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HS Football Power Rankings: Doherty and Wachusett Continue to Impress

Monday, October 15, 2012


Doherty linebacker/tight end Noah Robinson has been a difference maker on both sides of the ball this year for the Highlanders.

It was another wild weekend in Central Mass football, but Auburn, Northbridge, Wachusett and Doherty all proved they are for real with convincing victories.

But, how would all those wins, particularly the Highlanders' thrashing of a beaten up South squad, affect our power rankings? Check out the updated rankings below.

1. Auburn (6-0, 1-0, SWCL A) Last Week: 1

At this point, it's hard to argue against the Rockets in this top spot. They followed up a convincing win over rival Shepherd Hill with a 34-0 blowout of a good Leicester team. The offensive line and defense continue to dominate, and quarterback Drew Goodrich is playing mistake-free football.

2. Nashoba (6-0, 2-0 Mid-Wach B) Last Week: 2

Nashoba didn't do much to prove they should reclaim the top spot in our rankings, barely squeaking by a struggling Clinton team 7-0. The Chieftains have one of the most explosive offenses in the region, but it was kept quiet against an inferior opponent at home. They will need to wake up quickly as it will likely take more than seven points to defeat Quabbin and  Central Mass' leading passer Dylan Kierman.

3. Northbridge (6-0, 2-0 SWCL A) Last Week: 3

Their win over Grafton two weeks ago proved they could score on the best of defenses, and this weekend's 44-6 blasting of a Nipmuc team that had been rolling shows that this Northbridge offense is not to be taken lightly. A huge game looms this Friday against Shepherd Hill.

4. Shrewsbury (5-1, 1-0 Mid-Wach A) Last Week:4

Shrewsbury shocked nearly everyone in their own town when it knocked off St. John's in a shootout two weeks ago, and kept rolling with a workmanlike 21-10 over Westborough. This Friday brings a huge league matchup at Wachusett for the Colonials.

5. Leominster (4-2, 1-1 Mid-Wach A) Last Week: 6

Leominster looked like the Blue Devils of old offensively, albeit it against an overmatched Algonquin team. Still, Leominster scored 30-plus points for only the second time all year this weekend, and they head into next Saturday's game at St. John's with a little momentum.

6. Doherty (5-1, 1-0 Inter-High) Last Week: 7

We knew the Highlanders had talent coming into the year with two-way star Noah Robinson, quarterback Luke Brennan and running back Abdulla Webster. What we didn't know was if they would be able to put it all together for a signature win. They got that two weeks ago against Holy Name, and kept things rolling with a beat down of South Saturday. Things get no easier for the Highlanders with a Friday night game against St. Peter-Marian next on the schedule.

7. St. John's (4-2, 1-0 Central Mass) Last Week: 5

Who would have thought that this Saturday's rematch of last year's Division I Super Bowl would be about two teams trying to rebound? When the Pioneers take on Leominster, they will do so as a team reeling from a 49-8 loss against St. John's Prep in Danvers. Up until that game, the defense's inconsistent play had been the problem. But, against one of the state's best defenses, St. John's "blur" offense struggled to produce as well.

It will be interesting to see if they can get back on track against a talented Leominster defense.

8. Shepherd Hill (5-1, 1-1 SWCL A) Last Week: 9

The Rams carried no residual effects of falling flat against Auburn the week before, as they blasted Bartlett 40-14. It was a good sign for a Shepherd Hill team that will host, perhaps, it's most important game of the year this Friday against league foe Northbridge.

9. Wachusett (4-2, 2-0 Mid-Wach A) Last Week: 10

The Mountaineer defense announced its arrival against Leominster two weeks ago, and showed it was one of the region's best in a 10-0 shutout win over St. Peter-Marian Friday. Wachusett will have little time to rest as it hosts league foe Shrewsbury this Friday in a matchup of the Colonials' explosive offense and the Moutnaineers' stout defense.

10. Tyngsborough (6-0, 2-0 Mid-Wach C) Last Week: 8

Still unbeaten, and they did it in much more convincing fashion Friday, knocking off Uxbridge 27-6. The next three weeks will truly tell the story of this season for the Tigers as they travel to Lunenberg this Friday, then host Clinton and Quabbin. If they can get through those three games unscathed, a big season-ending game against Groton-Dunstable will likely determine the top dog in Mid-Wach C.

In the Hunt: West Boylston (6-0), Blackstone Valley Tech (6-0), Littleton (5-1), Groton-Dunstable (5-1)

West Boylston and BVT join Auburn, Nashoba, Northbridge and Tyngsborough as the region's only remaining unbeatens. BVT handed Littleton its only loss of the season, and has a real chance for a perfect year if they can get by two underrated teams in Assabet and Bay Path in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Groton-Dunstable will have a chance to join the rankings if they keep rolling and knock off Tyngsborough to close out the season.


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