Sunday, October 6, 2013

CMass HS Football Power Rankings: 10/7/13

Shane Padeni and Leicester enter our Power Rankings after a signature win over Auburn Saturday night.
By Joe Parello  @HerewegoJoe

A pair of high profile games shook up our Power Rankings and Player of the Year Watch List, as St. John's halted Nashoba's 29-game winning streak and Leicester rode UConn commit Tom Rodrick to a victory over rival Auburn.

But those weren't the only big performances of the weekend. One of the region's premier gun slingers put up numbers unprecedented in the annals of Central Mass football, while St. Peter-Marian continued its magical run against a familiar foe.

Keep reading after the jump for our complete Power Rankings, Player of the Year Watch List, and for a preview of next week's Game of the Week.

Power Rankings

1. Leominster: 4-0, 1-0 MidWach A. Division 2

Last Week: Ranked No.1. Defeated Wachusett 34-0.

The Blue Devils made short work of Wachusett and head into Friday night's premier match up with Doherty as the region's most complete team.

2. Doherty: 4-0, 1-0 Inter-High. Division 4

Last Week: Ranked No.2. Defeated Worcester South 40-12.

But, if any team can keep up with Leominster, it's the high-flying Doherty offense. Led by All State receiver Isaac Yiadom and quarterback Luke Brennan, the Highlanders are averaging 30 points per game.

3. St. John's: 3-1, 0-0 Central Mass. Division 2

Last Week: Ranked No.4. Defeated No.3 Nashoba 49-21.

The "Blur" offense couldn't be stopped by Nashoba's speedy defense last week, as the Pioneers reasserted themselves as a program to be feared in Central Mass. The win snapped Nashoba's state best 29-game wining streak, making St. John's the first team to beat the Chieftains since… St. John's in the 2010 CMass Super Bowl.

4. Hudson: 4-0, 2-0 Mid Wach B. Division 4

Last Week: Ranked No.5. Defeated Clinton 28-8.

Dan Mendes and company are tough to stop on the ground, but this swarming Hawk defense is quickly becoming the story of Hudson's season. At just over 10 points per game allowed, the Hawks are one of the top three defenses in the region.

5. Leicester: 4-0, 3-0 SWCL C. Division 5

Last Week: Unranked. Defeated Auburn 15-6.

The Wolverines had to face rival Auburn without starting quarterback Drew Mazzeo, but Leicester still won a physical battle with the Rockets, establishing themselves as the favorites in Division 5.

In the Hunt: St. Peter-Marian (4-0),  Blackstone Valley Tech (4-0), Nashoba (3-1), Marlborough (4-0), Shepherd Hill (3-1), Littleton (4-0), Uxbridge (4-0).

The Guardians continued their impressive start with a 31-6 demolition of rival Holy Name, behind two Dan Hendrickson touchdowns. The next four games will tell the tale of the season for SPM, as Tantasqua, Shepherd Hill, No.2 Doherty and No.3 St. John's loom.

BVT still looks untouchable in Division 6, smashing Quaboag 37-0, while Nashoba still can't be counted out after losing to St. John's. Many are calling Marlborough a paper tiger, but the Panthers will get a chance to prove themselves with Nashoba coming to town this Friday.

SH bounced back from a loss to Leominster nicely, knocking off Grafton 36-22, and Littleton looks like the only small school with a chance to beat BVT. Uxbridge scored a close win against David Prouty last week, and if it can survive Millbury Friday, that will set up a huge game at Leicester in two weeks.

Game of the Week: No.1 Leominster at No.2 Doherty: Friday at 7 pm

It doesn't get much bigger than this, and the speed on the field at Foley Stadium Friday night will be a site to behold.

For Leominster, UMass commit Jarell Addo and CMass Player of the Year favorite Neil O'Connor will roam the secondary at safety, but also spark the Blue Devils' big play offense. Their counterpoints on the Doherty side will be Boston College commit Isaac Yiadom and lanky speedster Alfred Adarkwah.

Both Yiadom and Adarkwah have displayed a ton of range from their safety positions and big play ability at wide receiver and tight end. The winner of this game will likely be the team that avoids the big mistake and refuses to blink under pressure. From what we've seen so far this year, it's tough to bet against Leominster in both those regards.

CMass Player of the Year Watch List

1. Neil O'Connor, Sr. QB, Leominster

O'Connor was relatively quiet on offense (Due to only playing half the game) during Leominster's easy win over Wachusett, but the two-way sensation did have a memorable 90-yard interception return for a score on defense.

2. Andrew Smiley, Sr. QB, St. John's

It was a smiley night for Drew and the Pioneers, as the All State quarterback torched Nashoba for 330 yards and three touchdowns passing.

3. Isaac Yiadom, Sr. WR/S, Doherty

Doherty's explosive offense starts with the Boston College commit's ability to make plays, and Yiadom has done that all season, averaging over 30 yards per catch.

4. Tom Rodrick, Sr. FB/LB, Leicester

Rodrick did it all on Homecoming night for the Wolverines, rushing for a 32-yard touchdown, notching 11 tackles and blocking an extra point in Leicester's statement win. The UConn commit made his case for CMass Player of the Year on the biggest stage he'll see this regular season.

5. Dylan Kierman, Sr. QB, Quabbin

Kierman dropped off our watch list last week, mostly because his team couldn't stop Gardner. Well, he decided to take matters into his own hands this past weekend, throwing for a Central Mass single-game record 456 yards and five touchdowns in Quabbin's 40-34 win over Oakmont. Kierman also added the game winning rushing touchdown in overtime.

In the Hunt: Luke Brennan, Sr. QB, Doherty. Dan Mendes, Sr. QB/DB, Hudson. Nic Wojnar, Sr. QB/LB, BVT. Mark Wright, Jr. RB, Auburn.

Brennan continues to pile up the numbers through the air at Doherty, while Mendes remains unstoppable on the ground at Hudson. Wojnar doesn't even play full games any more for BVT, he simply puts the Beavers up 20+ in the first half and takes the rest of the day off. Wright was held in check by Leicester last week, but still leads Central Mass in rushing by over 200 yards.

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