1. St. Mark’s (6-1): The Spartans move to the top spot after soundly defeating a Caravel Academy team many consider to be the best in Division II. St. Mark’s doesn’t seem to have a weakness on either side of the ball or special teams, and is poised to make a run at the state title. They will be tested again next week when they host William Penn (4-3, 4-1 Blue Hen Flight A), which is facing a must-win game in order to stay in the playoff hunt.
2. Sallies (5-1): After being humbled by South Jersey powerhouse Delsea last weekend, the Sals rallied for a nail-biting 29-28 win over Friendship (D.C.). Sallies will play its third out-of-state opponent when they travel to Upper Darby (Pa.) on Saturday. I dropped them from my top spot because I honestly believe if the two teams played today, St. Mark’s would win. Fortunately, we’ll find out on the field in Week 10 who the No. 1 team is.
3. A.I. du Pont (7-0, 4-0 Blue Hen Flight A): The Tigers defense recorded its fourth shutout of the season with a 35-0 win over winless Newark (0-7, 0-4 Blue Hen Flight A). A.I. will celebrate its homecoming against a winless Brandywine team next week before traveling to Middletown (6-1, 4-0 Blue Hen Flight A) for a game that could decide the Flight A Conference champion.
4. Caesar Rodney (5-2, 3-0 Henlopen North): The Riders made easy work of Sussex Central (3-4, 0-4) — a team many consider to be the biggest disappointment this season — by downing the Golden Knights 34-7 on Friday night and setting up a showdown with conference co-leader Sussex Tech next Friday at 7:30 p.m. The winner of this game will have the edge in the conference title race.
5. Middletown (6-1, 4-0 Blue Hen Flight A): The Cavaliers just keep winning, easily handling Charter of Wilmington (2-5, 1-3 Blue Hen Flight A) 42-14. This weekend the Cavs play their first of two tough conference games when they travel to Concord before hosting A.I. du Pont.
6. Sussex Tech (6-1, 4-1 Henlopen North): The Ravens’ defense recorded its third-consecutive shutout in an easy 34-0 rout over Smyrna, but will be tested next Friday when they host Caesar Rodney, which features Delaware-bound running back Malcolm Yowk in its backfield.
7. Caravel (5-2): The Bucs couldn’t hang with the big boys on Friday night, dropping a 48-14 decision to Division I power St. Mark’s. Caravel will look to rebound when it hosts Chesapeake (Md.) on Friday at 7 p.m.
8. Hodgson Vo-Tech (5-2, 3-1 Blue Hen Flight B): The Silver Eagles needed overtime but took care of business against McKean, 36-30. Hodgson’s only losses have come at the hands of Salesianum and Pencader Charter, which might prove to be the wakeup call needed if the Silver Eagles win out and advance to the state tournament. Hodgson hosts conference tri-leader Mt. Pleasant on Saturday at 10:30 a.m., with the winner taking one more step toward the conference crown.
9. Milford (4-3, 3-1 Henlopen North): The Buccaneers rebounded from their first conference loss to easily handle winless Polytech 27-0. Milford now must avoid looking past a weak Cape Henlopen (1-6, 0-3 Henlopen South) team looking to salvage its season with an upset.
10. Concord (5-2, 4-0, Blue Hen Flight A): Concord needed to defeat traditional Division I power William Penn to stay in the state tournament race and the Raiders did just that, 19-13, earning their first win this season over an opponent with a winning record. There will be no rest for the weary as Middletown comes to town with the winner taking one step closer to the conference crown and the automatic state tournament berth that comes with it.
Jon Buzby is the Delaware correspondent for MaxPreps.com and sports columnist for the Newark Post. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.