Posted: 4:15 pm Monday, September 10th, 2012
By Matt Porter
The second week of the football season gave us a few more clues about who’s legitimate and who’s not, who’s playing for keeps and who’s playing around. Here’s how we here at The Post view the pecking order in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast:
1. American Heritage (2-0) Beat nationally ranked Armwood on the road
2. Dwyer (2-0) Defense dominates against any team
3. Fort Pierce Central (1-0) Made national rankings debut
4. Palm Beach Central (1-0) Offense masks defensive concerns
5. Park Vista (2-0) Defense fast, hard-hitting and mean
6. Seminole Ridge (0-1) Still adjusting to game speed
7. Palm Beach Gardens (1-1) Forfeited win hurts record
8. Cardinal Newman (2-0) Scored 121 points in two weeks
9. John I. Leonard (2-0) Can score with anyone
10. Royal Palm Beach (1-1) Five-point loss to John I. Leonard
Also considered: Atlantic, Boca Raton, Glades Central, Glades Day, South Fork.Top 10 breakdown
If something feels off, lacking or downright weird about the above list, it does for us, too.
Glades Central (0-2) dropped from the Post’s top 10. The last time our newspaper didn’t rank the Raiders was …
People in our office – 10-year, 20-year veterans – can’t remember the last time it happened. Steve Dorsey, who covered high school sports for the Post for more than 25 years, believes it was in the late 1980s.
After all, the Raiders have lost 32 games in the last two decades. It’s been a while since they’ve been down.
Since Rick Casko was hired in 1991, Glades Central is 243-32. Eight head coaches — six since 2000 — and a talent pool like no other have made the Raiders one of the nation’s most storied programs.
But after five losses since last year’s playoffs — Miami-Norland in the regional finals, Atlantic in the spring, Royal Palm in the preseason, Dwyer and Plantation so far in September — we have to sit them out. We say this respectfully, but wearing the maroon and gold does not guarantee wins.
Of course, if Glades Central can knock off American Heritage this week, we’ll talk. Onto the ranks of the ranked:
It’s hard to move Dwyer off the top of the mountain, but American Heritage pushed hard enough. The Stallions traveled to the other side of the state and beat a nationally ranked team (and the No. 1 team in Class 6A), Seffner-Armwood, 36-28. That game wasn’t that close, either – Heritage was up 36-14 before Armwood scored twice late. Add that to a dominant opening win over Atlantic, and we feel comfortable moving the Stallions up. Rivals.com agrees; they jumped the Stallions 50 spots in their national top 100 (from No. 80 to 30).
Dwyer won’t be happy about falling to No. 2, especially after dominating Jupiter while going three-quarter speed. The Panthers also moved up from No. 57 to No. 42 in Rivals’ rankings. Dwyer’s defense must be seen to be believed, but the offense is still on its way to the show. Dwyer has Seminole Ridge this week, which last year was a game of two skittish-looking teams. Dwyer is ahead of Ridge at this point in the season, but expect a low-scoring affair of two outstanding defenses.
Fort Pierce Central stays at No. 3 pending the result of its postponed game with Palm Bay, which will be finished at 6 p.m. Monday. The Cobras were trailing 12-0 nearly 18 minutes into the game. The Cobras are making moves nationally, though: they made their debut in Rivals’ top 100 list.
Forget the questions about its defense: Palm Beach Central‘s offense will win it a lot of games. Ray Wilson, Tommy McDonald and Lloyd Howard running behind that behemoth line erases most of the concerns we have over the basketball scores the Broncos keep putting up. Click here to see a photo gallery from Friday’s win over Lake Worth.
Park Vista’s defense gave Seminole Ridge a rude welcome to the 2012 football season, winning 21-7 on Friday night (note: click here to see a photo gallery). The Cobras have offensive issues of their own, but the defense gets after it. Seminole Ridge is much the same story, but is still adjusting offensively. Three interceptions really hurt the Hawks last week. Not good news as it faces Dwyer this Friday.
Cardinal Newman is scoring points in droves, but we won’t get to know a lot about the Crusaders until they play King’s Academy on Sept. 28 and American Heritage Oct. 19.
Speaking of impressive attacks, John I. Leonard can score with anyone, and put up just enough against a stout Royal Palm Beach defense to grab an upset win on Thursday. The reason John I. isn’t higher — and Royal Palm isn’t out — is theirs was a five-point game that could have turned on several dropped passes, near-picks and close plays. Royal Palm was driving for the win in the final seconds. Give the Lancers credit, though: they’re legit. Click the photo above to see a gallery of photos from the game.
Those are the links to the game stories and content from the Week 2 games. In case you missed it, check out our new podcast with ESPN 760, which we’re calling The Walkthrough. Look for a new episode every Wednesday. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter — @mattyports and @jeffgreer — for breaking news and updates throughout the week, and visit our Facebook page, PBGametime.