Posted: 8:56 am Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Crazy Friday night prompts big changes in weekly football rankings 

By Jeff Greer

Will Oct. 8 be remembered as the Night of the Upset in 2010? Park Vista, our former third-ranked team, and West Boca, our former No. 7 team, both lost at home in rather surprising fashion. Atlantic beat Park Vista, 26-7. Wellington topped West Boca, 20-14.

Atlantic, No. 7 in our new rankings, just bullied Park Vista, holding the area’s best running back Tre Mason to 80 yards. The win gives Atlantic a much-needed leg up on Park Vista in a very difficult District 8-6A. The team to beat remains Seminole Ridge, which topped Palm beach Central 21-10 on Friday, but Atlantic is now in prime position to fight for the district title.

As close as the score looks, Wellington dominated West Boca for a solid 40 minutes of gametime before the Bulls woke up. A late flurry of points almost saw West Boca complete a furious rally, but Wellington (2-4) held on. The win puts the Wolverines in the driver’s seat in District 13-5A, something few expected heading into Friday’s game.

Anyway, here is the new top 10:

  1. Glades Central (6-0)
  2. Dwyer (4-1)
  3. Seminole Ridge (5-0)
  4. Fort Pierce Westwood (5-0)
  5. American Heritage (3-3)
  6. Jupiter Christian (4-1)
  7. Atlantic (3-2)
  8. Park Vista (4-1)
  9. Fort Pierce Central (5-0)
  10. Cardinal Newman (5-1)

West Boca (3-2) and Olympic Heights (3-2) both dropped out.

Heights lost 23-7 to Archbishop McCarthy, a respectable loss. The only problem is, Heights is now 0-2 in District 14-3A and in serious danger of missing the playoffs. That doesn’t mean O Heights isn’t a good football team — we think the Lions are — but struggling to win in district hurts. Humorously enough, West Boca travels to Olympic Heights in two weeks for what should be a pretty good game.

Inside the rankings. Glades Central held off Dwyer for another week. At this point, it’s simple, as long as Glades Central keeps winning, there’s no reason to drop them from the top spot. But boy, Dwyer wasn’t kidding about blowing everyone out after losing its opening game in Ohio. Matt and I have had plenty of interesting discussion about who should be No. 1, and it boils down to philosophical differences.

I usually argue that a team should hold its spot in the rankings until it loses, regardless of how close a game is. Matt puts a little more weight in the strength of each victory. Both of us are right, which makes the arguments fun. Where do you stand?

Fort Pierce Westwood wins again. The Panthers are 5-0 for the first time since 1989. They’re doing it with defense and timely playmaking. Not too many folks down in Palm Beach County know a lot about Treasure Coast teams, but these kids can play. Junior quarterback Travares Copeland has emerged as a top talent, along with lightning-quick deep threat Wonderful Terry. FPW has become a legitimate Class 3A power, with a chance to make a run in the playoffs.

American Heritage leapfrogs Jupiter Christian. We didn’t want to penalize Jupiter Christian (4-1) too much for losing to a very good Clermont-East Ridge team on Friday. American Heritage jumps back up to No. 5 with a dominant 50-20 win over Pahokee. Both teams beat Pahokee this year, although Jupiter Christian’s win was a kickoff classic. Bottom line is, we’d love to see these two teams play. They figure to be major state title contenders in their respective classes this year.

Enter Fort Pierce Central. Much like their Fort Pierce counterparts, the Cobras have run to 5-0 with their defense. Massive linemen Giorgio Newberry and Mike Marsaille give FPC some nice size, and a Nov. 12 showdown with Westwood should make for some fantastic drama.

Cardinal Newman, hangin’ by a thread. Like Jupiter Christian’s loss to East Ridge, Cardinal Newman’s 42-14 loss to Fort Lauderdale-University isn’t too bad. University is a very good football team. Cardinal Newman (5-1) might even feel less pressure now that it has lost a game. Either way, we rate the Crusaders just ahead of King’s Academy, Lake Worth, Glades Day, Martin County and Treasure Coast for the 10th spot in the rankings.