SBLive Power 25: Miami Northwestern, Colquitt County (Georgia) debut in national football rankings

The 2020 high school football season continued across the country this week with 22 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 Carroll (Southlake, Texas) who lost to Rockwall (Texas) 44-42 and No. 7 Duncanville (Texas) who fell to No. 1 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 41-14.

Two teams entered the Power 25 this week: No. 12 Northwestern (Miami, Fla.) and No. 22 Colquitt County (Norman Park, Ga.). Northwestern would have been a preseason Power 25 team, but there was uncertainty about whether they’d be able to play football in the fall due to COVID-19. Northwestern opens its season Oct. 23 against Central (Miami, Fla.).

SBLIVE POWER 25: PRESEASON | WEEK 1 | WEEK 2 | WEEK 3 | WEEK 4 | WEEK 5 | WEEK 6

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.

sblive power 25

Oct. 10, 2020

1. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), 5-0

Next game: Oct. 16 vs. Bishop Sycamore (Columbus, Ohio)

Last result: 41-14 win over at No. 7 Duncanville (Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 1

Ranking rationale: IMG trailed 7-3 in Saturday’s battle between two high school football titans, but then dominated the rest of the way to win 41-14.

Senior quarterback JJ McCarthy (Michigan commit) threw for 250 yards and three scores in the game for IMG. Senior safety Omar Burroughs (Kansas commit) had a second half interception.

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), 3-0

Next game: Oct. 16 at Manvel (Texas)

Last result: 48-21 win over Willis (Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 2

Ranking rationale: North Shore quarterback and Auburn commit Dematrius Davis completed 12 of 14 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns in Friday’s win.

The Mustangs rattled off 35 unanswered points at one point in their victory.

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: 3

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.), 5-0

Next game: Oct. 16 at South Gwinnett (Snellville, Ga.)

Last result: 20-13 win over Mill Creek (Hoschton, Ga.) (2OT)

Last week’s ranking: No. 4

Ranking rationale: Grayson has one of the best defenses in the country, but there is no denying that the Rams have struggled on offense at times this season. Before the year started, Grayson had the potential to be one of the best teams the state has ever produced. But that was with quarterback Carlos Del-Rio in the fold, who has since been ruled ineligible to play due to a transfer violation and has left the school. He’s committed to Florida.

Grayson put up just six points in regulation on Friday. Even though Mill Creek is a very good team, that’s still a surprise. That same night No. 9 Lowndes, Grayson’s main competitor in Georgia’s 7A classification, put up 31 points in a win against Valdosta, another Georgia power.

We’re keeping Grayson at No. 4 this week because they’re still undefeated, but they look like a team who may drop a game in the near future, especially with two of the top teams in 7A on the schedule in the next three weeks (Parkview and Brookwood).

Let’s see how the Rams respond.

Running back Phil Mafaf – Clemson commit

5. Chandler (Ariz.), 2-0

Next game: Oct. 16 vs. Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.)

Last result: 64-0 win over Pinnacle

Last week’s ranking: No. 8

Ranking rationale: Chandler moves into the top five this week following a 64-0 demolition of Pinnacle, an Open Division team in Arizona a year ago. The Wolves could give anyone in the country a game.

Chandler is loaded with talent, from quarterback Mikey Keene to running backs Eli Sanders (Boise State commit) and Nicolas Nesbitt, plus wide receiver Jalen Richmond (Boise State commit). The Wolves have the best receiving corps in Arizona and the best defense, led by defensive end Brandon Buckner, an Oregon commit.

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

Eli Sanders

6. St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.), 1-0

Next game: Oct. 17 vs. La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.)

Last result: 41-24 win over Life Christian Academy (Chester, Va.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 6

Ranking rationale: Saturday’s scoreline is a little deceiving. St. Joseph’s led 28-0 at halftime and Life Christian also scored on the final play of the game.

Ohio State QB commit Kyle McCord hit Marvin Harrison Jr., another Ohio State commit, for a 38-yard TD pass to put the Hawks up 28-0 right before halftime on Saturday.

Once St. Joseph’s Prep gets a few games under their belt, they’ll be a contender for a top five position and maybe even a spot in the top three. This team is legit.

Kyle McCord

7. Duncanville (Texas), 1-1

Next game: Oct. 23 at Waco (Texas)

Last result: 41-14 loss to No. 1 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 5

Ranking rationale: Duncanville looked like a team that was playing its second game of the season and IMG played like a well oiled machine in Saturday’s game between the two heavyweights.

Senior quarterback Grayson James threw two touchdowns in the game, but also had an interception. Running back Da’Myrion Coleman lost a fumble. In a non-COVID year, this game may have been more of a spectacle.

Right now, Duncanville is still the second best team in Texas, so although the Panthers moved down to No. 7 this week, they don’t fall too far.

8. Katy (Texas), 3-0

Next game: Oct. 16 at Tompkins (Katy, Texas)

Last result: 59-3 win over Seven Lakes (Katy, Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 7

Ranking rationale: Katy’s defense was always going to be good in 2020, but there were questions on offense, especially after former starting quarterback Bronson McClelland withdrew from the school.

Two sophomores have stepped in on the offensive side and made a huge difference for the Tigers: quarterback Caleb Koger and running back Seth Davis.

Koger completed 6 of 9 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns in Friday’s game. Davis rushed for 217 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries.

Katy’s next game comes against undefeated Tompkins will tell us a lot more about the Tigers’ offense. Can they put up this type of production against a better team?

9. Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.), 5-0

Next game: Oct. 16 vs. Alcovy (Covington, Ga.)

Last result: 33-21 win over Valdosta (Ga.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 9

Ranking rationale: When Jacurri Brown is on your team, you will have a chance to win every game. Brown was special again this week leading Lowndes to a rivalry win over Valdosta.

The junior had fourth quarter rushing touchdowns of 51 and 64 yards, in addition to his earlier two passing touchdowns. Don’t be surprised if Lowndes ends up winning 7A in Georgia this season.

Brown

10. Westlake (Austin, Texas), 3-0

Next game: Oct. 16 at San Marcos (Texas)

Last result: 58-0 win vs. Del Valle (Texas)

Last week’s ranking: No. 10

Ranking rationale: Another week, another easy win for Westlake. Seven different players scored TDs in their win over Del Valle on Friday.

The Chaparrals have put up over 50 points in all three of their wins in 2020. They play Lake Travis on Nov. 27. That game will provide a better understanding of exactly how good Westlake is this season. Expect their five other regular season games to be comfortable wins.

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

Quarterback Cade Klubnik

11. De Smet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.), 1-0

Next game: Oct. 16 at St. Louis University (St. Louis, Mo.)

Last result: 41-21 win over Christian Brothers (St. Louis, Mo.)

Last week’s ranking: 12

Ranking rationale: Beating the second best team in the state is always a great way to begin a season, but De Smet head coach Robert Steeples feels like his group can perform much better.

“I wouldn’t say we were sharp, but we were extremely competitive,” Steeples told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Saturday. “What I really wanted to see was the character of our team. Most of the time, I liked what I saw. The fundamental focus we’ll work on next week.”

Ball State running back commit Rico Barfield scored two TDs in the game for De Smet. Missouri defensive line commit Mekhi Wingo had a sack and a tackle for loss.

Overall, eight De Smet seniors are committed to Division 1 programs. Last season the Spartans went 14-0.

12. Northwestern (Miami, Fla.), 0-0

Season opener: Oct. 23 vs. Central (Miami, Fla.)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: NR

Ranking rationale: Like we said above, Northwestern would have been a preseason Power 25 team, but there was uncertainty about whether they’d be able to play football in the fall due to COVID-19.

The Bulls have six players listed in the top 110 of 247Sports’ 2021 Florida player rankings. Wide receiver Romello Brinson (Miami commit) leads the way at No. 23. He caught eight touchdown passes a year ago.

Northwestern won a 5A title last season in Florida.

Brinson

13. Ryan (Denton, Texas), 2-1

Next game: Oct. 17 vs. Denton (Texas)

Last result: Forfeit loss against Reedy (Texas) due to COVID-19

Last week’s ranking: No. 11

Ranking rationale: Due to having at least one positive COVID-19 case within its program, Ryan had to forfeit Friday’s game against Reedy.

That drops Ryan to 2-1. Expect the Raiders to still make the 5A playoffs in Texas and go on to win a title, assuming they can play the rest of their regular season games. The Raiders have already beaten two 6A teams to begin the season. They are a clear top five team in Texas.

14. Trinity (Louisville, Ky.), 4-0

Next game: Oct. 16 at Eastern (Louisville, Ky.)

Last result: 48-0 win over Ballard (Louisville, Ky.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 13

Ranking rationale: Trinity starts 11 seniors on defense for a unit that is one of the best in the nation, so it’s not a surprise the Shamrocks shutout Ballard, another top team in Kentucky, on Friday.

Junior running back Armon Tucker rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries in the Shamrocks win.

Trinity won a 6A championship in Kentucky last year and are in a great position to do so again in 2020.

15. Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah), 9-0

Next game: Oct. 14 vs. American Fork (Utah)

Last result: 29-26 win over Skyridge (Lehi, Utah)

Last week’s ranking: No. 14

Ranking rationale: Corner Canyon almost lost last week, which is something we haven’t typed all year. The Chargers had won 34 straight games heading into their showdown with Skyridge, but they trailed 26-14 at halftime.

In the end, Corner Canyon came out on top thanks to two late touchdown passes from senior quarterback Jaxson Dart and a dramatic final stand on defense. Consecutive win number 35 was secured in a tense but exciting fashion.

“This means so much more than just a normal game for sure,” Corner Canyon receiver Cody Hagen told the Deseret News Thursday night. “Those games where we’re just killing them and we’re out the second half isn’t very fun. Just to be able to keep battling the whole game was so much fun.”

Hagen caught the game-winning touchdown on Thursday.

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

16. Dutch Fork (Irmo, S.C.), 3-0

Next game Oct. 16 at Lexington (S.C.)

Last result: 41-7 win over River Bluff (Lexington, S.C.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 15

Ranking rationale: 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.

In Friday’s blowout win, Dutch Fork senior quarterback Will Taylor completed 24 of 38 passes for 333 yards and four TDs. Dutch Fork has won three blowouts to begin the year and they should win three more games in similar fashion to finish the regular season.

17. Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), 2-0

Next game: Oct. 17 at Paramus Catholic (N.J)

Last result: 42-7 win over Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 16

Ranking rationale: Bergen Catholic is our number one ranked team in New Jersey and the Crusaders played like it on Saturday. Defensive lineman Tywone Malone, the consensus top recruit in New Jersey’s 2021 class, had an interception return for a score in Bergen Catholic’s 42-7 win over Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.).

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Big Man Touchdown ❕❗️❕Tywone Malone (@TywoneMalone) with the pick-six for @BergenCathFBall pic.twitter.com/GSlxN0yrtS

18. Thompson (Alabaster, Ala.), 8-0

Next game: Oct. 16 at Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.)

Last result: 48-0 win over Gadsden City (Ala.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 17

Ranking rationale: Thompson has clearly established itself as the top team in Alabama.

In this week’s win, junior quarterback Conner Harrell finished 22-of-29 passing for 282 yards and five touchdowns. He threw three of the scores to senior receiver J.B. Mitchell.

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

Conner Harrell – Courtesy: alabama7afootball.com

19. Allen (Texas), 2-0

Next game TBD – Covid-19

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

Last week’s ranking: No. 19

Ranking rationale: Allen had to cancel its game on Friday against Cedar Hill as well as next week’s game against Tyler Legacy due to COVID-19. Both games are no-contests.

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After canceling yesterday’s game vs. Cedar Hill, Allen announces today that next week’s game vs Tyler Legacy is also canceled.@Allen_ISD says additional lab-confirmed positive tests of COVID-19 were reported last night and this morning.#txhsfb @SportsDayHS @alleneaglesfb @dctf

In their most recent game, Allen scored on its first five possessions leading to a blowout win over a good Atascocita team. Senior receivers Blaine and Bryson Green dominated. 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 if COVID doesn’t derail their season.

The Green twins

20. Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio), 7-0

Next game: Oct. 16 vs. Hilliard Darby (Ohio)

Last result: 49-0 win over Grove City (Ohio)

Last week’s ranking: No. 21

Ranking rationale: Pickerington Central rolled to a 49-0 first round playoff win over Grove City. It was 35-0 at halftime.

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.

21. St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.), 2-0

Next game: Oct. 17 vs. St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.)

Last result: 21-7 win over Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 22

Ranking rationale: Senior Virginia Tech quarterback commit Tahj Bullock completed 8 of 18 passes on Saturday for 89 yards and two touchdowns against a talented Don Bosco Prep team. Bullock also rushed for 81 yards and a score.

St. Peter’s Prep won the Non-Public Group 4 championship in New Jersey last season beating Don Bosco Prep 21-14. Non-Public Group 4 is one of the toughest championships to win in the country.

Next week’s game against St. Joseph Regional will help to better determine the pecking order of teams in New Jersey. No. 17 Bergen Catholic beat St. Joseph Regional 24-21 on Oct. 3. St. Peter’s Prep plays Bergen Catholic on Nov. 7.

Bullock

22. Colquitt County (Norman Park, Ga.) (4-0)

Next game: Oct. 23 vs. Alcovy (Covington, Ga.)

Last result: 63-14 win over Northside (Warner Robbins, Ga.)

Last week’s ranking: NR

Ranking rationale: Colquitt County has established itself as the third best team in Georgia. After COVID-19 caused the Packers to start their season late, Colquitt County is now playing like one of the top teams in the country.

Orion Bonner took the opening kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown against Northside on Friday and from there Colquitt County never took its foot off the gas. 2021 Minnesota wide receiver commit Lemeke Brockington is Colquitt County’s top player. He caught two TDs in the win, including an 82-yard score.

23. Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), 8-0

Next game: Oct. 16 vs. Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Last result: 28-13 win over Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 23

Ranking rationale: For the first time all year, Center Grove played in a close game on Friday. They trailed 13-0 at halftime.

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That is about as perfect of a first half as Pat Mallory could have hoped for. Long drives, used clock, Donaven McCulley was outstanding. Defense did its job. Center Grove hurt itself twice inside Lawrence North 5 with unsportsmanlike penalty on one drive and bad snap on another.

In the second half, Center Grove looked like Center Grove and the Trojans came back to win 28-13. Senior running back Carson Steele rushed for three touchdowns in the win.

Center Grove takes on 8-0 Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) next. We’re looking forward to seeing how the Trojans respond following their near slip up against Lawrence North on Friday. The winner of Cathedral and Center Grove will be in next week’s Power 25.

With the exception of this past week, the Trojans have dominated in their previous seven regular season games. Will they get back to that level this week?

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: American Heritage was idle this past week. In the team’s most recent win over Bartram Trail, sophomore running back Mark Fletcher rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown. Junior linebacker Marvin Jones scored a touchdown on a fumble he recovered in the game as well. Jones is a top 50 player nationally in the 2022 class, per 247Sports.com.

Defense is where the majority of the big name stars are for the Patriots, led by safety James Williams (Miami commit), cornerback Earl Little Jr. and Jones.

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

Marvin Jones

25. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), 2-0

Next game: Oct. 23 at Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.) (Unless Hamilton can find an opponent for this week due to Chaparral having to cancel because of COVID-19)

Last result: 64-22 win over Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.)

Last week’s ranking: 25

Ranking rationale: Hamilton has one of the top offenses in the country led by 2022 quarterback Nicco Marchiol and it was on full display in Friday’s 64-22 demolition of Perry. Marchiol threw for five touchdowns and rushed for two more in the win.

The Huskies defense will be what determines if Hamilton stays/moves up in the Power 25 throughout the year. We know Hamilton’s offense is special. If the defense improves, Hamilton could make a jump in the rankings.

On Nov. 20, Hamilton plays No. 5 Chandler.

Marchiol

DROPPED OUT

Carroll (Southlake, Texas) and Guyer (Denton, Texas)

MOVED IN

Northwestern (Miami, Fla.) and Colquitt County (Norman Park, Ga.)

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

  • Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio) (5-0): Archbishop Hoban missed the cut for this week’s Power 25. But make no mistake, the Knights are still very much on our radar thanks to their 35-0 win over St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) on Sept. 5.
  • Hoover (Ala.) (8-0): Hoover is perfect on the year, but has won some games by thin margins so they miss the cut this week.
  • Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) (8-0): 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.
  • Guyer (Denton, Texas (2-1): Following a 23-20 loss to No. 13 Ryan on Oct. 2, Guyer will have a chance to move back into the rankings thanks to a tough regular season schedule.

OTHER TEAMS ON OUR RADAR

Alabama: Auburn

Arizona: Saguaro

Arkansas: Bryant

Florida: Chaminade-Madonna, Miami Central, Booker T. Washington, Orlando Edgewater, Deerfield Beach, Venice, Pinecrest Palmetto and TRU Prep Academy

Georgia: Brookwood and Lovejoy

Louisiana: Archbishop Rummel, John Curtis Christian, Baton Rouge Catholic, Brother Martin, Acadiana, Edna Carr, St. Thomas More and Zachary

Mississippi: Starkville

Missouri: Christian Brothers

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, Rockwall, Carroll, Cedar Hill 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

WEEK 6 RANKINGS

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