On Monday we released our ninth SBLive Power 25 of the 2021 high school football season, a weekly look at the top high school football teams in the country.
Here’s a closer look at the top high school football games from around the country being played Wednesday through Saturday with an emphasis on what their results mean for the Power 25.
What we’re watching this week:
Following Corner Canyon’s surprising 41-16 loss to Lone Peak, Skyridge is back in the Power 25 discussion since it’s now clear that the Falcons have a legitimate shot to win a Utah state championship. Earlier this season, Skyridge fell to Corner Canyon 38-23. It will most likely take a state title run to make the Power 25, but Skyridge is certainly a team we’re monitoring. Corner Canyon, Skyridge and Lone Peak are all teams on our radar from Utah.
Oct. 15: Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) (5-2) vs. No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) (5-0)
Santa Margarita is a top 20 team in California, but expect Mater Dei, our No. 1 team in the country, to roll in this game. Sophomore Elijah Brown is 10-0 as starting QB for the Monarchs.
Thompson has allowed only 26 points in eight games this season so we aren’t expecting an upset here, but Oak Mountain’s 28-21 defeat to Hoover earlier this year showed that the Eagles are one of the top teams in Alabama, so this is certainly a game to watch. Hoover is the second best team in Alabama behind Thompson.
Oct. 15: No. 11 Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) (8-0) vs. No. 23 Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) (8-0)
This is the game of the week across the country. Last season, these two teams played an instant classic ending in a 17-13 victory for Center Grove. In that contest, Cathedral tried to win the game on a fourth down late, didn’t convert and then Center Grove scored a touchdown to win with 16 seconds left. What will this year’s game have in store?
Is Guyer really a Power 25 team? We’ll find out this week. So far this season they’ve certainly played like one with wins over Ryan and Atascocita.
On paper, this should be Central’s fifth win in a row, but Edison is always a threat to pull off an upset.
Another week, another undefeated showdown in Tennessee between Oakland and a team looking to take down the state’s No. 1. Last week, the Patriots needed a goal line stand to beat previously unbeaten Christ Presbyterian Academy. Can Riverdale pull off the upset this week? If they do, Oakland will most likely be out of the Power 25 for good this season.
It’s going to take a state championship and some other teams losing for Archbishop Spalding to make the Power 25 at the end of the season, but so far they’ve put together a great year going 7-0. The Cavaliers have beaten Gonzaga Prep (D.C), Calvert Hall (Md.) and Malver Prep (Pa.) this fall. McDonogh is 2-4, but has played a very challenging schedule. Still expect Archbishop Spalding to win this week though. If they lose, they’ll be off our Power 25 radar.
Norco upset Corona Centennial last season to hand the Huskies their first league defeat in 11 seasons. Friday’s game is a must win for Centennial’s Power 25 hopes. Right now, they’re the number four team in California.
Warner Robbins is one of the ten teams listed after our Power 25 teams in our most recent rankings. A win over Ware County will keep them in the 26-35 range.
This is a must win game for North Cobb since they fell 35-27 to Buford in their season opener. A second defeat will move the Warriors off of our Power 25 radar.
Is Gulliver Prep really a potential Power 25 team? A win over Chaminade-Madonna would greatly help their case for making our rankings in the future. Chaminade-Madonna has beaten two very good teams in Buford (Ga.) and Seminole (Fla.).
University Lab could be a Power 25 team in the future thanks to 2022 cornerback Austin Ausberry, running back Derrick Graham and athlete Roman Pitre, a Purdue commit. All three are national recruits. Madison Prep Academy is on our radar as well because of 2022 QB Zeon Chriss, a Louisiana commit. Friday’s showdown between University Lab and Madison Prep is the game of the week in Louisiana and should be a fun one.
Expect Bergen Catholic to win this week (they’ve shutout the last three teams they’ve played), but St. Joseph Regional does have a marquee win under their belt in 2021: a 21-14 victory against St. Peter’s Prep.
Oct. 16: No. 15 St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (6-1) vs. Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (5-1)
This is a must win game for St. Thomas Aquinas after slipping up against No. 14 Jesuit earlier this season. Cardinal Gibbons is a good team, but they lost 23-20 to American Heritage earlier this year, a team St. Thomas Aquinas beat 24-16.
Atascocita is still on the Power 25 periphery despite a September 46-35 defeat to No. 17 Guyer. The Eagles need to win this week to stay there.
Graham-Kapowsin beat up previously undefeated Bellarmine Prep 41-0 last week. Will they have a repeat performance against 6-0 Sumner? Another blowout win would be eye-opening.
St. Xavier probably won’t end up returning to the Power 25 this season after losing to previously winless Trinity (Ky.) on Oct. 1, but playing St. Ignatius is a good reference point for where the Bombers line up nationally. St. Ignatius has played a very tough schedule which includes two very close defeats to St. Edward and Archbishop Moeller.
After only beating St. Ignatius 19-14, a big win over Archbcishop Moeller would go a long way to help St. Edward’s Power 25 chances in the future.