Monday, October 30, 2017

MIAA Football Top 25: Week 9

Mansfield enters our Top 25 after opening the playoffs with a win against rival Marshfield.
Our rankings of the best teams in the state, as selected by our panel of staff writers and correspondents. Please note that, now that the playoffs have started throughout the state, these will be our final rankings until after the state championship games in December. (Updated 10/29)

1. Everett (7-0; Last Week – 1 ) St. John’s Prep arrived late and started slowly, while the Crimson Tide erupted for 35 points in the first half of a decisive first-round victory, earning head coach John DiBiaso his 300th career win in the process.

2. BC High (8-0; Last Week – 2 ) Eagles cruised past Taunton, 34-0, in the first round and will host Catholic Conference rival Catholic Memorial this Friday.

3. Central Catholic (8-0; Last Week – 3) Hanging 44 points on Acton-Boxborough is expected from this high-powered Raiders offense, but a 44-0 shutout indicates once again that Central is a complete team.

4. Lexington (8-0; Last Week – 5) Avenging an overtime loss to Andover in the first round last year, Sal Frelick and the Minutemen rallied in the second half for a 52-33 to set up a date against Everett this Friday.

5. St. John's (Shrewsbury) (8-0; Last Week – 4) In their closest contest to date, the Pioneers held on for a 24-21 victory over Marlborough to enter the postseason undefeated as the top seed in D3 Central.

6. Bridgewater-Raynham (7-1; Last Week – 6) No chance for Braintree in a road game at B-R this past Friday. We’ll see if fellow Bay State Conference challenger Natick can put up more of a fight in the second round.

7. King Philip (8-0; Last Week – 7) Sporting the longest winning streak in the state, the Warriors face a dangerous Mansfield team in the second round of the D2 South state tournament.

8. Dennis-Yarmouth (8-0; Last Week – 9) Rob Evans ran for 110 yards, two touchdowns and caught a 17-yard TD pass to lead the Dolphins past Hanover in the first round.

9. Marblehead (8-0; Last Week – 10) Defense led the way for the Magicians once again in a 28-14 first-round victory over Wakefield.  

10. North Attleborough (7-1; Last Week – 11) Red Rocketeers handled a capable Walpole squad, 28-14, earning a second-round home game against an exciting Stoughton team.   

11. Lincoln-Sudbury (8-0; Last Week – 13) Reading presented a tough first-round challenge for the Warriors on paper, but in actuality, the Rockets were overmatched by the seemingly unstoppable L-S ground attack.

12. Duxbury (7-1; Last Week – 8) Dragons needed a safety to edge Milford, 9-7, in the first round of the state tournament, and could receive an early exit from the state tournament at the hands of archrival Hingham if they don't find their groove offensively. 

13. Tewksbury (7-1; Last Week – 12) After struggling in the first half, the Redmen hit the gas in a 42-7 blowout win over Concord-Carlisle. Up next is a Saturday afternoon tilt against upset-minded Danvers.  

14. Xaverian (4-4; Last Week – 14) The Hawks dominated Attleboro, 44-6, in the first round, but will now go on the road to face second-seeded Needham this Friday.   

15. Natick (7-0; Last Week – 15) No issues for the Redhawks in a first-round shutout of New Bedford. They could silence a lot of doubters if they upset D2 South powerhouse B-R on the road this Friday.  

16. Mansfield (7-1; Last Week – NA) The Hornets shut down Marshfield, 34-14. Their reward is a second-round road game at defending champion King Phillip, but keep in mind that Mansfield led the Warriors, 10-0, on Oct. 2, before giving up 28 unanswered points in a 28-10 loss. Can the Hornets finish the job the second time around?

17. Somerville (6-2; Last Week – 17) After falling behind 9-0 in the first quarter, the Highlanders scored 27 unanswered points to down Triton. Up next is a talented Watertown team that’s coming off an upset of third-seeded Swampscott.

18. St. Mary’s (Lynn) (8-0; Last Week – 18) The Spartans opened their bid for a D7 state title with a 44-0 thrashing of Manchester-Essex.

19. Masphee (8-0; Last Week – 19) Standing opposite St. Mary’s as the de facto favorite in D7 South, the Falcons were equally impressive with a 37-7 win in the opening round of the state tournament.

20. Lynn English (8-0; Last Week – 20) While Lynn Classical made an early exit from the D3 state tournament, English started extremely strong with a 36-0 drubbing of Winchester.

21. Shrewsbury (7-1; Last Week – 23) Hanging 35 points on a Nashoba team that had allowed just 27 points through its first 7 games proves how dangerous these Colonials can be as the second seed in D3 Central.

22. Danvers (6-2; Last Week – NA) It was sweet redemption for the Falcons in the first round, as they avenged a midseason loss to Lynn Classical with a 21-7 victory. 

23. Catholic Memorial (5-3; Last Week – NA) Senior quarterback Nick Goffredo was nearly perfect in a 35-6 win at Newton North, but he’ll have to be transcendent if the Knights want to knock out rival BC High on the road in the second round.

24. Hopkinton (8-0; Last Week – 25) The top-seeded Hillers shut out Pembroke, 13-0, in the first round of the playoffs, and could get into another low-scoring slugfest when they host Dartmouth this Friday night.

25. Springfield Central (6-2; Last Week - NA) Since opening the season with losses to Virginia Beach power Bishop Sullivan and St. John's (Shrewsbury), the Golden Eagles have won six in a row against Western Mass competition, outscoring regional foes by a combined score of 280-54. Central enters the postseason in Division 3 as the consensus top dog in Western Mass.

First 10 Out:  Lynn Classical (6-2), Hamilton-Wenham (8-0), Melrose (8-0), Millis (7-1), Milton (6-1), Middleborough (7-1), North Andover (7-1), Norwell (7-1), West Springfield (7-1), Shepherd Hill (6-2), Nashoba (7-1)

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