2017 Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25, Dec 6, 2017
Presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football
- Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (14-0)
Previous rank: 1.
In the Huddle: USC-bound QB J.T. Daniels put on a show staking the Monarchs to 49-24 victory over No. 12 St. John Bosco (Bellflower) in the CIF-Southern Section Division I championship before nearly 12,000 fans. For coach Bruce Rollinson it was his program’s first sectional crown since 1999. Daniels was clutch, throwing for 299 yards and five touchdowns. Junior Bru McCoy caught three of those scoring strikes. Next up is a Dec. 16 date versus No. 5 De La Salle (Concord) in the CIF Open Division final to be played at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium.
- St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa. (13-0)
Previous rank: 2.
In the Huddle: Defeated Coatesville, 53-49, in the PIAA Class AAAAAA semifinals. Trailing 35-32 after three quarters, the Hawks surged ahead as QB Marquez McCray and RB Kolbe Burrell ran for scores to make it 53-35. The Hawks return to the Class AAAAAA final where they will face Pine-Richland (Gibsonia) this Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey.
- Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas, Nev. (13-2) *
Previous rank: 3.
In the Huddle: The Gaels rolled to their ninth straight state championship, clubbing Reed (Sparks), 48-7, in Class 4A final. Against Nevada teams, the Blue and Orange outscored foes, 574-33. UCLA-bound QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson contributed in all facets scoring on a reception, run and tossing one. Season complete.
- Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (13-0)
Previous rank: 4.
In the huddle: The Ramblers are back in the Class AAAA state final for the third straight year after knocking out Berks Catholic (Reading), 42-24, in the semifinals. Junior RB Billy Lucas had a career-high with 268 rushing yards and five TDs. Next up is Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia) this Thursday in the Class AAAA final at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey.
- De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (11-1)
Previous rank: 5.
In the Huddle: Defeated Pittsburg, 24-7, in the CIF-North Coast Section Open Division final. The Spartans have captured 26 straight sectional titles, starting in 1992. Next up is a Dec. 16 date versus No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) in the CIF Open Division final to be played at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium. A Spartans win would upset the #CACTop25 rankings.
- Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (15-0) *
Previous rank: 6.
In the Huddle: For the second straight season, the Shamrocks are perfect in 15 games and bagged a state title. Texas-bound Rondale Moore closed out a stellar prep career with 288 yards of offense and three scores in a 38-21 win over rivals St. Xavier (Louisville) in the Class 6A final. Moore rushed for 174 yards and TDs from 3 and 93 yards and caught 5 balls for 119 yards and a score. QB Nick Bohn was 19 of 26 for 174 yards and three TDs. Interesting footnote—Bohn set a new state-record for completion percentage of 79.7% (290 of 364), eclipsing the mark of 75.1 (by Tim Couch of Leslie County in 1994). Season complete.
- St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (12-0) *
Previous rank: 7.
In the Huddle: Won a second straight MIAA A Conference championship. The Panthers were invited to play in the GEICO High School Bowl Series on Dec. 23 in Phoenix, Ariz.
- 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. (11-3)
Previous rank: 9.
In the Huddle: Lost to No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana), 49-24, in the CIF-Southern Section Division I final. The Braves trailed 21-10 at halftime. Sophomore quarterback DJ Uiagalelei tossed two TD passes. Two of the Braves’ losses were to the top-ranked Monarchs, who they faced in Trinity League action in October. Season complete.
- Archbishop Wood, Warminster, Pa. (11-2)
Previous rank: 11.
In the Huddle: RB Nasir Peoples, a Virginia Tech recruit, carried 23 times for 151 yards and three TDs during a 49-28 victory over Unionville in the PIAA Class AAAAA semifinals. DE Bill Shaeffer returned a fumble 34 yards for a score, pacing the defense. The Vikings are back at Hersheypark Stadium for the Class AAAAA final this Friday against the WPIAL champions Gateway (Monroeville).
- Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (10-2) *
Previous rank: 12.
In the huddle: The Crusaders left little doubt when they dismantled then-No. 22 St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City), 44-7, in the Non-Public Group 4 final. It was the program’s first state title since 2004 and ninth straight win. Boston College-bound QB Johnny Langan tossed a pair of TDs and scooted for two more, but it was his scoring pass to Tyler DeVera with 3 seconds left in the first half that made it 31-0. With 3:33 left in the first, BC led built a 14-0 when Rahmir Johnson took a screen-and-lateral 19 yards to the house. Season complete.
- McGill-Toolen Catholic, Mobile, Ala. (13-0)
Previous rank: 14.
In the Huddle: Idle. The Yellow Jacket play Hoover tonight in the 7A final at University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
- Covington Catholic, Park Hills, Ky. (15-0) *
Previous rank: 15.
In the Huddle: QB A.J. Mayer rushed for three scores and passed for 337 yards and three more scores and the Colonels completed the program’s first-ever 15-0 season, burying Madison Southern (Berea), 49-13, in the Class 5A championship game. It was the Colonels’ first title since 2006 and the seventh in overall. Mayer, a Miami (Ohio) recruit, was the Most Valuable Player of the game and finished the campaign with 3,114 yards and 40 TDs passing—both program single-season records. Season complete.
- 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. (14-0)
Previous rank: 17.
In the huddle: Matthew Houghton’s 55-yard TD off a deflected pass from QB Chase Abshire proved too much, swinging the momentum in favor of the War Eagles in a 35-14 win over St. Pius (Atlanta) in the Class AAAA semifinals. Trailing 7-0, Abshire triggered a 35-0 run, manufacturing four TDs, two rushing and two in the air. Next up is the renewal of a rivalry when the War Eagles face Blessed Trinity (Roswell) in the Class AAAA final this Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
- Christian Brothers College, St. Louis, Mo. (13-1) *
Previous rank: 18.
In the Huddle: Won 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. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (11-3)
Previous rank: 10.
In the Huddle: Lost to Venice, 27-20, in the Class 7A semifinals. Season complete.
- St. Ignatius, Cleveland, Ohio (11-2)
Previous rank: 20.
In the Huddle: Advanced to Division I, Region 1 final. Season complete.
- Archbishop Hoban, Akron, Ohio (14-1) *
Previous ranked: Not ranked.
In the Huddle: Won the Division II state championship, topping Winton Woods (Cincinnati), 42-14. Freshman QB Shane Hamm hit on 8 of 13 passed for 243 yards and four TDs. The Knights had previously won the last two Division III titles. Garrett Houser and junior Mason Tipton each caught two TDs and the Knight improved to 42-3 over the past three campaigns. Season complete.
- St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (11-2)
Previous rank: 21.
In the Huddle: Advanced to Division I, Region 4 final. Season complete.
- Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic (15-0)
Previous rank: 23.
In the Huddle: Sophomore RB Lamagea McDowell ran for 101 yards and two TDs on carries and the defense forced six turnovers in a 33-15 victory over J.M. Robinson (Concord) in the 3A Western Regional final. The Cougars move into the Class 3A final this Saturday against Havelock at Duke University’s Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham.
- De La Salle, Warren, Mich. (12-2) *
Previous rank: 24.
In the huddle: Won the Division 2 state championship. Season complete.
- St. Pius X, Houston, Texas (10-1)
Previous ranked: Not ranked.
In the Huddle: QB Grant Gunnell passed for 270 yards and two TDs leading the Panthers over then-No. 13 Bishop Lynch (Dallas) in the TAPPS Division I semifinals. It was 14-9 at halftime but the Panthers scored 14 points in the third for a 28-9 edge. Next up is the state final against Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano) this Saturday at Panther Stadium in Midway.
- 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. 13 Bishop Lynch (Dallas, Texas); and No. 22 St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.)
Others to Consider: Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.); DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.)*; St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.); 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.); St. Peter’s Prep, (Jersey City, N.J.); Bishop Lynch (Dallas, Texas); St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.); Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.), and Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)*.
* Won state, sectional or conference/league postseason championship