Video: Xcellent 25 Rankings Facebook LiveMaxPreps.com's Zack Poff breaks down this week's movers and shakers.
The list of football programs that defending national champion Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
has derailed during its current 55-game win streak looks like a rundown of regulars in the national rankings.
The teams include: St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
, Cedar Hill (Texas)
, Kahuku (Hawaii)
, Cocoa (Fla.)
, Chandler (Ariz.)
, Bingham (South Jordan, Utah)
, Bellevue (Wash.)
, Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.)
, Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)
and Centennial (Corona, Calif.)
"It's hard gearing up week after week against that kind of competition, but it's fun," Bishop Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said.
It's especially fun when the Gaels knock off teams from neighboring California, a state where Sanchez was born and raised.
Since a 28-14 loss at De La Salle (Concord) in 2010, Gorman has won 12 straight games against teams from the Golden State.
But Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
is a new challenge. In fact, the two national powers have never faced, but will do so Friday at the Santa Ana Bowl — Mater Dei's home field — in a matchup of the top two ranked teams in the nation.
Since 2000, it's the seventh time the No. 1 ranked team faced off against No. 2, but the first for either school. The defending champions Gaels come in No. 2.
"That definitely makes it all very interesting," Sanchez said. "It should be a blast."
The Monday before the big blastoff — Prep Super Bowl 7 — Sanchez answered a quick fire blast of questions from MaxPreps about the Monarchs and the marquee matchup.
MaxPreps: Do you get any special satisfaction out of beating California teams? Kenny Sanchez: "We just like winning period. But it's always fun to go to Southern California."MaxPreps: What's your biggest concern going in? Sanchez: "It's never about them. It's more about us. If we line up, block and tackle the way we're supposed to, we'll be just fine. It's worked pretty well the last few years."MaxPreps: What do you see in Mater Dei?Sanchez: "They look a little different (on film) than last year. They want to establish the run. And with that big old running back and big giant line, they can do it. That will be one of the biggest and best offensive lines we've ever faced."
MaxPreps: What are your impressions of Mater Dei all-everything quarterback J.T. Daniels? Sanchez: "He's obviously super talented and super accurate. His numbers speak for themselves."MaxPreps: There are reports saying Daniels has an injured shoulder. What do you see?Sanchez: "I've seen him on film. There's nothing wrong with him. If there is, I'd hate to see him when he's healthy. I just think they want to balance things out more this year and they have the personnel to do it."
MaxPreps: What about the great linebacker match-up between Mater Dei's Solomon Tuliaupupu and your Palaie Gaoteote?Sanchez: "I wish I had them both. That kid (Tuliaupupu) is a stud. Both of them are fun to watch." MaxPreps: How do you contain Mater Dei's star receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who didn't play in the opener?Sanchez: "I heard he broke his hand or finger. He'll be out there. He's a go-getter. They have a lot of talented guys." MaxPreps: What are your impressions of Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson?Sanchez: "I have tons of respect for him and his whole coaching staff. They've all been doing it for so long and they've been so good for so long. To be that good in that area for that long is amazing." MaxPreps: What are the keys to beat Mater Dei? Sanchez: "We have to be able to run the ball and put long drives together. Defensively, slow down their run. We can't make mistakes on defense. We have to tackle. Basically, we just got to make plays."
MaxPreps: How do you think it will all shake out? Sanchez: "Both teams have athletes all over the place. The fans are going to get their money's worth. I'd be real happy to score just one more point then them."