A look at a few football teams outside the WPIAL worth watching, plus state rankings.
Erie Cathedral Prep is the defending state champ in Class AAA. After losing a number of key players from last year's team, including Michigan State recruits Damion Terry (QB) and Delton Williams (RB), it was thought Cathedral Prep might not be as strong this year. But the Ramblers are looking good again.
Cathedral Prep is 6-0 and just had a big win over McDowell, 45-17, and Cathedral Prep's quarterback had a game for the ages. Billy Fessler, the backup last year, completed 21 of 39 passes for 438 yards. The yardage is the second-best in District 10 history, behind the 444 yards Mark Kulinski threw for in 2010 for Oil City.
I'd say there is a pretty good chance the WPIAL AAA champ will meet up with Cathedral Prep in the Class AAA playoffs.
St. Joseph's Prep is a perennial Philadelphia Catholic League power. But what were we to think of St. Joe's after it lost to Don Bosco Prep, 42-0, early in the season? Sure, Don Bosco Prep is a tradition-rich program in New Jersey, but losing 42-0? The Post-Gazette dropped St. Joseph's out of the top five in the state AAAA rankings. But it now looks like St. Joseph's is back strong.
St. Joseph's Prep beat Archbishop Wood, 31-21, on Saturday. Wood was the No. 2 AAA team in the state. The Pennsylvania Football News has St. Joe's the No. 1 AAAA team in the state. The P-G has Coatesville No. 1 and St. Joe's No. 4 but you have to wonder a little about Coatesville after beating Downingtown East, 14-7, this weekend.
Another team to watch in Eastern Pa. is Imhotep Charter of the Philly Public League. Imhotep made it to the state Class AA semifinals last year and is the P-G's No. 2-ranked Class AA team in the state this year. Imhotep lost its first game of the year this past Saturday to Eastern Christian Academy, Md., 36-28. Imhotep stayed at No. 2. Eastern Christian opened in 2012 and let's just say football is important at the school. The team has some Division I prospects and a Philadelphia Inquirer story reported last week that 80 percent of the school's classes are on line.
The quarterback at Eastern Christian is 6-3 junior David Sills, who you might remember committed as a seventh grader to USC and coach Lane Kiffin. USC offered a scholarship when Sills was in seventh grade. Sills told the Inquirer that he will re-evaluate his college situation after the season because Kiffin has been fired.
Summit to the playoffs?
Playoffs? Who said anything about playoffs? Well, they've never been able to talk much about playoffs at Summit Academy, a school for adjudicated youth near Butler. Summit has never been to the playoffs since joining the WPIAL in 1998. But Summit has a 3-2 record in the Class AA Allegheny Conference and has a chance to make the playoffs.
Summit Academy's playoff fate very well could come down to the final regular-season game against Freeport.
The Pennsylvania Football News state rankings are out for this week.
Here are the Post-Gazette state rankings this we
1. Coatesville 6-0
2. Upper St. Clair 6-0
3. Central Catholic 6-0
4. St. Joseph’s Prep 4-1
5. Neshaminy 6-0
1. Bishop McDevitt 6-0
2. Archbishop Wood 5-1
3. Thomas Jefferson 6-0
4. Erie Cathedral Prep 6-0
5. West Allegheny 6-0
1. Aliquippa 6-0
2. Imhotep Charter 5-1
3. Beaver Falls 6-0
4. Richland 6-0
5. Catasauqua 6-0
1. Southern Columbia 6-0
2. Dunmore 6-0
3. Sto-Rox 6-0
4. North Catholic 6-0
5. Steelton-Highspire 5-0