With playoffs wrapping up in California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas this weekend, the high school football season has officially come to a close.
In a year full of upsets and unpredictability, Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) emerged as the nation’s best, finishing No. 1 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 Rankings presented by the Army National Guard.
The Ironmen pounded De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) in their season opener, 30-6, and never looked back. They notched a major victory against Alabama 6A runner-up Prattville, 35-24, and on Thanksgiving, blasted St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.), 62-28. The Green Knights went on to win a Non-Public Group III state title.
With De La Salle’s CIF Bowl Game victory over Crenshaw (Los Angeles), Don Bosco Prep’s resume was further enhanced.
Following its victory against Katy (Texas) in the 5A-II state finals, Abilene (Texas) cemented its spot at No. 2, while North Carolina champion Butler finishes at No. 3. Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Trinity (Euless, Texas), and La Salle (Wyndmoor, Pa.) all entered the Xcellent 25 following big season-ending victories.
MaxPreps Xcellent 25
1. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), 12-0. Last Week: 2. Season complete. Non-Public Group IV state champions.
2. Abilene (Texas), 16-0. Last Week: 2. Ronnell Sims rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns to lead Abilene to a 5A-II state title over Katy, 28-17. Cousin Hershel Sims added a 60-yard TD run as the Eagles captured their first state title since 1956.
3. Butler (Matthews, N.C.), 15-0. Last Week: 3. Season complete. 4A state champions.
4. Servite (Anaheim, Calif.), 14-1. Last Week: 6. With a 33-30 win over Rocklin, Servite captured the CIF Division II title. Nicholas Echeverry kicked a 23-yard field goal as time expired to clinch the victory for the Friars.
5. Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), 14-1. Last Week: NR. Dwyer captured Florida’s 4A crown, dominating previously-unbeaten Niceville 42-14. Since a season-opening loss to Glades Central, the Panthers have blown out each opponent they have faced.
6. Memphis University (Memphis, Tenn.), 13-0. Last Week: 4. Season complete. Division II-AA state champions.
7. Davidson (Hilliard, Ohio), 13-1. Last Week: 5. Season complete. Division I state champions.
8. Hoover (Ala.), 14-1. Last Week: 7. Season complete. 6A state champions.
9. Plant (Tampa, Fla.), 13-1. Last Week: 10. Plant followed a 20-0 blanking of Lakeland to beat Manatee 21-14, winning a 5A state title. Junior James Wilder Jr. ran for 137 yards and a touchdown to give Plant its second straight championship.
10. South Panola (Batesville, Miss.), 15-0. Last Week: 9. Season complete. 6A state champions.
11. West Monroe (La.), 14-0. Last Week: 25. A No. 25 ranking was too low for the Rebels, who averaged over 42 points per game en route to a 5A state title.
12. Union (Tulsa, Okla.), 13-1. Last Week: 8. Season complete. 6A state champions.
13. Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.), 14-1. Last Week: 13. Season complete. 4A-I state champions.
14. Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), 11-1. Last Week: 14. Season complete. WCAC champions.
15. Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.), 14-0. Last Week: 15. Season complete. 8A state champions.
16. Edison (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 13-1. Last Week: 17. Season complete. Pac-5 finalists.
17. Lake Travis (Austin, Texas,), 16-0. Last Week: 21. Michael Brewer’s two touchdown passes helped push the Cavaliers over Longview, 24-17 for the 4A-I title. Lake Travis has won 46 consecutive games.
18. Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.), 15-0. Last Week: 18. Season complete. 5A state champions.
19. Hutchinson (Kan.), 13-0. Last Week: 19. Season complete. 5A state champions.
20. Mullen (Denver, Colo.), 14-0. Last Week: 22. Season complete. 5A state champions.
21. Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.), 13-2. Last Week: 23. Season complete. AAAAA state champions.
22. Trinity (Euless, Texas), 14-2. Last Week: NR. The Trojans held off Westlake in the 5A-I final, winning in overtime 41-38. The title is Trinity’s third in five years.
23. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), 14-0. Last Week: 24. Season complete. 5A-I state champions.
24. La Salle (Wyndmoor, Pa.), 14-1. Last Week: NR. In the second season of the Philadelphia Catholic League’s inclusion in the PIAA playoffs, La Salle went the distance, capturing the AAAA title with a 24-7 win over State College.
25. Cocoa (Fla.), 14-0. Last Week: NR. The Tigers capped an unbeaten season last weekend with a 27-13 victory over Glades Central to capture the 2A state title.
Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.): Lost to Plant 21-14
Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): Season Complete.
Crenshaw (Los Angeles): Lost to De La Salle 28-14
Katy (Texas): Lost to Abilene 28-17