Monday, September 22, 2014

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

Led by QB Oliver Eberth and RB/LB Jack Lambert, St. John's Prep has won three in a row against teams ranked in the Top-10 of ESPN Boston's statewide high school football poll. The Eagles will get another chance to enhance their resume at Everett this coming Saturday.
By Mike Uva (@mike_uva)

Another week, and another big win for St. John's Prep, but how far would the Eagles move up Mike Uva's Eastern Mass Power Rankings?

Find out below.

 Power Rankings

1. Xaverian: 3-0, 0-0 Catholic Conf. Division 1

Last Week: Defeated Bridgewater-Raynham 28-6

The Hawks soared to another victory this past weekend behind senior running back Noah Sorrento, who rushed for 131 yards on 17 carries and added a rushing touchdown. The scary thing about Xaverian is that they’ve struggled to play 60 minutes of football and yet they’re still 3-0 and the number one team in the state. The Hawks will be back in action on Friday when they travel to take on Barnstable. 

2. St. John’s Prep: 3-0, 0-0 Catholic Conf. Division 1

Last Week: Defeated Central Catholic 26-12

Is it even possible for a coach to have a better start than the one SJP’s Brian St. Pierre has had? The Eagles won their third straight victory over an ESPN Boston Top-10 ranked opponent. They’re not a flashy team, but rather an old school grind it out one. With physical play on defense, led by Jack Lambert, SJP forced Central to get away from their zone read and be a pass first offense. Keep an eye on this team, who many wrote off heading into the year after losing Johnny Thomas, with playmakers like Owen Rockett and Cody Harwood emerging, in addition to BC-bound tight end Jake Burt.

3. Central Catholic: 2-1, 0-0 MVC Division 1

Last Week: Lost to St. John’s Prep 26-12

After outscoring opponents 80-3 through their first two games, Central Catholic took on its toughest opponent yet - St. John’s Prep. A week ago, Central rushed for six touchdowns and gained 322 yards on offense. This past weekend, they struggled to get out to an early lead and when they found themselves trailing, they got away from their zone read offense and struggled to hold onto the football. But despite the loss, don’t write-off the Red Raiders quite yet. Last season after losing to St. John’s Prep in week three, they strung together nine wins on their way to winning the inaugural Mass. Division 1 State title. If there’s one thing to count on, it’s that coach Chuck Adamopoulos will have his team ready to go for next week versus Andover, and that a lot will be learned on Monday when they watch the film.

4. Everett: 2-1, 0-0 GBL Division 1

Last Week: Defeated Tewksbury 21-20

The Tide bounced back this past weekend, but it wasn’t pretty. Despite a lot of young talent, Everett has struggled to play consistent football. Avoiding the upset last week by Tewksbury, the Tide need to find a way to avoid inexcusable penalties and get back to what they know to do to - control the offensive line and wear opponents down. They’ll have their hands full this weekend as they welcome St. John’s Prep on Saturday for homecoming.

5. Lowell: 3-0, 0-0 MVC Division 1

Last Week: Defeated Leominster 14-10

It wasn’t a pretty win, but Lowell had luck on their side; literally with Lucky Sesay. Sesay had two receptions for 83 yards and a receiving touchdown in the win. In addition, senior linebacker Shyheim Cullen led the defense in what was truly a defensive battle. Despite driving 76 yards on 15 plays on their opening drive, Lowell found themselves in a ballgame. Before this past weekend, Lowell scored 73 points in two games. For the first time all year, the Red Raiders struggled to hold onto the football and weren’t finishing drives on offense. They’ll need to bring their best this week as they take on Billerica in their first conference game of the season.
In the Hunt: Holliston (3-0), Mansfield (1-1), Walpole (3-0), Marblehead (3-0), Natick (2-0)

Game of the Week

No. 2 St. John’s Prep at No. 4 Everett, Saturday at 2:30 pm

If you’re planning on going to Everett this weekend for the showdown between The Tide and St. John’s Prep, you better get there early. With homecoming weekend taking place, the city of Everett will resemble a Rose Bowl-like atmosphere. Why you ask? Well in addition to the big game, there will be a parade marching down the streets of Everett, so chances are getting to the stadium right before kickoff willbe brutal. When the pre-game festivities are over, it’ll be time for a great one between two schools that have a lot of history between one another. 

While SJP has started the year 3-0, they know anytime they play Everett, records mean nothing. In fact, the last time SJP beat Everett was in 2008, thanks to former Prep running back George Sessoms running wild for three touchdowns to help end Everett’s 63-game regular season win streak. Since then, The Tide have dominated the series, winning five in a row.

The big thing to keep an eye on is what will Everett try to do offensively? They are a spread offense with a tremendous young quarterback in Jordan McAfee, but they’re not afraid to go to their double wing formation. For years they had the philosophy of “we’re running ball and you know it, try to stop us.” If the SJP secondary plays the way they did last weekend, forcing five turnovers and controlling the air, don’t be surprised if the double wing is shown by Everett.

This a huge game between two of the best teams for multiple reasons. Can the Prep win in a hostile environment against a team that rarely loses at home? And for Everett, what type of team are they going to be this season? They lost to Xaverian in week two and are coming off a scare last week, can they put it together Saturday?

Only time will tell, but this is a game you don’t want to miss.

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