Video: Top 15 Games of the Week
Seven of the games are state or section championship matchups led by Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco.
Just like last week, there were too many big-time games to limit it to 10 so we expanded to 15.
The Game of the Week is a rematch of No. 1 vs. No. 2 — Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) vs. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.).
This is the fourth consecutive season they play in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship. The Monarchs have won the last two and the Braves did in 2016. They played on Oct. 25 and Bryce Young
led Mater Dei to a 38-24 win.
There are two other Top 25 matchups on tap this week.
No. 7 Katy (Texas) takes on No. 8 North Shore (Houston) in the third round of the 6A Division 1 playoffs. These two opened the season against each other and the Tigers won 24-21.
No. 15 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) hosts No. 24 North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.) in the quarterfinals of the 7A playoffs. The Indians are 12-0 for the first time since 1999 and the Bulldogs have reeled off 11 straight wins since a season opening loss to Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.).
The rest of the action includes games in California, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, and North Carolina.
MaxPreps Top 15 high school football Games of the Week
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (All times local) at Cerritos College (Norwalk)
The winner puts itself in position to be the National Champion. Mater Dei is trying to do what it did in 2017 — go wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country while Bosco is looking to even up the season series. Expect this game to be even closer than the 14-point win the Monarchs got in October.
Mater Dei and St. John Bosco aren't the only teams ranked to meet for the second time this year. It's round two for these two Texas powers. Katy and North Shore opened the season against each other and the Tigers outscored the defending 6A Division 1 state champs 17-0 in the second half to pull off the 24-21 win. This is the fifth playoff matchup between the two since 2010 and they have split the previous four.
North Gwinnett was one of seven new teams to join the Top 25 this week and it has a big test on Friday in one of the toughest playoff brackets in the country. This is the first meeting since 2017 when the Bulldogs won 38-17 in the 7A semifinals. They went on to win the school's only football state title that year. The winner advances to the Final Four and plays either No. 10 Lowndes (Valdosta) or Grayson (Loganville).
Friday, 7 p.m. at GlenOak Stadium (Canton)
Steve Trivisonno announced before the season that his 23rd year as head coach at Mentor would be his last and the team is two wins away from achieving the school's first football state title. Last week, the Cardinals knocked off the defending Division 1 state champs (St. Edward) in overtime and didn't take their first lead until the game-winning two point conversion to win 36-35. The last time these two played was in the 2017 Division 1 state championship and Crenshaw, then a sophomore, led Pickerington Central to a one-sided 56-28 victory. He set the D1 championship game record accounting for six touchdowns.
Saturday, 7 p.m. at MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford)
The Non-Public Group IV championship is one of the hardest to win in high school football and the winner at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night earns a chance to get into the rankings next week. St. Peter's Prep's only loss came against St. Joseph Regional (Montvale) and the Ironmen have got hot at the right time, winning five straight since a 26-22 loss to the Marauders in early October. This is the fifth time in seven years Rich Hansen has his team in the championship game but the only time they won was in 2014 when they had Minkah Fitzpatrick
and Brandon Wimbush
. This is the first time since 2015 Don Bosco Prep has made the championship game.
Saturday, 7 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)
Expect a tough-nosed old school type of football game in the 6A state championship, as these two are among the most gritty teams in Indiana. Center Grove started 1-4 but has gone 7-1 over its last eight games and with junior sensation Steele back it makes them that much better. The Greyhounds have won seven straight after a two-game losing skid. They have one of the best defenses in the Midwest led by 2020 Penn State commit Brevard and 2020 Indiana commit Wise. Carmel is going for its first state title since 2016 and Center Grove won it all the year before that.
Lowndes has been one of the most dominant teams in the country this year. The Vikings have won every game by at least 11 points and have outscored their first two playoff opponents 82-22. Next up is perennial state power Grayson with a spot in the semifinals on the line. They played in this quarterfinals last year and the Vikings won 20-15. This is the fourth playoff matchup between the two over the last 15 years and Grayson won the first two meetings in 2008 and 2011.
Duncanville has been playing at a different level all season. The Panthers have outscored the opposition 548-60 and won the first two playoff games by an average margin of 38.5 points per game. Last year's 6A Division 1 runner-up faces a big-time at AT&T Stadium as Arlington Martin has won nine in a row since a 45-38 loss to Jaxon Smith-Njigba
and Rockwall (Texas), a team that just ended Allen's (Texas) season.
The three-time defending 5A Division 1 champions face off against the team that snapped its 33-game winning streak earlier this season. Lone Star rolled to a 30-19 win in early September and the defense picked off 4-star quarterback Morris four times. They couldn't stop 2020 Oklahoma commit Mims either. He hauled in 11 receptions for 236 yards and had two touchdowns. The winner of this one has a good chance to bring home the 5A Division 1 state title.
Friday, 7 p.m. at Aloha Stadium (Honolulu)
The No. 6 team in the country is one win from its fourth consecutive state title in Hawaii's largest classification. The Crusaders' 37 consecutive wins is currently the fifth-longest active winning streak in the nation. They've beaten the Red Raiders five straight times and shut them out 28-0 earlier this season.
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
The last time Corona del Mar lost was against Grace Brethren in the 2018 CIF Southern Section Division 4 championship. The Sea Kings have been one of the most dominant teams this season winning every game by double digits and 2020 Washington commit Garbers has put up video game numbers. He's fourth in the country with 4,342 yards passing and his 62 touchdown passes are good for second most.
Both teams enter the 8A state championship undefeated. The Blue Devils are coming off a dominant 28-0 semifinal win over Brother Rice (Chicago) and have won every game by double digits this season. Lincoln-Way East rolled past Marist (Chicago) in the other semifinal and has won every game by double digits, too.
McCarthy and Morris have been one of the most dynamic quarterback/wide receiver duos in the country and it showed in their 42-14 semifinal win over Rolling Meadows. The 2021 Michigan commit threw for 362 yards and five touchdowns with all of his TD passes going to the No. 1 rated player from Illinois in the Class of 2022. Mount Carmel beat Willowbrook (Villa Park) 27-6 in the other semifinal and both teams enter the 7A state championship undefeated. If Nazareth Academy wins it will be its second consecutive state title.
Friday, 7 p.m. at Olympia Stadium (Baton Rouge)
John Curtis Christian is currently in the "Next Five" group, which means it's a win or two away from getting back into the Top 25. The defending Division 1 state champs have to get by an undefeated Catholic team in the semifinals. The winner moves on to face either No. 23 Archbishop Rummel (Metairie) or Brother Martin (New Orleans). This is the third straight year Curtis and Catholic meet in the playoffs and the last two came in the state championship. The Bears won it all in 2017 and the Patriots took it last year.
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Two of the best teams in North Carolina square off with a spot in the 4AA semifinals on the line. Whoever wins the state title in this classification will have a good chance to finish the year in the Top 25 and these two programs are strongly in the mix. Both are undefeated and the winner faces Zebulon B. Vance (Charlotte) or West Forsyth (Clemmons).