Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Eastern Mass HS Football Power Rankings: Week 4

Brockton running back Kerry Raymond
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Much like our Central Mass Power Rankings, not much has changed at the top here in the eastern portion of the Commonwealth. But, there was some shakeup in the middle and at the bottom, as Andover shot themselves into the state-wide conversation with a win over BC High, and Holliston continues to climb thanks to an explosive offense.

Oh, and star running back Kerry Raymond returned for Brockton, helping the Boxers earn a big win and shoot up a few spots. Check out our complete rankings below.

Power Rankings

1. Marshfield: 3-0, Division 2

Last Week: Ranked No. 1, defeated Dennis-Yarmouth 38-6.

I think I covered Marshfield's domination of Dennis-Yarmouth pretty well in my Postgame Blog from the other night, but let me just say that this team is loaded with talent and senior leadership. Hard to see them losing a game in Division 2, but there are still some tricky games down the line.

2. Xaverian: 3-0, Division 1

Last Week: Ranked No. 2, defeated Barnstable 35-0.

The Hawks have allowed just seven points in three games, but we knew coach Charlie Stevenson would field a stout defense. More impressively, Xaverian has picked right up where it left off last year offensively, averaging over 30 points per game against some solid competition.

The Hawks now begin an interesting three game home stand that will bring Catholic Memorial to the Hawk Bowl next week, followed by Brockton the following Friday and Malden Catholic after that.

3. St. John's Prep: 3-0, Division 1

Last Week: Ranked No. 3, defeated No. 5 Everett 35-13.

The Eagles had the most impressive win of the weekend, blasting perennial power Everett, pushing quarterback Ollie Eberth to the top of the Mr. Football conversation at this juncture. He's got some weapons in Hayden Rockett and running back Preston Dillon, but the Eagles have been equally impressive along the offensive line and defensive front.

Defensive tackle Hunter Brown has been unblockable thus far this season, and is one to watch in the coming weeks as the Eagles open up their Catholic Conference slate next week at home against Malden Catholic.

4. Holliston: 3-0, Division 4

Last Week: Ranked No. 6, defeated Medfield 41-13.

The Panthers are absolutely rolling, and can grab a stranglehold on the Tri-Valley Large with a win at Westwood next week. As for last week, Sam Athy led the way with two scores, but this was a total team win, as five different Holliston ball carriers crossed the goal line.

5. Andover: 3-0, Division 1

Last Week: Ranked No. 10, defeated No. 4 BC High 38-15.

The Golden Warriors and quarterback E.J. Perry IV made a massive statement Friday night, blasting BC High behind the junior signal caller's 393 yards and four passing touchdowns. So we know Andover can score, but the defensive effort against BC shouldn't be ignored either.

This is a complete team, and one with explosive potential. Add them to the list of dangerous teams in D1 that the Catholic Conference big boys may have to face down the road.

6. Brockton: 3-0, Division 1

Last Week: Ranked No. 9, defeated Catholic Memorial 20-14.

It's no secret that Brockton is a different team with star running back Kerry Raymond on the field, and the bruising senior made his debut Friday night at home against a talented Catholic Memorial squad.

There were no signs of rust.

Raymond rushed for nearly 150 yards and two scores on 23 carries, showing no ill effects from the ankle injury that sidelined him for the Boxers' first two games. Things get even tougher next week as Brockton hits the road to face a BC High team looking to bounce back.

7. Milton: 3-0, Division 3

Last Week: Unranked, defeated No. 7 Walpole 28-7.

The Wildcats made a statement Friday night, knocking off Bay State power Walpole behind the arm of senior quarterback Mike Fallon. Milton has proven it can score points in abundance, but a fantastic defensive performance against the Rebels' rushing attack bodes well for the future as well.

Speaking of the future, Milton gets no time to celebrate as a trip to league foe Natick awaits next week.

8. Central Catholic: 2-1, Division 1

Last Week: Ranked No. 8, defeated Chelmsford 42-0.

Chelmsford was no match for the Red Raiders, and served as the perfect bridge between their bitter battle with St. John's Prep two weeks ago and next week's trip to Everett. The Crimson Tide seem ripe for the picking, and CC is looking to make a statement.

Sophomore quarterback Brett Edwards is coming off a four touchdown performance, and will have the chance to put his name in the state-wide conversation against Everett as well.

9. BC High: 2-1, Division 1

Last Week: Ranked No. 4, lost to No. 10 Andover 38-15.

The Eagles were without star receiver Nick Gill and star running back Adam Tucker against a good Andover defense, and they struggled to create any kind of offense early. Still, once they settled in, the Eagles scored on back-to-back possessions to open the second half.

Don't write BC High off yet, even if Gill and Tucker can't go when the Eagles host Brockton next week. 

10. Everett: 1-2, Division 1

Last Week: Ranked No. 5, lost to No. 3 St. John's Prep 35-13.

Losing to SJP is never a huge offense, but Everett has now lost to both of the big-time Catholic Conference teams it has played, and looked physically dominated both times. Jordan McAfee came into the year with plenty of hype, but thus far the Crimson Tide have struggled to keep him upright.

All that said, many of these concerns could be eased with a big win over Central Catholic next week… But another loss would definitely sound the alarms.

Dropped Out: Walpole (Ranked 7th Last Week)

Walpole began the year playing clean football, and appeared to be the favorite in both Division 3 and the Bay State League, but Milton had other plans. It will be back to the drawing board for the Rebels, who will need to regroup on defense and figure out ways to manufacture points in all three phases.

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