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    CAC Top 25 High School Football Rankings (November 24, 2021)

    November 25, 2021, 4:15 pm

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — There was finally a shift in the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football. Four teams were dropped and 20 teams saw movement as everyone has a taste of playoff football.

    Last week, the CAC Top 25 took a late season bye week but that means there’s more to catchup for the third week in November.

    Let’s start with what’s new, meaning the four newbies (actually two) to the CAC Top 25.

    No. 20 Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.) is undefeated and two wins away from the Class 6A state championship. Standing in the Rams’ way is Oregon powerhouse Jesuit in the semifinals on Friday.

    No. 21 Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.) re-enters after nearly three months. The Gaels (10-1) won New York City Catholic High School Football League Class AAA championship for the first time since 2008. The Gaels host St. Francis (Athol Springs) Saturday for the Catholic state AAA crown.

    No. 22 Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio) is back after capturing the Ohio Division I, Region 4 championship. That’s considered one of the top area titles (outside of a state title) in the nation. No. 24 St. Xavier (Cincinnati) is in that region and even in the same league as the Crusaders (11-3), who face Springfield Friday in the semifinals.

    No. 23 Calvert Hall College (Towson, Md.) enter on the heels of a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship.

    Besides the four additions, the CAC 25 features four champions and three teams who are done for the term. Only top-ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) remained in the same position from last time. There were 20 teams that moved, including 17 that elevated. The biggest mover was No. 16 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) that climbed nine spots after winning its 29th straight sectional title in the North Coast Section. No. 18 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) is up six.

    Taking the biggest hit was No. 25 Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.) dipping seven and No. 24 St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) fell five slots.

    That wraps up the latest from the CAC Top 25. So, we mentioned it’s a thankful time and here’s what is shaking.

    Before we reveal the updated CAC Top 25, we’ll revisit the weekly feature called the Triple Option, however this week there’s an added twist.

    The Triple Option identifies five student-athletes, two coaches and state playoff games worthy noting this week. This week we’ve highlighted five more Thanksgiving games from Boston to Baltimore. More is better!

    The players range from an edge rusher on the nation’s No. 1 team to wide receiver from Washington (D.C.) and Baltimore to a running back from Indianapolis to a special defensive unit from Long Island.

    The coaches are from California and Maryland. One is chasing a championship and the other won one and has a Thanksgiving Day game to boot.

    Additionally, we’ve also selected state finals (two each) from Illinois to Indiana to New Jersey.

    Triple Option

    Players of the Week: Linebacker David Bailey of No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.); wide receiver D.J. Linkins of No. St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.); wide receiver Donnie Lewis of No. 23 Calvert Hall College (Towson, Md.); running back Carson Johnson of No. 15 Cathedral (Indianapolis) and the Holy Trinity (Hicksville, N.Y.) defense.

    *It’s rare when a defense player is a CAC player of the week candidate but he earned it in Mater Dei’s thrilling 21-16 win at nationally ranked Corona Centennial in the California Interscholastic League-Southern Section Division 1 semifinals. At 6-feet-3, 220 pounds, Bailey is a highly-rated edge rusher (or OLB). He’s quick on his feet and can deliver in the clutch. Mater Dei’s is rarely involved in five-point games (average margin of victory is 34 points). Bailey had a sack, forced a fumble that was recovered by his team and helped key a goal-line stand that jumped-started the offense that scored two touchdowns for a 21-9 lead.

    “David Bailey took it over in the second half and did what a great player should do,” coach Bruce Rollinson told the Los Angeles Times. Bailey has interest from USC, California, Stanford, UCLA and Oregon–all from the Pac-12.

    *Linkins helped spearhead St. John’s Cadets (11-0) to 30-14 victory over Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) in the Washington Catholic Athletic Association Capital championship on Sunday night in Landover, Md. It was their first WCAC chip since 2017. Linkins played a huge role in SJC’s first four possessions, grabbing two touchdowns from quarterback Wyatt Hagan and the Cadets raced to a 16-point lead at halftime Linkins finished with four receptions for 113 yards (28.3 yards per catch). According to a recruiting website, the 6-feet-3-inch Linkins has interest from Florida International, Pittsburgh, Marshall and Illinois,

    *At 5-feet-8, 160 pounds, Lewis is the “big man” on the Calvert Hall campus this week. Lewis scored both TDs when the Cardinals bounced McDonogh School (Owings Mills), 14-8 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference final. When the title was on the line, Lewis gave The Hall a 7-0 with an 83-yard scoring catch-and-run in the second quarter. The junior receiver added another one minutes later from 34 yards for a 14-0 lead at the break.

    *Johnson was a revelation when Cathedral Fighting Irish (13-1) returned to the Indiana Class 5A final during a 52-13 thrashing of New Albany in the semistates in Indianapolis. Johnson, who for the first time this season became the team’s feature runner due to injury, had a career-high 232 yards and an 11-yard TD in the first quarter on 23 carries, as the Irish jumped to a 28-7 lead. It’s Cathedral’s 16th appearance at states and a chance to repeat for the first since a 2010-14 stretch that produced five titles.

    *On Long Island, apparently Holy Trinity (10-0) embraces the sporting adage that defense wins championships. The Titans’ stingy defense was on display last Saturday during 21-10 victory over St. John the Baptist (West Islip) in the New York City High School Football League Class AA-1 final. In 10 games, the Titans unit allowed only 43 points with six shutouts, including one in the semifinals. Against SJB the turning points might have been in the second quarter with a goal-line stand that saw the defense deny three shots to cross the line from feet away. It was the team’s first NYCHSFL title since 2008. Junior Dylan Braithwaite (five tackles and an interception) earned Defensive MVP honors.

    Coaches of the Week: Josh Ward of No. 23 Calvert Hall College (Towson, Md.) and Troy Thomas of No. 5 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.).

    In Maryland, Ward delivered a championship a year after he was hired as head coach at his alma mater (CHC Class of 2004) when the Calvert Hall Cardinals (9-2) defeated McDonogh School (Owings Mills), 14-8, winning the MIAA A Conference championship for the first time since 2010 and the second in the MIAA era.

    Since 1899, the Cardinals have captured 10 league titles but Ward leaned on his defense in the second half after building a 14-0 lead at halftime.

    Ward stressed a family-like atmosphere and never give up. His team easily could have a few weeks ago in a 23-point loss to then-unbeaten Archbishop Spalding (Severn) in the regular season but refocused and eventually won the prize.

    In southern California, Thomas has Servite (10-2) on the precipice of the program’s first CIF-Southern Section title since 2010. Last Friday, the Friars ran away from then-No. 2 St. John Bosco, 40-21, the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 semifinals. It was Thomas’ 100th coaching victory.

    The Friars have a second crack at blood rivals and top-ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) Friday in the Division 1 final. Thomas coached the Friars to a pair of sectionals titles. He left for Crespi (Encino) and was fired after the 2017 season and returned to Servite, where he has built the program into a state contender and nationally recognized again.

    Games of the Week (All times are local and subject to change): Since it’s Thanksgiving, we’re feeling bountiful and will add five games that are slated for Thursday morning and one on Wednesday evening with all kicking off in the Northeast.

    Thanksgiving Specials

    Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.) at Boston College High (Boston, Mass.), 10:30 a.m.: CM (11-0) is the Boston area’s top-ranked team and have a Division II Super Bowl (or championship game) the following week. BC is 1-9 and playing for pride.

    Fairfield (Conn.) Prep vs. West Haven (Conn.), Wednesday, 7 p.m.: The Nutmeg State matchup of 8-1 teams gets a jump on the rest of the slate of Thursday games. The schools are 25 miles apart up I-95.

    Fordham Prep (Bronx, N.Y.) vs. Xavier (Manhattan, N.Y.), 10 a.m.: It’s the New York City Jesuit Bowl on Thursday morning at Coffey Field from the campus of Fordham University.

    Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.) at Mount St. Michael (Bronx, N.Y.), 10:30 p.m.: Just over five miles up the Bronx River Parkway is another Bronx Tale unfolding. Hayes is 4-6 and the Mount is 2-7. Throw away the records because this closing time for the schedule.

    No. 23 Calvert Hall College (Towson, Md.) vs. Loyola Blakefield (Towson, Md.), 10 a.m.: It known as the Turkey Bowl and it’s a Baltimore tradition. Even more of a tradition is the venue of Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson University. This will be the 101st edition of the game. Calvert won the MIAA A Conference championship over the weekend.

    Okay, here are six championship games from three states that are must-see.

    Indiana High School Athletic Association championships, Friday and Saturday: Two days of football (three each day) will be played inside Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. First, No. 15 Cathedral (Indianapolis) meets Zionsville Friday at 7 p.m. for the Class 5A title. The Fighting Irish (13-1) is going for the repeat. Zionsville is 9-5. On Saturday, the noon kickoff has Andrean (East Chicago) and Mater Dei Memorial (Evansville) tangling for the Class 2A title.

    New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association championships, Friday and Saturday: The Garden State Non-Public (or Catholic championships) feature brothers Vito and Nick Campanile going for separate titles on both days at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. On Friday, DePaul Catholic (Wayne) plays Red Bank Catholic at 7 p.m., with the Non-Public B crown on the line. Nick is the Spartans’ first-year head coach and has a 9-2 record in the state’s best league.

    Saturday’s main event kicks off at 2 p.m., with Vito’s No. 2 Bergen Catholic Crusaders (11-0) of Oradell facing archrivals Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey). Both are all-male schools from Bergen County. BC won the regular-season matchup, 17-0. That means nothing this weekend.

    Illinois High School Association championships, Friday and Saturday: There are eight state title games to be played at Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb but we’re concerned with only two. Friday’s Class 4A clash pit No. 19 Joliet Catholic Academy against Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield) at 7 p.m. The next day it will be St. Rita (Chicago) playing Wheaton North for the Class 7A chip at 4 p.m.

    Now that another holiday season is upon us, reward school and think about this offer from Global Football.

    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 Patrick@globalfootball.com. 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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 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. We can’t thank you enough and can’t do it without you.

    The CAC Top 25 rankings will return on December 1.

    We wish you and your family a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to you, your family and your friends. Travel safe and support the local small businesses in your area. They’ve been hit hard in the last year and need the business loyalty of neighbors.

    Speaking of neighbors, we’d like to extend Season’s Greetings to our friends celebrating Hanukkah. That starts Monday November 29. It’s eight days and commonly referred to as Festival of Lights. Say “Hanukkah Sameach!” (Happy Hanukkah) or simply “Chag Sameach!” (Happy Holiday) to your friends. All the best during that celebration.

    Stay safe and get out and attend a high school game in your state. After this weekend that number of states will dwindle to a few.

    Until next week, God Bless. — Christopher Lawlor, National Correspondent, Catholic Athletes for Christ

    Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, Nov. 24, 2021

    1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (10-0)

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: The Monarchs had their biggest challenge of the season and passed the test … barely. Last Friday, they topped nationally ranked and unbeaten Corona Centennial, 21-16 in CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 semifinals. The great teams find a way to win facing adversity. Centennial entered the game with a perfect record in 11 games. In the quarterfinals, coach Bruce Rollinson’s team bombed Norco, 49-14, on Nov. 12. Sophomore Elijah Brown’s six TD passes were more than enough to subdue an Inland Empire squad looking to spring an upset. The Monarchs have a huge challenge this weekend with a CAC Top 25 team when they meet archrivals No. 5 Servite (Anaheim) Friday in CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 final to be played at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach.

    2. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (11-0)

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders drilled St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City), 35-10, in the Non-Public A semifinals. Princeton-bound RB Ryan Butler helped seal the win with two rushing scores in the second half and became the school’s second player to surpass 3,000 career rushing yards. In the quarterfinals on Nov. 13, the Crusaders stopped Donovan Catholic (Toms River), 35-7. Butler scored three rushing TDs and caught one from Notre Dame-commit QB Steve Angeli, who ran for a 1-yard score in the opening quarter. The season finale is Saturday afternoon against archrivals Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey) in Non-Public A championship game to be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. BC has not won a state title since 2017.

    3. Jesuit, Tampa, Fla. (12-0)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: Defeated Braden River (Bradenton), 49-9, in the Class 6A, Region 3 semifinals. A week earlier, the Tigers bounced Boca Ciega (Gulfport), 50-0, in the Region 3 quarterfinals. Caleb Williams had a 99-yard, pick-six to make it 42-0 at halftime. QB Luke Knight threw four TD passes in the first half, including three to junior WR Jarriett Buie. Friday, they face local rivals Hillsborough (Tampa) for the Region 3 crown.

    4. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (11-1)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: The Raiders swept their first two postseason assignments. Last Friday, they easily handled Miramar, 42-12, in Class 7A, Region 4 semifinals. On Nov. 12, the Raiders overwhelmed Atlantic (Delray Beach), 43-7, in the Region 4 quarterfinals. The Raiders rolled to a 29-0 lead at the intermission. RB Anthony Hankerson ran for 124 yards and three TDs and QB Zion Turner added two rushing scores to pace the offense. Next is Homestead Friday in the Region 4 final.

    5. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (10-2)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: The Friars made history last weekend when they beat then-No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower), 40-21, in the CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 semifinals. Arizona-bound QB Noah Fifita rushed for 139 yards and three TDs on 20 carries. RB/S Houston Thomas’ 71-yard TD late in the third quarter gave the Friars the lead for good at 27-21. Thomas picked off a pass on Bosco’s next possession that led to Ethan Scafidi’s 3-yard scoring run. Fifita’s 1-yard run closed out the scoring with 5:53 left. It was the Friars’ first win over their Trinity League rivals since October 2011. Coach Troy Thomas collected his 100th career win. On Nov. 19, the Friars

    defeated Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita), 34-3, in the CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 quarterfinals. Just when the Friars were getting a serious challenge in the fourth quarter, Oregon-bound WR Tetairoa McMillan stepped up three interceptions, including a pick-six to keep an arm’s length distance from their plucky Trinity League rivals. Fifita hit on 17-of-30 passes for 182 yards with a TD. It’s down to this: Friday vs. No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 final to be played at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach. Must-see schoolboy football!

    6. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (10-2)

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: The Braves lost to then-No. 7 Servite (Anaheim), 40-21, in the CIF-Southern Section Division semifinals. The Braves had two costly turnovers in the fourth quarter that led to 13 points to break away from a 27-21 scoreline. Servite scored the game’s final 20 points. Season complete.

    7. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: The Panthers closed out their season with an impressive 34-24 victory over nationally ranked IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) in a showdown meeting on the Florida Gulf Coast. The win halted IMG’s win streak at 19 games. IMG, which trailed 26-3 in the second half pulled with two points (26-24), but a late TD and two-point conversion put away the team’s eighth win. Season complete.

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

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: The Cadets won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Capital championship, defeating Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), 30-14, in the final. QB Wyatt Hagan fired TD passes to D.J. Linkins, Sean Williams and Asa Greg in the first half to propel the Cadets. It was the first WCAC title since 2017. Season is complete.

    9. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (10-1)

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: They’re down to the final two weeks in the LHSAA Division I playoffs and the Bears survived a scare during a 42-35 shootout win over St. Augustine (New Orleans) in the quarterfinal. Now they Bears play St. Paul’s (Covington) Friday in the semifinals. The winner gets Jesuit (New Orleans) or No. 14 Brother Martin (New Orleans) on Dec. 4 in the Division I final in New Orleans.

    10. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 12.

    In the Huddle: The Lions opened their Class 3A title defense, pummeling Edison (Miami) in the Region 4 semifinals. This Friday they host Cardinal Newman (West Palm Beach) in the Region 4 final.

    11. St. Francis, Mountain View, Calif. (11-0)

    Previous rank: 13.

    In the Huddle: The Lancers pulled away in the fourth quarter to eliminate Menlo-Atherton, 49-28, in the CIF-Central Coast Section Division I semifinals. The game was knotted up at 21 to begin the final quarter. The playoff run continues this weekend with league rivals Serra (San Mateo) in the CIF-Central Coast Section I final with the Lancers looking for a first-ever title in contest to be contested at Westmont High School in Campbell.

    12. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (12-1)*

    Previous rank: 14.

    In the Huddle: Won Class 5A state championship, defeating McQueen (Reno), 56-7. The Gaels scored TDs on all even possessions and added a defensive score to capture an 11th title in 13 years. Nevada did not conduct a season in 2020 for COVID-19 reasons. The Gaels piled up 549 yards of offense to 99 for the visiting Lancers. Sophomore QB Micah Alejado tossed scoring passes to Jonathan Brady, Zach Branch and Elija Maleik Pabon. LB Jamih Otis added a scoop-and-scored in the first half when the Gaels took a 42-0 lead. On Nov. 12, they defeated Liberty (Henderson), 35-14, in the Class 5A Southern Region final. Zachariah Branch found the end zone on a 93-yard punt return and 53-yard catch-and-run. Alejado passed for 238 yards and three TDs. The Gaels avenged an overtime loss to Liberty in the 2019 Desert Regional title game. Season is complete.

    13. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (13-1)

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: The Eagles moved two wins from a state championship crown. Last weekend, they defeated top-ranked Medina, 41-6, in the Division I, Region 1 final. The Eagles keep the run for a fifth state championship alive with a convincing win over a quality opponent. RB Danny Enovitch ran it in from 1 and 16 yards for a 14-6 lead in the first quarter. WR Ryan Miklich had three TD receptions of 26, 35 and 64 yards from QB Christian Ramos and Josh Gribble added a 25-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to close it out. On Nov. 12, the Eagles ran past Canton McKinley, 42-0, in the Division I, Region 1 semifinals. Enovitch scored three TDs in the second half. The Eagles were up 14 points through one quarter and never looked back. Coach Tom Lombardo recorded his 73rd victory to tie John Gibbons for the most football wins in program history. Up next is Columbus-area power Upper Arlington Friday in the Division I semifinals.

    14. Brother Martin, New Orleans, La. (5-5) #

    Previous rank: 16.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders chalked up two impressive wins in the LHSAA Division I playoffs. In the first round, they stomped rival Archbishop Rummel (Metairie), 38-16, on Nov. 12. Last weekend, Crusaders bested second-seeded C.E. Byrd (Shreveport), 45-14, in the quarterfinals. Next is District 9-5A rival Jesuit (New Orleans) Friday in the semifinals.

    15. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (13-1)

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: The Fighting Irish qualified for the Class 5A state championship, rolling New Albany, 52-13, in the Semistate last Friday. RB Carson Johnson ran for 233 yards and an 11-yard TD scamper on 23 carries. Sophomore QB Danny O’Neil accounted for four scores, throwing for two and running 1 and 2 yards for a pair. The Irish was up 28-7 after one quarter and cruised. In the 5A Regional final, they topped New Palestine, 23-7, on Nov. 19.Next stop is Lucas Oil  Stadium in Indianapolis on Friday night for the Class 5A final against Zionsville.

    16. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (10-2)

    Previous rank: 25.

    In the Huddle: The Spartans won their 29th consecutive CIF-North Coast Section title, thumping Pittsburg, 42-14, in the Open/Division 1 championship game. De La Salle’s next opponent will be determined for Northern California Region play.

    17. De La Salle Collegiate, Warren, Mich. (12-0)

    Previous rank: 19.

    In the Huddle: The Pilots are back in the Division 2 state championship game, beating Franklin (Livonia), 49-14, in the state semifinals. In the quarterfinal, they stopped Roseville, 45-14. The road to the final will bring the Pilots to Detroit’s Ford Field on Friday afternoon versus Traverse City Central.

    18. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (9-2)*

    Previous rank: 24.

    In the Huddle: Crushed Northeast (Philadelphia), 41-6, in the PIAA District 12 final. On Oct. 13 , the Hawks bounced then-No. 23 La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.), 35-7, in the Class 6A Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division championship or District 12 semifinals. The Hawks struck first when QB Dane Picariello fired a TD trike to sophomore WR David Washington and the rout was on. La Salle averted the shutout with a late TD. Next is Freedom (Bethlehem) Friday in the 6A quarterfinals to be played at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield.

    19. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (13-0)

    Previous rank: 21.

    In the Huddle: The Hilltoppers are headed back to the state championship game after drubbing  Richmond (ll.)-Burton, 35-18, in the Class 4A semifinals. Last week, they stopped Genoa-Kingston, 42-7, in the quarterfinals. Next is Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield) Friday evening in the Class 4A title game at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

    20. Central Catholic, Portland, Ore. (13-0)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Rams debut in the CAC Top 25 after a dominant regular season and three playoff wins in which they scorched opponents on the scoreboard, 160-38. On Nov. 19, they walloped Mountainside (Beaverton)), 48-17, in the Class 6A second round. Last weekend, it was a 63-21 clobbering of Sherwood in the Class 6A quarterfinals. Friday it’ll be home game with Jesuit (Portland) in the Class 6A semifinals.

    21. Iona Prep, New Rochelle, N.Y. (10-1)*

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: Won New York City Catholic High School Football League Class AAA championship, thrashing Monsignor Farrell (Staten Island), 49-15. It was the Gaels’ first AAA title since 2008 but they did win the AA crown in 2016. Junior QB Ajani Sheppard, who scored two TDs to set the early tone, was named the game’s Offensive MVP and junior LB Zyian Moultrie-Goddard was the Defensive MVP. In the semifinals, the Gaels recorded a 35-28 double-overtime victory over rival St. Anthony’s (Melville). The Gaels choked away a 21-7 lead in fourth but rallied to win it. Great game and effort from option signal-caller Sheppard. Next is St. Francis (Athol Springs) Saturday in the Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AAA state final at home.

    22. Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati, Ohio (11-3)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders have fought their way back into the CAC Top 25 after qualifying for the Ohio Division I, semifinals. QN Noah Geselbracht threw for 130 yards and two scores and RB Jordan Marshall rushed for 123 yards and a TD on 19 carries to put away Lakota West (West Chester), 21-17, to capture the Division I, Region 4 crown. Marshall’s 3-yard TD run with 11:04 left in the contest were the winning points. The Crusaders face Springfield Friday in the semifinals. The winner gets No. 13 St. Edward (Lakewood) or Upper Arlington in the state final.

    23. Calvert Hall College, Towson, Md. (9-2)*

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: Won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship, beating McDonogh (Owings Mills), 14-8, in the final. It was CHC’s first MIAA title since 2010. WR Donnie Lewis caught TD passes of 83 and 36 yards from QB Noah Brannock in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead and the defense did the rest in the second half. Additionally, the Cardinals toppled Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore), 31-26, on Oct. 13 in the semifinals. The season finale is an annual Thanksgiving Day tradition against Loyola Blakefield (Towson) in the Turkey Bowl on Thursday morning at Towson State’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.

    24. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (10-3)

    Previous rank: 20.

    In the Huddle: The GCL South champions didn’t have it when they fell to Lakota West (West Chester), 12-2, on Nov. 12 in the OHSAA Division I, Region 4 semifinal. Season complete.

    25. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (9-3)

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: The Vikings fell to Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh), 47-7,  in the WPIAL 6A final.

    In the semifinals, they beat Seneca Valley, 42-21, on Nov. 13. Season complete.

    Dropped out: No. 4 Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.); No. 10 Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.), No. 22 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) and No. 23 La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.).

    Special Consideration: Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.); Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills, Calif.); Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.); Marist (Atlanta, Ga.); St. Rita (Chicago, Ill.); Central Catholic (Grand Rapids, Mich.); St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.); Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.); St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.);Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.); DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.); Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio); Catholic Memorial (Waukesha, Wis.)*; McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.);Serra (San Mateo, Calif.);St Francis (Athol Springs, N.Y.)*; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.);St. Augustine Prep (Richland, N.J.); Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis, Ind.); La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.); Benedictine (Cleveland, Ohio); Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.); Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.); St. Thomas Academy (Mendota, Minn.); Good Counsel (Olney, Md.); DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.); O’Dea (Seattle); Jesuit (Portland, Ore.); Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.); St. Mary Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.)*; Aquinas (La Crosse, Wis.)*; St. Joseph (Trumbull, Conn.) and Roncalli (Indianapolis, Ind.).

    # Record includes five forfeits

    *Won state or conference postseason championship

    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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC Top 25 High School Football Rankings (November 10, 2021)

    November 10, 2021, 4:03 pm

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The top-four teams from the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football had rare byes in their respective postseason. In total, seven teams were off, including four teams from the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division 1.

    As we move deeper into November, 24 teams have already played or are about to enter the playoffs. No. 8 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.) is the lone team that won’t participate in the postseason but do have one regular season game left on the schedule Coincidentally, the Panthers (7-1) won’t play until Nov. 19 at nationally ranked IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.).

    There is one familiar back in the fold. No. 25 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) re-enters the CAC Top 25 after an 8-2 regular season mark. The Spartans received the top seed for the CIF-North Coast Section Open/Division I first round on Friday. Here’s a factoid that will blow you minds: De La Salle will go for a 30th consecutive section championship. We wouldn’t doubt the Spartans once the North Coast playoffs are played.

    The CAC 25 had nine teams that remained ranked the same as last week. There were 12 teams that moved up at least one spot. One ranked team advanced two slots.

    The biggest jump was No. 11 Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.), which earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Louisiana Division I playoffs. The Bears (9-1) have a first-round bye and will debut in the tournament’s quarterfinals on Nov. 19. Staying in the Bayou State, No. 16 Brother Martin (New Orleans) slipped seven positions. The Crusaders (3-5), who won all eight games on the field but forfeited five games, might have been the top seed in Division I. That didn’t happen and know the 11th-seeded Crusaders dipped and must play a first-round game.

    No. 10 Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.) moves into the top-10 after claiming the MIAA A Conference regular-season championship. The Cavaliers (10-0) need two playoff wins to annex the title.

    No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) and No. 7 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) were idle last weekend and kick off the CIF-Southern Section playoffs this weekend.

    Nationally, CAC 25 teams from Maryland, New Jersey, California, Louisiana, Washington (D.C.) and Pennsylvania finally play in the postseason. The second season will go fast with the last possible date to settle state championships is Dec. 18.

    Buckle up, it’s go time!

    Before we reveal the updated CAC Top 25, we’ll revisit the weekly feature called the Triple Option.

    The Triple Option identifies two student-athletes, a coach and the upcoming weekend’s must-see games. The players of the week are running backs from a CAC Top 25 teams that makes a habit of playing a top-notch competition to prep for the playoffs.

    In Indianapolis, Ind., there is coach who saw his team trail a championship program by 10 points in the first quarter but stayed the course to record a postseason victory.

    We’ve also selected games from Cincinnati and Cleveland and another one from Indianapolis. Plus, there are two playoff games from Maryland and one apiece from New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

    Triple Option

    Players of the Week: Running backs Charles Kellom of No. 20 St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Viliami Teu of No. 13 St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.).

    In playoff football, the team that plays defense and controls the clock, especially in tight games, advances to the next round. Last Friday, Kellom represented St. Xavier’s primary ball-carrier and controlled the ground game.

    With the Bombers facing Greater Catholic League South of Cincinnati rivals Elder (Cincinnati) in the Ohio Division I, Region 4 quarterfinals, Kellom wasn’t ready for his team’s state title defense to end. Kellom was front and center when the Bombers scored the game’s final 35 points in the middle two quarters in a shock 42-7 win over the Panthers. Shock because playoff games are normally tighter in the scoreline, but the Bombers did win the regular season meeting 52-14 on Sept. 24.

    Kellom, who rushed 15 times for 217 yards (14.5 yards a pop!) and two touchdowns, also caught his first of two scores early in the second quarter to break a 7-7 deadlock. Kellom then put away the Panthers with scoring runs from 4 and 97 yards, the latter six-pointer with 99 seconds left in the half made it 28-7. Game over.

    Kellom closed out the scoring with 5:53 left in the third quarter nabbing a 1-yard toss from senior QB Brogan McCaughey, who threw for 249 yards and three TDs.

    Kellom, a 5 feet 11 inch, 195-pound senior, has run for 1,322 yards and 23 TDs on 213 carries and has 30 receptions for 436 yards and six more scores. According to one recruiting website he has interest from FCS program such as Eastern Kentucky, Brown, Dartmouth and Lehigh.

    St. Xavier (10-2) plays in the Region 4 semifinals against Lakota West (West Chester) Friday at the Jake Sweeney Auto Group Stadium in Cincinnati.

    If the Bombers advance to the region final, they could face GCL rival Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati) the following weekend.

    In Northern California, Teu smashed the single-game school record with 344 yards and two TDs on 45 carries as St. Francis beat previously-undefeated and then-No. 13 Serra (San Mateo), 44-21.

    The victory clinched the West Catholic Athletic League for the Lancers (9-0). It also sealed the top seed in the upcoming CIF-Central Coast Section Division I playoffs.

    Coach of the Week: Matt Geske of Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis, Ind.). The scoreboard read Western Boone 10, Brebeuf 0 in the first quarter. Western Boone (Thorntown, Ind.) was an underdog and had won the last three Indiana Class 2A state championships before getting elevated to Class 3A (due to their success).

    With Geske pushing the buttons and his unflappable play calling, the Braves gradually found their footing and stuck to the game plan during a 42-17 victory in the Class 3A Sectional 28 final. The Braves struck for the next 28 points to take a 28-10 lead. Brebeuf, No. 3 in Class 3A, improved to 10-2.

    Geske told the Indianapolis Star, “Western Boone is the type of program where there’s not a player on that team that has ever lost a playoff game. They were able to come in and do some good things. But our guys showed some really good resilience and believed in each other.”

    By the second half, Western Boone’s two-way players were spent. Brebeuf QB Nolan Buckman passed for 182 yards and three TDs. Brebeuf played local powers Roncalli, No. 19 Cathedral and Chatard and West Lafayette in the regular season to prepare for the playoffs.

    Brebeuf trusted the progress and will play Friday in the 3A sectional round against Norwell (Ossian). After that it will take two more wins for Brebeuf’s ultimate goal of 3A state champions.

    Games of the Week (All times are local and subject to change):

    This week it’s a half-dozen game with playoff implications. Lose and you go home. The games that we’ve handpicked feature a championship game from Philadelphia. The semifinals from a private league in the Baltimore area. There’s a game in Chicago that is sure to whet the appetite of any serious fan. In suburban Cleveland, the region semifinals are a rematch from a memorable game played a year ago. In Northern New Jersey and our Nation’s Capital two rivalries are renewed with the stakes raised.

    Medina (Ohio) vs. St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio), Friday, 7 p.m.: The St. Ignatius Wildcats (8-4) take on second-seeded Medina (12-0) in the Ohio Division I, Region 1 semifinals in Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium in Brunswick. The Wildcats stopped Stow, 42-12, in the quarterfinals. Medina’s QB Drew Allar, a Penn State recruit, accounted for six TDs (four passing, two rushing). A year ago, the Wildcats lost to Medina, 32-26, in the semifinals. The winner gets No. St. Edward (Lakewood) or Canton McKinley in region final.

    Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinals, Friday and Saturday: The semifinals are scheduled to be played over two days in the Baltimore area. On Friday, No. 10 Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.) hosts McDonough (Owings Mills) at 7 p.m. Then it’s Calvert Hall College (Baltimore) traveling to Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore) on Saturday afternoon. The winners meet for the A Conference championship.

    No. 24 St. Joseph Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) vs. No. 23 La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.), Saturday, 12 p.m.: It’s a high noon showdown between two Philadelphia Catholic League archrivals for the Red Division title (or PIAA District 12 semifinals) to be played at University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field in Philadelphia. La Salle won the regular-season crown and the meeting 28-21 on Oct. 2.

    Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) at No. 9 St. John’s College (Washington), Saturday, 1 p.m.: The Cadets (9-0) and Gonzaga play for the second consecutive weekend but this time in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals. Last week, Montay Weedon had an 85-yard scoop-and-score for the Cadets. The winner gets No. 22 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) or Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) in the WCAC final.

    Mount Carmel (Chicago, Ill.) at Brother Rice (Chicago), Saturday, 4 p.m.: The Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference rivals are back at it in the Illinois Class 7A quarterfinals. Last weekend, Mount Carmel (8-3) took down top-seeded Batavia, 16-14, on the final play of the game in the second round. Ninth-seeded Rice (9-2) crushed Yorkville, 45-7, in the second round. The Crusaders won in the regular season tussle, 43-36, on Oct. 1.

    Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) at St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.), Saturday, 1 p.m.: There are few North Jersey rivalries that can match the intensity of the two all-males schools in the Non-Public A quarterfinals. SJR (6-2) won 21-14 in the regular season on Oct. 23. The winner gets St. Augustine (Richland) or Delbarton (Morristown) in the semifinals the following weekend.

    We’re knee-deep into the playoffs with every state playing for keeps with the exception of Arizona. We’ll bring you all the results and state champions for the CAC eligible teams in our annual Honor Roll section. First, a chance to play internationally next season.

    Here’s that reminder 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 Patrick@globalfootball.com. 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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 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 17. The following week is Thanksgiving. The fall is really moving quickly and before you know it’s Advent.

    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 in our Honor Roll section.

    Don’t forget Thursday is Veterans Day. That’s a day we recognize all the men and women who served our great land. If you know someone or meet a person that was a member of the armed forces, please thank them for their service to our nation. That’s the ultimate living gesture you can pay them. Remember, it doesn’t cost you a dime but just a few seconds of your time.

    Until next week, God Bless. — Christopher Lawlor

    By CHRISTOPHER LAWLOR, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CATHOLIC ATHLETES FOR CHRIST

    Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, Nov. 10, 2021

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

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: Idle. Three big weekends lie ahead for the nation’s No. 1 team. The run starts with Norco Friday Norco in CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 quarterfinals. There’s a potential rematch with No. 2 St. John Bosco in the sectional final on Nov. 26 in Long Beach.

    2. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: The Braves were idle. They host  Los Alamitos Friday in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals.

    3. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders were idle. They host Donovan Catholic (Toms River) Saturday in the Non-Public A quarterfinals.

    4. Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill. (11-0)

    Previous rank: 4.

    In the Huddle: QB Jack Stearney hit on his first 12 passes and finished with 150 passing yards and two scores and ran for 57 yards as the Rambler stopped Naperville Central, 36-7, in the Class 8A second round. Backup QB/LB James Kreutz came in to scored two TDs on goal line situations in the first frame and RB Kyan Gibbins scored on an 8-yard jaunt in the second quarter. So, it will be a Class 8A quarterfinal date with Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort) Saturday afternoon.

    5. Jesuit, Tampa, Fla. (10-0)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: The Tigers blanked Tampa Catholic, 42-0. One of Florida’s top rivalries is officially one-sided with the Tigers capturing the latest edition for the 22nd consecutive time. Toledo-bound Junior Vandeross totaled two TDs and nearly 200 yards of offense in the rout. The defense allowed one first down and Caleb Williams added a 30-yard, pick-six in the third quarter. LB Troy Bowles recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a special teams score. RB Joquez Smith ran for two TDs. The Tigers host Boca Ciega (Gulfport) in Class 6A, District 3 quarterfinals.

    6. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Raiders had a week off to prepare for their Class 7A title defense. They will entertain Atlantic (Delray Beach) in the Class 7A, Region 4 quarterfinals on Friday.

    7. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (8-2)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: Idle. Next is Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) Friday in the CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 quarterfinals to be played at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.

    8. St Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (7-1)

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: The Panthers defeated St. Thomas More (Oakdale, Conn.), 24-7. They are off until Nov. 19 when they travel to nationally ranked IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) in showdown of independent programs.

    9. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 10.

    In the Huddle: The Cadets completed a perfect regular season after edging league rival Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), 20-17, in the 100th meeting between the two District of Columbia schools. The two rivals meet again in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals on Saturday.

    10. Archbishop Spalding, Severn, Md. (10-0)

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: The Cavaliers walloped Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore), 41-0, for their third shutout of the term and clinched the MIAA A Conference regular-season title with a 5-0 mark. The focus now shifts to the postseason as the Cavaliers host McDonough (Owings Mills, Md.) Friday in the A Conference semifinals.

    11. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 16.

    In the Huddle: A week after a shock loss, the Bears drilled Dutchtown (Geismar), 49-7, in the District 5-5A finale. The Bears received the top seed in the LHSAA Division I playoffs and have a bye until the quarterfinals on Nov. 19 and will meet St. Augustine (New Orleans) or Archbishop Shaw (Marrero).

    12. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (7-1)

    Previous rank: 12.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Lions open their Class 3A title defense on Nov. 19 with Edison (Miami) or Somerset Academy (Pembroke Pines) in the Region 4 semifinals.

    13. St. Francis, Mountain View, Calif. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 14.

    In the Huddle: The Lancers are West Catholic Athletic League champions after pounding previously-unbeaten and No. 13 Serra (San Mateo), 44-21. RB Viliami Teu ran for two TDs and the pitch-and-catch combination of QB Josh Perry to junior WR Andrew Adkinson hooked up for two scores in the rout of Northern California’s top-ranked team. Next is Aptos Friday in the CIF-Central Coast Section Division I quarterfinals.

    14. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (10-1)

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: The Gaels overwhelmed Foothill (Henderson), 63-6, in the Class 5A Southern Region semifinal. After six straight games against in-state competition, the Gaels finally surrendered points. Sophomore QB Micah Alejado was an efficient 9-of-11 for 208 yards and four TDs covering 39, 62, 23 and 12 and ran for a 21-yard score in the first quarter when the Gaels led 28-6. Garrett Pomerantz added a 25-yard, pick-six and WR Elija Lofton caught two TD passes. Friday it will be rival Liberty (Henderson) in the Class 5A Southern Region final.

    15. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (11-1)

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: Hammered Midpark (Berea), 56-14, in Division I, Region 1 quarterfinals. QB Christian Ramos accounted for three TDs, throwing for two and running for another, RB Danny Enovitch opened the scoring with a short TD run in the first quarter. Special teams contributed two kickoffs for scores with Kyan Mason and Carlton Landingham doing the honors. The Eagles have outscored two region opponents, 105-14. They meet Canton McKinley Friday in the Division I, Region 1 semifinals.

    16. Brother Martin, New Orleans, La. (3-5) #

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders mean business after having to forfeit five wins for the use of an ineligible player earlier this season. Last weekend, the Crusaders churned out 511 yards of offense and junior RB Torey Lambert rushed 25 times for 206 yards and two TDs in a 41-12 victory over John Curtis Christian (River Ridge) in the regular-season finale. RB Jordan Thomas added 110 rushing yards and a score. The No. 11 Crusaders didn’t get a favorable seed in the Division I playoffs and face Archbishop Rummel (Metairie) in the first round. The winner gets C.E. Byrd (Shreveport) in the quarterfinals on Nov. 19 or 20.

    17. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (11-1)

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: RB Seth Mencer jump-started the offense with 106 yards and scoring runs of 10, 4 and 1 yards on 10 carries and the Fighting Irish defeated Decatur Central (Indianapolis), 31-7, in the Class 5A, Sectional 13 final. Sophomore QB Danny O’Neil gave the Irish a 7-0 halftime lead with a 6-yard TD run in the first quarter. Mencer then scored once in third and two more in the fourth. Next is New Palestine Friday in the 5A Regional final.

    18. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (8-2)

    Previous rank: 19.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Vikings will play Seneca Valley (Harmony) Friday in the WPIAL 6A semifinals at Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh. If the Viking advance, they will likely meet  Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh) in the WPIAL 6A final.

    19. De La Salle Collegiate, Warren, Mich. (10-0)

    Previous rank: 20.

    In the Huddle: The Pilots keep marching in the Division 2 playoffs after dusting Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South, 35-20. They face Roseville Friday in the Division 2, Region 4 final.

    20. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (10-2)

    Previous rank: 21.

    In the Huddle: QB Brogan McCaughey was an efficient 11-of-13 passing for 249 yards and three scores as the Bombers trounced GCL South rival Elder (Cincinnati), 42-7, in the Division I, Region 4 quarterfinals. The game was clinched in the second quarter as RB Charles Kellom (15 carries, 217 yards) scored all three TDs, rushing in from 4 and 97 yards and catching one from McCaughey from 2 yards. Kellom caught his second TD pass in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring. St. X faces Lakota West (West Chester) Friday in the Region 4 semifinals.

    21. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (11-0)

    Previous rank: 22.

    In the Huddle: The Hilltoppers bounced Wheaton (Ill.) Academy, 48-14, in the Class 4A second round. JCA moved into the quarterfinal round with 27 unanswered points in the second quarter. Illinois-bound RB Jordan Anderson tallied three TDs in the quarter and Vinny Iannantone scored the other. Anderson finished with 136 rushing yards and four scores as JCA rolled up more than 500 yards of offense. Four players paced the attack with at least 100 rushing yads apiece. Coach Jake Jaworski’s squad plays Genoa-Kingston Friday in the 4A quarterfinals.

    22. DeMatha Catholic, Hyattsville, Md. (7-2)

    Previous rank: 23.

    In the Huddle: The Stags churned out an impressive 28-0 victory over WCAC rival Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) in the regular-season finale. Now it’s time for a replay as the Stags and Falcons meet again Friday night in the WCAC semifinals. The WCAC championship is the following weekend.

    23. La Salle College, Wyndmoor, Pa. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 24.

    In the Huddle: The Explorers showed no mercy in crushing Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.), 45-0, in the Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division (or District 12 ) semifinals. Last month, Roman upended the Explorers, 27-20, in the regular season. Now for the rivalry matchup with No. 24 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) Saturday in the PCL Red final at historic Franklin Field.

    24. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (7-2)

    Previous rank: 25.

    In the Huddle: The Hawks trailed by eight points in fourth quarter but rallied to beat rival Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), 17-14, in the Class 6A, District 12 (or Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division) semifinals. Senior Antonio Chadha was hero, booting a 34-yard field goal with 55 seconds remaining to win it. With 8:40 left, Dane Picariello’s TD run and a two-point conversion evened the score at 14. Next up is No. 23 La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.) Saturday afternoon for PCL Red title and a berth in the 6A district final.

    25. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (8-2)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Spartans return to the CAC 25 after shellacking Clayton Valley (Concord), 42-21. RB Charles Greer scored three TDs for the Spartans, who are the No. 1 seed in the CIF-North Coast Section Open/Division 1 playoffs and face James Logan (Union City) Friday in the quarterfinals.

    Dropped: No. 13 Serra (San Mateo, Calif.).

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

    # Record includes five forfeits

    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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC, Spirit Juice Studios Release New Film on Legendary Dodgers Player and Mets Skipper Gil Hodges

    November 8, 2021, 10:44 am

    Why is Major League Baseball legend Gil Hodges not in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.? That is the question posed by “Soul of a Champion: The Gil Hodges Story,” a new documentary produced by Spirit Juice Studios in association with Catholic Athletes for Christ.

    With a deep dive into his career highlights including World Series victories with three teams as a player and manager, his impressive offensive and defensive statistics and awards, and his personal life as a husband, father, military veteran, and devout Catholic, the film makes the case that Gil Hodges is more than deserving of joining his peers in the Baseball Hall of Fame for both his on-field prowess and his off-field example of leadership, character, and integrity. Despite numerous articles, sportswriters, and baseball experts calling for his enshrinement, Hodges has been repeatedly overlooked.

    “Gil Hodges has another shot at the Hall of Fame in early December on the ‘Golden Days Era’ ballot,” said Kevin O’Malley, Catholic Athletes for Christ’s MLB coordinator and one of the film’s producers. “It is our hope that this documentary will give viewers the opportunity to reexamine his credentials, both on and off the field, so that he will finally take his rightful place among his contemporaries in Cooperstown.”

    Viewers and fans are invited to join a social media campaign associated with the documentary to bring attention to this important Hall of Fame vote by showing their support for Gil Hodges and tagging their posts with #GilHodgesHOF. Suggested text for social media posts, photos, and GIFs are available for download at www.gilhodgesfilm.com.

    “Gil was a tremendous baseball player who clearly deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” said Ray McKenna, president of Catholic Athletes for Christ. “But he was also a phenomenal human being who served God, his family, and his country with a quiet humility that made an impression on everyone who knew him. Hodges is the kind of athlete who should be held up as a hero and example to our children for the way he played the game and lived his life.”

    Currently streaming online at www.gilhodgesfilm.com, the 30-minute film features interviews with baseball luminaries including longtime Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, Dodgers legendary manager Tommy Lasorda, and several members of the 1969 New York “Miracle Mets” including Art Shamsky, Ed Kranepool, Cleon Jones, and Ron Swoboda.

    The film is directed by Emmy Award winners David Naglieri and Rob Kaczmark.

    “It has been an honor to work with these legends of the baseball world to produce this compelling story,” said Rob Kaczmark, Spirit Juice Studios CEO. “Gil Hodges was loved and respected by so many people, and I hope viewers of this documentary will come away with a better understanding of his positive impact on both the history of baseball and the people he encountered throughout his life.”

    CAC Top 25 High School Football Rankings (November 3, 2021)

    November 3, 2021, 9:36 am

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — There was minimal movement in the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football.

    The season has reached November and we’re either advancing in the postseason, about to play in the postseason or the regular season is down to a final weekend. Last weekend, Louisiana made news with forfeits and an upset loss by two teams and in California, we cannot punish a team that play in the nation’s toughest league, having lost to the top-two squads in the CAC Top 25.

    Let’s start out in Louisiana.

    It was confirmed later last week that No. 9 Brother Martin (New Orleans) was docked five forfeitures for the 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 Crusaders (2-5) should be 7-0 and near the top of the Division I power points as the playoffs are ready to get underway next week, but they tumbled to No. 11 and will have a much tougher road to a state championship game at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. Until the Crusaders lose on the field, they will remain in the CAC Top 25.

    Teams that benefitted from Brother Martin’s situation include East Ascension (Gonzalez), Jesuit (New Orleans), St. Augustine (New Orleans), Archbishop Rummel (Metairie) and Archbishop Shaw (Marrero) with all gaining a victory.

    No. 16 Catholic (Baton Rouge) suffered a shock upset to Woodlawn (Baton Rouge), 35-28, and were dumped 11 spots with one game left in the regular season. The Bears (8-1) still the No. 1 seed in the power ratings but Byrd (Shreveport) is right there in second. The playoff bracket will be revealed this weekend.

    No. 7 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) slipped four after a 24-10 loss to No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower). The Friars (8-2) have lost in back-to-back games to No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) and now Bosco in Trinity League play. There’s a strong chance they will face Bosco in the playoffs and Mater Dei in the sectional final barring any crazy results.

    Speaking of the Trinity League do follow the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. The five of the eight teams are from the supercharged Trinity and four are nationally ranked. The Division 1 quarterfinals won’t be played until Nov. 12 with these matchups: Norco at No. 1 Mater Dei, Mission Viejo at Corona Centennial, Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) at Servite and Los Alamitos at St. John Bosco. Mater Dei, Servite, SJB and Santa Margarita are members of the Trinity and the sixth is Orange Lutheran, which plays this weekend in the Division 2 first round against Simi Valley. The Division 1 semifinals are Nov. 19 and the final is Nov. 26 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach.

    This week seven teams earned a one slot bump, five moved up two spots and 11 remained the same. There are eight teams playing regular season games this weekend, 10 are ready to open the postseason starting on Friday or Nov. 12 and seven are currently active in the have the state playoffs.

    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. Once again, the CAC is going with co-players of the week, one from Pennsylvania and the other from our Nation’s Capital. Heading to New England, there’s a veteran coach who knows a thing or two about winning and making the correct decisions. Additionally, we have handpicked seven games of national and local interest. There four playoff games from Ohio, Illinois and two in Pennsylvania. Plus, there is a rivalry game from Florida, a league game from Maryland (or suburban Washington) and a league title game in Northern California.

    Players of the Week: Running back Jamar Curtis of No. 10 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) and quarterback Carter Barnes of Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.).

    Everyone familiar with the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference knows the level of competition is among the best in the nation. This season the St. John’s College Cadets (8-0) are the best in the WCAC with three wins with one game remaining in the regular season.

    Last Saturday, Curtis, an undersized running back (he’s listed around 5 feet 8 inches, 165 pounds), proved his worth when the game and the WCAC No. 1 seed for the upcoming playoffs was in the balance.

    Curtis scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter when the Cadets rallied to beat Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), 34-21. The Cadets exploded for 20 points in the final frame to lock up the top seed in the WCAC playoffs.

    Down 21-14 entering the fourth, Curtis pulled the Cadets even at 21 with a 20-yard TD run and then ripped off a 75-yard scoring run with 5:48 left to give his team a 28-21 lead. On the next possession, SJC converted a pick-six to ice it. Through three quarters, Curtis had rushed for only 34 yards on 11 carries but it’s not how you start but how you finish.

    Curtis holds offers from Marshall, Buffalo, Navy and Temple. St. John’s closes out the season at Gonzaga (Washington) Saturday afternoon and then a week host the same opponent in the WCAC semifinals. Good Counsel and DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) are the other semifinal matchup.

    In the northwestern tip of Pennsylvania, where the commonwealth touches Lake Erie, Barnes is doing some special things for the Prep Ramblers (8-1). Prep, ranked No. 4 in Class 5A, typically plays games against out-of-state opponents to bolster their schedule and prepare for the PIAA playoffs. Last weekend, Barnes emerged as a star dual-threat junior QB when Prep toppled St. Francis (Athol Springs, N.Y.), 44-38, in suburban Buffalo.

    Trailing 38-29 midway through the fourth quarter, Barnes revved up his engine and led his team on a pair of scoring drives for the win. Prep pulled within two points (38-36) with 5:27 left. Prep then regained possession when St. Francis fumbled with 2 minutes to go. With time running out, Barnes tucked it, rumbling 19 yards for the decisive score with 1:44 left and then tacked on his second two-point conversion to make it happy bus ride home down I-90.

    For the game, the 6-4, 225-pound Barnes hit on 9-of-17 passes for 192 yards and three TDs. He also carried 22 times for 119 yards and the game-winning score. Barnes threw and run for two-point conversions as Prep closed the regular season with three straight wins. Prep hosts Brashear (Pittsburgh) Friday in a 5A subregional playoff game.

    Coach of the Week: John DiBiaso of Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.).

    The great ones never panic. If you know DiBiaso, he’s a winner and when trailing never he worries but makes the necessary adjustments. He simply counters what the opposing coaches throw at his team. Well, last Friday Boston’s top-ranked team was on the ropes early but rallied to stop rivals Xaverian Brothers (Westwood, Mass.), 41-10, that assured the Knights at least a share of the Catholic Conference title.

    CM (8-0 overall, 4-0 league) trailed by seven points late in the second quarter but quickly dialed up 21 points and carried a 14-point lead (24-10) at halftime.

    DiBiaso told The Boston Globe afterwards: “I’m very proud of the whole team and the way they responded. We hadn’t been pressured, or been behind like that all year, and I wanted to see how they would respond, and they responded great.”

    The Knights, No. 1 in Massachusetts’s Division 2 rankings, open the playoffs this weekend but still have a conference game with Boston College High on Thanksgiving.

    Games of the Week (All times are local and subject to change): Moving forward we’ll have mostly a playoff-theme with the top games. There three regular season games in Northern California, Florida and Maryland with postseason ramifications and a league title at stake. There are playoff games, with the loser done, in Philadelphia, Chicago and Cincinnati.

    Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division semifinals, Friday and Saturday: The PCL is down to three games, including next week’s title game in Class 6A, Division 12. The action starts Friday night at 7:30 p.m. with No. 25 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) vs. Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) to be played at Cardinal O’Hara High School in suburban Springfield. On Saturday, it’s No. 24 La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.) hosting Roman Catholic (Philadelphia), a 1p.m., at Springfield Township High School.

    No. 23 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) at Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), Friday, 7 p.m.: The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference regular season concludes with a whopper of a game. Oddly, the same two teams meet next weekend in the conference semifinals at the winner of this game’s home field. DeMatha, which has its game cancelled last week, is 6-2. Good Counsel checks in at 6-3.

    Elder (Cincinnati, Ohio) at No. 21 St. Xavier (Cincinnati), Friday, 7 p.m.: It’s the renewal of a Greater Catholic League South of Cincinnati at RDI Stadium & Ballaban Field in the Division I, Region 4 quarterfinals. St. X (9-2) won easily last weekend in the opening round their Division I title defense won’t be cakewalk this weekend with a familiar foe. The Bombers won the regular season matchup, 52-14, on Sept. 24. Elder (6-5) won last week in overtime over Colerain (Cincinnati), 55-48, for coach Doug Ramsey’s 200th win. His son, WR Drew Ramsey, was named the GCL South Player of the Year.

    Batavia (Ill.) at Mount Carmel (Chicago, Ill.), Friday, 7 p.m.: Batavia (10-0) is the top seed in the Class 7A states make the 50-mile trek to Chicago should be interesting. No. 17-seeded Mount Carmel (7-3) hosts this second round game and has the tradition (13 state championships) to pull off an upset.

    Tampa (Fla.) Catholic at No. 5 Jesuit (Tampa), Friday, 7:30 p.m.: One of Florida’s top rivalries is a prelude to the Florida High School Athletic Association playoffs that kick off the following weekend. TC (6-2) has won three straight games, including last week’s 63-0 pasting of Halifax Academy (Daytona Beach). Jesuit (9-0) is Florida’s top-ranked Class 6A squad.

    No. 14 St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.) at No. 13 Serra (San Mateo, Calif.), Saturday, 2:30 p.m.: There’s nothing like playoff-like football even before the playoff brackets are set. The winner in this battle of unbeatens claims the West Catholic Athletic League championship. Only presale tickets can be purchased online for entry to Brady Family Stadium. The following weekend both are headed to the CIF-Central Coast playoffs.

    We enter the month of November when dreams can be realized. We’ll bring you all the results and state champions for the CAC eligible teams in our annual Honor Roll section. However, we have a note about a player from California and our weekly reminder.

    The 2022 All-American Bowl will continue the Road to the Dome tour on Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports YouTube channel, honoring six All-Americans in the eight installment of a 15-episode weekly digital series.

    In this week’s episode, presented by GEICO, the All-Americans will be virtually presented with their exclusive All-American jerseys provided by adidas, there is an interview with No. 3 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) standout WR Rayshon Luke.

    Only 100 football players receive the honor of wearing the All-American Bowl jersey each year. Each player selected to participate will culminate their high school careers during the 22nd edition of the annual East vs. West matchup. NBC will present live coverage of the 2022 All-American Bowl from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

    Now 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 Patrick@globalfootball.com. 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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 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 10.

    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 in our Honor Roll section.

    Until next week, God Bless. —

    CHRISTOPHER LAWLOR

    NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT

    CATHOLIC ATHLETES FOR CHRIST

    Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, Nov. 3, 2021 

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

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: The Monarchs are Trinity League champions for the second consecutive season. Last weekend, they defeated JSerra (San Juan Capistrano), 56-14. The damage was done early and quickly as it was 42-7 by halftime. Sophomore quarterback Elijah Brown threw for two touchdowns in the first quarter and RB Ajon Bryant rushed for two TDs. The section playoffs kick off next weekend the Monarchs are the clear-cut No. 1 seed. The Monarchs entertain Norco on Nov. 12 in CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 quarterfinals.

    2. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: The Braves stopped then-No. 3 Servite (Anaheim), 24-10. The Braves took leads of 7-0 in the first quarter and 14-10 at halftime. Junior QB Pierce Clarkson tossed a 49-yard TD to Colin Chase in the first and then 51 yards to RB Jabari Bates in the second. Leading 17-10 late in the fourth, Michigan State-bound QB Katin Houser threw a 37-yard scoring strike to WR Chedon James on fourth down to seal it. The Braves are off this week before hosting Los Alamitos on Nov. 12 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals.

    3. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 4.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders shut out St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City). 21-0. Junior RB Saaed St. Fleur scored from 31 yards in the first quarter and the Crusaders’ defense did the rest. RB Ryan Butler rushed for 171 yards and two scores. The Crusaders received a first-round bye in the state playoffs and play again at home on Nov. 13 against Donovan Catholic (Toms River) or Notre Dame (Lawrenceville) in the Non-Public A quarterfinals.

    4. Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill. (10-0)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: Blanked Downers Grove South, 44-0, in Class 8A first round. The Ramblers are back at in the second round at Naperville Central on Saturday afternoon.

    5. Jesuit, Tampa, Fla. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: The Tigers beat King (Tampa), 56-0. The Tigers head into this weekend’s rivalry game with Tampa Catholic on a high note. RB Joquez Smith opened the scoring from 28 yards after two plays and Junior Vandeross returned a punt 50 yards for a TD. Vandeross collected his second TD off a punt return, going 51 yards for a 22-0 lead in the first quarter. Caleb Williams added a 25-yard, pick-six and the rout was on. The Tigers move into their regular-season finale versus Tampa Catholic on Friday.

    6. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: Defeated Nova (Davie), 49-7. The Raiders are off this weekend and then they will look to defend their state championship. They will next play on Nov. 12 vs. TBA in Class 7A, Region 4 quarterfinals.

    7. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (8-2)

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: Lost at No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower), 24-10. The Friars carried a 10-7 lead into the second quarter. Arizona-bound QB Noah Fifita threw a TD pass to WR Mikey Welsh with 22 seconds left in the first but the Braves scored the game’s final 21 points. The Friars have a week off and will prepare for a league opponent in the playoffs. Next is Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) on Nov. 12 in the CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 quarterfinals.

    8. St Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (6-1)

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: The Panthers defeated West Toronto Prep (Etobicoke, Ontario), 54-6. They host St. Thomas More (Oakdale, Conn.) on Friday.

    9. Brother Martin, New Orleans, La. (2-5) #

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: After being docketed five wins for the use of an ineligible player, the Crusaders bounced Holy Cross (New Orleans), 42-0. The Crusaders are 1-4 in District 9-5A or the New Orleans Catholic League, including the four league forfeits. Junior RB Torey Lambert carried 16 times for 150 yards and three TDs. RB Jordan Thomas scored on runs of 1 and 13 yards. The Crusaders racked up 374 rushing yards and six scores. Next is John Curtis Christian (River Ridge) Friday in the regular-season finale.

    10. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: The Cadets tallied 20 fourth-quarter points in beating Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), 34-21, in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference showdown. Next is a District rivalry game at Gonzaga (Washington) Saturday afternoon and a 4-0 WCAC record heading into the playoffs.

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

    Previous rank: 13.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Cavaliers play Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore) Friday for the MIAA A Conference regular-season title. Both teams are 4-0 in conference play.

    12. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (7-1)

    Previous rank: 13.

    In the Huddle: The Lions close out the regular season walloping previously-unbeaten Lakewood (St. Petersburg), 37-6. Next up for the defending Class 3A state champions are the Region 4 playoffs.

    13. Serra, San Mateo, Calif. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 14.

    In the Huddle: The Padres crushed Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep (San Francisco), 36-7. Next is No.14 St. Francis (Mountain View) for the West Catholic Athletic League championship Saturday afternoon.

    14. St. Francis, Mountain View, Calif. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: This one was over in hurry as the Lancers blanked Archbishop Mitty (San Jose), 45-0. Next is No. 13 Serra (San Mateo) Saturday in a showdown that will determine the league champion.

    15. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (9-1)

    Previous rank: 16.

    In the Huddle: The Gaels defeated Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas), 51-0, in Class 5A Southern Region quarterfinals. Sophomore QB Micah Alejado hit on 10-for-13 passes for 165 yards and a score and rushed 27 yards for another one. This weekend the Gaels play Foothill (Henderson) Friday in the region semifinals.

    16. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: The Bears were upset by Woodlawn (Baton Rouge), 35-28, in a District 5-5A shocker. The regular season ends Friday at Dutchtown (Geismar) and then the Division I playoffs.

    17. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (10-1)

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: The Eagles scored 28 points in the first quarter and rolled over Lorain, 49-0, in the Division I, Region 1 first round. RB Danny Enovitch ran for two scores in the first quarter. Next is Berea-Midpark Friday in the Region 4 quarterfinals.

    18. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (10-1)

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: Sophomore QB Danny O’Neill continues to light up the opposition. Last Friday, he ran for TDs from 5 and 4 yards and passed for 213 yards and two more scores in a 54-7 pasting of Plainfield in the Class 5A, Sectional 13 semifinals. The Fighting Irish travel to Decatur Central (Indianapolis) Friday in the sectional final.

    19. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (8-2)

    Previous rank: 19.

    In the Huddle: The Vikings beat Canon-McMillan (Canonsburg), 54-14. RB Gannon Carothers rushed for two TDS and sophomore QB Payton Wehner accounted for three scores, throwing for two and running for another. After a second-place finish in the WPIAL Class 6A Quad County Conference (behind Mount Lebanon), the Vikings will play Seneca Valley (Harmony) in the WPIAL 6A semifinals on Nov. 12 at Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh.

    20. De La Salle Collegiate, Warren, Mich. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 20.

    In the Huddle: For this second straight week, the Pilots dispatch Detroit Catholic High School League opponent, University of Detroit Jesuit (Detroit) following a 44-0 thrashing in the Division 2, District 2 semifinals. The Pilots face Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South in the District 2 final on Friday.

    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 (9-2)

    Previous rank: 21.

    In the Huddle: RB Charles Kellom ran for 130 yards and two TDs and the Bombers stopped Hamilton, 37-7, in the Division I, Region 4 first round. Kellom’s first score from 12 yards gave his team a 20-0 lead. He added a 26-yard score early in the third quarter for a 34-7 lead. QB Brogan McCaughey threw for 109 yards and a 27-yard TD to Robert Houston in the first frame. Alex Kempner had a 49-yard, pick-six. The defending state champions host GCL South rivals Elder (Cincinnati) Friday in the Region 4 quarterfinals.

    22. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (10-0)

    Previous rank: 22.

    In the Huddle: The Hilltoppers crushed Marengo, 48-0, in the Class 4A first round. The game got out of hand in a hurry after a 28-point first quarter. Vinny Iannantone scored a 1-yard run early in the first for all the points the Toppers would need. Next is Wheaton (Ill.) Academy on Friday in the 4A second round.

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

    Previous rank: 23.

    In the Huddle: Game with Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) was cancelled. The Stags close out the regular season at Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) Friday in a key Washington Catholic Athletic Conference game.

    24. La Salle College, Wyndmoor, Pa. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 24.

    In the Huddle: The Explorers are Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division champions for the first time since 2015. Ryan Moore scored two TDs from the Wildcat formation and defense pitched a shutout in a 20-0 victory over Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) in the regular-season finale. RB Sam Brown started out the third quarter with a 65-yard scoring scamper. The Explorers are back at it Saturday afternoon with the Class 6A, PCL Red Division (District 12) semifinals against Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) to be played in Springfield, Pa.

    25. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (6-2)

    Previous rank: 25.

    In the Huddle: The Hawks held off Father Judge (Philadelphia), 21-13, in the regular-season finale. The game was knotted at 7 in the third quarter before Dane Picariello made it 14-7 on a 6-yard TD run. Kahseim Phillips’s 25-yard scoring jaunt gave the Hawks a commanding 21-7 lead with 2:01 left in the third. Next is Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) in the Class 6A, District 12 (or Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division) semifinals on Friday.

    Dropped out: None.

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

    # Denotes record includes five forfeits

    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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    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 CrescentCitySports.com 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 Patrick@globalfootball.com. 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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 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

    By CHRISTOPHER LAWLOR

    NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT

    CATHOLIC ATHLETES FOR CHRIST

    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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC Top 25 High School Football Rankings (October 20, 2021)

    October 21, 2021, 1:53 pm

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — There was plenty of movement in the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football. In all 18 teams shifted slots and there were two additions from Midwest states.

    No. 16 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) took the biggest hit dropping 11 slots while No. 17 Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) cratered 10 rungs after a hard-fought loss to Indiana’s top-ranked and reigning Class 6A champions Center Grove (Greenwood).

    In Ohio, St. Edward was upended by previously unranked Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati), 28-21, in overtime. It was the third consecutive weekend the Moeller Crusaders (7-2) needed overtime to decide an outcome. They are 2-1 in those game, having beaten Cleveland area heavyweights St. Edward and St. Ignatius (Cleveland). St. Edward was Ohio’s No. 1 Division I team by the Associated Press. With one week remaining in the regular season, it will be interesting where the Eagles land.

    The Cathedral Fighting Irish (8-1) were tripped up for the second straight year by Center Grove in the regular season finale. The Irish enters the Class 5A state playoffs as the favorite.

    No. 21 St. Xavier (Cincinnati), the Greater Catholic League South Division champion, slipped eight spots following a shock 28-21 loss at St. Ignatius.

    The top-4 teams held steady as did No. 25 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.), which won a key Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division showdown with rival Archbishop Wood (Warminster). That includes three teams from the Trinity League of southern California. Six teams advanced three positions, six more went up two and two hopped up one apiece.

    As for the newcomers we alluded the two are from the Midwest. No. 20 De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.) is rolling with a sparkling 7-0 record and will play for the Detroit Catholic High School League Prep Bowl title this Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit against University of Detroit Jesuit (Detroit). The Pilots are Michigan’s No. 1 squad from Division 2.

    No. 23 Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati) climbs aboard after knocking off then-No. 5 St. Edward in overtime. Moeller is catching fire at the right time with the Ohio Division I, Region 4 playoffs less than two weeks out.

    One more thought as No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) hosts No. 4 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) Saturday night. That’s as good as a game there is this weekend and it’s televised. Servite QB Noah Fifita has completed 139 of 207 passes for 2,242 yards and 29 TDs and only four INTs and RB Houston Thomas has rushed for 678 yards and notched 12 scores. At 6 feet 4 inches, WR Tetairoa McMillan is the primary target with 52 receptions for 911 yards (17.5 yards per catch) and 15 TDs. That gives you a taste of the Friars and Mater Dei has been gearing up for this one when both teams played in a truncated spring season when the Monarchs prevailed 24-17.

      The game won’t start until 11 p.m. EDT if you live on the East Coast but worth staying up for.

      It’s time for the Triple Option section and then a few notes 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. In the Midwest, the cities of St. Louis and Cincinnati are known for strong Catholic League football and this week a pair of quarterbacks put on a show. Back in Cincinnati a coach for the second consecutive week knocked off Cleveland area powerhouse programs. Additionally, we have handpicked six games of national and local interest. The most talked about game this weekend is Saturday night from Orange County, California. We span from the East Coast into the Midwest and out to the Pacific Coast for key games that could reshape the CAC Top 25 rankings.

    Players of the Week: Quarterbacks Chris Cotton of De Smet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.) and Noah Geselbracht of No. 23 Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio). Both players are deserving and pulled out big-time wins with the regular season on the cusp of expiration.

    In Missouri, Cotton had a memorable night against a league rival. The junior signal-caller had his hand and legs on all of De Smet’s scores in a 48-21 victory over Saint Louis University High.

    Cotton was simply unstoppable last Friday throwing for four touchdowns and running for three more as the Spartans won for the fifth consecutive game. De Smet opened the season with a 1-2 mark but have matured as the season progressed and are ready for the Class 6 playoffs that start later this month.

    Cotton threw TDs from 14, 8, 15 18 yards as the Spartans jumped to a 28-7 lead at halftime. Cotton opened the scoring with a 14-yard strike to WR Demetrion Cannon. With the game knotted at 7 in the second quarter, Cotton ran for scores of 9 and 1 yards and then hit Gavin Bomstad from 8 yards for a 21-point edge. Cotton tossed a 15-yard TD pass to Keshawn Ford in the third and ran for one and threw for another to wrap up his big night.

    With Cotton at the controls, the Spartans improved to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in Metro Catholic Conference but Christian Brothers College (St. Louis) clinched the championship with a perfect run in four games.

    Meanwhile, in suburban Cleveland, Geselbracht was engineering a special afternoon himself. The senior hit on 23-of-33 passes for 268 yards and two TDs, including the game-winner in overtime as the Crusaders beat then-No. 5 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio), 28-21.

    At 6 feet 6 inches, 215 pounds, Geselbracht managed the game when St. Edward (8-1), which entered the contest as Ohio’s top-ranked Division I team according to the Associated Press, took a 14-6 lead in the second quarter and made sure things would not get out of hand. Geselbracht flipped a 5-yard TD pass to WR Tennel Bryant and then tacked on the two-point conversion late in the first half to tie the score at 14.

    St. Edward regained the lead, 21-14, early in the fourth but Geselbracht led the Crusaders long drive to tie it again. On the first possession of the extra period, he connected with Bryant from 20 yards to close out the scoring. The Moeller (7-2) defense did the rest. The Crusaders finish up the regular season this weekend at Michigan power Martin Luther King (Detroit) on Friday night.

    And Geselbracht will be ready for the challenge in the Motor City.

    Coach of the Week: Mark Elder of No. 23 Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio). If you aren’t familiar with Moeller football, a program steeped in tradition, you might want to listen up. When Elder was hired after a long college coaching tenure, including the final four years at Eastern Kentucky University (2016-19), they looking to return to the glory years in the 1970s and 1980s under coach Gerry Faust. If you recall, Faust made the jump to Notre Dame head coach in 1981 but it didn’t work out.

    Well, Elder really showed his mettle over the last three weekends as Moeller survived two of three games that went to overtime. His latest conquest was a 28-21 win at then-No. 5 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio). St. Edward came into the game unbeaten ranked No. 1 in Ohio’s Division I. The previous weekend, Elder guided the Crusaders to a 29-28 win over St. Ignatius (Cleveland) on Oct. 9. Elder’s team pulled off the rare weekend of the Cleveland dynamic duo of Catholic schoolboy football.

    Moeller (7-2), which went 1-2 in the mighty Greater Catholic League South Division, has a season finale this weekend at top-ranked in Division 3 Martin Luther King (Detroit, Mich.), and then it’s the Ohio Division I, Region 4 playoffs on Oct. 29 or 30. If anything the last three weekends will have the Crusaders battle tested for a rugged ride in the postseason.

    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 Long Island, N.Y., to suburban Washington, D.C. and then the national game of the week from southern California. There are also big games from the Midwest in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.

    No. 16 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) at Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio), Friday, 7 p.m.: St. Edward (8-1) saw their perfect season go by the wayside last weekend during a 28-21 overtime loss to Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati) and a trip to Dowed Field won’t be easy. The Knights (7-2) have won four straight and need to pull it together before the Division II playoffs open later this month.

    Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.) at St. Anthony’s (Melville, N.Y.), Friday, 7 p.m.: Iona Prep (6-1), No. 1 in the New York Class AA rankings, must travel to Long Island for a game that will go a long way to determine the New York Catholic High School Football League AAA-AA1 final standing and playoff seeds. St. Anthony’s is 4-2 overall and 4-1 in the league and with a win would move into a tie for first place.

    No. 12 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) at No. 18 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), Friday, 7 p.m.: The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference regular season crown is up for grabs with the winner moving in pole position for the top seed in the playoffs. DeMatha is 6-1 and SJC Cadets are unblemished in six games.

    No. 6 Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.) at Mount Carmel (Chicago, Ill.), Friday, 7:30 p.m.: It’s Senior Night at Barda-Dowling Stadium for this Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference matchup in the Woodlawn neighborhood in Chicago. The Caravan (6-2) have won two straight following a 43-36 loss to Brother Rice (Chicago) on Oct. 1. Loyola Academy (8-0) goes a perfect regular season and are Illinois’ top-ranked Class 8A squad.

    University of Detroit Jesuit (Detroit, Mich.) vs. De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.), Saturday, 4:30 p.m.: De La Salle (7-0), Michigan’s No. 1 in Division 2, meets U-D Jesuit in the Catholic High School League Prep Bowl at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. Last weekend, RB Brady Drogosh rushed for five TDs in a 47-26 win over Harper Woods. The Cubs are 4-4 and lost the regular season matchup 44-7 between the teams on Oct. 8.

    No. 4 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) at No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), Saturday, 8 p.m.: This one is clearly the national game of the week between two nationally ranked undefeated teams at the sold-out Santa Ana Bowl. The winner has the inside track to capturing the Trinity League title and the top seed in the upcoming California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section playoffs. It’s televised on Bally Sports SoCal.

    Okay, we’re done for another week for the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 rankings, but there’s always a weekly reminder.

    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 Patrick@globalfootball.com. 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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 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. Just send us an email or connect through the social mediums.

    The CAC Top 25 rankings will return on Oct. 27. Only two weekends of football remain in October.

    Stay safe and get out and attend a high school game in your town or area. We highlighted six games that are important but we’re sure there’s one closer to home. Remember, the regular season is over in some areas and the playoffs will be over before you know it. Alaska crowned its first state champions last weekend.

    Until next week, God Bless. — Christopher Lawlor

    By CHRISTOPHER LAWLOR

    NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT

    CATHOLIC ATHLETES FOR CHRIST

    Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, Oct. 13, 2021 

    1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (6-0)

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: The Monarchs downed Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita), 56-3. Sophomore quarterback Elijah Brown threw for five TDs and dashed 2 yards for another score. The Trinity League title could be on the line this weekend. Huge game this weekend with No. 4 Servite (Anaheim) on Saturday night.

    2. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (7-0)

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: Beat St. Joseph Regional (Montvale), 21-10. The Crusaders fell behind 10-0 in the second quarter but rallied. Princeton-bound RB Ryan Butler (99 yards rushing) scored on runs of 2 and 1 yards. Notre Dame-bound QB Steve Angeli tossed a 16-yard TD pass to Christian Carti in the fourth quarter to wrap it up. The Crusaders visit 6-1 Seton Hall Prep (West Orange) Saturday in a Super Football Conference United Red contest.

    3. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (7-1)

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: Defeated Orange Lutheran, 49-25. The Braves jumped to a 21-6 lead at the break. Rayshon Luke scored three TDs and QB Pierce Clarkson passed and rushed for a TD.

    Next is a Friday date at Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) and then a regular season finale with No. 4 Servite (Anaheim) the following week.

    4. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 4.

    In the Huddle: The Friars defeated JSerra (San Juan Capistrano), 53-0. Arizona-bound QB Noah Fifita completed 15 of 16 passes for 192 yards and six TDs. Fifita has 29 TD passes on the season. Oregon commit Tetairoa McMillan caught a touchdown pass and had two interceptions on defense. Keyan Burnett added two TD catches and a team-high 74 yards receiving. 

    Next is a showdown with No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) on Saturday night.

    5. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (7-0)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: The Bears dismantled McKinley (Baton Rouge), 66-6. It was the largest margin of victory this season. Up next is St. Amant Friday in a District 5-5A key matchup. The Bears average 40 points per game and have two district games left against Woodlawn (Baton Rouge) on Oct. 29 and at Dutchtown (Geismar) on Nov. 5.

    6. Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: The Ramblers, No. 1 in Illinois’ Class 8A, remained perfect after defeating St. Patrick (Chicago), 35-6. RB Will Nimesheim gave the Ramblers a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard run and junior QB Jack Stearney threw a TD pass to TE Jack Fitzgerald to make it 14-0 after one quarter. The same combo hooked up in the second for a 21-0 lead. Stearney threw his third TD of the night for 19 yards to WR Peter Gilroy and added a 7-yard TD run late in the game. The regular season concludes Friday at rival Mount Carmel (Chicago).

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

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: The Tigers beat Jefferson (Tampa), 24-0. RB Joquez Smith opened the scoring with a 48-yard TD run in the first quarter. Junior WR Jarriett Buie caught a 25-yard TD in the second quarter to make it 14-0. WR Carter French closed out the scoring with a short scoring pass in the fourth quarter. Next is Blake (Tampa) Friday for Homecoming.

    8. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (7-1)

    Previous rank: 10.

    In the Huddle: Junior RB Gemari Sands scored for three TDs as the Raiders stopped then-No. 21 Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale), 39-14. Sands’ 65-yard run in the fourth quarter closed out the scoring. This weekend’s undefeated crosstown foe has outscored the opposition, 320-7. The Raiders are up against it. Next is 7-0 Dillard (Fort Lauderdale) Friday.

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

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: The Panthers crushed Life Christian Academy (Chester, Va.), 47-8. Next is a bye week before West Toronto Prep (Ontario) visits on Oct. 29.

    10. St. Francis, Mountain View, Calif. (6-0)

    Previous rank: 12.

    In the Huddle: Shut out Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco), 33-0. The Lancers meet rival Bellarmine College Prep (San Jose) Friday on the campus of San Jose City College.

    11. Brother Martin, New Orleans, La. (5-0)

    Previous rank: 14.

    In the Huddle: RBs Corey Lambert, Jordan Thomas and Jordan West all scored TDs as the Crusaders stopped Archbishop Shaw (Marrero), 47-15. The action continues this weekend at Carencro (Lafayette).

    12. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (6-0)

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference regular season title could be decided at No. 18 DeMatha Catholic(Hyattsville, Md.) on Friday. The senior leadership of QB Wyatt Hagan, WR D.J. Linkins and RB Jamar Curtis will need to step up this weekend.

    13. Archbishop Spalding, Severn, Md. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 16.

    In the Huddle: In a defensive battle, the Cavaliers held off McDonough School (Owings Mills), 14-3. RB Nick Gutierrez scored on runs of 7 and 6 yards. His first TD gave the Cavaliers a 7-3 lead after one quarter. Next is Gilman School (Baltimore) Friday afternoon in the MIAA A Conference.

    14. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (5-1)

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: The Lions, Florida’s top-ranked Class 3A squad, won for the fourth consecutive game, beating state power Gulliver Prep (Miami), 31-16. Next is Stranahan (Fort Lauderdale) Friday.

    15. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (7-1)

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: Sophomore QB Micah Alejado tossed three TDs, including two to WR Zachariah Branch of 42 and 37 yards during a 49-0 pasting of Palo Verde (Las Vegas).  RB William Stallings rushed for scores of 2 and 33 yards. The Gaels have blanked their four Class 5A foes by a combined 214-0. The regular season concludes at Foothill (Henderson) Friday.

    16. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (8-1)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: The Eagles were shocked by Moeller (Cincinnati), 28-21, in overtime. RB Danny Enovitch carried 22 times for 119 yards and scored two TDs but it wasn’t enough. The Eagles close out the regular at Archbishop Hoban (Akron) Friday.

    17. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: Lost to nationally ranked Center Grove (Greenwood), 21-6. Ben Gomez kicked two field goals in the setback. The Fighting Irish host Terre Haute North Friday in the Class 5A sectionals. The winner plays Plainfield on Oct. 29.

    18. DeMatha Catholic, Hyattsville, Md. (6-1)

    Previous rank: 20.

    In the Huddle: Defeated Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), 31-6. The Stags face No. 12 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) Friday in a game that could decide the WCAC championship. The Stags are 2-0 in league play.

    19. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (6-2)

    Previous rank: 22.

    In the Huddle: The Vikings rebounded from a loss in the previous game to defeat Hempfield (Greensburg), 35-0. It was the team’s third shutout of the campaign. Sophomore QB Payton Wehner threw for 109 yards and two TDs to WRs Peter Gonzalez and Vernon Settles. RB Antonio Pitts carried 11 times for 140 yards and a score. Next is Baldwin (Pittsburgh) Friday and then the WPIAL Class AAAAAA playoffs.

    20. De La Salle Collegiate, Warren, Mich. (7-0)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: Michigan’s top-ranked Division 2 squad heads to the Catholic High School League Prep Bowl this weekend against University of Detroit Jesuit (Detroit) Saturday at Ford Field. Last weekend, the Pilots defeated Harper Woods, 47-26. Junior QB Brady Drogosh rushed for 220 yards and five TDs.

    21. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (7-2)

    Previous rank: 13.

    In the Huddle: Upset by St. Ignatius (Cleveland), 28-21. QB Brogan McCaughey threw an 11-yard TD pass to Duke-bound TE Max Klare in the first quarter. McCaughey tied the game at 21 with a 1-yard run. The Bombers close out the regular season hosting Eagle’s Landing Christian (McDonough, Ga.) this weekend.

    22. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (8-0)

    Previous rank: 23.

    In the Huddle: The Hilltoppers beat Benet Academy (Lisle), 42-20. The game was tight, 21-20, in the third quarter when QB T.J. Schlageter fired a 22-yard scoring strike to Jake Feldman to made it 28-20. Feldman’s 75-yard punt return to the house upped the count to 35-20. Schlaget’s 4-yard keeper closed out the scoring with 7:21 left in the contest. JCA travels to Montini Catholic (Lombard) Friday in the regular season finale.

    23. Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati, Ohio (7-2)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders played their third straight overtime game in beating then-No. 5 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio), 28-21. QB Noah Geselbracht threw for 268 yards and two TDs of 5 and 20 yards to WR Tennel Bryant. The latter score occurred on the first possession of overtime and broke a 21-all tie. Kentucky-bound TE Josh Kattus had 11 receptions for 118 yards. Coach Mark Elder’s team has a regular season finale on Friday at Michigan power Martin Luther King (Detroit).

    24. La Salle College, Wyndmoor, Pa. (6-1)

    Previous rank: 23.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Explorers had a week off to think about a shock loss to league rival Roman Catholic (Philadelphia) in their previous outing. Up next is Father Judge (Philadelphia) on Friday.

    25. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (4-2)

    Previous rank: 25.

    In the Huddle: The Hawks topped Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), 38-20. Sophomore QB Semaj Jones scored the final three TDs of the game when the Hawks trailed 20-17 in the third quarter. Prep scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from a 24-20 scoreline. Next is Roman Catholic (Philadelphia) on Friday at the Northeast Supersite.

    Dropped out: No. 19 DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.) and No. 21 Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.).

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

    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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC Top 25 High School Football Rankings (October 13, 2021)

    October 13, 2021, 6:10 pm

    By CHRISTOPHER LAWLOR

    NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT

    CATHOLIC ATHLETES FOR CHRIST

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Upsets were in the air last weekend in the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football.

    Ultimately two of the four shocks cost teams their status in the CAC Top 25. When one door closes another one opens. Unfortunately, one of the biggest “shocks” occurred in North Jersey, where then-No. 14 St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City) lost for the second straight week. St. Joseph Regional (Montvale) fashioned a 21-14 win over the Marauders. It was tied at 14 heading into the third quarter when St. Joseph scored and the defense did the rest.

    Prep (5-2) was dropped as was then-No. 24 O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.), which lost to rivals Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.), 24-14. O’Dea (3-2) could meet EC (4-1) in the Class 3A playoffs.

    Entering the CAC Top 25 are teams from Florida and Illinois.

    No. 21 Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), the defending FHSAA Class 5A state champions, are currently the state’s No. 1 Class 4A team. The Chiefs (5-1) have a huge rivalry game this weekend with No. 10 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale). It might be a short stay or another win for the Chiefs, who topped Aquinas last October.

    No. 23 Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy is the state’s top-ranked Class 4A team and competes in the ultra-competitive Chicago Catholic/East Suburban Catholic Conference. Last weekend, the Hilltoppers (7-0) beat Class 7A powerhouse Brother Rice (Chicago), 56-49. JCA has two games left in the regular season and the quest for a state championship.

    This week’s CAC Top 25 had 14 static teams, including the top-13. Seven teams moved up with five going up two slots and two ascending one. Two teams from Pennsylvania lost but remained in the CAC 25. In Philadelphia, No. 24 La Salle College (Wyndmoor) were shock losers to 3-4 Roman Catholic (Philadelphia).

    No. 22 Central Catholic (Pittsburgh) cratered five spots in a 35-14 loss to Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh) in a WPIAL Class AAAAAA showdown. It was not a shock loss but the Vikings (4-2) can expect to see their local rivals again in the postseason.

    Bottom line: both stay as Class AAAAAA ranked teams that can make deep runs in the PIAA playoffs.

    That’s a synopsis for early October in the CAC Top 25 rankings. Lots going on

    We’re looking forward to this weekend and now that we’re in October, the regular season is winding down with the playoffs on the horizon.

    It’s time for the Triple Option section and then a few notes 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. In the Chicagoland area, there’s big, high-stepping running back that might remind you of a bespectacled Hall of Famer. In Los Angeles, he’s a coach with a plan and faced more opponents in the last four weeks that most will in three seasons. Additionally, there are eight games from Boston to upstate New York to south Florida to Honolulu. We’re going from the Eastern Time Zone to the Hawaiian spanning more than 5,000 miles and there several CAC 25 storylines to tell as the regular season winds down in most states.

    Player of the Week: Running back Jordan Anderson of No. 23 Joliet (Ill.) Catholic. Normally, running backs are built closer to the ground. Lower center of gravity. A smaller target means tougher to tackle, tougher to separate the ball-carrier from the pill. Unless you are Jordan Anderson.

    At 6 feet 3 inches, 215 pounds, Anderson is an anomaly in the backfield. He’s built like 6-3 Eric Dickerson (13,000-plus yards, NFL Hall of Fame) than 5-8 Barry Sanders (another Hall of Fame tailback), who featured legs akin kegs of dynamite. Anderson must have plucked a few attributes from both last Friday and thank goodness.

    He needed the balance, sustainability and downhill running to overcome one of the state’s top teams in Chicago.

    Just when the Joliet Catholic Academy Hilltoppers needed a top-notch performance in a statement-type game, Anderson delivered. Boy, did he ever. Try 319 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 29 carries when JCA turned back Brother Rice (Chicago), 56-49, in an entertaining Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference Blue game.

    In a game that more than 1,300 yards of offense, the game it was a tied at halftime, 35-all. The Illinois-bound Anderson had done his part with four TDs and 215 yards on the ground. In the third, Anderson tacked on two more scores for a 49-35 lead but Rice charged back and closed out the scoring with two minutes remaining in the fourth.

    The Hilltoppers, a double wing team, churned more rushing yards to put away the game. JCA (7-0), Illinois’ top-ranked Class 4A, knocked off a perennial league giant and one of the state’s top Class 7A (largest classification) teams. The Hilltoppers are back at it Friday at Benet Academy (Lisle) in league action.

    JCA and Anderson, a perfect pairing, from one small package comes big things … ‘big’ meaning Anderson.

    Coach of the Week: Scott Altenberg of Serra (Gardena, Calif.): The great coaches adapt to their personnel. Tweak the offense or defense and show a few different wrinkles to throw off the other team. Altenberg dug deep to pull out a 16-12 victory over Chaminade (West Hills) in the Mission League opener.

    Serra (3-3) appeared down and out even prior to kickoff. His quarterback had a bum shoulder, barely able to throw, and others were out because of COVID contact tracing protocols. Well, QB Maalik Murphy started and passed for 52 yards, a triumvirate of running backs rotated handoffs and offense used time-consuming drives to shorten the game.

    Serra’s magnus opus on the evening was a 13-play, 65-yard march capped by RB Cincere Rhaney’s 13-yard TD run for a 16-6 lead. Although the Eagles pulled within four points, Altenberg’s play calling and the ability to move the chains melted the final eight minutes off the clock. Serra, which had not played since Sept. 19 over COVID protocols by Los Angeles County, won and Altenberg can adjust with the cards dealt. That’s crafty coaching.

    Games of the Week (All times are local and subject to change): It’s bonus week because we’ll preview eight games and we’re all over the place. We have the national game of the week in the Hoosier State, two rivals going at it in Rochester, New York and rare Saturday night game from Florida between crosstown foes.

    Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.) at St. John’s Prep (Danvers, Mass.), Friday, 6 p.m.: Nothing like Friday nights on a cool New England evening. It’s even better when the top-two heavyweights from the Catholic Conference, both 5-0, meet at Glatz Field. Livestream it here.

    Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) at No. 7 Cathedral (Indianapolis), Friday, 7 p.m.: The national game of the week will be played at Arlington High School in Indianapolis. Everyone in Indiana will be eyeballing this one. It’s a duel between two 8-0 teams, defending state champions and the No. 1s in the top two classifications Center Grove (6A) and Cathedral Fighting Irish (5A). Center Grove handed the Irish their only loss last year, so it’s redemption time.

    Aquinas Institute (Rochester, N.Y.) vs. McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.), Friday, 7 p.m.: Two bitter rivals, two unbeaten teams and two of the top teams in the New York Class AA rankings equal one great game. It will be played on the campus of St. John Fisher College on East Avenue in Pittsford. One suggestion: buy tickets in advance.

    No. 19 DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.) at Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), Friday, 7 p.m.: Don Bosco (3-3) is the hottest team in the Super Football Conference United Red after taking down previously ranked St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City) and Delbarton (Morristown) in successive weekends. DePaul (5-1), which clinched the SFC United White title, has not beaten the Ironmen since 2017. The Spartans are the favorite to capture the Non-Public B state title under fist-year head coach Nick Campanile in November.

    Kamehameha School (Honolulu, Hawaii) at Saint Louis School (Honolulu), Friday, 7:30 p.m.: There’s reason why Hawaiian football isn’t soaring: the pandemic. Public schools aren’t playing for a second year but the Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) is playing a limited schedule. Saint Louis (2-2) opened the season losing at No. 18 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) on Aug. 20 and did not play until Sept. 18. This is the second meeting between the private schools, Kamehameha won 23-21 on Sept. 24, and will be played at Aloha Stadium. The two could meet again in the ILH playoffs.

    Benedictine (Cleveland, Ohio) at Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio), Friday, 7 p.m.: Two of northeast Ohio’s top teams engage in a possible preview of the Ohio Division II Region 5 playoffs. Benedictine (6-0), No. in Division II, had its game cancelled last weekend by inclement weather. Hoban (5-2) is the reigning Division II state champions and will ride the hot hand of junior RB Lamar Sperling fresh off a 217-yard, four-TD effort last Friday.

    Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) at Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), Saturday, 1 p.m.: It’s been a bizarre year in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference but it’s about to come back into focus, starting this weekend in the Nation’s Capital. Good Counsel (4-2) has won two-straight but still must play CAC 25 teams St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) and DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville). Gonzaga (4-3) was thumped 30-6 at DeMatha last weekend.

    No. 10 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at No. 21 Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale), Saturday, 7 p.m.: Last year, Cardinal Gibbons (5-1) shocked Aquinas, 17-10. Both teams went onto to win FHSAA state championships but Aquinas (6-1) wants redemption. The game is shifted 20 miles north to FAU Stadium in Boca Raton.

    Okay, we’re done for another week for the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 rankings but here’s a shoutout to a great coach, a special player from Philadelphia and a weekly reminder from Global Football for an international football event in 2022.

    Call J.T. Curtis “Coach 600.” That’s because the John Curtis Christian (River Ridge, La) legend is only the second head football coach on any level to reach 600 victories after beating Archbishop Shaw (Marrero, La.), 37-16, last Friday for the milestone win.

    J.T. Curtis is in an exclusive club of two, joining the all-time leader John McKissick (620-155-13 overall) of Summerville (SC). J.T. (600-72-6, 26 state titles) is roughly portions of the next three seasons or less from establishing a new national standard. Although he doesn’t coach at a CAC eligible school, Curtis does coach in Louisiana’s District 15-5A or the New Orleans Catholic League. His teams face weekly the likes of Jesuit, Archbishop Rummel, Catholic (Baton Rouge), Holy Cross, St. Augustine and Brother Martin.

    All the best to an elite coach and Believer in Christ. Amen.

    The 2022 All-American Bowl will continue the Road to the Dome tour tonight (Oct. 13) at 8 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports YouTube channel, honoring six All-Americans in the fifth installment of a 15-episode weekly digital series.

    In this week’s episode, presented by adidas, the All-Americans will be virtually presented with their exclusive All-American jerseys provided by adidas. An interview South Carolina commit DB Keenan Nelson Jr. of No. 25 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) will also be featured within the episode. Nelson’s coach, Tim Roken, was named the East’s head coach last week.

    Only 100 football players receive the honor of wearing the All-American Bowl jersey each year. Players selected will culminate their high school careers during the 22nd East vs. West all-star matchup. NBC will present live coverage of the game from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

    Kudos to Keenan, it’s a tremendous honor.

    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 the scoop.

    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 Patrick@globalfootball.com. 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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 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 Oct. 20.

    Stay safe and get out and attend a high school game in your town or area. We’ve mentioned eight games that are noteworthy but we’re sure there’s one right around the corner from you.

    Until next week, God Bless. — Christopher Lawlor

    Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, Oct. 13, 2021 

    1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (5-0)

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: The Monarchs thrashed Orange (Calif.) Lutheran, 55-16. Sophomore QB Elijah Brown tossed a pair of touchdowns for the Monarchs, who opened up a 27-9 halftime lead. Quincy Craig scored three TDs, including the second-half kickoff 92 yards to the house. RB Ajon Bryant dashed for two scores. Coach Bruce Rollinson’s team entertains Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) Friday.

    2. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (6-0)

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: Wiped out Paramus Catholic, 63-0. This one was predictable and the Crusaders pumped out 35 points in the first quarter and coasted to an easy victory. RB Saaed St. Fleur tallied TDs on runs of 5, 7 and 10 yards in the first quarter and John Fiore added a 40-yard, scoop and score off a fumble recovery. This weekend it’s another bitter Bergen County rival with St. Joseph Regional (Montvale) back at Jack McGovern Field at Crusader Stadium or a.k.a., “The Jack.”

    3. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (6-1)

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: Defeated JSerra (San Juan Capistrano), 44-7. Six different players found the end zone during a comprehensive victory. When the Braves built a 20-0 halftime edge, QB Pierce Clarkson found TE Matayo Uiagalelei for a 25-yard reception, Michael Hayes scored on a short run and Rayshon Luke sped 48 yards for another score. Logan Booher, Khalil Warren and Raiden Brown scored in the second half with the clock running for the mercy rule. The Braves meet Orange Lutheran Friday in a game to be played at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.

    4. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (7-0)

    Previous rank: 4.

    In the Huddle: The Friars have one more Trinity League contest before running the gauntlet. Last weekend, they pounded Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita), 48-21. The Friars zoomed to a 21-0 edge after the first quarter but lead shrunk to 21-14 at the break. RB Houston Thomas celebrated his 19th birthday with a 193-yard, three-TD rushing night. The Friars close with JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) on Thursday before tackling Trinity heavyweights Mater Dei and St. John Bosco to round out the regular season.

    5. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (7-0)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: The Eagles defeated Clarkson Football North (Mississauga, Ontario), 38-7. QB Christian Ramos passed for two TDs and sped 44 yards for another against the Canadians. Ramos’ scoring strikes went to Jackson Miller and Rayshawn Manning Jr. for 21 and 8 yards, respectively. Defensively, junior DE Michael Kilbane had 2.5 sacks and six tackles and DE Wyatt Gedeon added one sack and seven tackles. The Eagles are top-ranked in Ohio’s Division I. Next up is Moeller (Cincinnati) Saturday.

    6. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (6-0)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: The Bears outscored East Ascension (Gonzales), 48-29. The offense had its top output of the campaign but the defense allowed its season high. The defending Division I state champions are back at on Oct. 22 with St. Amant after much deserved weekend off. The regular season is down to three games.

    7. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (8-0)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: Indiana’s top-ranked Class 5A squad won its penultimate regular season game topping Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis), 45-21, setting this weekend’s meeting of the unbeatens. Sophomore Danny O’Neil continued his torrid pace to the start of his varsity career hitting on 14-of-31 passes for 237 yards and four TDs from 1, 30, 40 and 5 yards, including two to WR Michael Page. RB Seth Mencer paced the ground game with 60 yards and a score on 9 carries. So, it’s the national game of the week when the Fighting Irish host nationally ranked and Class 6A top dog Center Grove (Greenwood) Friday.

    8. Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill. (7-0)

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: Shut out Providence Catholic (New Lenox), 40-0. The Ramblers subbed freely in the contest that got out of hand in a hurry. Sophomore RB Will Nimesheim opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 35-yard TD run and then hooked with junior QB Jack Stearney on a scoring 40-yard pass play. The Ramblers look for a 14th consecutive victory at St. Patrick (Chicago) to be played at Triton College on Friday night.

    9. Jesuit, Tampa, Fla. (6-0)

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: The Tigers beatCentral Catholic (Clearwater), 35-21. RB Joquez Smith scored two TDs. The district play picks up at Jefferson (Tampa) Friday.

    10. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (6-1)

    Previous rank: 10.

    In the Huddle: Blanked South Plantation (Plantation), 62-0. The defense recorded a second straight whitewashing. Next is a revenge game against a crosstown rival No. 21 Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale) on Saturday night at FAU Stadium in nearby Boca Raton.

    11. St Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (3-1)

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: Game with Academy of the New Church (Bryn Athyn, Pa.) was cancelled. The Panthers are scheduled to play at Life Christian Academy (Chester, Va.) Friday.

    12. St. Francis, Mountain View, Calif. (5-0)

    Previous rank: 12.

    In the Huddle: Rallied to beat Valley Christian (San Jose), 41-27. The Lancers host Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) Friday, but the biggest game is the last of the regular season with Serra (San Mateo) on Nov. 6 will likely settle the West Catholic Athletic League championship barring any upsets.

    13. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (7-1)

    Previous rank: 13.

    In the Huddle: Downed rivals La Salle (Cincinnati), 49-14. QB Brogan McCaughey hit on 13-of-19 for 333 yards and three scores and RB Charles Kellom carried 23 times for 108 yards and TD runs of 1, 8 and 8 yards. The Bombers, who were upset in the previous game, raced to a 35-14 lead after one quarter and officially clinched the GCL South Division championship with a 3-0 record. Next is a trip to St. Ignatius (Cleveland) Saturday in Strongsville.

    14. Brother Martin, New Orleans, La. (4-0)

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: Pummeled Archbishop Rummel (Metairie), 45-14, upping its mark to 3-0 in District 9-5A play. RB Torey Lambert rushed for 126 yards and a 2-yard TD jaunt. Jahron Manning returned the second-half kickoff 89 yards for a score and Jordan Thomas tacked on a pair of TD runs. The Crusaders are back at it Friday against Archbishop Shaw (Marrero).

    15. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (6-0)

    Previous rank: 16.

    In the Huddle: The Cadets opened their Washington Catholic Athletic Conference account, blanking Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), 35-0. QB Wyatt Hagan tossed a 9-yard TD pass for a 7-0 lead and RBs Jamar Harris added a short scoring run to double the score in the first quarter. Now it’s time out for the Cadets to enjoy a bye weekend before resuming with a WCAC donnybrook at No. 20 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) on Oct. 22.

    16. Archbishop Spalding, Severn, Md. (7-0)

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: Once again the Cavaliers remained cool in a close game, turning away Pennsylvania power Malvern Prep, 31-17. The game was tied early in the fourth when RB Jordan Harris ran 16 yards for the decisive score and a 24-17 lead. It’s back to MIAA A Conference play at McDonough School (Owings Mills) Friday.

    17. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (4-1)

    Previous rank: 19.

    In the Huddle: Game withFort Lauderdale High was cancelled. The Lions host Gulliver Prep (Miami) Friday in non-district contest.

    18. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (6-1)

    Previous rank: 20.

    In the Huddle: Overwhelmed Legacy (North Las Vegas), 62-0. The Gaels have shut out all three of their Desert Region opponents this season. RB Jonathan Brady scored three TDs, running for two and catching another, during the rout. Sophomore TE Elija Lofton added two TDs. The Gaels entertain Palo Verde (Las Vegas) on Friday.

    19. DePaul Catholic, Wayne, N.J. (5-1)

    Previous rank: 21.

    In the Huddle: The defense earned the props after recording six sacks and did not allow a first down until the fourth quarter in defeating Irvington (N.J.), 21-0. The Spartans scored all their points in the first half as QB A.J. Rodriguez threw a 72-yard bomb to Jadin Johnson. Backup QB Patrick Grusser scored on a 1-yard plunge and Rodriguez then hooked up with TE Jake Kucera from 27 yards to close out the scoring. The Spartans visit quickly rising Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey) Friday.

    20. DeMatha Catholic, Hyattsville, Md. (5-1)

    Previous rank: 22.

    In the Huddle: It was a statement game for the Stags in trouncing archrivals Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), 30-6. Freshman QB Denzel Gardner accounted for three TDs, including two in the air, in his Washington Catholic Athletic Conference debut. The WCAC schedule rolls into Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.) Saturday.

    21. Cardinal Gibbons, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (5-1)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: What a way to enter the CAC 25 for Florida’s No. 1 team in Class 4A. The Chiefs hammered Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale), 56-7, on homecoming. They scored 21 points in each of the opening two quarters for a 42-7 edge. Next is No. 10 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) Saturday, a team they beat a year ago. The defending FHSAA Class 5A state champions will host the game at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton.

    22. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (4-2)

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: Lost to Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh), 35-14. The game was played over two days. Lightning delayed the proceedings on Friday with the Vikings trailing 21-7. The Vikings drop to second place in the WPIAL Class AAAAAA standings and face Hempfield (Greensburg) on Friday. The Vikings are still one of the state’s top Class AAAAAA teams and could meet Mount Lebanon in the WPIAL final in November at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

    23. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (7-0)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: This is one of the smaller schools enrollment wise in the CAC 25 but there is quality in all classifications of the Chicago Catholic/East Suburban Catholic Conference Blue. Last weekend, the Hilltoppers defeated Brother Rice (Chicago), 56-49, in an offensive shootout. Trailing 14-0 early, RB Jordan Anderson took over with 319 rushing yards and six TDs. The Hilltoppers next test is at Benet Academy (Lisle) Friday.

    24. La Salle College, Wyndmoor, Pa. (6-1)

    Previous rank: 23.

    In the Huddle: Go figure. A week after seizing control of the Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division, the Explorers were upset by sub-.500 Roman Catholic (Philadelphia), 27-20. That throws a wrench into the league standings with three weeks remaining. A week off will help them refocus. Up next following the bye is Father Judge (Philadelphia) on Oct. 22.

    25. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (3-2)

    Previous rank: 25.

    In the Huddle: The Hawks made the 90-minute drive south to record a 24-6 victory over Middletown (Del.) in a game televised on ESPNU. RB Blaine Bunch rushed for two scores and sophomore RB Kahseim Phillips darted 16 yards for the third TD. Antonio Chadha kicked a 38-yard field late in the second quarter goal for a 10-0 lead at the break. Coach Tim Roken’s team visits Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) in a key Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division showdown Saturday.

    Dropped out: No. 14 St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) and 24 O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.).

    Special Consideration: Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.);Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.);De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.); Central Catholic (Grand Rapids, Mich.);St. John’s Prep (Danvers, Mass.);St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.); Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.); Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.).); St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.);St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.); Benedictine (Cleveland, Ohio);Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio); Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.);Roncalli (Indianapolis, Ind.);Saint Louis School (Honolulu, Hawaii); Serra (San Mateo, Calif.);McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.);Catholic Memorial (Waukesha, Wis.); Good Counsel (Olney, Md.);Marist (Atlanta, Ga.);Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.);St. Augustine Prep (Richland, N.J.); Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.);Nolan Catholic (Fort Worth, Texas); St. Joseph (Trumbull, Conn.);Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.);Aquinas Institute (Rochester, N.Y.); Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.) and Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.).

    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 www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC Mourns Passing of Notre Dame H.S. (Trenton, N.J.) Coach John McKenna

    July 2, 2021, 9:08 am

    CAC recently lost a great friend, brother in Christ, and representative of CAC when Strength and Conditioning Coach John McKenna of Notre Dame High School in Trenton, N.J., passed away on June 21.  Click Here to read his obituary.

    “He was a leader in everything he did including his tireless promotion of our CAC High School Cathletes chapters.  His passion and enthusiasm for sports and life, or more properly stated perhaps, a sports life centered on Christ was infectious.  I will always remember Coach’s specially-made t-shirt proclaiming, ‘Jesus Christ is my superhero.'”, said CAC President and Founder Ray McKenna.   

    McKenna added, “Please keep coach, his family, and our CAC family in the Diocese of Trenton in your prayers.  Everyone who had the pleasure of knowing Coach McKenna will miss him terribly.  In a world with few heroes, we just lost a great one.  We look forward to seeing Coach in heaven leading the Saints in an arduous workout.”

    CAC’s Ministry Featured in The Arlington Catholic Herald

    May 26, 2021, 9:06 am

    Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC), and its MLB and NFL ministry programs, was featured in the Arlington (Va.) Diocese’s biweekly newspaper, The Arlington Catholic Herald. The article focuses on CAC’s work coming out of the global pandemic.

    Click Here to read the article.

    Black History Month Focus on Buck O’Neil

    February 12, 2021, 1:16 pm

    In recognition of Black History Month, Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) wishes to recognize the contributions of Buck O’Neil to baseball and, more importantly, to racial recognition, understanding, and unity.

    While Buck was an excellent player, manager, coach, and scout, his eight-decade legacy in the game extends well beyond these accomplishments. O’Neil was the driving force behind the establishment of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, which is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America. The Buck O’Neil Award is given by the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. to honor his legacy to the game. As such it is awarded to individuals who emulate O’Neil in exhibiting a high degree of character, integrity and dignity. Additionally, the Buck O’Neil Professional Baseball Scouts and Coaches Association was founded in his honor.

    Although Buck experienced significant racial prejudice and discrimination, he never succumbed to the natural human inclination toward anger and resentment. Instead he counseled love and forgiveness while working tirelessly to right the wrongs of racial discrimination. Much like Pope Francis, he urged a greater listening to older people and their stories. All of us would be well advised to listen to the life lessons of Buck O’Neil. He was fond of saying, “Hold hands with the person next to you. That way he can’t get away and neither can you.”

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