Final 2003 Rankings
1. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) – (13-0) *1
Last Game: Beat Pittsburg, 39-0, in the North Coast Section Class 4A championship.
Notes: The Spartans won their 12th straight North Coast Section title, 32nd straight playoff game and 151st consecutive game overall in their victory over Pittsburg. How fitting that the De La Salle defense led the way to victory, earning its sixth shutout of the season. The Spartans had several offensive stars as well, with senior running back Terrance Kelly scoring three touchdowns, senior wide receiver Cameron Colvin catching four passes for 100 yards and two scores, and junior quarterback Anthony Gutierrez completing 9-of-14 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns.
2. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) – (11-0) *2
Last Game: Beat Bergen Catholic, 14-13, in the Parochial Group 4 championship.
Notes: The Ironmen won their second straight Parochial Group 4 title and their 24th consecutive game overall in a close victory over Bergen Catholic. Trailing 13-7 at halftime, Don Bosco turned to senior running back/linebacker Brian Toal. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder took a short pass from senior quarterback Mike Teel and turned it into a 57-yard touchdown reception to tie the game. Junior kicker Joe Marcoux then kicked the extra point for the winning margin. Toal also rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
3. North Shore (Houston, Texas) – (15-0) *11
Last Week's Game: Beat then-No. 3 The Woodlands, 23-7, in the Class 5A Division I state finals.
Notes: North Shore moves this far up the rankings because of the way it rolled through the Class 5A Division I state playoffs in Texas, arguably one of the toughest classifications in the country, in such dominating fashion. Just ask The Woodlands, one of the top teams in the country, which experienced first-hand the offensive firepower of the Mustangs. North Shore turned to its powerful running game with 345 yards rushing to roll over the Highlanders for the state title. Senior quarterback Bobby Reid keyed the North Shore attack with 113 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. Running back Justin McNeese had 197 yards rushing on 27 carries.
4. North Penn (Lansdale, Pa.) – (15-0) *4
Last Game: Beat Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 37-10, in the PIAA Class AAAA state championship.
Notes: The Knights turned to their explosive running game led by Kevin Akins to dominate Pittsburgh Central Catholic in the state final. North Penn set a school record for wins in a season and, more importantly, won its first state title in football. Akins, a senior running back who has committed to Boston College, darted his way to 210 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries as part of a North Penn rushing attack that racked up 419 yards on the ground. Senior fullback Jim Casertano added two 1-yard touchdown runs.
5. St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) – (12-0) *6
Last Game: Beat Cardinal O'Hara, 45-7, in the Catholic League Red Division championship.
Notes: The Hawks left no doubt as to who was the top team in the Philadelphia Catholic League with their resounding victory over Cardinal O'Hara in the Catholic League Red Division championship. It was the Prep's third straight Red Division title, second straight undefeated season and 35th straight victory. Five-foot-7 sophomore running back John Shaw ran all over O'Hara to the tune of 101 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. The Hawks gained 203 yards on the ground and held the Lions' offense to 120 total yards and five first downs.
6. Elder (Cincinnati, Ohio) – (14-1) *7
Last Game: Beat Lakewood St. Edward, 31-7, in the Division I state finals.
Notes: The Panthers won their second consecutive Division I state title with their victory over St. Edward, becoming the first Division I school to repeat since 1998. Senior running back Bradley Glatthaar capped off his high school career with a Division I title game record 252 yards rushing along with three touchdowns. He finished his career at Elder with school records in career rushing yards (4,844) and touchdowns (81).
7. Independence (Charlotte, N.C.) – (16-0) *8
Last Game: Beat New Bern, 54-7, in the Class 4AA state championship.
Notes: The Patriots finished off their first year in the post-Chris Leak era just fine, winning their fourth straight state title while extending their state-record winning streak to 62 games in the process. In fact, quarterback Joe Cox performed so well this season that hardly a word was spoken about Leak, who is now starting for the University of Florida. Cox proved his talent in the state final, capturing MVP honors after passing for 286 yards and a state championship-record five touchdown passes. Cox was a big part of a Patriot offensive attack that gained 575 total yards in the game. Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi was Cox's favorite target, catching three touchdown passes, while running back Dominique Lindsay rushed for 164 yards and three scores on 24 carries.
8. Everett (Everett, Mass.) – (11-0) *9
Last Week's Game: Beat Marshfield, 21-0, in the Division 1 Eastern Mass. Super Bowl.
Notes: Junior quarterback Matt Nuzzo rushed for 188 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries to lead the Crimson Tide to their third straight Super Bowl title and 25th consecutive victory overall. His brother, Frank Nuzzo, a senior running back/linebacker, keyed the defensive effort with nine tackles while adding a 42-yard touchdown run on offense. Matt Nuzzo will return next year and will look to win four Super Bowl titles in four year's as Everett's starting quarterback.
9. Carmel (Mundelein, Ill.) – (14-0) *10
Last Game: Beat Bloomington, 54-26, in the Class 6A state finals.
Notes: Junior quarterback John Solan stepped in for injured starter Mark Venegoni, who missed the championship game with a leg injury. Solan rushed for three touchdowns while passing for two more to lead the Corsairs to the Class 6A state championship.
10. Westfield (Chantilly, Va.) – (14-0) *13
Last Week's Game: Beat Landstown, 35-14, in the Virginia AAA Division 6 state finals.
Notes: The Bulldogs captured the first state title in any sport at Westfield with their victory over Landstown. Sophomore running back Evan Royster raced his way to 167 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Senior wide receiver Eddie Royal added a 48-yard punt return for a touchdown.
11. DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) – (12-0) *14
Last Game: Beat Gonzaga, 23-3, in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship.
Notes: DeMatha used a dominating ground attack to defeat Gonzaga for its third WCAC title in the last four years. Junior running back Anthony Wiseman scored three touchdowns on six carries in the second half, while junior Jordan Scott rushed for 152 yards on 20 carries. The Stags outscored their opponents 405-54 this season.
12. Kahuku (Kahuku, Hawaii) – (14-0) *15
Last Game: Beat Saint Louis, 27-26, in the Division I state championship.
Notes: The Red Raiders battled back from a 23-7 deficit for their first state title in three years. With 41 seconds to go in the championship game, Toriano Taulogo made the key play of the day, returning a punt 62 yards all the way to the Saint Louis 3-yard line. Darren Magololo capped the comeback with a game-winning 3-yard touchdown run with 19 seconds left.
13. Blue Springs (Blue Springs, Mo.) – (13-0) *16
Last Game: Beat Hazelwood Central, 53-0, in the Class 6 state finals.
Notes: Cameron Harns rushed for 183 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries as seven different players scored for the Wildcats in their romp to the state title. Quarterback Stinson Dean chipped in with two touchdown passes and a two-point conversion. It was the second state title in three years for Blue Springs.
14. Montgomery Bell (Nashville, Tenn.) – (11-1) *17
Last Game: Beat Brentwood Academy, 38-14, in the Division II-AAA state championship game.
Notes: The Big Red avenged an earlier loss to Brentwood in a big way by knocking off the Eagles in the Division II-AAA state title game. Quarterback Michael Fisher was the offensive star for the Big Red with 331 yards of total offense and four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). Montgomery Bell registered 513 yards of total offense while holding Brentwood to 215.
15. Manheim Central (Manheim, Pa.) – (15-0) *18
Last Game: Beat Pine-Richland, 39-38, in double overtime in the PIAA Class AAA state championship.
Notes: Special teams came up big again for the Barons as Shawn Wilt blocked an extra-point attempt in double overtime to seal the victory for Manheim Central. Wilt also hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime to give Manheim Central a 39-32 lead. Pine-Richland's Greg Hough brought the Rams to within one with a 1-yard touchdown run before Wilt blocked the PAT.
16. Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) – (13-0) *19
Last Game: Beat Creighton Prep, 38-7, in the Class A state championship.
Notes: The Mustangs earned their first-ever state title and undefeated season with their win over Creighton Prep. Millard North's offense racked up 401 yards rushing while the defense held Creighton Prep to just 72 total yards. Senior running back Jon Kimbrough led the way with 203 yards rushing and four touchdowns, while fullback Keith Lloyd chipped in with 129 yards rushing and a touchdown.
17. Miami Carol City (Miami, Fla.) – (14-1) *21
Last Week's Game: Beat Edgewater, 13-0, in the Class 6A state finals.
Notes: Carol City culminated its dominating run through the state playoffs with a shutout victory over Edgewater for the Class 6A state title. The Chiefs' defense held opponents to just 13 points in five playoff games, including shutouts in the semifinals and finals. Carol City limited Edgewater to only 93 total yards of offense and seven first downs in the title game. Fullback Chris Strothers led the offensive unit with 121 yards rushing and a touchdown on 23 carries.
18. South Panola (Batesville, Miss.) – (15-0) *22
Last Game: Beat Oak Grove, 33-14, in the Class 5A state championship.
Notes: The Tigers won their third Class 5A state title with a running game that gained 396 yards in the championship contest. Junior running back Marcus Griffin was the star of the show, rushing for 269 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries. He finished with 1,837 yards and 19 touchdowns on the season.
19. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) – (13-1) *23
Last Game: Beat then-No. 3 Mountain View, 35-28, in triple overtime in the Class 5A state championship.
Notes: The Huskies started out the 2003 season on a rough note with a 15-0 shutout loss to Mountain View. But Hamilton earned a spot in the Top 25 after winning its last 13 games, including a payback victory over the Toros in the state championship game to snap the defending state champion's 27-game winning streak. The Huskies' defense came up strong in triple overtime, stopping Mountain View running back Marc LeBaron on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line to preserve the victory. Tremel McGill scored the game-winner for Hamilton and finished with 119 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
20. Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.) – (15-0) *21
Last Game: Beat Valdosta, 21-7, in the Class AAAAA state semifinals.
Notes: The Wildcats' defense was the team's strength all season and their win over Valdosta proved to be no exception. Camden County held Valdosta to just 181 total yards overall and nearly capped its season with a shutout before Valdosta scored midway through the fourth quarter. Camden County allowed 47 points all season for a remarkable average of 3.1 points per game. Kevin Patterson led the Camden County offense in the championship victory with two touchdown runs.
21. The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas) – (14-1) *3
Last Week's Game: Lost to then-No. 11 North Shore, 23-7, in the Class 5A Division I state finals.
Notes: The Highlanders weren't able to contain the North Shore running game, which racked up 345 yards on the ground. But losing to a nationally ranked team in the state finals doesn't warrant The Woodlands dropping out of the Top 25. Senior running back Samson Taylor scored the lone touchdown for the Highlanders and added 49 yards rushing on 16 carries. He finished the season with 1,740 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns.
22. Riverside North (Riverside, Calif.) – (14-0) *NR
Last Week's Game: Beat Norco, 50-7, in the CIF Southern Section Division V finals.
Notes: Riverside North enters the rankings after finishing off its dominating season with a big victory over Norco in the Southern Section Division V title game. Norco got a double dose of the Morton twins, quarterback Dion and wide receiver Damon, as the Huskies overwhelmed the Cougars en route to a 43-0 halftime lead. Dion completed 7-of-8 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns, while Damon caught two touchdown passes, including an 85-yarder, and added a 68-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff. Running back Josh Barnett was yet another offensive star for the Huskies, rushing for 196 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries.
23. Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.) – (14-0) *NR
Last Week's Game: Beat then-No. 20 St. Bonaventure, 28-6, in the CIF Southern Section Division IV finals.
Notes: Westlake earns a spot in the rankings after dominating nationally ranked St. Bonaventure in the section finals to finish its season undefeated. The Warriors put a halt to the Seraphs' passing game thanks to senior defensive ends Jimmy Miller and Michael Stuart, who combined for three sacks. Miller and Stuart also both added touchdown receptions on offense. Quarterback Rudy Carpenter completed 15-of-21 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns, while Tahj Mowry rushed for 92 yards and two scores.
24. Katy (Katy, Texas) – (15-1) *NR
Last Game: Beat then-No. 10 Southlake Carroll, 16-15, in the Class 5A Division II state finals.
Notes: The Tigers used a dominating defensive effort to defeat defending state champion Southlake Carroll in the Class 5A Division II state title game. Katy was unfazed by the Dragons' 31-game winning streak and held them to their lowest point total since they entered Class 5A in 2002. Quarterback Ben Johnson tossed a 51-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Mouton with 2:30 left in the game for the decisive points. Sophomore cornerback Will Thompson sealed the victory when he intercepted Southlake Carroll quarterback Chase Daniel with 1:22 left to play in the fourth quarter.
25. Arlington Lamar (Arlington, Texas) – (13-1) *25
Last Game: Lost to then-No. 4 The Woodlands, 35-20, in the Class 5A Division I state semifinals.
Notes: The Vikings had their terrific season ended in the state semifinals by fellow Top 25 team The Woodlands, but one loss to a nationally ranked team isn't enough to drop them out of the rankings altogether.
No. 10 Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas) – (15-1)
Last Game: Lost to Katy, 16-15, in the Class 5A Division II state finals.
Notes: The Dragons had their 31-game winning streak snapped and lost a chance to repeat as state champs. The Southlake Carroll high-powered offense was held to its lowest point total since 2002 when it moved into Class 5A. Junior quarterback Chase Daniel tossed a 66-yard touchdown pass and junior running back had a 3-yard touchdown run.
* previous ranking