Friday, December 12, 2014

Eastern Mass HS Football Power Rankings: End of the Line

Xaverian celebrates a Massachusetts state championship in Division 1.
By Mike Uva (@mike_uva)

Editor Joe Parello started us off with his final Central Mass Power Rankings earlier this week, and now correspondent Mike Uva breaks down the Eastern section of the Commonwealth with his postseason Top-10.

1. Xaverian: 12-0, 4-0 Catholic Conference  

Accolades: Division 1 State Champs, Catholic Conference Champs

The Hawks completed a perfect season for the first time since their last state championship in 2009. Arguably one of the most dominating seasons by a defense in the past decade, Xaverian allowed just 9.8 points per game, and didn't surrendered more than 14 points in a single game until the Super Bowl.

2. Everett: 9-2, 3-0 GBL

Accolades: Division 1 State Finalist, GBL Champs

After losing to Xaverian in week two, the Tide strung together nine consecutive wins. Despite falling to Xaverian again in the State Championship, Everett won its 20th consecutive league title. With plenty of young talent returning, there’s no question Everett will be back in mix once again next season.

3. St. John’s Prep: 8-3, 3-1 Catholic Conference

Accolades: Division 1 State Semifinalist

The Eagles fell short to Everett in the Division 1 State Semifinal before losing to Xaverian a week later on Thanksgiving. Having the toughest schedule in the state, (their only losses came against D1 State Runner-up Everett - twice- and D1 State Champ Xaverian), it’s pretty hard to have the Prep any lower on this list when you look at their resume.

4. Marshfield: 12-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast League 

Accolades: Division 2 State Champs, Atlantic Coast League Champs

After dropping their first game of the season to BC High in week one, Marshfield found a way to win 12 straight, en route to winning the Division 2 State Championship. What’s even crazier is how just two seasons ago this team was winless (0-11). In fact, their last winning season heading into this year came in 2011 (7-4). 

5. Holliston: 12-1, 4-1 Tri-Valley

Accolades: Division 4 State Champs, Tri-Valley Co-Champs 

It was a magical season for the Panthers, who capped off their run with a huge 43-0 victory over Wahconah Saturday to claim the Division 4 State Championship. Nick Athy and Zach Elkinson were human highlight reels this year, contributing greatly to Panthers’ offense, which averaged 35.9 points per game.

6. BC High: 6-5, 2-2 Catholic Conference

Accolades: Division 1 State Semifinalist

BC High may have gone 6-5, but when you play the type of schedule the Eagles played and find a way to reach the State Semifinals, you deserve to be given credit. After starting the season 3-4, the Eagles finished the year going 3-1. They handed the Division 2 state champs, Marshfield, their only loss of the season, and also eliminated Brockton from the playoffs.

7. Central Catholic: 9-2, 4-0 Merrimack Valley League

Accolades: Division 1 State Finalist, MVL Champs

The Raiders played with heavy hearts this season after the passing of teammate Will Wheeler only days before their season opener. They were a force to be reckoned with this season on offense, and their only two losses both came against St. John’s Prep.

8. Dartmouth: 7-4, 1-1 Old Colony League

Accolades: Division 3 State Champs

Dartmouth was the perfect example of a team that never gave up and found a way to finish. While many will always remember their 14-7 win over Melrose for a state title, the game that defines this team came against Walpole. Trailing by two scores with four minutes to go in the State Semifinals, the Indians did the improbable to advance to their first state final since 2007.

9. Walpole: 11-1, 7-0 Bay State Herget League

Accolades: Division 3 State Semifinalist, Bay State Herget League Champs

The Rebels' run for a perfect season, along with their hopes of winning a state title, came to halt in a devastating loss in the Division 3 State Semifinals against Dartmouth. Despite coming up short, Walpole won 11 games for the first time since 2008 and claimed the league crown.

10. Melrose: 10-3, 4-1 Middlesex League

Accolades: Division 3 State Finalist

Melrose rode an eight-game winning streak into the Division 3 State Championship, but couldn’t close it out against Dartmouth. Their season highlights came mostly in the playoffs, knocking off undefeated Woburn before dethroning defending D3 State Champion Tewksbury in the State Semifinals.

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