2017 Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25, Nov 29, 2017
Presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football
- Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (12-0)
Previous rank: 1.
In the Huddle: Coach Bruce Rollinson’s team is firing on all cylinders and last weekend’s result is proof. The Monarchs had little trouble eliminating previously unbeaten and nationally ranked Mission Viejo, 49-21, in the CIF-Southern Section Division I semifinal. USC-bound junior QB J.T. Daniels passed for 199 yards on 10 of 18 accuracy and two touchdowns and ran for another, and sophomore RB Chris Street scored two TDs. The Monarchs put the game away in the second quarter with 21 points for a 35-7 lead at the break. Now it’s showdown time in southern California this Saturday with the Division I sectional championship at stake against rivals No. 9 St. John Bosco (Bellflower) in at Cerritos College in Norwalk.
- St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa. (12-0)
Previous rank: 2.
In the Huddle: It’s getting down to the nitty-gritty in Pennsylvania’s largest classification. The Hawks were nearly flawless following a 49-14 blowout of previously unbeaten Parkland (Allentown) in the PIAA Class AAAAAA quarterfinals. The Hawks rolled to their 26th straight win as QB Marquez McCray rushed 10 times for 88 yards and a score and threw for 186 yards and two TDs, including one to WR Brandon Sanders, who finished with 4 receptions for 101 yards. RB Kolbe Burrell ran for three TDs but a 94-yard kickoff return for a score by Marques Mason turned the game in favor of coach Gabe Infante’s crew. Next up is Coatesville in the Class AAAAAA semifinals this Friday to be played at Downingtown West High School.
- Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas, Nev. (12-2)
Previous rank: 3.
In the Huddle: The Gaels defeated Liberty (Henderson, Nev.), 35-13, in the Class 4A semifinals. UCLA-bound QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson hit on 24 of 26 passes for 242 yards and three scores. Brevin Jordan, a Miami pledge, caught 7 balls for 57 yards and a score. The Gaels go for a ninth straight state championship this Saturday against Reed (Sparks) in the Class 4A final at University of Nevada’s Mackay Stadium in Reno.
- Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (12-0)
Previous rank: 4.
In the huddle: QB Joe Mischler, an Ohio recruit, rushed for two TDs and passed for another as the Ramblers routed Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson Hills), 42-17 in the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinals. The Ramblers trailed for the first time this season against a Pennsylvania school at 3-0 early but responded when Billy Lucas rumbled 33 yards for a 7-3 lead. It quickly went downhill for the WPIAL AAAA champions after that. Next up for the Ramblers is Berks Catholic (Reading) in the Class AAAA semifinals this Friday in Somerset.
- De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (10-1)
Previous rank: 5.
In the Huddle: Idle. The Spartans play Pittsburg the CIF-North Coast Section Open Division championship game on Dec. 2 in Dublin
- Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (14-0)
Previous rank: 6.
In the Huddle: The Shamrocks are back in the state final after walloping Central Hardin (Cecelia), 49-3, in the Class 6A semifinals. The Rocks have put up 70, 51, 49 and 49 points in four postseason games and average nearly 42 points per game this season. They will need that effort against a bitter rivals St. Xavier (Louisville) this Sunday for the state title at University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field in Lexington.
- St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (12-0)*
Previous rank: 7.
In the Huddle: Won second straight MIAA A Conference championship. Season complete.
- Saint Louis, Honolulu, Hawaii (10-0)*
Previous rank: 8.
In the huddle: The Crusaders completed their first undefeated season since 1996, capturing the in Division I-Open Division. Season complete.
- St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (11-2)
Previous rank: 9.
In the Huddle: The Braves clubbed nationally ranked Corona (Calif.) Centennial, 62-34, in the CIF-Southern Section Division I semifinals. Sophomore quarterback DJ Uiagalelei accounted for five TDs, three rushing and two in the air. Now the rematch everyone in southern California has been waiting for is for the title against No. 1 and league rivals Mater Dei (Santa Ana) in the Division I final.
- St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (11-2)
Previous rank: 10.
In the Huddle: The Raiders are in postseason form and dismantled Doral Academy (Miami), 48-6, in the Class 7A, Region 4 final. Junior RB Daniel Carter rushed for a pair of TDs, Tavares Kelly added a 38-yard punt return for a score and DT Coleman Crozier had a 4-yard fumble return for a score. This Friday there’s a treacherous road game ahead for the reigning state champions at Venice in the 7A semifinals.
- Archbishop Wood, Warminster, Pa. (10-2)
Previous rank: 11.
In the Huddle: The Vikings took out Wyoming Valley West (Plymouth), 41-14, in the PIAA Class AAAAA quarterfinals. The running tandem of Nasir Peoples and Adrian Lambert scored two TDs apiece. For the third straight season, they face Unionville in the state semifinals this Friday at Northeast High School in Philadelphia.
- Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (9-2)
Previous rank: 12.
In the huddle: Idle. The Crusaders play No. 22 St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City) for the Non-Public Group 4 state title at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford this Friday.
- Bishop Lynch, Dallas, Texas (12-0)
Previous rank: 13.
In the Huddle: Unleashing a punishing ground game, the Friars crushed Parish Episcopal (Dallas), 42-7, in the TAPPS Division I quarterfinals. Jordan Hudson rushed for 216 yards and two TDs and Jacob Lewis ran for scores from 19, 39 and 15 yards. The Friars travel to Georgetown for the state semifinals to play 9-1 St. Pius X (Houston) this Saturday.
- McGill-Toolen Catholic, Mobile, Ala. (13-0)
Previous rank: 14.
In the Huddle: The Yellow Jackets’ DB Bryceson Massey blocked an extra-point in overtime to edge Phoenix City Central, 27-26, in the Class 7A semifinals. Next up is Dec. 6 versus Hoover in the 7A final at University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
- Covington Catholic, Park Hills, Ky. (14-0)
Previous rank: 15.
In the Huddle: Coach Eddie Eviston’s team steamrolled South Warren (Bowling Green), 43-7, in the Class 5A semifinals. The margin of victory in four playoff games is more than 42 points. There’s only one game left, but it’s for the Class 5A championship this Saturday against 11-3 Madison Southern (Berea) at Kroger Stadium in Lexington.
- St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (9-2)*
Previous rank: 16.
In the Huddle: Won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship for the first time since 1989. Season complete.
- Marist, Atlanta, Ga. (13-0)
Previous rank: 17.
In the huddle: Four different players found the end zone as the War Eagles dispatched previously unbeaten Burke County (Waynesboro), 28-6, in the Class AAAA quarters. Leading 14-6 at halftime, Kyle Hamilton’s 39-yard reverse TD run pushed the score to 21-6 and Chris Zowine added the final six-pointer in the fourth quarter. This Friday, the War Eagles host St. Pius X (Atlanta) in the Class AAAA semifinals.
- Christian Brothers College, St. Louis, Mo. (13-1)*
Previous rank: 18.
In the Huddle: Won the Class 6 state championship. Season complete.
- Dowling Catholic, West Des Moines, Iowa, (12-1)*
Previous rank: 19.
In the huddle: Won a fifth straight Class 4A state championship. Season complete.
- St. Ignatius, Cleveland, Ohio (11-2)
Previous rank: 20.
In the Huddle: Advanced to the Division I, Region 1 final. Season complete.
- St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (11-2)
Previous rank: 21.
In the Huddle: Advanced to the Division I, Region 4 final. Season complete.
- St. Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, N.J. (9-2)
Previous rank: 22.
In the Huddle: Idle. Next up is the Non-Public Group 4 final against No. 12 Bergen Catholic (Oradell) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford this Friday.
- Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic (14-0)
Previous rank: 23.
In the Huddle: The Cougars scored on their first five possessions and Milan Howard and Lamagea McDowell rushed for a pair of TDs apiece in a 42-7 victory over Weddington (Matthews) in the third round of the Class 3A playoffs. Next up is J.M. Robinson (Concord) in the 3A Western Regional final this Friday.
- De La Salle, Warren, Mich. (12-2)*
Previous rank: Not ranked.
In the huddle: The Detroit Catholic League champions rolled to the Division 2 state championship, crushing Franklin (Livonia), 41-6, at Ford Field in Detroit. QB Luke Pfromm completed 10 of 12 passes for 207 yards and two TDs and WR Evan Vaillancourt had 3 receptions for 140 yards and a score. The Pilots led 7-0 in the first quarter but exploded for 31 in the second quarter to take control. It was the program’s first title since the 2014 season. Season complete.
- Chaminade, West Hills, Calif. (9-2)
Previous rank: 25.
In the huddle: Lost in the CIF-Southern Section Division I first round. Season complete.
Dropped out: No. 24 Columbus (Miami, Fla.).
Others to Consider: St. Pius X (Houston, Texas); Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.); St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.); St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.); Bishop Carroll Catholic (Wichita, Kan.)*; Columbus (Miami, Fla.); Benedictine Military School (Savannah, Ga.); Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.); Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.); Bishop McGuinness Catholic (Oklahoma City, Okla.); Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.)*; Blessed Trinity (Roswell, Ga.); Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.); 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)*; Catholic Central (Grand Rapids, Mich.)*; Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.); Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio); Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.), and Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)*.
* Won state, sectional or conference / league postseason championship