Most of the state other than Lee and Collier counties because of Hurricane Ian, were back on the field Friday night for high school football. The SBLive Florida Power 25 teams that were in the week before ended up dropping out due to losses.
Jesuit lost on a last second field goal attempt to Clearwater Central Catholic 23-21 and Armwood fell in a stunner to Steinbrenner 22-14. That left room for two new teams to enter, with the Tigers, Hawks dropping out.
We’ve got our latest SBLive Sports Florida Power 25 rankings and the Chaminade-Madonna continues to remain the state’s top team, with Lake Wales and Bartram Trail entering the ranks. Let’s take a look at this week’s newest Power 25 rankings.
SBLIVE SPORTS FLORIDA TOP 25 FOOTBALL RANKINGS
1. Chaminade-Madonna (5-0)
Next game: Oct. 13 vs. Somerset Academy Key
Ranking rationale: Canceled game against Venice didn’t help but the Lions will get to play against Treasure Coast at the very end of the season. Nevertheless, Chaminade-Madonna hasn’t played in nearly three weeks. Oh well, they are still the top team in Florida.
2. Miami Central (6-0)
Next game: Oct. 14 vs. Miami Norland
Ranking rationale: It was standing room only when it came down to the showdown between the rivals Central and Northwestern. But if you were a Bulls fan, you might’ve stood up and left sometime in the fourth quarter as the Rockets blew past their opponent.
3. Plantation American Heritage (6-1)
Next game: Oct. 14 at Stranahan
Ranking rationale: The Brandon Inniss Show makes its way over to Stranahan High School this week and the Patriots will have themselves a doozy next week on the road. American Heritage will take on Naples next Friday in what should be an interesting matchup.
4. IMG Academy (4-1)
Next game: Oct. 28 vs. Middletown (DE)
Ranking rationale: Traveling up to Connecticut to face St. Thomas More and won in more than convincing fashion. The Ascenders won’t be facing American Collegiate Academy this week and their next scheduled game won’t be until Oct. 28 vs. Middletown (DE).
5. St. Thomas Aquinas (6-0)
Next game: Oct. 14 vs. Fort Lauderdale
Ranking rationale: There was plenty of trash talk once the teams hit midfield, but when the game was over, not much more needed to be said. The Raiders handled Dillard on both sides of the ball en route to win No. 6.
6. Columbus (7-0)
Next game: Oct. 7 at Doral Academy
Ranking rationale: The Explorers knocked off a tough Homestead group in a defensive battle. Now Columbus will go up against a solid offensive team in Doral Academy before a huge matchup with No. 2 Miami Central.
7. Lakeland (5-0)
Next game: Oct. 7 at George Jenkins
Ranking rationale: Could the Dreadnaughts be starting to hit their stride on all cylinders? A 38-0 rout of Bartow proves to show the defense is playing better and the offense is producing a little more. October 21’s matchup with Clearwater Academy International should be a test.
8. Tampa Bay Tech (7-0)
Next game: Oct. 14 vs. Wharton
Ranking rationale: Four shutout wins in eight games has this Titans’ defense playing a lot like last year’s unit. Now Tampa Bay Tech will likely be playing in its toughest test of the season when they face a surging Wharton group.
9. Pine Forest (7-0)
Next game: Oct. 21 at Escambia
Ranking rationale: Facing possibly their toughest game of the year, fourth down stops were key for the Eagles in the 28-7 win over Niceville. Pine Forest has continued to prove they will be the team to beat in Class 3A-Suburban.
10. Edgewater (6-0)
Next game: Oct. 14 at Ocoee
Ranking rationale: The Fightin’ Eagles had to hold their collective breath when Cedric Baxter went out of the game due to injury versus Wekiva. Edgewater was able to find a way to win, but what happens in the long term?
11. Cardinal Gibbons (6-1)
Next game: Oct. 13 at Hallandale
Ranking rationale: The rest of the way should be a somewhat easier path for the Chiefs as they have Hallandale, Manatee and Stranahan to end the season. Cardinal Gibbons’ defense has been a strong unit.
12. Trinity Christian (6-0)
Next game: Oct. 14 vs. University Christian
Ranking rationale: The Conquerors got to break in Riverside’s new turf field with a win on it. Now Trinity Christian has themselves one of their toughest games of the year when they face University Christian.
13. Miami Northwestern (3-3)
Next game: Oct. 15 vs. Booker T. Washington
Ranking rationale: The Bulls had a tough time against their rivals from Miami Central and things certainly don’t get any easier this week. Northwestern faces off against Booker T. Washington.
14. Venice (2-2)
Next game: Oct. 14 at Sarasota
Ranking rationale: The Indians will be back on the field this Friday when they take the short trip up to face the Sarasota Sailors. Venice had to cancel its game against Chaminade-Madonna.
15. Sanford Seminoles (4-1)
Next game: Oct. 14 at DeLand
Ranking rationale: Sanford Seminole needed overtime to pull off a thrilling win over the Cocoa Tigers. Now they’ll hit the road to Spec Martin Stadium to face off against a Ron Darlington-led DeLand squad.
16. Buchholz (5-0)
Next game: Oct. 14 vs. Oakleaf
Ranking rationale: The Bobcats easily hit by their crosstown rivals in Gainesville Hurricanes and now have themselves a test going up against Oakleaf. Next Friday’s game against Bartram Trail should be one of the top games on the east coast.
17. Jones (4-2)
Next game: Oct. 14 at Boone
Ranking rationale: The Fightin’ Tigers were able to edge out the Kowboys 18-7 and now could be taking aim winning their remaining four games. A matchup versus Wekiva will be Jones’ toughest game down the stretch.
18. Booker T. Washington (5-1)
Next game: Oct. 15 vs. Miami Northwestern
Ranking rationale: These Tornadoes are looking more and more impressive with every passing week. Tim ‘Ice’ Harris crew now has a big game against Northwestern on Saturday night, which figures to be an opportunity for Booker T. Washington to take the next step.
19. Kissimmee Osceola (2-3)
Next game: Oct. 13 at Celebration
Ranking rationale: In a much expected defensive clash between the Cowboys and Jones Fightin’ Tigers. Osceola Kissimmee fell 18-7 against Jones, but has had one of the toughest schedules among all of the central Florida teams.
20. Homestead (6-1)
Next game: Oct. 14 at Southridge
Ranking rationale: Now taking their loss to Columbus wouldn’t be a big hit to Homestead’s status in the rankings as the Explorers are one of the state’s best. Homestead now has another test when they face Southridge on the road this week.
21. Naples (5-1)
Next game: Oct. 14 vs. Lely
Ranking rationale: The Golden Eagles made their return this past week when they faced previously undefeated Barron Collier and won 41-23. Florida governor Ron DeSantis made his appearance at the game when Naples won.
22. Wharton (5-1)
Next game: Oct. 14 at Tampa Bay Tech
Ranking rationale: The time has come for the Wildcats to matchup against the Tampa Bay Tech Titans and it’ll be the top game in the 813. The Wildcats will travel over to Orient Rd for a battle between Tampa’s top two teams this Friday.
23. Clearwater Academy International (5-0)
Next game: Oct. 13 at Sarasota Riverview
Ranking rationale: Jesse Chinchar’s boys made the trip up to Boot Hill Stadium to go up against a talented Madison County team and were able to get by the Cowboys 39-20. Now the Knights will face Sarasota Riverview before next Friday’s big tilt with Lakeland.
24. Lake Wales (6-0)
Next game: Oct. 14 at Gateway
Ranking rationale: Could this be the team that gives Pine Forest a run in Class 3A-Suburban? We move the Highlanders into the Power 25 rankings as Lake Wales has been the other tough team in Polk County. Oh how we wish for a Lakeland vs. Lake Wales game.
25. Bartram Trail (6-0)
Next game: Oct. 14 at Creekside
Ranking rationale: A grind it out 17-0 win over a talented Fleming Island team catapults the Bartram Trail Bears into the Power 25. Now the Bears have back-to-back games versus Creekside and Buchholz, which could move them up even more.
On the outside looking in: Winter Park, Dillard, Western, Cocoa, Bolles, Niceville, Jesuit, Vanguard, South Sumter, Vero Beach, Hawthorne, Cardinal Newman, Trinity Catholic, Creekside, Clearwater Central Catholic, Pahokee.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo