SBLive Power 25: De Smet Jesuit returns, St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida) debuts in national football rankings

The 2020 high school football season continued across the country this week with 21 SBLive Power 25 teams taking the field. Twenty of the squads that were included in last week’s Power 25 won, with the exception of Shadow Creek (Pearland, Texas) who fell to Bridgeland (Cypress, Texas), 27-21 and No. 20 Guyer (Denton, Texas), who fell to No. 11 Ryan (Denton, Texas), 23-20. Shadow Creek was without star quarterback Kyron Drones in their game. He’s committed to Baylor.

Three teams entered the Power 25 this week: St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), De Smet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.) and Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.). These additions as well as this past week’s results caused a lot of movement in the rankings.

SBLIVE POWER 25: PRESEASON | WEEK 1 | WEEK 2 | WEEK 3 | WEEK 4 | WEEK 5

The SBLive Power 25 rankings are compiled by SBLive reporter Connor Morrissette based on observations and conversations with an extensive network of coaching and media sources across the country.

As with everything in the COVID-19 era, the rankings will be fluid week-to-week and only include teams that are scheduled to play football in 2020. We will publish separate rankings later in the year for all schools scheduled to play football in 2021.

Here are the 35 states already playing football or scheduled to play football in 2020: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Texas, Utah, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Kansas, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maine, Wisconsin, South Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan, Delaware, Minnesota, Colorado and Louisiana.

Here are the states and districts that have officially moved high school football to 2021: California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, Hawaii, Rhode Island, New York and Vermont.

*(Note: School districts in South Florida — which includes Miami-Dade and Broward counties — have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 and have not announced when they will allow their public schools to play football. Because of the uncertainty around when the season will start in those counties, we did not include them in our rankings. We will include schools from those counties in future rankings if they begin play in 2020. Here is the latest update on high school football in the region from the Miami Herald.)

sblive power 25

Oct. 3, 2020

1. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), 4-0

Next game: Oct. 10 at No. 5 Duncanville (Texas)

Last result: 52-8 win Life Christian Academy (Chester, VA)

Last week’s ranking: No. 1

Ranking rationale: Jacorey Brooks took a swing pass from JJ McCarthy and went 77-yards for an IMG Academy touchdown on the Ascenders’ first possession on Saturday. 46 seconds into the game it was 14-0 IMG following a Malik Bryant strip sack and then a McCarthy rushing TD.

IMG Academy plays No. 5 Duncanville next week, which will be one of the only matchups between two out of state Power 25 teams in 2020. Similarly to IMG vs. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) in 2018, this matchup has the potential to be the regular season game of the year nationally.

IMG has six players listed in the top 50 of 247Sports.com’s 2021 Florida recruiting rankings and nine listed on the website’s top 50 for 2022. No one in the country playing in 2020 can compete with that type of roster.

img qb jj mccarthy
JJ McCarthy

2. North Shore (Houston, Texas), 2-0

Next game: Oct. 9 vs. Willis (Texas)

Last result: 30-23 win over Klein Collins (Spring, Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 2

Ranking rationale: Klein Collins gave North Shore everything it could handle, on Friday, but in the end, the No. 2 team in the Power 25 hung on to move to 2-0.

Led by Auburn quarterback commit Dematrius Davis, North Shore has one of the best offense’s in the country. But it was the Mustangs’ defense that won them the game on Friday. The unit didn’t allow any fourth quarter points.

North Shore has won two 6A Division 1 championships in a row in Texas.

Dematrius Davis

3. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), (0-0)

Season opener: Oct. 16 vs. TRU Prep Academy (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: NR

Ranking rationale: Following months of uncertainty, St. Thomas Aquinas will play football in 2020 and the Raiders will be eligible for the Florida high school football playoffs.

Aquinas checks in at No. 3 in the Power 25 because of their overwhelming talent. The team is loaded. The Raiders have six players listed in the top 50 of 247Sports’ 2021 Florida player rankings. Alabama defensive line commit Dallas Turner leads the way at No. 7. Junior quarterback Zion Turner has received scholarship offers from LSU and Miami, among others.

Last year’s St. Thomas Aquinas team went 15-0 and won a 7A title in Florida. This year’s group should go undefeated again.

4. Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), 4-0

Next game: Oct. 9 vs. Mill Creek (Hoschton, Ga.)

Last result: 26-7 win over Archer (Lawrenceville, Ga.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 3

Ranking rationale: Grayson’s defense continued to dominate in their win two weeks ago, just like it as it has done all season. The Rams caused five fumbles and recovered three in their 26-7 win over rival Archer. Through four games, Grayson gives up an average of only 12 points per contest.

On offense, senior running back Phil Mafah (Clemson commit) led the Rams with 21 carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

Phil Mafaf

5. Duncanville (Texas), 1-0

Next game: Oct. 10 vs. No. 1 IMG Academy

Last result: 41-3 win over South Oak Cliff (Dallas, Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 4

Ranking rationale: Duncanville has one of the scariest defenses in the country and that was on full display on Friday. The Panthers led 17-0 at halftime.

Senior quarterback Grayson James completed 13-of-21 passes for 205 yards and 2 TDs in the win.

IMG awaits…

No Title

@Grayson1James with a dime on this play as well.Tonight was a great way to start of the season for him. https://t.co/CyDxDtmRTY

6. St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.), 0-0

Season opener: Oct. 17 vs. La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 5

Ranking rationale: Last year’s St. Joseph Prep team won a 6A championship in Pennsylvania and this year’s squad is even better.

Ohio State QB commit Kyle McCord is back for his senior season along with receiver Marvin Harrison Jr, another Buckeye pledge. The Hawks also return linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr., a Clemson commit, and Sahmir Hagans, a Duke commit who plays on offense, defense and special teams.

Kyle McCord

7. Katy (Texas), 2-0

Next game: Oct. 9 vs. Seven Lakes (Katy, Texas)

Last result: 66-21 win over Cypress Woods (Cypress, Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 6

Ranking rationale: Katy had 422 total yards of offense in their first game since former starting quarterback Bronson McClelland withdrew from the school.

That is huge for a team that didn’t look right offensively in their opener, a 28-13 win over Clear Springs. Sophomore quarterback Caleb Koger started Saturday’s game and led Katy to a touchdown on their first possession. Running back Jalen Davis rushed for three scores in the win.

No Title

@FGarza2021 15-yard scoring pass from Caleb Koger as this one is officially out of hand. 42-0 Katy, 9:24, 2Q. @FootballKaty has touchdowns on all six of its possessions so far. #txhsfb pic.twitter.com/ctvqFOLVUn

8. Chandler (Ariz.), 1-0

Next game: Oct. 9 vs. Pinnacle (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Last result: 44-10 win over Liberty (Peoria, Ariz.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 7

Ranking rationale: UCF QB commit Mikey Keene completed 14 of 22 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns in Chandler’s season opening win. Eli Sanders had 22 carries for 132 yards and a score.

Expect Chandler to win comfortably until they meet Power 25 No. 25 Hamilton on Nov. 20.

Eli Sanders

9. Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.), 4-0

Next game: Oct. 9 at Valdosta (Ga.)

Last result: 38-13 win over Lee County (Leesburg, Ga.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 8

Ranking rationale: Star junior quarterback Jacurri Brown ran for a 65-yard touchdown in the first quarter to put Lowndes ahead 9-0 and the Vikings never looked back in their win two weeks ago.

Lowndes plays Valdosta (Ga.) next, which will be a challenging game, but expect Lowndes to win. Valdosta senior quarterback Jake Garcia (USC commit) has been ruled ineligible due to a violation of transfer rules.

Brown

10. Westlake (Austin, Texas), 2-0

Next game: Oct. 9 vs. Del Valle (Texas)

Last result: 56-0 win vs. Midway (Waco, Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 9

Ranking rationale: Westlake had an easy time with Midway on Friday.  Junior quarterback Cade Klubnik completed 16 of 21 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns. Senior running back Zane Minors ran for 101 yards and a score in the win.

Westlake won the 6A Division 2 title in Texas a year ago and should make a deep postseason run again in 2020.

Klubnik

11. Ryan (Denton, Texas), 2-0

Next game: Oct. 9 at Reedy (Frisco, Texas)

Last result: 23-20 win over No. 18 Guyer (Denton, Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 10

Ranking rationale: Memphis commit Seth Henigan was 9-16 passing for 109 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the game. He also rushed for 101 yards on nine carries.

Ryan, a 5A school in Texas, has now beaten two 6A teams to begin the season. They have made two big statements in their first two weeks. The Raiders are heavy favorites to win another 5A title in 2020.

12. De Smet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.), (0-0)

Season opener: Oct 10 vs. Christian Brothers (St. Louis, Mo.)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: NR

Ranking rationale: Similarly to St. Thomas Aquinas, it didn’t look like De Smet would be playing football this fall, but that has changed in the last few weeks.

“To be able to get back out there and defend a State Championship is huge for those kids,” De Smet Athletic Director John Pukala told St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV

De Smet is officially a national powerhouse following last year’s 14-0 record and state title run. Head coach Robert Steeples deserves a lot of credit.

Eight De Smet seniors are committed to Division 1 programs headlined by cornerback Jakailin Johnson, an Ohio State commit.

Christian Brothers, De Smet’s week one opponent, is the second best team in the state. This won’t be an easy opener.

Jakailin Johnson

13. Trinity (Louisville, Ky.), 3-0

Next game: Oct. 9 vs. Ballard (Louisville, Ky.)

Last result: 48-10 win over St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 11

Ranking rationale: Trinity starts 11 seniors on defense, a unit that is one of the best in the nation. Michael Patterson and Kyle Feger both had pick-sixes in Friday’s win over St. Xavier. The Shamrocks won a 6A championship in Kentucky last year and are in a great position to do so again in 2020.

Patterson

14. Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah), 8-0

Next game: Oct. 9 at Skyridge (Lehi, Utah)

Last result: 56-17 win over Westlake (Saratoga Springs, Utah)

Last week’s ranking: No. 13

Ranking rationale: Senior quarterback Jaxon Dart threw for seven touchdowns in Friday’s win. 50% of his completions went for scores. Dart has thrown 38 touchdowns and one interception this season. He’s been remarkable.

Corner Canyon plays Skyridge next, a top three team in Utah.

corner canyon utah football
(Jaxson Dart feature photo by @astrongphotography)

15. Dutch Fork (Irmo, S.C.), 2-0

Next game Oct. 9 at River Bluff (Lexington, S.C.)

Last result: 51-12 win over Chapin (S.C.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 14

Ranking rationale: Friday’s game was over at halftime with Dutch Fork leading 34-0. Sophomore tailback Jarvis Green rushed for a three yard touchdown on Dutch Fork’s opening drive and from there the Silver Foxes didn’t let up.

Dutch Fork has won four state championships in a row. A year ago, the Silver Foxes went 14-0-1 to win a AAAAA state crown.

Jarvis Gre

16. Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), 1-0

Next game: Oct. 9 at Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.)

Last result: 24-21 win over St. Joseph Regional (Montvale)

Last week’s ranking: No. 17

Ranking rationale: Bergen Catholic moves up a spot following their 24-21 win over a very talented St. Joseph Regional team. 2022 running back Ryan Butler scored three touchdowns in the game. Bergen Catholic’s Christian Ross clinched the win with a sack.

Ryan Butler

17. Thompson (Alabaster, Ala.), 7-0

Next game: Oct. 9 at Gadsden City (Ala.)

Last result: 38-9 win over Vestavia Hills (Ala.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 18

Ranking rationale: Thompson has clearly established itself as the top team in Alabama, so they move up a spot.

In this week’s win, junior Ryan Peppins scored on a 99-yard kickoff return and also hauled in two touchdown receptions from quarterback Conner Harrell.

The Alabama regular season game of the year comes on Oct. 23 when Thompson hosts Hoover (Ala.).

Conner Harrell – Courtesy: alabama7afootball.com

18. Carroll (Southlake, Texas), 1-0

Next game: Oct. 8 at Rockwall (Texas)

Last result: 72-57 win over Rockwall-Heath (Rockwall, Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 16

Ranking rationale: University of Texas junior quarterback commit Quinn Ewers completed 21 of 27 passes for 388 yards and five TDs in Carroll’s opener. Three of the touchdowns went to senior receiver Brady Boyd. Sophomore running back Owen Allen had 28 carries for 218 yards and five touchdowns. Carroll finished the game with 800 yards of offense.

The Dragons returned just one defensive starter from a year ago and that unit let up 664 yards of offense on Friday. That won’t be sustainable.

Hosting No. 20 Guyer on Oct. 16 will be Carroll’s biggest test of the regular season. That will serve as a great benchmark game for their defense.

Ewers

19. Allen (Texas), 2-0

Next game Oct. 9 at Cedar Hill (Texas)

Last result: 52-27 win over Atascocita (Humble, Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 19

Ranking rationale: Allen scored on its first five possessions of the game on Friday leading to a blowout win over a good Atascocita team. Senior receivers Blaine and Bryson Green dominated in this game. Blaine caught four passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns and Bryson snagged five passes for 112 yards in the win. Allen could be a sneaky 6A contender in Texas in 2020…

The Green twins

20. Guyer (Denton, Texas), 1-1

Next game: Oct. 8 vs. Lake Ridge (Mansfield, Texas)

Last result: 23-20 loss to No. 11 Ryan (Denton, Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 12

Ranking rationale: Guyer struggled with Ryan’s defense in their game on Friday. Texas A&M commit Eli Stowers was 5-10 passing for just 39 yards in the loss. He added 28 yards on nine carries.

The good news for the Wildcats is that they have a shot at moving back up in the rankings later this season with games against No. 18 Southlake Carroll on Oct. 16 and No. 19 Allen on Nov. 13.

Stowers

21. Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio), 6-0

Next game: Oct. 9 vs. Grove City (Ohio)

Last result: 38-13 win over Reynoldsburg (Ohio)

Last week’s ranking: No. 20

Ranking rationale: Another week, another easy win for a Tigers team that wrapped up the regular season at 6-0. The playoffs in Ohio begin this week, with Pickerington Central taking on a 2-4 Grove City team. The Tigers are the top team in their playoff region.

After winning Division 1 in Ohio a year ago and returning a number of key players including senior receiver Lorenzo Styles Jr. (Notre Dame commit), senior running back Nick Mosley (Bowling Green commit) and sophomore defensive back Sonny Styles, Pickerington Central will be the top team in Ohio until someone knocks them off in the playoffs.

Lorenzo Styles Jr.

22. St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.), 1-0

Next game: Oct. 10 vs. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)

Last result: 62-21 win over West Orange (N.J.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 21

Ranking rationale: Senior Virginia Tech quarterback commit Tahj Bullock completed 12 of 13 passes on Friday for 215 yards and five touchdowns in a dominating season opening win.

St. Peter’s Prep won the Non-Public Group 4 championship in New Jersey last season beating Don Bosco Prep 21-14. Those teams meet on Saturday. Non-Public Group 4 is one of the toughest championships to win in the country. St. Peter’s Prep plays No. 16 Bergen Catholic on Nov. 7.

Bullock

23. Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), 7-0

Next game: Oct. 9 at Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Last result: 57-14 win over Pike (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 22

Ranking rationale: For the second week in a row, five different players scored touchdowns for Center Grove on Friday in another dominating win. Senior running back Carson Steele scored four (three on the ground and one in the air).

The Trojans have outscored their opponents 323-40 this season. Center Grove is a very balanced team, but defense is what makes the Trojans a Power 25 team.

Center Grove takes on Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) on Oct. 16. That will be the Trojans toughest game of the year.

Carson Steele

24. American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), 3-0

Next game: Oct. 16 vs. Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Last result: 35-10 win over Bartram Trail (St. John’s, Fla.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 23

Ranking rationale: Sophomore running back Mark Fletcher rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown on Friday. Junior linebacker Marvin Jones scored a touchdown on a fumble he recovered. Jones is a top 50 player nationally in the 2022 class, per 247Sports.com.

American Heritage is not a Broward County Athletic Association school, so the Patriots were able to start their season ahead of public schools in the county.

On Nov. 6 American Heritage plays No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas.

Marvin Jones

25. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), 1-0

Next game: Oct. 9 vs. Perry (Gilbert, Az.)

Last result: 42-0 win over Centennial (Peoria, Az.)

Last week’s ranking: NR

Ranking rationale: By dismantling a very good Centennial team, Hamilton moves into the Power 25 this week. Three transfers from Colorado have made a major difference for the Huskies.

Quarterback Nicco Marchiol passed for a touchdown and ran for another, running back Noah Schmidt had two long, dazzling runs, including a 54-yard score, and safety Jack Howell thanked the defensive front for an easy night for him with a dominant display against the biggest line it will see.

AZCentral.com

Hamilton will be a very tough team to beat in 2020. On Nov. 20, Hamilton plays No. 8 Chandler.

Marchiol

DROPPED OUT

Shadow Creek (Pearland, Texas), Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio) and Hoover (Ala.)

MOVED IN

St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), De Smet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.) and Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)

TEAMS ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN (among teams that have started playing)

  • Colquitt County (Norman Park, Ga.) (3-0): Following a win over Valdosta two weeks ago, Colquitt County looks like the third best team in Georgia.
  • Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio) (5-0): With St. Thomas Aquinas and De Smet set to officially begin their seasons, Archbishop Hoban missed the cut for this week’s Power 25. But make no mistake, the Knights are still very much on our radar.
  • Hoover (Ala.) (7-0): Hoover is perfect on the year, but has won some games by thin margins so they miss the cut this week.
  • Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) (7-0): An Oct. 16 date with Center Grove will determine Cathedral’s Power 25 fate.
  • DeSoto (Texas) (1-0): Beating a good Converse Judson team 37-0 puts DeSoto firmly in the Power 25 discussion.

OTHER TEAMS ON OUR RADAR

Alabama: Auburn

Arizona: Saguaro

Arkansas: Bryant

Florida: Chaminade-Madonna, Miami Northwestern, Miami Central, Booker T. Washington, Orlando Edgewater and Deerfield Beach

Georgia: Lovejoy

Louisiana: Archbishop Rummel, John Curtis Christian, Baton Rouge Catholic, Brother Martin, Acadiana and Holy Cross

New Jersey: Don Bosco Prep and St. Joseph Montvale

Ohio: Dublin Coffman, Washington (Massillon), St. Edward and Mentor

Oklahoma: Bixby and Owasso

Texas: Lake Travis, North Forney, Parish Episcopal, Martin, Cypress-Fairbanks, Shadow Creek, Ennis, Spring Westfield and Aledo.

Utah: Lone Peak and Skyridge

SBLIVE POWER 25:

PRESEASON RANKINGS

WEEK 1 RANKINGS

WEEK 2 RANKINGS

WEEK 3 RANKINGS

WEEK 4 RANKINGS

WEEK 5 RANKINGS

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