September 29, 2013

RH100 primer: Changing of the N.J. guard

When the RivalsHigh100 rankings are released Monday morning, there will be two teams from New Jersey inside the top 10, neither of which will be Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco -- winner of the 2009 national championship and 2011 runner-up. Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional and Paramus (N.J.) Catholic have pushed to the top of the Garden State.

St. Joseph will move up one spot to No. 7 after routing previously ranked -- and usual suspect for the second-best team in the state -- Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic, 49-6.

St. Joseph used a big game from its defense to defeat Bergen Catholic. The Green Knights scored three touchdowns while their offense was on the sidelines. They intercepted five passes and recorded six sacks.

St. Joseph blocked a punt for the first touchdown of the game before the offense continued to grind out the yards and points behind quarterback Spence Aukamp and running back Sherman Alston.

Paramus Catholic makes the jump from No. 25 to No. 9 after it dismantled previously ranked Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius, 44-10.

Paramus Catholic won on the road and had a similar effort on defense. It forced five turnovers -- including a fumble on the first play of the game -- returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown -- as it handed St. Ignatius its worst loss since 1966.

The Paladins relied on their passing game as five-star athlete Jabrill Peppers left the game in the middle of the first quarter with an apparent hip injury. Quarterback Steve Shanley was 16-of-28 for 280 yards and three touchdowns.

Don Bosco lost its third contest to an unranked Wayne (N.J.) DePaul team, 35-25, and will drop from the rankings. So will Bergen Catholic. Both teams fell to 1-3.

Don Bosco falling against DePaul was one of the most shocking results of the weekend and fully ushered in a new era within the Big North Conference.

DePaul was ranked just behind Don Bosco within the state rankings entering the contest, but the perception gap was much wider locally and nationally.

The team used a three-touchdown effort from senior running back Kiy Hester, who transferred to DePaul from St. Joseph in the offseason.

Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep entered the week as the No. 3 team in the state. After defeating Kearny (N.J.) High by 76 points, it will remain in that placement, moving up to No. 74 nationally.

Interplay for the teams will continue this week. St. Peter's Prep takes on Bergen Catholic. The Marauders will play St. Joseph in three weeks.

St. Joseph will play Paramus Catholic after St. Peter's. It closes its regular season with Don Bosco.

Paramus Catholic has three of the four in succession, starting with Don Bosco in three weeks and followed by St. Joseph and Bergen Catholic. It has a game against Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate to start November.

CATHOLIC CONGREGATION

In one of the bigger rankings coincidences in the history of the RivalsHigh100, this week will mark the first time in nearly 100 weeks of rankings that three high schools by the same name will be ranked at the same time.

Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic, Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic and Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic will be ranked nationally. Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Toledo Central Catholic will be making their first appearance of the season, while Portland Central Catholic has been nationally ranked and atop the Oregon charts since the preseason.

Pittsburgh Central Catholic made its jump on the back of its 42-0 victory over Harmony (Pa.) Seneca Valley.

The Vikings are led by three-star quarterback and Florida State commitment J.J. Cosentino, but they have been paced by a defense that has allowed just 13 points through five games.

Defensive back Tre Tarpley is beginning to get interest from major programs, as is linebacker Niko Thorpe.

The victory over Seneca Valley was the quality win needed to move the top team from the state into the rankings and give it separation from other programs that had been clumped together from Pennsylvania.

Toledo Central Catholic did not have the marquee victory this week that its Pennsylvania counterpart had, but its cumulative work continued moving it up the rankings inside Ohio.

It has quality victories over Warren (Mich.) De La Salle and Toledo (Ohio) Whitmer. Like Pittsburgh Central Catholic, it is led by solid quarterback play with Notre Dame pledge DeShone Kizer calling the shots.

TCC also Duke-bound offensive lineman Zach Harmon, two-star running back Paul Moses and talented slot receiver Derich Weiland, making this team a Division III favorite in the Buckeye State.

Portland Central Catholic has been nationally ranked since the preseason and has downed three top 10 teams from Oregon in the season's first five weeks.

The Rams held off a challenge from Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon and bettered Lake Oswego (Ore.) High and Portland (Ore.) Jesuit in three consecutive weeks.

Dual-threat quarterback Aidan Wilder only has an offer from Portland State but may work his way into bigger prospects. The defense is the strength of the team. It is led by the top prospect in the state, defensive end Connor Humphreys.

TOP 10 RELATIVELY UNCHANGED

For the first time all season, there will be no changes inside the top six of the RivalsHigh100. Each of the four in action performed to its current slotting and didn't require a jump over the two idle programs.

The battle for the top spot is centered around Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington, DeSoto (Texas) High, and Allen (Texas) High.

Washington downed Miami (Fla.) Monsignor Pace, 49-7, while DeSoto shut out South Grand Prairie (Texas) High to win by 50 points. Allen claimed the best win of the three this week by defeating nationally ranked Coppell (Texas) High, 31-10.

DeSoto and Allen will be off next week and likely will see their spots stay secure because Miami (Fla.) Central and Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco were off this week and play Miami (Fla.) Homestead and Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw next week in expected victories.

Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward held on to its No. 6 position with a 56-7 victory over an overmatched Erie (Pa.) McDowell team.

Previously ranked No. 7 team New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr fell to nationally ranked River Ridge (La.) John Curtis and dropped out of the top 25.

St. Joe used its domination of Bergen Catholic to claim the spot vacated by Edna Karr.

Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe added its third quality victory of the season when it beat Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton to move from No. 13 to No. 8, and Paramus Catholic's performance moved the team from No. 25 to No. 9.

The jump made by those two programs pushed Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett down from No. 9 to No. 10. The Bulldogs were idle. Previous No. 10 Rock Hill (S.C) Northwestern team slid to No. 11 after defeating Lancaster (S.C.) High, 34-0.

NON-POWER-STATE PUSH

After weeks of celebrating power states, this week will see a slight resurgence for non-power states. California, Ohio, and Florida combined to give up six spots.

Previously ranked No. 30 Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta, No. 63 Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius, No. 65 Cincinnati (Ohio) Sycamore, No. 67 Mentor (Ohio) High, No. 68 Oviedo (Fla.) High; No. 70 Tampa (Fla.) Plant, No. 84 Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco, No. 99 Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central and No. 100 Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic are exiting the poll.

Entering the poll will be the top team from Hawaii, Punahou.

The Rust Belt will be well represented. Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Toledo Central Catholic will be joined by the new No. 2 in Michigan as Lowell (Mich.) High will enter the poll.

There will be a new No. 1 in Kentucky. Bowling Green (Ky.) High will bump Louisville (Ky.) Trinity for the top spot in the state and move into the RivalsHigh100.

A turnover in three other states pushed more teams into the poll.

Taking over the No. 2 spot in Arizona is Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic, which will enter the poll for the first time ever.

Opelika (Ala.) High regained its No. 3 spot in the state and re-enters the RivalsHigh100.

Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland moved up to the No. 2 spot in the state and came into the back end of the rankings. Scotland has been ranked in previous years, but it will be making its first appearance of 2013.

Seffner (Fla.) Armwood had been a top five team nationally in previous seasons and just moved into the No. 11 spot in Florida. It enters the national rankings as well.

Dallas Jackson is the national columnist for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.




 

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