April 24, 2018

MSA high school football power rankings: Week 1

St. Frances quarterback Jahlil Brown, shown here in a scrimmage against DeMatha, leads the Panthers into the top spot for Week 1. Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

Below are our Week 1 power rankings, which exist for a different purpose than the state media poll (this is where strength of schedule and quality of play matters), along with a tidbit about each team.

Questions and comments shall be sent to kfadd32@gmail.com. Otherwise, buckle up for another season on the gridiron.

RELATED: Way-too-early high school football championship predictions

1. St. Frances Academy Panthers (Record: 1-0) LW: 2

County: Baltimore City, MIAA A-conference

Last week: Win against Canada Prep, 41-0

This week: vs. Bishop Sullivan Catholic on Friday at 7 p.m. at Patterson Park (top team in Va.)

St. Frances jumps to No. 1 after its 41-point rout of Canada Prep on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and their defense allowed just 49 total yards.

2. DeMatha Catholic Stags (0-1) LW: 1

County: Prince George’s, WCAC

Last week: Loss against Bishop Gorman (Nev.), 35-23 — CLICK FOR STORY

This week: at Avalon on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Stags couldn’t hold on to an early 10-0 lead on Friday night versus Bishop Gorman, the three-time defending national champions. Though they delivered an admirable performance on national television, 5-star running back MarShawn Lloyd is out for the season with a broken wrist.

RELATED: 2017 DeMatha football preview

3. St. John’s College Cadets (1-0) LW: 3

County: District of Columbia, WCAC

Last week: Win over Jones (Fla.), 49-30 — CLICK FOR STORY

This week: at De La Salle (Calif.) on Friday at 10:30 p.m. EST (No. 16 team nationally by MaxPreps)

Behind new quarterback Kevin Doyle — holder of over 30 college offers — and his three touchdown passes, the Cadets picked up their first win of the season against Jones, a top-25 team from Florida. This week, however, will be a much stiffer task, traveling to nationally ranked De La Salle in California.

4. Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. Pumas (0-0) LW: 4

County: Prince George’s, MPSSAA Class 4A

Last week: Bye

This week: vs. Surrattsville on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The two-time defending state champion Pumas ride a 28-game win streak into the 2017 season, and there’s no sign of them slowing down.

CAPSULE: Wise rocks Quince Orchard to claim second straight state title, 42-7

Though they graduated dynamic quarterback Jabari Laws (Army), Quinton Williams (6-foot-4) comes over from Good Counsel with practically the same skillset and even more upside. Leading rusher John “MooMoo” Oliver and 5-star receiver/cornerback A.J. Lytton (Florida State commit) are back in the fold as well.

RELATED: Wise football coach DaLawn Parrish and Florida State commit A.J. Lytton discuss the upcoming season

5. Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers (0-0) LW: 5

County: Anne Arundel, MIAA A Conference

Last week: Bye

This week: at Annapolis on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Archbishop Spalding will have to cope without quarterback Evan Fochtman, who is now off at Navy. But on the brightside, the Cavs retain 17 starters from their 9-2 team a year ago, including nine on an offense that averaged 45 points per game. 

6. Gonzaga College Eagles (D.C.) (1-0) LW: 7

County: District of Columbia, WCAC

Last week: Win over No. 14 Gilman, 38-0 — CLICK FOR STORY

This week: vs. Viera (Fla.) on Friday at 6:30 p.m. (25th-ranked team in Florida by MaxPreps)

Behind six created turnovers and big-play ability by Dean Engram (nine college offers, including Penn State), Gonzaga steamrolled over No. 14 Gilman on Saturday, 38-0. Engram’s interception on the Greyhounds’ opening position set-up Gonzaga’s first of five touchdowns. He also reeled in a 70-yard scoring grab from freshman Caleb Williams (140 passing yards, two touchdowns), who finished with a 139.2 passer rating in his first varsity game.

7. McDonogh School Eagles (0-0) LW: 6

County: Baltimore County, MIAA A Conference

Last week: (Week 0 game against No. 21 Pallotti cancelled) — CLICK FOR STORY

This week: vs. La Salle College (Pa.) on Friday at 6 p.m. (seventh-ranked team in Pa. by MaxPreps)

Conference foe St. Frances has unquestionably the most talent in the MIAA, but with quarterback DeJuan Ellis (Virginia Tech commit) and P.J. Mustipher (Penn State commit) — one of the top defensive tackles in the country — the Eagles will always have a chance.

CAPSULE: Virginia Tech commit DeJuan Ellis leads McDonogh past Gonzaga (D.C.), 32-29

8. Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets (0-0) LW: 8

County: Montgomery, Class 2A

Last week: Bye

This week: at Blake on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Everyone wants to talk about Jake Funk’s record-setting season in 2015 and the blistering speed of Markus Vinson in 2016 — both skill players who charged the Hornets to back-to-back undefeated championship runs.

CAPSULE: Damascus outlasts Franklin, 14-12, to win second straight state title 

But when you boil it down, the root of Damascus’ dominance the past two seasons are the big boys up front. They return four of five linemen from last year’s title team, including three-year varsity players Michael Jurgens (Wake Forest commit) and Division I prospect Jordan Funk. Oh, and it’s also worth noting they now have the top-rated player nationally in the Class of 2020, defensive end Bryan Bresee (offers from Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Penn State, among others). 

RELATED: Damascus coach Eric Wallich, Bryan Bresee and Michael Jurgens discuss the upcoming season and more

9. Quince Orchard Cougars (0-0) LW: 9

County: Montgomery, Class 4A

Last week: Bye

This week: vs. Bethesda-CC on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

The Cougars strung off 12-straight wins to reach the state title game in 2016, and then fell victim to four turnovers that resulted in a 42-7 thumping from Wise. Three-year starting quarterback Doc Bonner is equipped for an accoladed senior campaign and Coach John Kelley claims this year’s group of skill guys are the most dynamic he’s ever had. Is it enough to unseat Wise? We’ll see.

RELATED: Quince Orchard coach John Kelley and quarterback Doc Bonner discuss the upcoming season and more

10. Good Counsel Falcons (0-0) LW: 10

County: Montgomery, WCAC

Last week: Bye

This week: vs. No. 24 Gilman on Friday at 7 p.m.

Maryland’s all-time winningest coach Bob Milloy hung up the headset last year after 47 remarkable year and over 400 wins to show for. Now, Andy Stefanelli takes control of the storied Falcons program that returns 13 starters from a six-win 2016 season. Offensive centerpiece and workhorse back Mohamed Ibrahim is off at Minnesota, and will also need to be replaced. Dual-threat quarterback Kam Snell is expected to start under center and Division I recruit Tremayn Stott is positioned to inherit the bulk of the carries. Offensive lineman Tyler Baylor and defensive back Micah McNeil, both Division I recruits, return as well.

CAPSULE: Legendary coach Bob Milloy gets historic win No. 400

11. Northwest Jaguars (0-0) LW: 12

County: Montgomery, MPSSAA Class 4A

Last week: Bye

This week: at Wootton on Fridayat 6:30 p.m.

After a relatively down year, the Jaguars return 15 of 22 starters and appear in much better position to return to championship formality. Quarterback Chris Craddock looks more comfortable, and with a stable of skill guys around him, including Division I recruits, receiver Alphonso Foray and running back Juwon Farri, the Northwest offense should flow more freely. National recruit, defensive end DeAndre Jules, leads the defensive charge.

RELATED: Northwest football coach Michael Neubeiser, DeAndre Jules and Chris Craddock discuss the upcoming season and more

12. Bullis School Bulldogs (0-0) LW: 13

County: Montgomery, IAC

Last week: Bye

This week: vs. Archbishop Carroll (D.C.) on Friday at 7 p.m.

Last year was the first time in four years that Bullis didn’t win the IAC title. With extra motivation, the Bulldogs return nine starters, including playmaker Bryson Shaw (seven FCS offers).

13. Walkersville Lions (0-0) LW: 15

County: Frederick, MPSSAA Class 2A

Last week: Bye

This week: at New Era Academy on Friday at TBD

Fresh off sweet redemption — leaving no doubt in an undefeated state title season after losing the 2015 Class 2A state title game by one point to Patuxent — the Lions bring back a plethora impact players for 2017.

CAPSULE: Walkersville gets redemption, captures Class 2A title in 33-6 rout of Elkton

Eight starters return from a defense that didn’t allow more than eight points a game in 2016. In addition, three-year starting quarterback Billy Gant and do-it-all playmaker Jacob Wetzel are primed for memorable senior campaigns. 

WATCH: Walkersville football coach Joe Polce and Jacob Wetzel discuss the upcoming season and more

14. Calvert Hall Cardinals (1-0) LW: 18

County: Baltimore City, MIAA A Conference

Last week: Win against Silver Oak Academy, 45-0

This week: vs. Dundalk on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Cardinals gave Coach Donald Davis his 100th career win on Saturday in the shelling of Silver Oak Academy. Calvert Hall will look to keep the fire churning against 2015 MPSSAA Class 3A runner-up Dundalk on Saturday night.

15. Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas (0-0) LW: 16

County: Montgomery, IAC

Last week: Bye

This week: at Bishop O’Connell (Va.) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Little Hoyas will have to replace their heart and soul in utility man T.J. Dozier, who is now off at Harvard, but they do return linebacker Jonathan Hayes (Army offer) and defensive back/receiver Matthew Kane (four Division I offers).

16. Linganore Lancers (0-0) LW: 17

County: Frederick, MPSSAA Class 3A

Last week: Bye

This week: vs. Archbishop Curley on Friday at 7 p.m.

After reeling off four straight wins to squeeze into the playoffs, and sticking with eventual Class 3A state champion Damascus, Linganore appears ready to return to prominence. The Lancers return 15 starters, including college prospect, 6-foot-5 quarterback Ryan Leyh, ball carriers Zamarre Snowden and Davon Butler, and leading receiver Joe Kollick. Joey Felton, formerly from Good Counsel, will start at receiver and cornerback, and all-area linebacker Luke Freeman will lead the front-seven.

RELATED: Linganore coach Rick Conner, Luke Freeman and Zach Willett discuss the upcoming season

17. Riverdale Baptist Crusaders (1-0) LW: 22

County: Prince George’s, Independant

Last week: Win against No. 19 Bishop McNamara, 33-6

This week: vs. Ballou (D.C.) on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Crusaders made an early season statement on Saturday evening, jumping out to a 19-0 halftime lead and piling on two more touchdowns in the second half to shut down No. 19 Bishop McNamara, 33-6.

18. Oxon Hill Clippers (0-0) LW: 20

County: Prince George’s, MPSSAA Class 3A

Last week: Bye

This week: at Chopticon on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Clippers look to avenge a triple-overtime playoff loss to rival Potomac that spoiled a perfect regular season and ride Penn State commit Daniel George (15 touchdown receptions in 2016) and quarterback DaJuan Rollins (182 pass yards a game, 28 touchdowns in 2016) to the promise land in a wide-open Class 3A.

19. St. Vincent Pallotti Panthers (0-0) LW: 21

County: Baltimore, MIAA B Conference

Last week: (Week 0 game against No. 6 McDonogh cancelled) — CLICK FOR STORY

This week: vs. St. Mary’s Ryken on Friday at 7 p.m.

Running back Blake Corum and defensive lineman Coziah Izzar — both college recruits — are back in the mix for the Panthers, who look to repeat as MIAA B Conference champs.

20. Mount St. Joseph Gaels (0-1) LW: 11

County: Baltimore City, MIAA A Conference

Last week: Loss against St. Mary’s Ryken, 30-28

This week: vs. Cardinal O’Heara (Pa.) on Friday at 7 p.m.

Behind freshman quarterback Billy Akins (two touchdown passes), the Gaels nearly erased a 16-point fourth quarter deficit on Saturday versus Ryken out of the WCAC. But a failed two-point conversion in the final minutes costed MSJ its first loss of the new season.

CAPSULE: Mount St. Joseph uses potent offense and stingy defense to down Gilman, 34-2

21. Fort Hill Sentinels (0-0) LW: 23

County, Allegany, MPSSAA Class 1A

Last week: Bye

This week: vs. University Prep/Sci-Tech/Obama Academy (Pittsburgh) on Saturday at 2 p.m.

For the first time in their championship reign, the Sentinels don’t have a Division I playmaker to lean on. In 2013 and 2014, it was current Maryland running back Ty Johnson. In 2015 and 2016, it was UCONN’s Brayden Brown. Additionally, quarterback Nathaniel Graves and running back Raen Smith — both three-year starters — have graduated. So, who will step up to the plate this year and lead Fort Hill to its fifth straight state title? Running back Troy Banks III, who rushed for 189 yards and four touchdowns in the 2016 Class 1A title game, and hard-hitting linebacker Luke Hamilton (Navy offer) will now carry the weighty torch.

CAPSULE: Fort Hill pulls away from Havre de Grace to capture historic fourth straight state title

22. Franklin Indians (0-0) LW: 24

County: Baltimore, MPSSAA Class 3A

Last week: Bye

This week: vs. Woodlawn on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Indians made a hard charge at the Class 3A state title last season before Damascus edged them in the championship game, 14-12. If they want to get back there, Franklin will have to cope without quarterback Joshua Turner, leading rusher Justin Spence, leading receiver Michael Gibson and defensive leader Aaron Webb. Larry Smith (nine touchdown passes in 2016) will presume quarterback duties and second-leading receiver Assanti Kearney (430 yards and five touchdowns on 30 receptions) return for senior seasons.

23. Sherwood Warriors (0-0) LW: 25

County: Montgomery, MPSSAA Class 4A

Last week: Bye

This week: vs. Magruder on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

The Warriors will be without Gatorade Player of the Year, running back Travis Levy, but they return 13 starters from last year’s 10-win group. They’ll also have one of the best playmakers in the state under center in Michael Mbony (13 college offers), who will give Sherwood a chance to beat anyone on any given night.

RELATED: Q&A with Sherwood quarterback Michael Mbony

24. Gilman Greyhounds (0-1) LW: 14

County: Baltimore, MIAA A Conference

Last week: Loss against No. 7 Gonzaga (D.C.), 38-0 — CLICK FOR STORY

This week: at No. 10 Good Counsel on Friday at 7 p.m.

Six turnovers, including three inside the red zone, spoiled any chance of the Greyhounds upsetting No. 7 Gonzaga (D.C.) on Saturday. Clean those mishaps up, and it could’ve been close. But in the end, a 38-point, shutout loss puts a black eye on what was a fresh beginning.

25. North Point Eagles (0-0) LW: NR

County: Charles, MPSSAA Class 4A

Last week: Bye

This week: vs. Old Mill on Friday at 7 p.m.

After a 9-2 season last fall, the Eagles return one of the top offensive lineman nationally in Rasheed Walker (10 Power-5 offers) and other impact players, like cornerback Chelen Garnes (offer from Navy), quarterback JeMichael Jones and receiver Johnathan Riley.

Dropped out: No. 19 Bishop McNamara

On the bubble: Allegany (0-0), Annapolis (0-0), Arundel (0-0), Bishop McNamara (0-1), Broadneck (0-0), Calvert (0-0), Douglass-PG (0-0), Dunbar (0-0), Eleanor Roosevelt (0-0), Gwynn Park (0-0), Howard (0-0), Kent Island (0-0), Lackey (0-0), Liberty (0-0), Long Reach (0-0), Loyola Blakefield (0-0), Mervo (0-0), Milford Mill (0-0), North Caroline (0-0), North Point (0-0), Oakdale (0-0), Old Mill (0-0), Parkside (0-0), Patuxent (0-0), Perry Hall (0-0), Seneca Valley (0-0), St. Mary’s Ryken (1-0) and Tuscarora (0-0)

About Kyle McFadden 416 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
Contact: Twitter

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.