Monday, October 24, 2016

Top 25 MIAA Football Rankings: Week 8

Everett senior quarterback Jordan McAfee
Ed. Note- This will be our final Top 25 until after the state championship games, as the playoffs begin in Eastern Mass this weekend.

Our rankings of the best teams in the state, as selected by our panel of staff writers and correspondents. (Updated 10/24)

1. Duxbury (7-0; Last Week  –  1) The Dragons offense continued to roll into the playoffs with a 42-8 win over Hingham. Bobby Maimaron is eight touchdown passes away from tying Troy Flutie’s all-time record of 112 career passing scores.

2. Xaverian (6-1; Last Week  –  2)
It took two days and plenty of bruising play in the trenches, but the Hawks downed divisional rival BC High 17-0 for a share of the Catholic Conference regular season title.

3. Everett (5-2; Last Week  –  4) Exacting some revenge after last year’s upset at the hands of Malden, Everett dominated the Golden Tornadoes to finish the regular season strong. The Tide will face Haverhill this Saturday in a premier D1 North matchup to begin the postseason.

4. St. John's Prep (5-2; Last Week  –  5)
The Eagles continued to impress with converted quarterback Mike Yarin leading the charge in a road win at Bridgewater-Raynham. The Eagles share the Catholic Conference crown with Xaverian and will open postseason play by hosting Acton-Boxborough this weekend.

5. Haverhill (6-1; Last Week  –  6) The Hillies won their sixth straight with a 34-6 thrashing of Lawrence. That earns them home-field advantage for Saturday’s huge matchup against Everett in the first round of the D1 North bracket.

6. Central Catholic (5-1; Last Week  –  7)
Raiders came back from an early 14-0 deficit to down Andover 37-21 on a neutral site last Saturday, earning the top seed in the D1 North bracket and a home game against Methuen to open the State Tournament.

7. Tewksbury (7-0; Last Week  –  15)
A total team effort allowed the Redmen to stun Billerica in a 20-7 victory last Saturday for the Merrimack Valley Conference title, and the top seed in the D2 North bracket.

8. Billerica (6-1; Last Week  –  3)
Duane Sigsbury’s club suffered a few bad breaks while facing Tewksbury on a muddy field last Saturday, but the Indians swagger remains intact as they’ll look to navigate the D2 North bracket, and potentially earn another shot at the Redmen in what could be a heated regional final.

9. St. John's (Shrewsbury) (5-2; Last Week  –  12) Taking out their anger after a loss with a 35-0 pasting of Leominster, the Pioneers re-established their status as D2 Central favorites.

10. King Philip (7-0; Last Week  –  10)
It was business as usual for King Philip with another dominant defensive effort in a 28-8 win over Taunton this weekend. The Warriors certainly earned the top seed in the D1A South bracket.

11. Dartmouth (7-0; Last Week  –  11) Indians capped their undefeated regular season with a win over Barnstable. Now they’ll host Walpole in the first round of the D2 South bracket, and look to advance all the way to the regional finals for a potential showdown with offensive juggernaut Duxbury.

12. BC High (4-2; Last Week  –  8)
The Eagles back into the playoffs after suffering two divisional losses to elite opponents in St. John’s Prep and Xaverian, but no team will be excited about facing BC High in the MIAA State Tournament.

13. Springfield Central (5-2; Last Week  –  14)
Since getting shut out by Longmeadow in late September, the Golden Eagles have rolled up 162 points during a three-game winning streak. It would be somewhat shocking if Central didn’t represent the West in the D2 State Semifinal.

14. Catholic Memorial  (4-3; Last Week  –  16)
Their brutal strength of schedule hurts the Knights playoff seeding, but you can’t deny this teams’ talent after they demolished Malden (35-0) and Malden Catholic (34-0) over the last two weeks of the regular season.

15. North Attleborough (6-1; Last Week  –  19) The Rocketeers learned a valuable lesson with a loss at King Philip in Week 1, as they’ve been rolling ever since, and just capped their regular season with a 35-0 win over Foxborough.

16. Holliston (6-1; Last Week  –  18)
The consensus favorites despite being listed as the second seed in the D3 South bracket, Holliston will host a Middleboro team in the first round that gave them a very tough game in the state tournament two years ago.

17. Wachusett (6-1; Last Week  –  9)
Their final regular season tilt with Algonquin was postponed until Sunday night, and perhaps that disrupted Wachusett’s rhythm a bit as the Mountaineers surprisingly lost 21-6 to spoil a perfect regular-season record.

18. Marblehead (7-0; Last Week  –  20) Jim Rudloff’s squad seems to exude toughness, and the Magicians have had little trouble rolling past the opposition after upending Danvers on the road in late September. The top seed in the D2A North bracket will look to carry that momentum into postseason play.

19. Wellesley (7-0; Last Week  –  NA) Enough disrespecting the Raiders! They earned a Bay State Conference title with a 36-28 win over Milton after a rain delay, and enter the D1A South bracket as the No. 2 seed.

20. Grafton (7-0; Last Week  –  21) Challenged by Uxbridge in Week 7, but not derailed, the Indians pulled out a 34-21 victory to remain undefeated ahead of a winner-take-all showdown with undefeated Auburn next Friday for the SWCL A title.

21. Bridgewater-Raynham (4-3; Last Week  –  13)
The Trojans suffered another low-scoring loss at home with St. John’s Prep visiting. Greatest concern for Dan Buron’s club is a lack of versatility on offense, as their passing attack simply doesn’t inspire much fear in the opposition. 

22. Falmouth (7-0; Last Week  –  22)
Now the top seed in the D2A South bracket, the Clippers can no longer play the underdog role that has fueled them on all season.

23. Lexington (7-0; Last Week  –  NA) Led by junior quarterback and Boston College baseball-commit Sal Frelick, the Minutemen completed their undefeated regular season and earned the Middlesex Liberty League title with a win over Belmont last Saturday.

24. Hanover (6-0; Last Week  –  24) Indians were idle this week, but still sealed the top seed in D3 South remain the presumptive threat to Holliston in that division.

25. Natick (6-1; Last Week  –  25) Redhawks edged Norwood 28-14 to finish the regular season strong. Now they’ll host Bridgewater-Raynham this Friday in a very difficult first-round matchup.

Last 10 Out:
Auburn (7-0), Danvers (6-1), Leominster (4-3), Mansfield (6-1), Marshfield (6-1), Melrose (5-2), Newton North (6-1), Reading (5-2), Westwood (5-2), Lincoln-Sudbury (6-1)

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