By Mike White | Monday, Sept. 21, 10:05 p.m.
North Allegheny offensive lineman Tom Ricketts hasn't played the past two games because of a knee injury, and will miss at least two more games.
Ricketts, a senior and a Penn State recruit, sustained a sprained MCL in his left knee in practice the Monday after the first game of the season. He did not play against Mt. Lebanon or Upper St. Clair the past two weeks.
"I just had a checkup on it and they told me it's really healing a lot quicker than what they thought it would," Ricketts said. "I did the same thing Troy Polamalu did. Realistically, I'l be back for the Pine-Richland game [Oct. 16]. Or maybe Shaler the week before. I'm not sure."
Dawson to return
Center's Preston Dawson, one of the top quarterbacks in Class AA, did not play last week because of undisclosed reasons. But he is expected back this week.
Joining WPIAL football has not been a pleasant experience for West Shamokin. Since joining the league in 2004, the team is 6-45. But could this be the worst year? In three games, West Shamokin has been outscored, 154-0.
National Prep Poll
Gateway and Upper St. Clair have moved into regional rankings of the the National Prep Poll.
The National Prep Football Poll is compiled by high school sports journalist Jamie DeMoney with input from sportswriters, experts, and coaches. The national Top 25 and regional Top 10's follow with won-loss-tie records:
#1. Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Aquinas (2-0-0), coach George Smith 335 wins
#2. Duncan, S.C., Byrnes (4-0-0), dominated Woodland, 85-8
#3. Miami, Northwestern (2-0-0), led by talented jr. QB Teddy Bridgewater
#4. Valdosta, Ga., Lowndes (4-0-0), seeks fifth state title in 11 years
#5. Cleveland, St. Ignatius (4-0-0), defending Division I champ
#6. Anaheim, Calif., Servite (3-0-0), beat state-ranked Crespi, 38-28
#7. Ramsey, N.J., Don Bosco (1-0-0), plays at defending Ala. champ Prattville Friday on ESPNU
#8. Cedar Hill, Texas (4-0-0), escaped Arlington Martin’s upset bid, 47-39
#9. Chesapeake, Va., Smith (3-0-0), led by Alabama-bound QB Phillip Sims
#10. Ventura, Calif., St. Bonaventure (3-0-0), OL Giovanni Di Poalo headed to USC
#11. Westlake Village, Calif., Oaks Christian (3-0-0), beat then-No. 9 Skyline (Wash.), 28-25, on ESPNU
#12. Miami, Central (3-0-0), outscored foes by combined 129-3
#13. Cincinnati, St. Xavier (4-0-0), crushed four-time defending Ky. champ Trinity, 43-13
#14. Lakeland, Fla. (2-0-0), plays at Calif. power De La Salle Friday on ESPN2
#15. Cincinnati, Elder (4-0-0), TE Alex Welch committed to Notre Dame
#16. Peoria, Ariz., Centennial (4-0-0), defeated state-ranked Brophy, 24-12
#17. Loganville, Ga., Grayson (4-0-0), beat then-unbeaten South Gwinnett, 27-16
#18. Dallas, Skyline (3-0-0), nine seniors committed to FBS colleges
#19. Hyattsville, Md., DeMatha (3-0-0), smacked then-unbeaten Friendship, 45-12
#20. Jenks, Okla. (3-0-0), seeks 10th state title since 1996
#21. Round Rock, Texas, Stony Point (3-0-0), state 7-on-7 titlist
#22. River Ridge, La., John Curtis (2-0-0), topped state-ranked Salmen, 24-23 (OT)
#23. Charlotte, N.C., Independence (5-0-0), has won 138 of last 142 games
#24. Hampton, Va., Phoebus (3-0-0), average win margin is 46-3 during 18-game win streak
#25. Denver, Mullen (4-0-0), won at Mo. power Rockhurst, 17-7
#1. Ramsey, N.J., Don Bosco, 1-0-0
#2. Lansdale, Pa., North Penn 3-0-0
#3. Harrisburg, Pa., McDevitt, 3-0-0
#4. Oradell, N.J., Bergen Catholic, 2-0-0
#5. Montvale, N.J., St. Joseph’s, 2-0-0
#6. Wayne, N.J., Wayne Hills, 2-0-0
#7. Monroeville, Pa., Gateway, 3-0-0
#8. Upper St. Clair, Pa., 3-0-0
#9. Easton, Pa., 3-0-0
#10. Central Valley, N.Y., Monroe-Woodbury, 3-0-0