 6A quarterfinals.
17. Mission Viejo, Calif. (11-0)
Recap: Defeated Servite (Anaheim), 38-36, in CIF-Southern Section Division I first round
Next: Friday vs. Orange Lutheran in CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinals.
18. Northwestern, Miami (9-2)
Recap: Defeated Friday vs. Matanzas (Palm Coast), 33-0, in Class 6A, Region 4 first round. Huge test and a rematch between two rivals this weekend.
Next: Friday vs. No. 19 Central (Miami) in the Region 4 semifinals.
19. Central, Miami (9-2)
Recap: Defeated Palm Beach Heritage, 42-6, in Class 6A, Region 4 first round.
Next: Friday vs. No. 18 Northwestern (Miami) in the Region 4 semifinals.
20. Westlake, Austin, Texas (10-0)
Recap: Crushed Vista Ridge (Cedar Park), 55-7. The Chaps clinched their first outright district title since 2011.
Next: Friday vs. San Antonio MacArthur in the Class 6A, Division II bi-district playoff game.
21. Pine-Richland, Gibsonia, Pa. (12-0)
Recap: Defeated North Allegheny (Wexford), 49-25, in the WPIAL Class AAAAAA semifinals. Notre Dame-bound QB had the best offensive game by anyone in WPIAL history, hitting on 18 of 20 passes for 432 yards and five TDs and rushed for 107 yards on 12 carries.
Next: Saturday vs. Central Catholic (Pittsburgh) in WPIAL Class AAAAAA final at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
22. Pearl, Miss. (13-0)
Previous: Not ranked.
Recap: Defeated St. Martin (Ocean Springs), 55-14, in the Class 6A first round. The Pirates cruised to leads of 20-0 after one quarter and 34-0 at the intermission. Johnny Winston tallied three TDs in the opening half.
Next: Friday vs. Hancock (Kiln) in 6A quarterfinals
23. Corona (Calif.) Centennial (9-1)
Recap: Defeated Serra (Gardena), 35-21, in CIF-Southern Section Division I first round.
Next: Friday vs. Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) in the CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinals.
24. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (8-2)
Recap: Defeated South Miami, 56-0, in the Class 7A, Region 4 first round. After a shock loss in the regular season finale, the Raiders rebounded in a big way.
Next: Friday vs. West Broward (Pembroke Pines) in region semifinal.
25. John Curtis Christian, River Ridge, La. (9-1)
Next: Friday vs. St. Paul (Covington) in Division I quarterfinals.
Dropped: No. 19.Miramar, Fla.
High-Fives by Region
- St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (11-0)
- Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (8-2)
- Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (11-0)
- Wise, Upper Marlboro, Md. (11-0)
- St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (8-2)
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- St. Ignatius, Cleveland (11-1)
- St. Xavier, Cincinnati (11-1)
- Kimberly, Wis. (13-0)
- Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill. (11-0)
- Eden Prairie, Minn. (9-0)
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy (10-0)
- Wake Forest, N.C. (11-0)
- Union, Tulsa (11-0)
- Central, Phenix City, Ala. (10-0)
- West Monroe, La. (11-0)
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Saint Louis, Honolulu (9-0)
- Chandler, Ariz. (10-2)
- Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (11-0)
- Eastside Catholic, Sammamish, Wash. (10-0)
- Folsom, Calif. (11-0)
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.