Monday, September 29, 2014

Central Mass HS Football Power Rankings: 9/29/14

Northbridge quarterback Koby Schofer last December at Gillette Stadium. After Northbridge's big win over rival Auburn Friday, the Rams have to be thinking about a return trip to Foxboro.

By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

For the second week in a row, the number one team in our Power Rankings has lost. This had led to yet another shakeup in our rankings, pushing an unlikely Division 5 team to the top of the heap.

Check out our updated rankings below.
Power Rankings

1. Northbridge: 3-0, 1-0 SWCL B. Division 5

Last Week: Ranked No. 3. Defeated No. 4 Auburn 42-14

The Rams left no doubt, defeating rival Auburn for the first time in seven years. Junior quarterback Koby Schofer did a little bit of everything, running and throwing for two touchdowns each, and the Rams controlled the trenches on both sides of the ball.

Northbridge running back Jake Wood also had a big day on the ground, rushing for over 150 yards and two touchdowns, while the Ram defense held star Rocket running back Mark Wright in check (by his very lofty standards), holding the state's leading rusher to just 156 yards and a touchdown.

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

Last Week: Ranked No. 2. Defeated Fitchburg 21-6

The Pioneers got back on track offensively, at least a little bit, against Fitchburg, but the scariest thing about St. John's this year has been its defensive improvement. You just get the feeling that the offense is going to click and be ready come playoff time, and if the Pioneers are still playing defense like this, watch out.

3. Shrewsbury: 3-0, 1-0 Mid-Wach A, Division 2

Last Week: Ranked No. 5. Defeated St. Peter-Marian 33-7

St. Peter-Marian came in with a ton of young and talented players, not to mention some newly found confidence, but Shrewsbury proved just too strong for the upstart Guardians on both sides of the ball. The Colonials have the look of a dark horse in D2, with solid line play and a breakout year from quarterback Jack Campanale.

4. Leominster: 1-2, 0-0 Mid-Wach A, Division 2

Last Week: Not Ranked. Defeated No. 1 Shepherd Hill 34-20

How do you go from unranked to 4th in your first win of the year? By absolutely man-handling the consensus top team in the region. The Blue Devils defense stole the show, limiting Shepherd Hill on the ground. Plus, a new "Wildcat" look, with running back Eddie Rivera taking snaps, sparked the Leominster offense in the second half, and was another example of coach Dave Palazzi pushing all the right buttons.

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

Last Week: Ranked No. 1. Lost to Leominster 34-20

The Rams will be back and should still be viewed as the favorites in Division 4, but their trip to Leominster's Doyle Field was a wake up call. Shepherd Hill won't be able to simply run over everybody, and now the guys know that.

Dropped Out

Auburn: 3-1, 0-1 SWCL B, Division 5
Last Week: Ranked No. 4. Lost to No. 3 Northbridge 42-14

In the Hunt: Wachusett (3-0), Blackstone Valley Tech (4-0), Littleton (3-0), Doherty (2-1), Auburn (3-1), Bartlett (3-0), Tynsgborough (3-0), Uxbridge (3-0)

Wachusett keeps chipping away with a big win over Nashoba, while BVT was challenged a bit more by Worcester Tech than many thought. Littleton is still the most dominant team, for its division, in the region, and Doherty continues to atone for a week one loss, knocking off explosive Tantasqua Friday. Bartlett proved its physicality in a win over Leicester, while Tynsgborough made short work of Grafton. Uxbrige, along with Auburn and Bartlett, remains an intriguing team to watch down in SWCL.

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