Posted: 2:29 pm Monday, October 14th, 2013

Week 8 Look Ahead: Inside the new Top 10, plus this week’s top games 

By Jeff Greer

A few teams on the back end of the Post’s Top 10 have made their moves. How do this week’s rankings look?

Travis Rudolph and Cardinal Newman have a big test this week against Pahokee. (Photo by Gary Coronado)

Not a whole lot different at the top. Dwyer, Fort Pierce Central, Park Vista and Pahokee all won. American Heritage didn’t play. Palm Beach Gardens moved up to the No. 6 spot. Glades Central’s sliding. Boynton Beach managed to stay in despite a disappointing loss to Fort Lauderdale-Dillard that puts the Tigers’ playoff hopes in serious jeopardy.

Post Top 10
1. Dwyer (7-0)
2. Fort Pierce Central (6-0)
3. Park Vista (5-1)
4. Pahokee (5-1)
5. American Heritage (3-3)
6. Palm Beach Gardens (4-2)
7. Glades Central (3-3)
8. Royal Palm Beach (4-2)
9. Boynton Beach (6-1)
10. Palm Beach Central (3-3)
Also considered: Cardinal Newman 4-2, West Boca Raton 5-2, King’s Academy 5-1, Seminole Ridge 3-3, Glades Day 6-0.

Dwyer only continued its dominance of District 13-7A. The Panthers, though, are still tied for first with surprising West Boca Raton, which stayed undefeated in the district with a blowout win over Olympic Heights. The Bulls are just outside of the Top 10, and despite their win over Royal Palm Beach, they have two losses that make it awfully tough to actually rank them.

Pahokee is the hottest team in Class 3A right now, and the Blue Devils hope that continues this week against also-considered Cardinal Newman. Both teams are 1-0 in District 7-3A, and a win here all but ensures at least a playoff spot. If Pahokee and American Heritage both win their district games this week, Pahokee will clinch the district title and secure its first playoff berth since 2009.

Gardens is roaring up the poll, fueled by three consecutive wins. The Gators just edged out Boca three weeks ago, then busted past Ridge with offensive firepower two Fridays past. This past win over Glades Central was entirely on the defense.

Clearly spots 7 through 10 are up for grabs. Glades Central could lose a fourth game of the season this week when it takes on Fort Lauderdale-University, one of the top 15 teams in the country. Royal Palm Beach is as unpredictable as anyone. Boynton Beach, at this point, is only ranked because no other teams have jumped past them. A cupcake schedule inflated the Tigers’ record. Palm Beach Central is another team full of questions. The Broncos have two walkover games against Leonard and Spanish River coming up, so they could be 5-3 ahead of back-to-back showdowns with Park Vista and Palm Beach Gardens.

Games of the Week

Pahokee at Cardinal Newman
Pahokee’s first road game in a few weeks is its new “most important game of the season.” The Blue Devils won their first version of that two weeks ago, beating perennial state power American Heritage 13-10. McArthur Burnett has been a revelation at running back. But Newman brings Travis Rudolph and a solid supporting cast to the table, and that makes this week’s game an enticing matchup.

American Heritage at King’s Academy
In years past this was a rout, but American Heritage has dipped a bit and its district rivals have climbed. King’s lost to Newman two weeks ago, but the Lions are still a dangerous contender for a playoff spot.

Fort Lauderdale-University at Glades Central
Nationally ranked University travels to the Muck for a pivotal district showdown with the Raiders. Glades Central has been inconsistent all season, but Roosevelt Blackmon’s team cannot afford such behavior on Friday night. The loser of this game will likely play Miami-Washington, the No. 1 team in the country, in the first round of the playoffs. While University has tons of talent, the Suns’ opponents this fall are a combined 12-27, and only one of them (Cypress Bay) has a record .500 or better.