We released our final regular season Monday, SBLive Power 25 of 2022 – our weekly look at the top 25 high school football teams in the country. Once the soccer playoffs are complete in all states, we will release our final season-ending Power 25 rankings on Monday, December 19th.
This week, three of the Division 1 Southern Section quarterfinal games in California make our list of domestic games of the week, led by Long Beach Poly vs. Los Alamitos. In Arizona, Hamilton takes on No. 22 Chandler in another monumental duel Thursday night.
Here’s a closer look at some of the country’s elite and who they’ll be taking in, with a focus on how the result could affect next week’s Power 25 rankings.
No. 22 Chandler-Ariz. (8-1) at Hamilton-Chandler, Arizona (7-2)
How good is Chandler? At the start of the season, the Wolves were the all-time favorite to win the Open Division crown in Arizona. But two weeks ago, Chandler fell 14-7 to Basha (Chandler, Arizona) and now the team is down the road against arch-rival Hamilton, whose Power 25 status is at stake. Chandler needs a big win to establish themselves as one of the best teams in the country. Anything less than a two-point win will most likely end Wolves’ time in the Power 25.
Of course, the Arizona Open Division state champion will hit the Power 25 by the end of the season. So if Chandler loses this week, they have a chance to get back on the leaderboard in six weeks.
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: Class of 2024 quarterback Dylan Raioloa shows why he’s the best signal caller in his class and leads Wolves to an impressive win that keeps Chandler in the Power 25 heading into the postseason.
JSerra-San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (6-5) at No. 1 Mater Dei-Santa Ana, Calif. (10-0) – Division 1 CIF Southern Section Playoffs
This game makes the list because when JSerra played No. 1 Mater Dei in the regular season, the Monarchs clinched a 21-13 win. The following week Mater Dei played against No. 4 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California), so it’s possible the Monarchs were caught overlooking the Lions.
This week we’ll find out how JSerra looks against a Mater Dei team focused thanks to the two-week preparation period after a first-round bye. If the lions make life difficult for the monarchs for the second time, it will be a big story.
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: Mater Dei wins big to hold number one national ranking.
Mission Viejo Caliph. (9-1) at No. 13 Corona Centennial-Calif. (9-1) – Division 1 CIF Southern Section Playoffs
When those teams met in that game last year, Corona Centennial rolled to a 62-16 win. With a large group of high-ranking returnees, can the Diablos put up more resistance against a nationally-ranked opponent this time?
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: Corona Centennial wins by 20 points to maintain its place in the Power 25.
#24 Lehi-Utah (12-0) vs. Stansbury-Stansbury Park, Utah (12-0) – 5A Playoffs (neutral side)
Lehi is on high alert because the Pioneers weren’t at their best in last week’s 28-21 5A quarterfinal win over Box Elder (Brigham City, Utah). Class of 2023 quarterback Jackson Brousseau, a Colorado State pledge, threw three interceptions. Lehi is ranked in the Power 25 because he has the best resume of any team in Utah. Another lackluster performance could see the Pioneers miss the year-end Power 25…
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: Lehi rebounds and records a three-point win that keeps his year-end Power 25 hopes alive.
Long Beach Poly-California. (10-0) at Los Alamitos-California. (8-2) – Division 1 CIF Southern Section Playoffs
Both teams are outside the Power 25. Whoever wins will most likely have to push Mater Dei or St. John Bosco in the semifinals to warrant serious Power 25 considerations, but this game will still be fun.
Both teams have fantastic attacks. For Los Alamitos, USC signings quarterback Malachi Nelson and receiver Makai Lemon are two of the most electrifying players in California high school football. Senior Damian Damian Henderson (Colorado State) was arguably the best running back in the state.
Long Beach Poly is led by junior quarterback Darius Curry, junior wide receiver Jason Robinson Jr. (USC) and senior tailback Devin Samples.
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: The winner increases their chances of making the year-end Power 25 rankings, but still has work to do.
Westfield Ind. (8-3) at Hamilton Southeastern-Fishers, Indiana. (11-0) – 6A Playoffs
For 11 weeks, Hamilton-Southeastern was the best team in Indiana high school football, led by Stau Jalen Alexander, averaging 115 yards per game on the ground. CalPreps ranks Hamilton-Southeastern #1 in the state and Westfield #6. Westfield’s top-rated recruit is senior safety Dillon Thieneman, a promise from Purdue.
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: Hamilton Southeastern wins to keep its year-end Power 25 hopes alive.
Cathedral-Indianapolis (9-1) at Brownsburg-Ind. (10-1) – 6A Playoffs
CalPreps ranks Brownsburg and Cathedral just behind Hamilton-Southeastern for #2 and #3 in Indiana, respectively—this is a mighty regional championship.
Cathedral quarterback Danny O’Neil, a junior, has thrown 31 touchdowns while averaging 241 yards in the air per game. Brownsburg’s senior recruits are senior offensive lineman Leighton Jones, an Iowa commit, senior quarterback Jayden Whitaker (Western Illinois) and senior tight end Brady Probst (Ball State).
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: The winning team keeps their Power 25 hopes alive.
Elder-Cincinnati (10-2) vs. Lakota West-West Chester, Ohio (12-0) – Region 4 Playoffs (neutral side)
Elder was to be a tough test for the undefeated Lakota West. The two games Elder lost this season came against Ohio powers St. Edward and Archbishop Moeller. The St Edwards defeat was by just three points, 17-14.
Lakota West is one of the best high school football teams in Ohio thanks to their defense. Senior safety Malik Hartford (Ohio State) and Ben Minich (Notre Dame) are two of the best defenders in the nation.
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: Lakota West wins to stay on our Power 25 radar.
Dorman-Roebuck, SC (9-2) at Dutch Fork-Irmo, SC (10-1) – AAAAA Playoffs
CalPreps ranks Dutch Fork as the #1 team in South Carolina and Dorman as #3. Dutch Fork’s top executive recruit is Landon Danley, a security officer at the University of Virginia. Dorman has three dedicated players on his roster in Markee Anderson (South Carolina) and DJ Geth (North Carolina). Senior cornerback DJ Porter is a promise from the Appalachian state.
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: If Dutch Fork wins, they stay on our Power 25 radar. If Dorman wins, no South Carolina team will appear in our year-end Power 25 because Dorman already has two state losses.
Hewitt-Trussville-Ala. (8-3) vs. Hoover Ala. (10-1) – 7A Endgames (neutral side)
If Hoover can win a 7A state title in Alabama, they have a good chance of making our final Power 25 in December. The Buccaneers have won ten straight games since losing 17-14 to Auburn, Ala., earlier in the season. Auburn and Central (Phenix City, Alabama) are the other two teams in Alabama’s 7A class that have chances of making the Power 25.
The players to watch in the Hewitt-Trussville-Hoover showdown are senior defensemen Hunter Osborne and Connor Knight (South Florida) for Hewitt-Trussville, and senior cornerback Rickey Gibson (Tennessee). For Hoover, senior offensive tackle Ethan Hubbard (Duke) and senior edge rusher Jordan Norman are the names to know.
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: Hoover wins to stay on our Power 25 radar.
Lowndes-Valdosta, Ga. (5-5) in Carrollton-Ga. (10-0) 7A playoffs
This game makes the list because Lowndes has played against some of the best high school football teams in the country and we want to see how undefeated Carrollton stacks up against those teams. Lowndes fell 38-20 in Week 1 against No. 6 American Heritage (Plantation, Florida). Last month, Lowndes lost to No. 18 Colquitt County (Norman Park, Georgia) 42-14. Lowndes defeated Grayson (Loganville, Georgia) 24-14 in September when the Rams were ranked in the Power 25. We’ll hear a lot about Carrollton’s Power 25 credentials on Saturday.
Predict how the game will affect Power 25: Carrollton wins, but by just a point or two, leaving the Trojans outside the Power 25.