2007 High School Rankings: Week 9

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It was bound to happen: the ESPN HIGH Elite 25 high school football rankings finally took a hit. After a relatively quiet October, teams want to make November a month to remember when postseason hits full stride. Four teams lost this week, with three dropping out. In contrast, only two teams joined the Elite 25 over the previous four weeks.

First, let's review the dropouts. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) fell to conference rivals, Good Counsel (Olney), 28-24. The two teams could meet again later this month in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final.

Independence (Charlotte), a mainstay in the national rankings this decade, lost for the first time in 114 games to a North Carolina team in a 21-20 setback to Butler (Charlotte). Coach Tom Knotts was suspended from the game after an altercation with a parent of a junior varsity player. Knotts' status for the playoffs is uncertain. Earlier this season, Independence saw its win streak halted at 109 games (No. 2 all-time) by Elder (Cincinnati).

Lakeland (Fla.) had its state-record win streak stopped at 53 games by district-champion Osceola (Kissimmee), 25-21. No. 17 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) tumbles 15 spots after a 31-12 pasting by rivals Orange Lutheran.

Joining the rankings are three undefeated teams from three different regions. No. 23 Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.) is Missouri's top-ranked Class 6 club after stopping defending state champion Blue Springs South. No. 24 North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.), one of the state's elite Class 4A teams, may face No. 14 Central Catholic (Pittsburgh) for the WPIAL title; and No. 25 North Cobb (Kennesaw, Ga.) is No. 1 in Georgia's large class (5A) rankings. --Christopher Lawlor

ESPN HIGH Elite 25 High School Football Rankings
RANK (PREV. RANK) TEAM RECORD COMMENT
1 (1) Northwestern, Miami 9-0 Defeated Hialeah, 47-7, to clinch the District 13-5A title. The Bulls trailed 7-0 before reversing their fortunes to take a 27-7 halftime lead. Miami-bound WR Aldarius Johnson returned a punt 50 yards and RB Corvin Lamb sped 40 yards for third quarter scores. QB Jacory Harris threw for 267 yards and two TDs and ran five yards for another.
Next: Friday vs. Miami Jackson.
2 (3) St. Xavier, Cincinnati 11-0 Defeated Elder (Cincinnati), 45-14, in the Division I, Region 4 quarterfinals. RB Darius Ashley, who rushed for 211 yards and two TDs on 17 carries, has topped 200 yards in back-to-back games. WR-K Danny Milligan kicked a 33-yard field goal and scored off a 39-yard reverse in the opening half.
Next: Saturday vs. Centerville in Division I, Region 4, semifinals at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium.
3 (4) South Panola, Batesville, Miss. 10-0 Defeated Starkville, 35-21, to clinch the Region 1-5A title. The Tigers stretched their nation's longest active win streak to 70 games. According the 2007 National High School Record Book, the Tigers' win streak is fifth all-time. RB Darius Barksdale continued his torrid pace, rushing for 271 yards and three TDs on 40 carries. Barksdale scored on runs of 1, 23 and 10 yards. South Panola jumped to a 14-0 lead but trailed 15-14 at the break.
Next: Friday vs. DeSoto Central.
4 (5) Booker T. Washington, Miami 8-0 Defeated Miami Jackson, 36-0, for its sixth shutout of the season. The Tornadoes have outscored eight teams, 327-24. QB Torrance Moise passed for two TDs and rushed for another.
Next: Thursday vs. Miami Southridge.
5 (6) Katy, Texas 9-0 Defeated Alief Elsik, 45-6. Brad Graham set the tone early, returning an interception 23 yards for a score. UCLA-bound RB Aundre Dean set a school record with a 99-yard TD run, fueling a 207-yard, 12-carry effort. QB Bo Levi Mitchell completed 11 of 18 passes for 243 yards and two TDs. Katy's offense totaled 478 yards.
Next: Friday vs. Mayde Creek (Houston).
6 (7) Carroll, Southlake, Texas 8-1 Defeated Grapevine, 49-21, to clinch a sixth straight District 5-5A championship. RB Tre Newton ran for 162 yards and four TDs, while QB Riley Dodge accounted for 362 yards and three scores. Dodge passed for 246 yards and two TDs and ran for 116 yards and a TD.
Next: Friday vs. Richland.
7 (8) Pahokee, Fla. 9-0 Defeated Vero Beach, 25-2. Florida-bound RB Janoris Jenkins scored two TDs, including one off a 57-yard punt return. The Blue Devils close out the regular season against archrivals, Glades Central, the defending Class 3A state champions.
Next: Friday at Glades Central (Belle Glade).
8 (9) Maryville, Tenn. 10-0 Defeated Lenoir City, 34-7, for its 55th consecutive victory. Tyler Clendenen scored two TDs, including a 51-yard punt return. The Rebels, who won the last three Class 4A state championships, have captured 108 of their last 110 games.
Next: Friday vs. Rhea County (Evensville) in Class 4A first round.
9 (10) Colerain, Cincinnati 11-0 Defeated Northmont (Clayton), 35-0, in Division I, Region 4 quarterfinals. Backup QB Quentin Sims, a dual threat, passed only three times but two went for TDs. He also rushed 12 times for 228 yards and a 63-yard score. RB Dominick Sherrer added TD runs of 3 and 1 yards as Colerain led, 21-0, at the break.
Next: Saturday vs. Moeller (Cincinnati) in Division I, Region 4 semifinals at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium.
10 (11) Northside, Warner Robins, Ga. 9-0 Defeated Westside (Warner Robins), 22-12, for its 24th straight win. Trailing 12-7 early in the fourth quarter, Northside scored the go-ahead TD following a key turnover. Backup QB Joe Scott capped the drive throwing 18 yards to Brandon Jordan and then hit TE Evan Jordan for a two-point conversion for a 15-12 edge. Scott clicked on 9 of 18 passes for 114 yards and two scores but produced in the fourth quarter, completing all four passes for 56 yards.
Next: Thursday vs. Mount Zion (Jonesboro) in a Class 4A, Region 4 play-in game.
11 (12) De La Salle, Concord, Calif. 8-0 Defeated Freedom (Oakley), 45-14. The punishing running game produced 361 yards, averaging 11.2 yards per carry. RB Tito Pica piled up 168 yards and three TDs on 10 carries.
Next: Friday vs. Ygnacio Valley (Concord).
12 (13) Cardinal Mooney, Youngstown, Ohio 11-0 Defeated Coshocton, 30-6, in Division IV, Region 13 quarterfinals. The Cardinals totaled 361 yards from scrimmage, 353 on the ground. Penn State-bound RB-LB Brandon Beachum rushed 19 times for 178 yards and Notre Dame-bound QB-S Dan McCarthy added 105.
Next: Saturday vs. St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron) in Division IV, Region 13 semifinals at West Branch High, Beloit.
13 (14) Prattville, Ala. 10-0 Defeated Woodlawn (Birmingham), 59-0, to record its fifth straight undefeated regular season. QB Casey Weston's two TD passes in the first quarter following turnovers gave the Lions a 14-0 lead. Henry Wheaton added a TD off a 69-yard kick return.
Next: Friday vs. Baldwin County (Bay Minette) in Class 6A first round.
14 (15) Central Catholic, Pittsburgh 10-0 Defeated Plum (Pittsburgh), 45-0, in WPIAL, Class AAAA first-round. RB Dan Vaughan scored on runs of 9 and 49 yards and the defense, led by Terrell Anderson (three sacks), recorded seven sacks, limiting Plum to minus-44 yards rushing.
Next: Friday vs. Bethel Park (Pittsburgh) in WPIAL, Class AAAA quarterfinals at the Wolverena, Turtle Creek.
15 (16) Hamilton, Chandler, Ariz. 10-0 Defeated Chandler, 46-0, to clinch the Fiesta Region crown and top-seed in the Class 5A, Division I playoffs. RB Covaughn Deboskie scored three TDs and a two-point conversion in the second quarter when the Huskies led, 29-0.
Next: Friday vs. Mesquite (Gilbert) in Class 5A, Division I first round.
16 (19) West Monroe, La. 9-0 Defeated Captain Shreve (Shreveport), 35-20, to close out the regular season. Trailing 20-0 in the first half, the Rebels rallied behind backup QB D.J. Banks, who passed 36 yards to Marcus Wiley with 5:42 left in the fourth for a 21-20 lead. Ladarius Abrams and Don Brown ran for late TDs to seal it. Starting QB Shelby Aulds suffered a concussion in the first quarter and did not return. His status for the first round playoff game is uncertain.
Next: Friday vs. Ruston in Class 5A bi-district playoff.
17 (2) Mater Dei, Santa Ana , Calif. 7-1 Lost to Orange Lutheran, 31-12. The Monarchs were rusty following a two-week layoff. An Oct. 26 game against St. John Bosco (Bellflower) was cancelled by the wildfires in southern California. The Monarchs need a win this weekend for a share of the Trinity League title, provided Orange Lutheran beats Serra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano).
Next: Friday vs. Servite (Anaheim) at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
18 (21) Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J. 8-0 Defeated Bergen Catholic (Oradell), 27-7. The Ironmen spotted their archrivals a 7-0 lead but closed the first half with 20 straight points for a 20-7 edge. Junior QB Brett Knief's 19-yard run tied the game in the first, sophomore RB Tony Jones added two short TDs runs and Patrick Murray kicked field goals from 20 and 26 yards to round out the scoring.
Next: Friday vs. Seton Hall Prep (West Orange) in Non-Public, Group 4 quarterfinals.
19 (22) St. Xavier, Louisville 10-0 Defeated Covington (Ky.) Catholic, 31-14. The Tigers trailed 14-3 at the break but rallied behind QB Ben Zoeller (11 of 15) who threw two TD passes, including the decisive one of 13 yards to Ben Brown in the fourth. Chris Jones's 14-yard interception return closed out the scoring.
Next: Friday vs. Butler (Louisville) in Class 6A first round.
20 (23) Union, Tulsa 10-0 Defeated Ponca City, 43-0, in the regular season finale. QB Brandon Rogers accounted for three TDs, including two passing, for a 22-0 advantage. br> Next: Friday vs. Booker T. Washington (Tulsa) in Class 6A first round.
21 (24) Byrnes, Duncan, S.C. 11-0 Defeated Boiling Springs, 62-0, to claim the Class 4A, Region II title. A ferocious defense recorded their first shutout, allowing minus-31 yards of offense. The Rebels took a commanding 35-0 lead after one quarter as RB Marcus Lattimore (10 carries, 138 yards) scored the first of his three TDs off a 57-yard scamper on the third play from scrimmage.
Next: Friday vs. Hillcrest (Simpsonville) in Class 4A, Division I first round.
22 (25) Centennial, Corona, Calif. 8-1 Defeated Corona, 38-3. Trevor Romaine nailed field goals from 28, 28, and 42 yards. The victory sets up a showdown with Norco, with the winner claiming the Mountain View League title.
Next: Friday at Norco.
23 (NR) Rockhurst, Kansas City, Mo. 10-0 Defeated Blue Springs South, 27-21, to qualify for the Class 6 state tournament. The Hawklets jumped to a 27-0 lead in the first half and then held off a rally by the defending state champions. QB Nathan Scheelhaase sped 15 yards and threw 64 yards to Keith Langtry for score. James McFadden scored the fourth TD, returning an interception 50 yards.
Next: Friday vs. Blue Springs in Class 6 quarterfinals.
24 (NR) North Allegheny, Wexford, Pa. 10-0 Defeated Hempfield (Greensburg), 35-7, in the WPIAL Class AAAA first round. RBs Geoff Greco (142 yards, two TDs) and Karl DeCiantis (145, two TDs) teamed for 287 yards and four TDs.
Next: Friday vs. Penn Hills (Pittsburgh) in WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals at North Hills High, Pittsburgh.
25 (NR) North Cobb, Kennesaw, Ga. (9-0) 9-0 Defeated Etowah (Woodstock), 28-21, to clinch the Region 5-5A title. The Warriors averaged 35 points per game heading into the regular season finale.
Next: Friday at Marietta.
Dropped out: No. 17 Independence (Charlotte) lost to Butler (Charlotte), 21-20; No. 18 Lakeland (Fla.) lost to Osceola (Kissimmee), 25-21; and No. 20 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) lost to Good Counsel (Olney), 28-24.

Regional rankings
East
1. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh (10-0) 2. Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J. (8-0) 3. North Allegheny, Wexford, Pa (10-0) 4. St. Peter's Prep, Jersey City, N.J. (8-0) 5. Gateway, Monroeville, Pa. (9-1) 6. Ridley, Folsom, Pa. (10-0) 7. Parkland, Allentown, Pa. (10-0) 8. Everett, Mass. (9-0) 9. William Floyd, Mastic Beach, N.Y. (8-0) 10. Good Counsel, Olney, Md. (9-1)

Midwest
1. St. Xavier, Cincinnati (11-0) 2. Colerain, Cincinnati (11-0) 3. Cardinal Mooney, Youngstown, Ohio (11-0) 4. Union, Tulsa (10-0) 5. Rockhurst, Kansas City, Mo. (10-0) 6. Mount Carmel, Chicago (11-0) 7. Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Paul (11-0) 8. Jenks, Okla. (9-1) 9. Wheaton (Ill.) Warrenville South (11-0) 10. Penn, Mishawaka, Ind. (12-0)

Southland
1. Northwestern, Miami (9-0) 2. South Panola, Batesville, Miss. (10-0) 3. Booker T. Washington, Miami (8-0) 4. Katy, Texas (9-0) 5. Carroll, Southlake, Texas (8-1) 6. Pahokee, Fla. (9-0) 7. Maryville, Tenn. (10-0) 8. Northside, Warner Robins, Ga. (9-0) 9. Prattville, Ala. (10-0) 10. West Monroe, La. (9-0)

West
1. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (8-0) 2. Hamilton, Chandler, Ariz. (10-0) 3. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (7-1) 4. Centennial, Corona, Calif. (8-1) 5. Orange (Calif.) Lutheran (7-1) 6. Lakes, Lakewood, Wash. (10-0) 7. Columbine, Littleton, Colo. (10-0) 8. Saint Louis, Honolulu (10-0) 9. Birmingham, Lake Balboa, Calif. (8-1) 10. Mullen, Denver (10-0)

Records through Nov. 4.

About the rankings: The ESPN HIGH Elite 25 high school football rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor of ESPN.com, who consults with a national network of sports writers, Scouts Inc. analysts and high school coaches. Criteria considered are a team's strength of schedule with an emphasis on national games; the superiority of competition in its state, district or league; the program's history and tradition; and the quality of its personnel.