Mass Prep Stars MIAA & NEPSAC Football Poll 10/24/16
Welcome to our fourth Mass Prep Stars MIAA Top 25 & NEPAC Top 10 Poll of the 2016 Fall season.
In the NEPSAC, previous No. 1 ranked Lawrence Academy dropped their first game of the 2016 season, 20-17 to BB&N on Saturday.
In the MIAA, St. John's Prep continued their climb up the polls and Lincoln-Sudbury entered our poll, with a big DCL Large title win over rival Acton-Boxborough.
It is now playoff time in the MIAA and crunch time in the NEPSAC, as both associations have "BIG" shake-up games scheduled for this weekend.
Stay tuned for our game coverage and athlete focus this week and weekend.
MIAA Top 25
1. Duxbury (7-0) It was the seventh straight game the Dragons scored at least 42 points, this time routing Hingham 42-8 behind 309 yards of offense and 5 TDs from QB Bobby Maimaron. Duxbury is the No. 1 seed in D2 South, one of several heavy favorites to get all the way to Gillette.
2. Xaverian (6-1) A rain-delayed 17-0 shutout of BC High presents one of the more eye-popping stats of the season: since Week 2’s loss to Bridgewater-Raynham, the two-time defending D1 state champs have allowed just two touchdowns.
3. Everett (5-2) In three Greater Boston League games, the Crimson Tide outscored the opposition 141-14, including shutouts of Medford and Malden, to earn their 21st league title in 22 seasons. They’ll have a much tougher time this weekend. Saturday’s D1 North quarterfinal at Haverhill should be one of the weekend’s best games.
4. St. John’s Prep (5-2) Eagles will be heavy favorites on Saturday as they draw Acton-Boxboro in a D1 North quarterfinal. An potential second-round battle with either Andover or Lexington should make for a thrilling contest as well.
5. Haverhill (6-1) Does anybody have it quite like the Hillies? This is a banner season for the ages, their strongest campaign yet under Tim O’Connor, and they’re ranked top 5 in the state. Their reward? A visit from the Everett juggernaut Saturday night at Trinity Stadium.
6. BC High (4-2) The path looks promising for BC High to get to at least the D1 South final. Should they get past Braintree, they’ll look to likely face Brockton, a team they had their way with earlier this season.
7. Central Catholic (5-1) Raiders get the top overall seed in D1 North, where they’ll draw MVC rival Methuen in the quarterfinal. An interesting semifinal matchup, with either Haverhill or Everett, looms.
8. Tewksbury (7-0) The biggest surprise of the weekend had to be the Redmen taking down Billerica, 20-7, to claim their side of the MVC outright. As usual, it’s the undersized ones making the most noise in Tewksbury, and nobody had a bigger day Saturday than Aaron Whitehouse.
9. Billerica (6-1) No doubt the Indians will come into the D2 North tournament teed off at the way their regular season ended. If all goes right, they could get another crack at top-seeded Tewksbury in the district final.
10. Dartmouth (7-0) Indians, winners of their first Old Colony League title since 2008, are riding a high wave of momentum into D2 South. But two huge road blocks stand in the way of their quest for a state title three-peat, namely North Attleboro and No. 1 ranked Duxbury.
11. Bridgewater-Raynham (4-3) Trojans are a sixth seed in D1A South, and will travel to Natick for a first round playoff. But really, despite the low seed, does anybody expect the Trojans not to get to at least the district final? They are one of several favorites across D1A.
12. King Philip (7-0) It’s a Hockomock-centric path to the D1A South Final for the Warriors, who face league rival Attleboro in a first round matchup as the top seed, then could possibly face Mansfield in the semifinals.
13. Catholic Memorial (4-3) Knights, survivors of a tough league schedule, get a first round home game against Needham in D1 South, with a likely rematch against Xaverian looming in the next round.
14. Holliston (6-1) Panthers are likely eyeing Hanover at the top seed of D3 South as a potential meeting in the final, should they survive a rematch with Middleboro first.
15. Grafton (7-0) It was the Ifeatu Melifonwu show once again as the Indians scored at least 34 points for the fifth time this season, cruising past Uxbridge 34-21 as the Syracuse commit totaled 168 yards and four scores.
16. Springfield Central (5-2) Friday’s 57-14 smashing of D2 West frontrunner (and defending D4 state finalist) Chicopee Comp makes last month’s 6-0 loss to flailing Longmeadow all the more mystifying. The Golden Eagles are clearly Western Mass.’s most talented team.
17. Falmouth (7-0) Clippers have earned the right to favorites as the top seed in D2A South. But a potential meeting with Westwood deep into the bracket is especially intriguing.
18. Wachusett (6-1) Mountaineers took a surprise loss to Algonquin last weekend, taking a stumble down the poll, but they’re still in good footing for one of the top berths in D2 Central.
19. St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (5-2) Pioneers had their way with rival Leominster, blanking the Blue Devils 35-0 to solidify their playoff footing in D2 Central.
20. North Attleboro (6-1) Red Rocketeers blanked Foxboro, 35-0, to clinch their side of the Hockomock League outright. A potential D2 South semifinal matchup with Dartmouth would be appointment viewing.
21. Hanover (6-0) Indians have the top seed in D3 South. And the way they’ve been rolling offensively, scoring 37 points or more in three straight contests, it’s going to take a special effort to derail their plans to get to Gillette Stadium.
22. Lexington (7-0) After throttling Belmont to win their first outright Middlesex League title in 32 years, can the Minutemen keep the momentum going in the D1 North playoffs? One thing is for certain as they prepared for Andover: the way these two teams put up points, hammer the over. This could be the weekend’s highest-scoring contest.
23. Mansfield (5-2) Hornets have one of the most intriguing first round matchups, getting a visit from two-time defending district champ Marshfield in a D1A South quarterfinal. They get past that, they get a rematch with a Hockomock rival.
24. Wellesley (7-0) Raiders finished the job this time in their win over Milton to claim the Bay State Herget outright. Their reward is a first-round home game with Hingham in D1A South, but a potential matchup with loaded B-R squad looms in the semifinals.
25. Lincoln-Sudbury (6-1) Warriors beat archrival Acton-Boxboro in a thrilling finish to claim their side of the Dual County League, and are the No. 1 seed in D1A North. It’s hard to gauge who are the real contenders in the field, but the Warriors with their strength of schedule (lone loss is to Holliston) seem like a comfortable pick.
Next 10 (Alphabetical): Auburn (7-0), Beverly (5-2), Danvers (6-1), Gloucester (6-1), Marblehead (7-0), Marshfield (6-1), Milton (5-2), Nantucket (7-0), Natick (6-1), Newton North (6-1)
NEPSAC Top 10
1. Choate Rosemary Hall School (5-0) – Choate came out of their bye week strong, as they defeated Worcester Academy, 41-7, to take over the new No. 1 ranking in our NEPSAC poll. The Wild Boars will host No. 6 Suffield Academy, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, in a No. 1 vs. No. 6 match-up.
2. Cheshire Academy (4-2) – Cheshire kept the train rolling on Saturday, defeating previously No. 10 ranked Loomis-Chaffee, 49-34. Phillips Exeter comes to town on Saturday for a 6 p.m, nighttime kickoff.
3. Trinity-Pawling School (5-0) – T-P improved to 5-0 with a 37-7 win over a tough Hotchkiss School team. T-P has another big match-up on Saturday, as they travel to No. 9 Salisbury for a 3 p.m. kickoff.
4. Brunswick School (5-1) – After losing their first game of the season to Taft, two weeks ago, Brunswick picked up a key, 40-14, win over Salisbury, on Saturday to move up one spot in our poll. The schedule does not get any easier this weekend, as they travel to No. 7 Avon Old Farms on Saturday.
5. Lawrence Academy (4-1) – LA dropped their first game of the season, in a tight battle with newly No. 9 ranked BB&N on Saturday. LA looks to gets back in the winning column on Saturday, with an ISL match-up against St. Mark’s.
6. Suffield Academy (4-1) – Suffield scored 17 fourth-quarter points to complete a comeback and defeat Phillips Andover on Saturday. Next up, is No. 1 Choate, at Choate on Saturday.
7. Avon Old Farms (4-1) – AOF moved up in our poll, with a 50-27 win over Taft on Saturday. They will have their work cut out for them this week, as they host No. 4 Brunswick School, in a big late-season Class A match-up.
8. Governor’s Academy (4-1) – Governor’s makes their first appearance in our poll this week, fresh off a defensive-minded 14-6 win over St. Sebastian’s on Saturday. Gov’s will look to keep rolling, as they travel to Brooks on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. for a big ISL match-up.
9. Buckingham Browne & Nichols (3-2) – After tough, narrow losses to Milton and Gov’s, BB&N pulled off the win of the year on Saturday, as they defeated previous No. 1 ranked Lawrence Academy 20-17 on Saturday. BB&N will lock horns with Nobles this Saturday in the ISL.
10. Salisbury School (3-2) – The Bearcats lost to Brunswick, by a final score of 40-14 on Saturday. They will get a chance this weekend to move right back up, as they draw No. 3 T-P, who is undefeated at 5-0 on the season.
Next 10 (Alphabetical): Belmont Hill (4-1), Brooks School (4-1), Deerfield Academy (3-2), Hamden Hall (7-0), Loomis Chaffee (4-3), Milton Academy (3-2), St. George's (4-1) St. Sebastian’s (3-3), Tilton School (5-0), Wilbraham & Monson Academy (4-1).
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