Monday, September 22, 2014

Central Mass HS Football Power Rankings: 9/22/14

It was a big week for Shepherd Hill quarterback Drew Jean-Guillaume, who led the Rams on the ground and received another Division 1 scholarship offer.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

With last week's No. 1 St. John's (Shrewsbury) dropping a tough one to an EMass power, and Northbridge continuing to put up video game numbers, could there be some shakeup in our Top-5?

Find out below.

Power Rankings

1. Shepherd Hill: 2-0, 0-0 SWCL A, Division 4

Last Week: Ranked No. 2, Defeated Gardner 28-14

It was a big week for quarterback Drew Jean-Guillaume, as the speedy quarterback scored 70+ yard touchdowns on all three of his first half carries and the Rams rolled to a 28-0 halftime lead before pulling their varsity players. Jean-Guillaume has also been blowing up on the recruiting scene.

The quarterback, whom many FCS schools view as a running back/defensive back prospect, was offered a full ride by Albany last Monday night, joining an existing offer from Central Connecticut State.

2. St. John's (Shrewsbury): 1-1, Division 2

Last Week: Ranked No. 1, Lost to Catholic Memorial 10-3

St. John's looks a lot like some talented college teams at this point in the game. The Pioneers showed the ability to dominate against Leominster, but their two-quarterback system that worked so well against the Blue Devils was grounded against EMass power CM.

Despite all that, there are positives to pull out of the Pioneers' first loss of the season. St. John's appears to be for real on defense, and you have to believe an offense with this much firepower won't have many more games like this.

3. Northbridge: 2-0, 0-0 SWCL B, Division 5

Last Week: Ranked No. 4, Defeated Tantasqua 49-26

It was a big weekend for Rams signal callers. First Jean-Guillaume listed above, and of course Northbridge dual-threat quarterback Koby Schofer. The junior ran for a ridiculous 212 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 222 and a pair of scores through the air. Any time you can put up 434 combined yards and 7 combined touchdowns, you're doing something right.

Thanks to Schofer's exploits, the Rams were able to distance themselves from a pretty explosive Tantasqua squad. But things get no easier, because next week brings a trip to...

4. Auburn: 3-0, 0-0 SWCL B, Division 5

Last Week: Ranked No. 3, Defeated Oakmont 40-21

That's right, the Rockets will host Northbridge in the biggest D5 Central game of the regular season. I pushed the Rams past Auburn due to their better performance against a common opponent (Northbridge beat Oakmont 49-7), but it doesn't really matter.

The Rockets and star running back Mark Wright will be ready for the Rams Friday night. Speaking of Wright, he had another routine day for himself last week against Oakmont, rushing for 327 yards and five touchdowns, on just 19 carries. That's 17.2 yards per carry, for those of you keeping track at home. He now leads CMass, and possibly the state (haven't found WMass & EMass leading numbers as of yet), with 962 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing in just three games.

5. Shrewsbury: 2-0, 1-0 Mid-Wach A, Division 2

Last Week: Ranked No. 5, Defeated Nashoba 24-21

The Colonials scored a massive road win over perennial power Nashoba Friday night when Mike Abasciani pounded it in from three yards out, with less than two minutes to play. Both quarterbacks were on point, as Nashoba's Drew Schartner had a fine game, but Shrewsbury's Jack Campanale continued to impress with a passing and rushing touchdown.

The road gets no easier for the Colonials, but they appear to have the skill players coming along, and we already knew they'd have great line play. Don't write a St. John's-Leominster D2 Central final in quite yet.

In the Hunt: Wachusett (2-0), Blackstone Valley Tech (3-0), Littleton (2-0), Groton-Dunstable (2-0), Bartlett (2-0), Nashoba (1-1), Doherty (1-1), St. Peter-Marian (1-1), Holy Name(1-1), Leominster (0-2)

Wachusett scored 33 points in the second half to overcome a slow start against Fitchburg, and quarterback Mitchell Driscoll is playing some of the best football in the region. Meanwhile, BVT just continues to dominate. The Beavers made short work of a pretty good Assabet team, blasting the Aztecs 38-12. BVT looks to be a favorite in D6 Central, but don't sleep on reigning D6 state champion Littleton. All the Tigers do it win, and dual-threat quarterback Connor Bassett seems to have found an explosive target in Chris Renaccio.

G-D dominated a young and talented Hudson team, while Bartlett had a little trouble with Millbury, but still came out on top thanks to the running of of Darius Givens and James Patterson. Nashoba acquitted itself well in a hard-fought game against Shrewsbury, while Doherty bounced back with a very impressive win over Holy Name. The Highlanders put the ball in the hands of star senior running back Jahkari Carpenter, and he delivered to the tune of 222 yards and three touchdowns rushing.

The Naps should still be a threat, however, as should young St. Peter-Marian, which scored a much-needed win against a solid Grafton team. Junior Seamus Leary's legs were the difference in this one, but don't sleep on an ever-improving Guardian defense. Finally, I know they lost, but it's hard not to be encouraged by Leominster's performance against Lowell this past weekend.

The Blue Devils looked dramatically improved on defense, and held one of the state's best offenses to just 14 points. Leominster's young offense still has some work to do, but I think it's safe to say the Blue Devils are an 0-2 team that nobody wants to face right now.

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