Posted: 3:57 pm Monday, September 26th, 2011
By Matt Porter
Some teams have an easy road from here, some teams look ripe for the picking, and two new teams joined the rankings. Just another wild week in Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast high school football. Here’s how the top 10 looks:
1. Glades Central (3-0) Raiders could run the table
2. American Heritage (2-1) Stallions might, too
3. Fort Pierce Central (3-0) Not an easy task at Vero
4. Dwyer (3-1) Offense showed up vs. Spanish River
5. Atlantic (3-1) Capable of big plays, but sloppy
6. Park Vista (3-0) Rested and ready for Jupiter
7. Palm Beach Gardens (3-1) Tough test vs. John I. Leonard
8. Seminole Ridge (2-2) Week off to enjoy Wellington win
9. Glades Day (2-2) Kelvin Taylor healthy again
10. Cardinal Newman (3-0) Defense allowed eight points so far
Also considered: Royal Palm Beach, John I. Leonard, Jupiter Christian, Palm Beach Central, Lake Worth
Two weeks ago, Glades Central tightened its grip on No. 1 with a thrilling win over American Heritage. Coming off last week’s bye, the Raiders are rested and look like they could run the table. Sound crazy? Take a look at the schedule. This week they host Boca Raton, which won’t be easy, and then play Suncoast, at Fort Pierce Westwood, at Jensen Beach, then host Boynton and Pahokee. If the Raiders are sharp, they should win all those games.
No question No. 2 American Heritage should have beat King’s Academy, and they were strong in a 38-10 win. The Stallions, who host Pahokee this week, are another strong possibility to win out. Of their remaining opponents, Cardinal Newman has the best chance to pull an upset, but that doesn’t seem likely. Injuries appear to be the only thing stopping Heritage from a one-loss regular season.
No. 3 Fort Pierce Central is rolling along, but playing in Vero Beach is never an easy task. Expect a tight one. No. 4 Dwyer took care of Spanish River on the road, and faces another district foe (West Boca Raton) at home this week.
No. 5 Atlantic continues to win ugly. The Eagles were sloppy against Santaluces, but as usual, had the big plays necessary to put them over the top. This week they face another big-play team in Spanish River. If Atlantic hangs on and No. 6 Park Vista handles business Friday night against Jupiter, we might see a swap of the No. 5 and 6 spots. Clean play always gets rewarded.
As Park Vista climbed to No. 6 after Royal Palm Beach’s upset of formerly sixth-ranked Palm Beach Central, the runnin’ Gators of Palm Beach Gardens up a spot to No. 7. Same with No. 8 Seminole Ridge, who now has a week off to enjoy its back-on-the-horse win over Wellington.
Welcome in: Our new No. 9 is Glades Day (2-2), which lost to Clewiston without Kelvin Taylor two weeks ago. Taylor’s back, though, and he was enough of a game-changer to beat Jupiter Christian last week and push the Gators back into the rankings.
No. 10 Cardinal Newman (3-0), who put up a pair of 40-0 shutouts in the last two weeks after a shaky, season-opening win over Inlet Grove. The Crusaders are getting nice production from senior quarterback Brett Benes (24-of-34, 420 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT), sophomore receiver Travis Rudolph (12 catches, 153 yards) and running back Sha’Corey Foster (38 carries, 218 yards, 3 TD). They’ve allowed eight points and 280 total yards (222 on the ground) in three games. Newman faces King’s Academy this week in a critical district matchup that happens to be our Game of the Week.
Dropping out: Palm Beach Central (2-2), which came out flat against Royal Palm Beach and lost in Week 1 to Seminole Ridge (by three touchdowns, no less). The Broncos have slim wins over Gardens and Lake Worth, and haven’t shown they can get the necessary stops on defense. That’s similar to Jupiter Christian (3-1), which has one of the most prolific offenses in the area but has questions on defense.
Knocking at the door: Royal Palm Beach (2-1), which stunned No. 6 Palm Beach Central but lost the previous week to John I. Leonard by more than three touchdowns; John I. Leonard (3-1), which lost to Lake Worth in a close one and should be a tough test for Gardens this week; Lake Worth (2-2), which has seen its last three games (2-1) decided by a total of 13 points. The Trojans should be able to handle the next two weeks (vs. Santaluces, at Spanish River) before a tough end of the season (vs. Royal Palm, at Dwyer, vs. Atlantic, at Gardens).