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    CAC Top 25 High School Football Rankings (October 27, 2021)

    October 28, 2021, 2:37 pm

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) can wave its index finger in menacing circles. That’s the benefits of being the top dog in high school football. No. 1 was pushed to the limit but refused to lose. It’s what champions are made of.

    Thankfully, the No. 1 Mater Dei vs. Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) was shown live on a cable sports channel here on the East Coast and it was worth staying up past our bedtime to understand that both teams are that good. Mater Dei won it 46-37 but there is a deep respect for Servite (8-1).

    That’s why the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football has a few wrinkles at the top. All three members of the Trinity League of southern California occupy the top three slots in the CAC Top 25. No. 3 Servite moved a up a spot in spite of the loss because we were impressed with play and believe the Friars could reverse the result in a neutral field postseason game.

    No. 4 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) dipped two spots but did handle Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.) and the New Jersey Non-Public A playoffs are less than two weeks out.

    No. 14 Serra (San Mateo, Calif.) enters the CAC Top 25 rankings for the first time ever. The Padres (7-0) and considered Northern California’s top team. The Padres are one ahead of No. 15 St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.), a team they will face next week for the West Catholic Athletic League championship.

    The biggest drops were five slots by No. 15 Francis and No. 23 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), which lost a key game to No. 11 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.), 14-7, in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference game. The Stags (6-2) slip but not out of the CAC Top 25. The two might be again in the WCAC playoffs next month.

    Otherwise, 12 teams remained the same without any movement. Eight teams moved up one, one fell two spots and another one dropped one.

    Five CAC 25 teams from Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Illinois are in the playoffs. No. 18 Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) won its first postseason assignment last Friday.

    It’s on to the Triple Option section before revealing the latest CAC Top 25 rankings.

    Triple Option

    The Triple Option identifies a student-athlete, coach and the upcoming weekend’s must-see games. Along the East Coast in New Jersey and North Carolina a pair of running backs put their respective teams on their backs. Heading out to the West Coast there is a well-known coach who cultivates talent and just wins. Additionally, we have handpicked six games of national and local interest. The most talked about game this weekend is Saturday night from near Los Angeles, California. We go from East Coast into the Midwest and up the Pacific Northwest for games that are vital to the CAC Top 25 rankings.

    Players of the Week: Running backs Ryan Butler of No. 4 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) and Donovan Shepard of Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.). Here’s a cliché of the week, “the Butler did it!” If you are referring to Ryan Butler that would be a proper assumption.

    The Princeton-bound Butler produced a big-time game in, well, a  big-time game against one of New Jersey’s top teams. Butler juked his way around and over Seton Hall Prep (West Orange) in a 38-28 victory in a Super Football Conference United Red showdown that saw the teams combine to score 35 points in a crazy-good fourth quarter.

    At 5 feet 11 inches, 220 pounds, Butler did it all out of the Crusaders backfield, rushing for season-high 232 yards and three TDs runs of 48, 65 and 6 yards. Butler’s 48-yard run late in the second quarter tied the game at 14. BC carried a 17-14 lead into the final quarter. Prep eventually took a 28-24 edge before Butler finished off the Pirates (6-2). His 65-yard jaunt made it 31-28 and then his third score of the game with about two minutes left.

    For the season, Butler has run for 722 yards on 122 carries and scored 14 TDs. The Crusaders (8-0) go for a perfect regular season on Saturday at rival St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City). BC is the likely top seed in the upcoming Non-Public A playoffs in November.

    In North Carolina, Shepard put on a record-setting last Friday when Cardinal Gibbons clubbed Athens Drive (Raleigh), 56-14, moving closer to a fifth consecutive Cap Six 4A Conference championship. Shepard set a North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) single-game rushing record with 539 yards and six TDs on just 19 carries (that’s a jaw-dropping 28.4 yards a pop!) in three quarters. Wow!

    The previous mark of 509 yards was set nine years ago.

    The senior running back has shown consistency all season but the Crusaders needed him to produce and he did in the second quarter with the game knotted at 14 before it was 35-14 at the intermission. NCHSAA rules state there will be a running clock after halftime if the lead reaches 42 points. It went there and the Gibbons coaches called off the dogs and Shepard was on the bench for the final 12 minutes.

    At 5-9, 185 pounds, Shepard has rushed for 1,228 yards and 15 TDs on 152 carries. The Crusaders improved to 7-2 overall and 4-0 in the league and host Sanderson (Raleigh) Friday in the regular season finale.

    Coach of the Week: Bruce Rollinson of No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.). If you are a college head coach or recruiting coordinator, the chances are you know Rollinson. If you don’t, get him on speed dial as soon as possible. Mater Dei has oodles of talent and players who will play on Sundays.

    Rollinson has been the head coach at Mater Dei for the last 33 years but the game that means the most annually is the Trinity League rivalry with No. 3 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.). And last weekend, the No. 1 team from the CAC Top 25 pulled out a 46-37 victory over the Friars (8-1). The Monarchs moved to 7-0 and essentially clinched the Trinity League title for the second time this calendar year (remember California played a spring season in lieu of no regular season in 2020). Rollinson’s team also topped No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower) on the road earlier this month.

    Rollinson improved to 28-3-1 against Servite and has not lost to them since 2011. The Monarchs finish the regular season Friday with JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) in a league game and then it’s the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section playoffs. The sectional brackets will be revealed on Halloween. Rollinson knows his team will see more the Trinity League.

    Games of the Week (All times are local and subject to change): We’re headed to the latter stages of the month of October with the postseason on everyone’s mind. This week we feature six games from Atlantic City, N.J. to Cleveland, Ohio to the Nation’s Capital and back out to sunny, hip southern California. There are also games in Oregon and New York City.

    St. Augustine (Richland, N.J.) at Holy Spirit (Absecon, N.J.), Friday, 6 p.m.: There are far better games in New Jersey but this one will give us a real look at the St. Augustine Hermits (7-1) against a real team. The Hermits, No. 2 in New Jersey rankings, played one good opponent and lost. They depend on Northwestern-bound DL Denis Jaquez and RB Kanye Udoh (1,216 rushing yards, 13 TDs). Holy Spirit (3-4) has slumped under .500 but are at home.

    Mentor (Ohio) at St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio), Friday, 7 p.m.: The sixth-seeded Wildcats (6-4) are one of the most dangerous teams in Ohio’s Division I, Region 1. The first round winner plays No. 3 Stow-Munro Falls or GlenOak (Canton) the following weekend in the quarterfinals. No. 17 St. Edward (Lakewood) and second-seeded Medina are the favorites to come out of the region but the Wildcats will have a final say.

    No. 3 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) at No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), Friday, 7 p.m.: We’ve said enough about both teams that are each 3-1 in the Trinity League behind No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), which owns win over both. All three Trinity League teams will make the CIF-Southern Section playoffs and likely will be bracketed together with rematches in the cards.

    Clackamas (Ore.) at Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.), Friday, 7 p.m.: Both teams are 9-0 and the Class 6A-Special District 4 regular season title is at stake. The Central Catholic Rams can score in bunches, totaling 397 points or 49 points per game. In their last five games, they have racked up 41, 54, 49, 56 and 71 points with three shutouts. Clackamas defends well, allowing only 57 points or 7 points. The game is a great barometer for the Class 6A states and will be played at Hillsboro Stadium in Hillsboro.

    Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) at No. 11 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.), Saturday, 1 p.m.: Last weekend, SJC (7-0) defeated then-No. 18 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), 14-7, while the Falcons were off. Both teams are 2-0 in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and the winner gets the inside track for the top seed in the upcoming conference playoffs.

    Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) at Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.), Saturday, 3 p.m.: The New York Catholic High School Football League’s Week 8 games mean closing time or the end of the line. Next week the Class AAA playoff pairings are out but both teams are in. The Hayes Cardinals (3-5) have been disappointing while Stepinac (6-2) is in second place. The Cardinals play their home games at Macombs Park Rooftop Field in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. Will a latter-day Mr. October emerge in this one?

    Okay, we’re out of here. Cross off another month on the calendar and that means we’re headed to the holiday season and the months of November and December. Will they be a time to remember for teams from the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 rankings? We’ll bring you all the results and state champions for the CAC eligible teams in our annual Honor Roll section.

    Here’s some breaking news that will develop throughout the week in Louisiana. It was first reported by on Tuesday that No. 10 Brother Martin (New Orleans) is facing the forfeiture of five victories this season for the use of an academically ineligible student-athlete and a second was also in question. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) ruled on this following a recent audit of eligibility paperwork.

    The school is questioning the LHSAA assessment and “making an emergency appeal of the ruling, saying the eligibility standard the school has applied for decades would make the student-athlete in question eligible,” according to the New Orleans area website.

    If Brother Martin (6-0) is not successful with the appeal, the team would crater to 1-5 and drop deep into the Division I power ratings. Teams that would benefit include East Ascension (Gonzalez), Jesuit (New Orleans), St. Augustine (New Orleans), Archbishop Rummel (Metairie) and Archbishop Shaw (Marrero) with all gaining a victory.

    Head coach Mark Bonis said in a statement: “Obviously at this time, I hurt deeply for all of our players, support staff, and coaches of the 2021 football team. I can assure you that our players, my staff, and I will forge ahead with a new vigor of living the principles that are at the foundation of our football program … Regardless of the outcome, I look forward to the opportunity that our young men have to showcase their God-given gifts of resiliency and toughness.”

    We’ll have an update next week.

    Additionally, here’s a reminder and a plug for the worthwhile travel opportunity.

    So, you don’t have to have Irish ancestry to enjoy a trip to Emerald Island … with American football as a bonus next summer.

    You ask might ask how? If you like high school and college football here’s your opportunity.

    In conjunction with the 2022 Big Ten Conference opening game is the fifth High School Football Showcase organized by Global Football. The showcase game features Northwestern and Nebraska as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Series on Aug. 27, 2022, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.  

    So, here’s what you need to know.

    High school football athletic directors and coaches are invited to travel overseas with their teams for a competitive game against an American opponent. Schools are encouraged to bring their high school bands, cheerleaders and teams from other sports such as field hockey, rugby and lacrosse. It will be a memorable trip and cultural experience.

    For more information contact Patrick Steenberge (817) 219-7274 or email him Also visit this site for additional details, 2022 Kildare High School Showcase PPT.

    It’s never too early to plan for the future and some schools already have.

    We encourage fans, players, parents and coaches to follow the CAC Top 25 through social media at and on Twitter @CACTop25. If there is a team, coach, player or story idea that we may have overlooked, we need to hear from you. Our readers are our greatest resource. Thank you.

    The CAC Top 25 rankings will return on November 3.

    We have two important days later this week starting with Halloween of All Hallow’s Eve on Sunday. It’s a Christian holiday that remembers the dead whether it’s saints, martyrs and the faithfully departed. In the 19th Century Irish and Scottish immigrants brought the tradition to America.

    That’s followed by All Saints’ Day on November 1 and November 2 is All Souls’ Day. Say a prayer for all your family members and friends on these Holy Days.

    So, that’s a bit of Church history.

    Stay safe and get out and attend a high school game in your town or area. The season is down to a few precious weeks and we’ll start highlighting the CAC eligible teams that annex state or conference championships.

    Tuesday November 2 is also Election Day (the first Tuesday in November), so get out and exercise your right to vote. If you do not vote, don’t complain about the results.

    Until next week, God Bless. — Christopher Lawlor




    Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, Oct. 27, 2021 

    1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (7-0)

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: The Monarchs outlasted No. 3 Servite (Anaheim), 46-37. RB Quincy Craig, who entered the game with one TD, carried only five times for 19 yards but found the end zone on four of them. Sophomore QB Elijah Brown passed for 248 yards and a 22-yard TD to Notre Dame-bound WR C.J. Williams in the first quarter. RB Raleek Brown, an Oklahoma pledge, dashed 22 yards with 7:49 left to put the game out of reach. The Monarchs clinched the Trinity League crown or at least a tie. The regular season concludes this week and the “second season” arrives the first weekend in November for California schools. Up next is JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) on Friday.

    2. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: The Braves downed Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita), 41-16. RB Rayshon Luke darted 25 yards for a score to make it 14-3 in the second quarter. Junior Pierce Clarkson tossed three TDs and Michigan State-bound signal caller Katin Houser ran for score and passed for another in the rout. The Braves are back at it this weekend with one of the nation’s top teams, No. 3ß Servite (Anaheim) Friday. More great drama from the Trinity League.

    3. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 4.

    In the Huddle: In spite of a 46-37 loss at No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), the Friars hop up one spot. The game featured four ties and it would have been a fifth but a two-point conversion with 7:49 left in the game made it 39-37 and Mater Dei added one more score to wrap up the Trinity League championship. Arizona-bound QB Noah Fifita threw for 302 yards and TDs of 22 and 17 yards to Oregon commit Tetairoa McMillan. The Friars close out the regular season with another donnybrook at No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower) Friday.

    4. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: Rallied to beat Seton Hall Prep (West Orange), 38-28. It was a wild fourth quarter that saw the teams combine to score 35 points. Trailing 28-24, RB Ryan Butler scored on runs of 65 and 6 yards late in the fourth quarter. Butler finished with 232 rushing yards and three TDs on 25 carries. Notre Dame-bound QB Steve Angeli hit on 12 of 21 passes for 221 yards and two scores, including one of 70 yards to Santino Correa, who had six receptions for 138 yards. Christian Ross paced the defense with 1.5 sacks. The score was knotted at 14 by halftime, setting up an entertaining finish. A perfect regular season in on the line this week at league foe St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City) Saturday at Caven Point.

    5. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: It was a glorious Homecoming Night at Memorial Stadium in Baton Rouge and the Bears clawed St. Amant, 53-7, for their 16th straight win. Junior WR Shelton Sampson Jr. nabbed a pair of TD passes in the first half when the Bears led 32-0. Up next is Woodlawn (Baton Rouge) Friday.

    6. Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: Defeated Mount Carmel (Chicago), 21-19. The Ramblers escaped with a narrow two-point win over a Chicago Catholic League, giving them a taste of the state playoffs. Up next is Downers Grove South Saturday in the Class 8A first round.

    7. Jesuit, Tampa, Fla. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: The Tigers beat Blake (Tampa), 44-0. The Tigers sent the Homecoming crowd happy and it took 62 seconds for them to take a 7-0 lead on a QB Luke Knight TD strike to Joquez Smith. Later in the first quarter, Smith sped 54 yards for his 10th score in the last four games. A.J. Cottrill added a 10-yard scoop-and-score to make it 23-0 and then Knight tossed his second TD of the night all happening in the first. The penultimate game of the regular term home for King (Tampa) Friday.

    8. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: Stopped previously-unbeaten Dillard (Fort Lauderdale), 23-13, in a District 14-7A showdown. The Raiders grind out the type of win they will need to defend their Class 7A state championship. Dillard led 7-0 after one quarter but the Raiders rallied for a 16-7 edge they would not relinquish. Adam Hussey had an 80-yard blocked kick return recovery for TD to clinch it in the fourth quarter. RB Anthony Hankerson rushed for two scores. Next is a road game at Nova (Davie) on Friday.

    9. St Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (5-1)

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Panthers host West Toronto Prep (Etobicoke, Ontario) on Friday. Their biggest game is next month with nationally ranked IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.).

    10. Brother Martin, New Orleans, La. (6-0)

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: QB Garrett Mmahat threw for 210 yards and two TDs and RB Torey Lambert rushed for 64 yards and a score on 11 carries as the Crusaders crushed defending Class 4A champion Carencro (Lafayette), 35-6. RB Jordan Thomas added a pair of running scores. Coach Mark Bonis’ team is back in Catholic League play this week against Holy Cross (New Orleans) on Friday. The specter of five forfeits must weigh heavily on the Crusaders with the Division I playoffs a few weeks away.

    11. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (7-0)

    Previous rank: 12.

    In the Huddle: Beat rival and then-No. 18 DeMatha Catholic(Hyattsville, Md.), 14-7, in game that likely settles the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Washington Catholic Athletic Conference playoffs. The game was tied at 7 late in the third quarter when QB Wyatt Hagan fired a 47-yard TD to D.J. Linkins for the winning score. Jamar Curtis rumbled 20 yards for a TD with a minute left in the opening half to tie it. The league schedule intensifies with Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) Saturday afternoon.

    12. Archbishop Spalding, Severn, Md. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 13.

    In the Huddle: The Cavaliers took command of MIAA A Conference, trouncing Gilman School (Baltimore), 47-3. Leading 13-3 after one quarter, a burst of 20 points in the second made it 33-3 at the break. Up next is Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore) on Nov. 5 before the conference playoffs.

    13. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (6-1)

    Previous rank: 14.

    In the Huddle: The Lions, Florida’s No. 1 in Class 3A, made it look easy in a 51-6 blowout of Stranahan (Fort Lauderdale). Sophomore RB Davion Gause surpassed 1,000 rushing this season with a modest game of 55 yards and two short running scores. Sophomore QB Cedric Bailey threw a pair TD passes to Jeremiah Smith in the first half. The Lions close out the regular season with unbeaten Lakewood (St. Petersburg) on Friday.

    14. Serra, San Mateo, Calif. (7-0)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Padres enter the CAC Top 25 as Northern California’s team after crushing St. Ignatius College Prep (San Francisco), 38-19. Future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady’s alma mater will suit up again at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep (San Francisco) Thursday.

    15. St. Francis, Mountain View, Calif. (7-0)

    Previous rank: 10.

    In the Huddle: Just when the Lancers needed a win to keep their hopes of a West Catholic Athletic League championship alive, they rolled rival Bellarmine College Prep (San Jose), 44-24. With the score tied 7-all after one frame, 16 points gave the home team breathing room at 23-7 at intermission. The Lancers will host Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) Friday and then the big one at undefeated and No. 14 Serra (San Mateo) on Nov. 6.

    16. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (8-1)

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: The Gaels finished the regular season with quite a flourish. Their offense five outscored Class 5A Desert League opponents, 273-0, averaging nearly 55 points in the process. That was the case last weekend when the Gaels thumped Foothill (Henderson), 59-0. Sophomore QB Micah Alejado hit on all seven passes for 208 yards and three TDs of 86, 10 and 13 yards to three different receivers and rumbled 22 yards for a rush score of his own in the first quarter. The Gaels were up 43 points by halftime and then bench emptied. Up next is Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas) Thursday in Class 5A Southern Region quarterfinals.

    17. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (9-1)

    Previous rank: 16.

    In the Huddle: The Eagles outlasted Archbishop Hoban (Akron), 28-17. QB Christian Ramos passed for 144 yards and rushed for two TDs from 10 and 1 yards. RB Danny Enovitch ran for 125 yards and an 11-yard score. WR Rayshawn Manning Jr. recovered a fumble in the end zone for six points. The playoffs are here and the top-seeded Eagles drew Lorain in the Division I, Region 1 first round on Friday.

    18. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: The Fighting Irish opened the Class 5A Sectionals, beating Terre Haute North, 56-0. Sophomore QB Dany O’Neil sparked the offense with a 30-yard rushing TD and passed for 159 yards and three scores when the Irish tallied 42 points in the first half. Next is Plainfield in the Section 13 semifinals Friday.

    19. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (7-2)

    Previous rank: 19.

    In the Huddle: The Vikings defeated Baldwin (Pittsburgh), 49-21. Next is Canon-McMillan (Canonsburg) Friday.

    20. De La Salle Collegiate, Warren, Mich. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 20.

    In the Huddle: Michigan’s top-ranked Division 2 squad won the Catholic High School League A-B Division championship, hammering University of Detroit Jesuit (Detroit), 49-14. It was the Pilots fifth league title and first since 2018. Junior QB Brady Drogosh produced big plays all day, starting with a 62-yard scamper just 47 seconds into the contest. He accounted for four rushing TDs and fired a 54-yard bomb to WR Triston Nichols. Up next is a rematch with U-D Jesuit in the Division 2, District 2 semifinals on Friday.

    21. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (8-2)

    Previous rank: 21.

    In the Huddle: QB Brogan McCaughey clicked on 22-of-34 passes for 279 yards and four TDs and the Bombers scored 28 points in the second quarter en route to a 44-14 thrashing of Eagle’s Landing Christian (McDonough, Ga.) in the regular season finale. RB Charles Kellom accounted for 253 yards of offense and three scores. He had eight catches for 122 yards and two TDs from 20 and 67 yards. The Bombers open the OHSAA Division I, Region 4 playoffs Friday entertaining Hamilton.

    22. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (9-0)

    Previous rank: 22.

    In the Huddle: The Hilltoppers completed a perfect regular season with a 44-28 victory at Montini Catholic (Lombard). Down 7-0 early, JCA rattled off the next 27 points for a 27-7 lead. RB Vinny Iannantone scored a 1-yard run and Illinois-bound Jordan Anderson rushed for scores from 7 and 5 yards and caught a 17-yard TD from QB Aidan Voss. Anderson finished with 148 yards on 18 carries and Iannantone had 185 yards on 29 attempts. Up next is Marengo in the Class 4A first round on Friday. It takes five wins for the 4A title, which will be played on Nov. 26 at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

    beat Benet Academy (Lisle), 42-20. They close out the regular season Friday at Montini Catholic (Lombard).

    23. DeMatha Catholic, Hyattsville, Md. (6-2)

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: Lost to then-No. 12 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.), 14-7, in a pivotal WCAC game. The two squads could meet again in the conference playoffs. The Stags will look to rebound this weekend hosting Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) Friday.

    24. La Salle College, Wyndmoor, Pa. (7-1)

    Previous rank: 23.

    In the Huddle: Good teams bounce back from disappointing losses and that’s exactly what the Explorers did last weekend, stopping Father Judge (Philadelphia), 52-14. Now it’s a game that could decide the Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division title and top-seed in the District 12, Class AAAAAA playoffs versus Archbishop Wood (Warminster) Friday night.

    25. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (5-2)

    Previous rank: 25.

    In the Huddle: The Hawks walloped Roman Catholic (Philadelphia), 44-14. The regular season finale is this weekend against Father Judge (Philadelphia).

    Dropped out: No. 23 Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio).

    Special Consideration: Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.); Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.);Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.);Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.); Central Catholic (Grand Rapids, Mich.); St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.); St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.); De La Salle (Concord, Calif.); St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.); Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.); DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.); Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio); Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.); Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.); Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.); Roncalli (Indianapolis, Ind.); Catholic Memorial (Waukesha, Wis.); McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.); Good Counsel (Olney, Md.); Marist (Atlanta, Ga.); Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.); Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio); St. Augustine Prep (Richland, N.J.); Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.); St. Thomas Academy (Mendota, Minn.); St. Joseph (Trumbull, Conn.); and Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.).

    About: The Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, presented by Global Football are released on Wednesdays from late August until the conclusion of the high school season in January. Criteria include the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. The rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, who consults with Patrick Steenberge of Global Football in Granbury, Texas to coordinate the CAC Top 25. All Catholic high schools from the United States that feature only four-year players on 11-man teams are eligible for consideration. Fans are encouraged to follow the CAC Top 25 at and on Twitter @CACTop25.

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