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2017 Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25
High School Football Week Ten Rankings Week 11
Presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football
Nov. 15, 2017

By Christopher Lawlor
Catholic Athletes For Christ
National Correspondent

There is a reason why high school football is so appealing, and the magic usually happens in November and December when champions are crowned and memories are forged.

The Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football rankings, presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football, are officially in the time of the year when each week state or conference champions are rewarded for enduring a playoff run and the regular season.  The postseason or the “second season” means the CAC Top 25 is about a month away from declaring a National Champion (or the No. 1 team) with a handful of serious candidates piecing together solid dossiers.

This week the CAC Top 25 dropped a team, added one, and saw another have its season end, but remain in the rankings based on strength of schedule.

First, the good news, as unbeaten No. 24 Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic enters the CAC Top 25 as North Carolina’s top-ranked 3A team.  The Cougars rolled in their first-round assignment and need four more wins to capture a state championship.  No. 25 Chaminade (West Hills, Calif.) dipped 15 spots after a loss in the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.  The Eagles won’t fly out, at least for the time being, and play in one of the most competitive areas of the country.

Looking ahead, there is player recognition for an outstanding performance and a peek at what’s in store this weekend for the #CACTop25.

Triple Option

Player of the Week: For the second time this season, the top performance came from the island of Oahu in in the South Pacific.  They play some awesome football in Hawaii and senior WR Mitchell Quinn turned in an outing that you rarely see in a state semifinal game. Honestly they must said, “you’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn.” All kidding aside, Quinn made eight catches for a tournament record 307 yards and five touchdowns as No. 8 Saint Louis School (Honolulu) pounded Mililani, 47-23, in the Hawaii Division I-Open Division semifinals last Friday at Aloha Stadium.

It was an offensive coordinator’s dream as Quinn caught TD strikes of 52, 50, 59, 57 and 59 yards (38.4 yards per reception), but his quarterback Chevan Cordeiro had a huge hand in delivering the ball.  Cordeiro, who was previously named the CAC Player of the Week, completed 24 of 29 for 528 yards and five TDs.

For the season, Quinn has 967 receiving yards and 15 TDs.  His five TD receptions set a state record for the most in a tournament game and tied the school single-game record for most receiving yards.  A relative unknown heading into the season, Quinn picked up an offer from Hawaii after the game.

Games of the Week: Championship hardware will be handed out this weekend from the bright lights of New York City to shores Honolulu, Hawaii.  There’s also a timed honored tradition of Thanksgiving Day football that seems to be disappearing with the exception of the East Coast.  The stronghold remains Massachusetts, mostly the Boston area.  Here’s a look where the games that matter the most will be played.

Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines, Iowa) vs. Iowa City West, Friday: Iowa’s largest classification title is at stake when Dowling (11-1) goes for a fifth straight state crown with a 7 p.m. CT kickoff at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.  Last weekend, Dowling (11-1) avenged its lone loss, beating Centennial (Ankeny), 44-7, in the semifinals.  Iowa City West is 12-0 after blanking Bettendorf, 23-0.

Canisius (Buffalo, N.Y.) vs. St. Joseph’s Collegiate (Kenmore, N.Y.), Saturday: The Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association (composed of Western New York schools) plays its title game at New Era Field, home of the Buffalo Bills, at 2 p.m.  The winner hosts the state final over the Thanksgiving weekend.

New York Catholic High School Football League finals, Saturday: Three games are scheduled this weekend at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale.  Class A: Cardinal Spellman (Bronx) vs. Xaverian (Brooklyn), 11 a.m.  Class AA: Fordham Prep (Bronx) vs. Kellenberg Memorial (Uniondale), 2:30 p.m.  Class AAA: Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains) vs. St. Anthony’s (Melville), 6 p.m.  The AAA winner will play the Monsignor Martin champion for the Catholic State AAA title on Nov. 25 in Buffalo.

Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) vs. No. 19 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.), Saturday: The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship will be decided at the University of Maryland’s Byrd Stadium with a 2 p.m. kickoff scheduled.  SJC won the regular season meeting, 32-14, on Nov. 4.

No. 8 Saint Louis School (Honolulu) vs. Kahuku, Saturday: The Hawaii Division I-Open Division title is on the line at Aloha Stadium.  The Saint Louis Crusaders (9-0) advanced to the title game winning an offensive shootout 47-23 over Mililani while Kahuku (11-1) eked out a 10-7 win over Waianae in a defensive struggle.  The two met in last year’s final with Saint Louis pulling out a 30-14 victory.

Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.) vs. Boston College High, Tuesday: In what will be a great game in a unique venue, these Boston Catholic schools will play two days prior to Thanksgiving (Nov. 21) at Fenway Park.  Once the Red Sox were eliminated from the American League baseball playoffs, the stadium’s field was transformed for football.

Honored: Several players from CAC Top 25 teams will be participating in postseason senior all-star games, three from No. 19 St. John College (Washington, D.C.).  Last week, DE Caleb Okechukwu, S D.J. Brown and C Josh Jefferson were selected for the Under Armour All American game that will be played on Jan. 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Jefferson (6-2, 290) has offers from schools such as Buffalo, Marshall, Connecticut Syracuse, Liberty and FIU.  Okechukwu is also undecided, while Brown has given a verbal to Virginia.

In case you missed it last week, it’s worth mentioning again that Patrick Steenberge, the President and Founder of Global Football, is looking for teams who are willing and able to travel abroad for the 2018 season opener on the weekend of August 17 in Rome, Italy or Dublin, Ireland.  The game will be dubbed the CAC Global Kickoff Classic and JSerra (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) has pledged to play.  So, there’s a need for an opponent.  Please contact Patrick through email at patrick@globalfootball.com if your school is interested.  Global Football is the world leader in hosting overseas games, having done so in 28 countries on six continents since 1996.

The countdown to championships has already begun for the CAC Top 25.  Next week we’ll highlight more state title tilts and mention some of the great Thanksgiving Day matchups that are still staged, mostly in the Northeast from the District of Columbia to Boston.

Fans are encouraged to follow the CAC Top 25 through social media at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25. The CAC Top 25 rankings will return on Nov. 22.

God Bless and enjoy the postseason games. – Christopher Lawlor

2017 Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25, Nov 15, 2017
Presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football

  1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (11-0)
    Previous rank: 1.
    In the Huddle: The Monarchs’ quest for their first sectional crown since 1999 got off to a rousing start after a 49-7 triumph over Vista Murrieta in the CIF-Southern Section Open Division first round.  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.  The second round assignment is dangerous this Friday at powerhouse Poly (Long Beach) in one of the nation’s top games.
  1. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa. (10-0)
    Previous rank: 2.
    In the Huddle: In a gritty game in frigid weather, the Hawks beat 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.  Prep moves on to the PIAA District 12 final against Northeast (Philadelphia) this Saturday.
  1. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas, Nev. (10-2)
    Previous rank: 3.
    In the Huddle: The Gaels crushed Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas), 51-6, in Class 4A, Sunset Region semifinals.  After a span of 34 quarters without conceding, the Gaels’ defense finally allowed points.  RB Amod Cianelli rushed for 125 yards and a score on 18 carries and TE Brevin Jordan on a pair of short TD runs.  Next up is unbeaten Arbor View (Las Vegas) in the Sunset Regional final this Friday
  1. Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (11-0)
    Previous rank: 4.
    In the huddle: Shut out University Prep (Pittsburgh) in the PIAA Class AAAA subregional final.  The Ramblers won’t play again until Thanksgiving weekend in the Class AAAA state quarterfinals versus the WPIAL champion Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson Hills) or Montour (McKees Rocks).
  1. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (9-1)
    Previous rank: 5.
    In the Huddle: Idle. Next up is Clayton Valley Charter (Concord) in the CIF-North Coast Section Open Division semifinals this Friday.
  1. Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (12-0)
    Previous rank: 6.
    In the Huddle: The Shamrocks trounced Campbell County (Alexandria), 51-13, in the Class 6A second round.  Coach Bob Beatty’s team has racked up 121 points in two playoff games.  Next up is Simon Kenton (Independence) in 6A quarterfinals this Friday.
  1. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (11-0)
    Previous rank: 7.
    In the Huddle:  QB Jalon Jones ran for two TDs and passed for another while RB Joachim Bagda rushed for two scores as the Panthers defeated McDonogh School (Owings Mills), 49-7, in the MIAA A Conference semifinals.  Next up is Gilman School (Baltimore) on Sunday in the final.
  1. Saint Louis, Honolulu, Hawaii (9-0)
    Previous rank: 8.
    In the huddle: WR Mitchell Quinn caught 8 balls for a tournament-record 307 yards and five TDs in a 47-23 win over Mililani in the Division I-Open Division semifinals.  QB Chevan Cordeiro was also impressive throwing for a school-record 528 yards, clicking on 24-of-29 passing.  The Crusaders meet Kahuku for the state championship on Saturday at Aloha Stadium.
  1. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (9-2)
    Previous rank: 9.
    In the Huddle: Sophomore QB DJ Uiagalelei completed 18 of 23 passes for 307 yards and three scores and ran for another as the Braves took down Bishop Amat, 35-21, in the CIF-Southern Section Division I first round.  Coach Jason Negro’s team moves into the second round this Friday against Rancho Cucamonga.
  1. St. Ignatius, Cleveland, Ohio (11-1)
    Previous rank: 11.
    In the Huddle: The Wildcats toppled Euclid, 45-22, in the Division I Region 1 semifinals.  Leading 10-0 at the intermission, they scored 28 points in the third quarter to take a commanding 38-6 edge.  Now it’s the region final this Friday against Mentor.
  1. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (11-1)
    Previous rank: 12.
    In the Huddle: Junior RB Chris Payne rushed for 125 yards and two TDs on 13 carries as the Bombers stopped Sycamore (Cincinnati), 37-7, in the Division I, Region 4 semifinals.  The region final showdown is Friday against Colerain (Cincinnati).
  1. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (8-2)
    Previous rank: 14.
    In the Huddle: The Raiders bounced back from last week’s loss to knock out South Miami, 56-0, in the Class 7A, Region 4 first round.  This weekend they face West Broward (Pembroke Pines) in the region semifinals.
  1. Archbishop Wood, Warminster, Pa. (8-2)
    Previous rank: 15.
    In the Huddle: The Vikings are Class AAAAA Philadelphia Catholic League champions after wiping out Archbishop Ryan (Philadelphia), 48-0.  They now play Simon Gratz (Philadelphia) in the PIAA Class AAAAA District 12 final this Saturday.
  1. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (8-2)
    Previous rank: 16.
    In the huddle: QB Johnny Langan and RB Rahmir Johnson each rushed for three TDs but it was Jordan Morant’s pick-six in the third quarter that busted open a tight game during a 56-21 victory over St. Augustine (Richland) in the Non-Public Group 4 first round.  The Crusaders host Delbarton (Morristown) in the semifinals this Saturday.
  1. Bishop Lynch, Dallas, Texas (10-0)
    Previous rank: 17.
    In the Huddle: The Friars made history, completing the program’s first-ever unbeaten regular season, thumping Parish Episcopal (Dallas), 42-19.  RB Jacob Lewis rushed for 95 yards and three TDs.  Next up is Monsignor Kelly Catholic (Beaumont) in the TAPPS Division I first round this Saturday.
  1. McGill-Toolen Catholic, Mobile, Ala. (11-0)
    Previous rank: 18.
    In the Huddle: The Yellow Jackets launched their bid for the Class 7A state championship topping Jeff Davis (Montgomery), 35-14, in the first round.  They host Auburn this Friday in the 7A quarterfinals.
  1. Covington Catholic, Park Hills, Ky. (12-0)
    Previous rank: 19.
    In the Huddle: The Colonels defense pitched their third shutout of the campaign in defeating Bullitt East (Mount Washington), 49-0.  Casey McGinness ran for three TDs in the first quarter when the score was 42-0.  This weekend the Colonels play at South Oldham (Crestwood) in the 5A quarterfinals.
  1. Christian Brothers, Memphis, Tenn. (11-0)
    Previous rank: 20.
    In the Huddle: After receiving a first-round bye, the Purple Wave beat Father Ryan (Nashville), 22-14, in the Division II Class AAA quarterfinals.  They will play Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville) in the semifinals this Friday.
  1. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (8-2)
    Previous rank: 21.
    In the Huddle: Trailing by four points (14-10) in the third quarter, QB Kevin Doyle’s 34-yard TD pass to Rakim Jarrett was the difference in a 17-14 win over DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals.  It comes down to one game for the WCAC championship against rivals Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) this Saturday at University of Maryland’s Byrd Stadium.
  1. Marist, Atlanta, Ga. (11-0)
    Previous rank: 22.
    In the huddle: The War Eagles downed Madison County (Danielsville), 38-14, in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs.  QB Chase Abshier ran for two scores and tossed a 28-yard TD to John Fitzpatrick.  Chris Zowine added a 48-yard, pick-six.  Next up is Cedartown in the second round this weekend.
  1. Christian Brothers College, St. Louis, Mo. (12-1)
    Previous rank: 23.
    In the Huddle: The Cadets are in the Class 6 state championship game for the third time in four years after dispatching Eureka, 42-7, in the semifinals.  QB Brett Gabbert was sensational, hitting on 16 of 24 passes for 276 yards and three TDs and junior RB Bryan Bradford carried 25 times for 128 yards and a score and now has 13 TDs in the last three games.  Next up is the state final versus Blue Springs on Saturday at Missouri State’s Plaster Stadium in Springfield.
  1. Eastside Catholic, Sammamish, Wash. (10-0)
    Previous rank: 24.
    In the Huddle: The defense scored 21 points and the Crusaders routed Edmonds-Woodway, 42-13, in the Class 3A.  Next is Garfield/Lincoln in the quarterfinals this weekend.
  1. St. Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, N.J. (8-2)
    Previous rank: 25.
    In the Huddle: Crushed Don Bosco Prep, 41-18, in the Non-Public Group 4 first round.  Chase Jones caught three TDs passes and RB Dominic Meleo scored from the 1 and 2 in the first half, and the Marauders meet Paramus Catholic in the semifinals this weekend.
  1. Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic (12-0)
    Previous rank: Not ranked.
    In the Huddle: The Cougars trounced West Caldwell (Lenoir), 43-7, in the Class 3A first round.  RB Milan Howard peeled off a 75-yard TD run on the second play from scrimmage and QB Chris Walton fired TDs from 34, 52 and 30 yards for a 43-0 lead at halftime.  Next up is Stuart Cramer (Belmont) in the second round this Friday.
  1. Chaminade, West Hills, Calif. (9-2)
    Previous rank: 10.
    In the huddle: Lost to Orange Lutheran, 28-25, in the CIF-Southern Section Division I first round.  Season complete.

Dropped out: No. 13 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio).

Others to Consider: St. Pius X (Houston, Texas); Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines, Iowa); Columbus (Miami, Fla.); Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.); De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.); Benedictine Military School (Savannah, Ga.); La Salle (Cincinnati, Ohio); Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.); Bishop McGuinness Catholic (Oklahoma City, Okla.); Blessed Trinity (Roswell, Ga.); Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.); Jesuit (Portland, Ore.); Mount Carmel (Chicago, Ill.); Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood, Fla.); Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.); St. John Vianney (Kirkwood, Mo.); St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio); Juan Diego Catholic (Draper, Utah); and St. Anthony’s (Melville, N.Y.).