December 18, 2007

FAB 50 National Rankings


Contributing: Sheldon Shealer, Ronnie Flores and member sites of the high school network.

Christmas gifts, holiday parties and high school football playoffs go hand-in-hand in Texas and that's all that we're left with to complete the nation's 2007 season.

State championship games were conducted last weekend in California, Pennsylvania and Florida and while there were a few lower-ranked teams from the FAB 50 that lost and have now fallen out of the rankings, the big boys from Florida like No. 1 Northwestern, No. 8 Pahokee and No. 10 Booker T. Washington plus No. 6 De La Salle of California and No. 7 Central Catholic of Pennsylvania all took home state crowns.

Northwestern's 41-0 romp past Boone of Orlando in the Class 6A state final in Florida all but officially wrapped up the mythical national crown for the Bulls. Those final rankings won't be done until next week as the Texas state championships are still to be decided.

FAB 50 No. 4 Katy is the highest-ranked team playing in a Texas state final this weekend. The Tigers, who impressed in a 66-21 win over the weekend against FAB 50-ranked Madison of San Antonio, will meet Phlugerville (12-3) in the Class 5A Division II championship on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

One aspect of the national rankings to watch closely this week and next is teams that ended their season weeks ago being able to move up. One example this week is four-time Kansas state champ Hutchinson now listed at No. 50. The Salt Hawks have been done for weeks, but now they're in the FAB 50 and could move up a few more spots if a couple of other Texas teams lose this weekend.

Here are this week's FAB 50 national rankings:

(After games of Saturday, Dec. 15; listed with record and previous ranking)
*Asterisk in front of team's name indicates season is complete.

1. *Northwestern (Miami, Fla.) 15-0 (1)
The Bulls closed the deal on two straight state Class 6A championships, and 30 straight wins, by routing previously-unbeaten Orlando Boone, 41-0, in the finals before 22,752 fans at Orlando's Florida Citrus Bowl. Defensive lineman Marcus Forston had eight tackles and three sacks and was selected the game MVP. Quarterback Jacory Harris completed 17 of 32 passes for 281 yards and two TDs before exiting with a knee injury with 11:41 left to play. The Bulls' defense recovered three fumbles and limited Boone to 100 total yards.

2. *St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) 15-0 (2)
Season complete. The Bombers won their second state Division 1 title in three years.

3. *South Panola (Batesville, Miss.) 15-0 (3)
Season complete. Team has won 75 straight games and earned fifth straight state Class 5A championship.

4. Katy (Katy, Texas) 15-0 (4)
The Tigers struggled early during their Class 5A Division II semifinal game against San Antonio Madison, but found their groove after the first 20 minutes, combining for 49 points in the second and third quarters to crush the Mavericks, 66-21, at the Alamodome. Aundre Dean finished with 176 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and his five-yard score with just under four minutes remaining in the second quarter broke a 14-14 tie and from there on out the Tigers never looked back. Bo Levi Mitchell completed nine of his 15 passes for 194 yards and four touchdowns, two each to Terrance Avie and Joey Fuda, who also returned a punt 60 yards for a score late in the third quarter that made the score 56-14. The Katy defense forced five Madison turnovers. The Tigers will look for state title number five Saturday night in a return trip to the Alamodome to face off against Pflugerville in the 5A DII state title game.

5. *Prattville (Prattville, Ala.) 15-0 (5)
Season complete. Team has won 30 straight games and repeated as state Class 6A champion.

6. *De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 13-0 (6)
During the Spartans' legendary 151-game national record winning streak from 1992 to 2004, none of those triumphs occurred in a state championship game. That did take place last Saturday, though, when De La Salle defeated Centennial of Corona, 37-31, in the second-ever CIF Division I state bowl game. Junior Blair Wishom preserved the win with a key fourth-down tackle with 2:50 left and a few minutes later intercepted a pass. Another junior, Noah Perio, scored the game-winning touchdown with 5:09 left on a 25-yard pass from senior QB Mike MacGillivray. If Katy loses in the Texas Class 5A Division II final, the Spartans could end up in the top five in next week's final FAB 50 rankings. (

7. *Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 16-0 (7)
Central Catholic put the cap on a perfect season in record-setting way. The Vikings posted the first Class AAAA state final shutout in the 20-year history of the event, blanking Parkland 21-0 in the final. Central Catholic has won two of the program's three state titles in the past four seasons. Tino Sunseri, who changed his verbal commitment to Pitt last week, hit on 8 of 10 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown in the first half as the Pittsburgh power took a 14-0 lead. Andrew Taglianetti and Jeff Knox had scoring touchdowns.

8. *Pahokee (Pahokee, Fla.) 14-0 (8)
Season complete. Won fourth state Class 2B title in five years and is taking 28-game win streak into 2008 season.

9. *Northside (Warner Robins, Ga.) 15-0 (9)
The Eagles wrapped up their second straight state Class AAAA crown with a 20-14 finals' victory over Ware County. Northside trailed the Gators in the fourth quarter before tailback Tijuan Green took a direct snap and tossed a 40-yard TD pass to Nick Bass for the game-winning play with 5:23 left to play. Green finished with 232 total offense yards, including 143 yards on 25 carries. Marques Ivory completed 9 of 16 passes for 136 yards and one score.

10. *Booker T. Washington (Miami, Fla.) 14-0 (10)
The Tornadoes capped their first perfect season and state title by besting Nease of Ponte Vedra Beach, 23-15, in the Class 4A title game at Orlando's Florida Citrus Bowl. Sophomore Eduardo Clements ran 20 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns and also landed a 13-yard TD pass from junior quarterback Torrance Moise, who completed 17 of 26 aerials for 275 yards. Moise suffered leg cramps and exited the game with 9:51 left to play.

11. *Jenks (Jenks, Okla.) 13-1 (11)
Season complete. The Trojans won the school's 12th state football championship by defeating Union of Tulsa, 42-24, in Class 6A title game.

12. *Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 12-0 (12)
Season complete. Don Bosco Prep used a strong third quarter to put away St. Peter's Prep, 42-14, for its second straight Non-Public Group 4 state championship. The Ironmen have won 24 straight games.

13. *Westfield (Chantilly, Va.) 15-0 (13)
Season complete. Westfield scored 35 points in the second half to pull ahead of Woodbridge, 42-14, in the Division 6 state final. The team was led by QB Mike Glennon, who will be the Washington, D.C. area's Offensive Player of the Year.

14. *Bastrop (Bastrop, La.) 15-0 (14)
Season complete. Won third straight state Class 4A crown and hiked on-field win streak to 45 games.

15. *Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) 15-0 (15)
Season complete. Won fifth state title in last six years with Class 4A-Division 1 championship.

16. *Maryville (Maryville, Tenn.) 15-0 (17)
Season complete. Extended win streak to 60 games with fourth straight state Class 4A title.

17. *Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.) 14-0 (20)
Season complete. Made it back to back 5A Division state championships by defeating Cretin-Derham Hall, 50-21. Entering Minnesota's top division's championship game, Cretin-Derham Hall had yet to lose a game on the year. Eden Prairie also has 27-game win streak.

18. *Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 13-2 (16)
The Huskies trailed De La Salle of Concord, 31-7, in Saturday's CIF Div. I State Championship Bowl Game before making a spirited comeback and tying the game at 31 only to lose in the end, 37-31. It was the second time they lost in a California No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown this season, the other one being a 51-37 loss to Mater Dei of Santa Ana. Although its defense gave up more points in the two losses than they would have liked, their no-huddle spread offense gave this team the ability to compete with any prep team in the country. (

19. *Birmingham (Lake Balboa, Calif.) 13-1 (18)
Season complete. Although they were passed up in favor of No. 18 Centennial in a bid to play in the Div. I state bowl game, the Patriots' 41-6 victory over Carson two weeks ago gave them their second consecutive L.A. City Section title and their fourth in the last six seasons. (

20. *Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 13-1 (19)
Season complete. With a 13-3 victory over No. 45 Crespi, the CIF Southern Section Pac-Five champs won their 17th section title, third on the all-time state list behind Bakersfield (34) and Concord De La Salle (23). The Pac-Five title is undoubtedly the toughest section title to win in California, but Poly remains behind No. 20 Birmingham in these rankings because of a head-to-head loss. (

21. *Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.) 13-0 (21)
Season complete. Defeated Mehlville of St. Louis, 28-9, in the Class 6A title game. Rockhurst won the 8th state football championship in school history.

22. *Dakota (Macomb, Mich.) 14-0 (23)
Season complete. Won the Michigan Division I state championship, 41-21, over Stevenson. QB Mitch Lovett set a championship game record by throwing for 301 yards and five touchdowns. Team also has won two straight state crowns.

23. *Tulsa Union (Tulsa, Okla.) 13-1 (26)
Season complete. Suffered their lone loss of the season in the 6A state championship game by a 42-24 score against Jenks. Defeated Jenks early in the season with a dramatic 4th-quarter comeback.

24. Trinity (Euless, Texas) 14-1 (27)
Pery Negreiros made two field goals in overtime, the second a 23-yarder in the second overtime to give Euless Trinity a dramatic 30-27 victory over Plano in a 5A Division I state semifinal game before 30,000 Saturday at Texas Stadium. After the two teams exchanged field goals in the first extra period, Negreiros converted on the game-winner after Plano misfired on a 41-yard field goal attempt, setting off a wild celebration. The dramatic finish didn't seem likely until Trinity's Samir Baker fumbled at his own 29-yard line with the Trojans holding a 24-21 lead and attempting to run out the clock with inside a minute left. The Trinity defense, fortunately for Baker, who did finish with 206 yards on the ground, was able to stiffen as Ryan McDuff hit a 24-yard field goal to force overtime. The Trojans' defense made key plays at key times, most notably intercepting Plano's Carson Meger in the end zone late in the third quarter and thwarting Plano's attempt to go up 28-17. Seven plays later, Baker rumbled 31 yards for a score to give Plano a 24-21 lead. The win sets up Trinity versus Converse Judson for a third time in the Class 5A Division I state title game. In 1992, Judson blanked Trinity 52-0 and the Trojans got revenge in '05, 28-14.

25. *Destrehan (Destrehan, La.) 15-0 (35)
Season complete. Team won state Class 5A championship. It's pretty strong debate between Destrehan and Bastrop as to which team was the best in Louisiana this season.

26. *Carroll (Southlake, Texas) 11-2 (30)
Season complete. The Dragons are now ahead of the Abilene team it lost to in the Class 5A Division II playoffs. That was a one-point game and All-American quarterback Riley Dodge suffered an injury in the early going. Abilene has now lost itself in the playoffs.

27. *Naperville North (Naperville, Ill.) 13-1 (32)
Season complete. Team won the Class 8A state championship by defeating Glenbard North, 46-19.

28. *Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) 12-2 (48)
Season complete. The Shamrocks won their third straight state title with Class 6A crown and made it seven titles in the last eight years.

29. *St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.) 13-1 (21)
Season complete. This was the state Class 6A runnerup to No. 28 Trinity in 34-28 overtime final.

30. *Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.) 14-1 (nr)
The Vikings won their third state Class AAAAA title in four years, and fifth overall, with a 34-6 finals' victory over North Gwinnett. Junior Greg Reid rushed for 184 yards on 14 carries and Darriet Perry gained 100 yards on 15 rushes. Reid set the tone with a 91-yard touchdown run on the first scrimmage play. The Vikings led 20-6 at halftime and never looked back to win their 14th straight game.

31. *St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 14-1 (nr)
The Raiders ended three straight years of Class 5A runnerup roles by defeating previously-unbeaten Kissimmee Osceola, 35-20, in the finals at Orlando's Florida Citrus Bowl. It was the fourth state crown for the Raiders, who ended No. 2 the last three years to unbeaten Lakeland teams including the 2006 FAB 50 No. 1 Dreadnaughts. Junior quarterback Ryan Becker, the game's MVP, passed for two scores, one to Ronnie Kennedy and the other to Duron Carter.

32. *Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) 10-2 (34)
Season complete. Lancers lost a heart-breaking 2-0 game to Long Beach Poly in CIF Southern Section Pac-Five Division semifinals. They fumbled on the two-yard line after not kicking a field goal on the play before that would have likely won the game. (

33. *Permian (Odessa, Texas) 12-1 (39)
Season complete. Panthers' playoff loss was to Trinity of Euless, a team they beat earlier in the season. As Trinity keeps winning, Permian's ranking improves as well.

34. *Joliet Catholic (Joliet, Ill.) 13-1 (37)
Season complete. Hilltoppers earned the school's 13th state football championship by a 49-7 score over Lemont.

35. *Alta (Sandy, Utah) 13-1 (36)
Season complete. Claimed the Class 5A state championship with a 19-7 victory over Layton. The Hawks were a finalist in the same division a year ago.

36. *Coffman (Dublin, Ohio) 13-1 (40)
Season complete. Team was state Division 1 semifinalist with 10-7 loss to FAB 50 No. 2 St. Xavier.

37. Highland Park (Dallas, Texas) 15-0 (nr)
The Scots went to the ground to beat the supposedly more physical team, outrushing Everman, 236-69, on the way to a convincing 42-13 win in a Class 4A Division I semifinal Saturday in Mesquite. Senior Michael Thatcher led the charge for Highland Park, rushing 16 times for 125 yards (his third 100-yard game in the playoffs) and scores of 6, 3, 4 and 19 yards. The game was still in reach for Everman at the half, but the Scots marched 53 yards with Thatcher scoring to push the lead to 35-13 on the opening drive of the second half, and the HP defense held Everman without a first down the rest of the way. Highland Park will face Lake Travis (14-1) in the state title game Saturday at Baylor's Floyd Casey Stadium.

38. *Everett (Everett, Mass.) 13-0 (41)
Season complete. Everett has won 25 straight games, including back-to-back Division I crowns. This year, the Boston-area power needed overtime to hold off upset-minded Dartmouth, 36-28.

39. *Wayne Hills (Wayne, N.J.) 12-0 (42)
Season complete. Wayne Hills pushed its win streak to 40 games with a 27-7 victory over rival Wayne Valley for the North Jersey Section 1, Group 3 championship.

40. *Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.) 14-0 (43)
Season complete. In a battle of two undefeated teams in the Class 3A title game, it was Skyline that was able to remain undefeated with a 42-35 win against O'Dea of Seattle.

41. *Quince Orchard (Gaithersburg, Md.) 14-0 (44)
Season complete. In one of the most dramatic comebacks in state tournament history, Quince Orchard scored 29 fourth-quarter points, all within 6 minutes and 45 seconds, for a 36-30 victory over Arundel in the Class 4A final. (

42. *Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) 13-1 (nr)
Season complete. Oscar Smith lost to Westfield in a close game in the state semifinals in what was billed as the showdown between the state¹s top two programs. When other teams lost last week, this was the team that was done that we wanted to get back into the FAB 50 as soon as possible.

43. *Bettendorf (Bettendorf, Iowa) 13-0 (45)
Season complete. Team won state Class 4A crown.

44. *Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, Tenn.) 13-0 (46)
Season complete. Team won state Division II championship.

45. *Crespi (Encino, Calif.) 11-3 (47)
Season complete. Had wins over CIF Division III state champ St. Bonaventure plus FAB 50-ranked Birmingham as well as Mater Dei of Santa Ana, which was in top 10 of FAB 50 for a good part of the regular season. Playoff loss was to FAB 50-ranked Long Beach Poly. (

46. *St. Bonaventure (Ventura, Calif.) 14-1 (48)
Casey Serna's 70-yard touchdown pass to Drew Gibson early in the fourth quarter broke a 14-14 tie as the Seraphs won the CIF Division III state bowl game, 35-21, over Central Catholic of Modesto. Serna then sealed the win with 1:19 left when he handed the ball to standout Darrell Scott, then went out for a pass and hauled it in for a 16-yard touchdown. In addition to the pass, Scott shined with 17 carries for 162 yards and two TDs. (

47. *Arrowhead (Hartland, Wis.) 14-0 (49)
Season complete. Team won the state's largest class championship, defeating Homestead, 31-7. The Warhawks have now won four state football championships in school history.

48. *Brophy Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 12-2 (50)
Season complete. For the second time in the last three years, the Broncos won the 5A Division 1 state championship. They knocked out the defending state champs from Hamilton of Chandler to reach the finals.

49. *Colerain (Cincinnati, Ohio) 12-1 (nr)
Season complete. State Division 1 quarterfinalist with only loss to FAB 50 No. 2 St. Xavier.

50. *Hutchinson (Hutchinson, Kan.) 13-0 (nr)
Season complete. Coach Randy Dreiling's team extended its winning streak to 36 games with a 37-14 win over Olathe South in the Class 6A state final. It also was the fourth straight state crown for the Salt Hawks.

Dropped Out: Previous No. 22 North Shore (Galena Park, Texas); No. 24 Osceola (Kissimmee, Fla.); No. 25 Parkland (Allentown, Pa.); No. 33 North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.); No. 38 Abilene (Abilene, Texas); No. 39 Madison (San Antonio, Texas).

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