The 2002 high school football season is over, and De La Salle (Calif.) once again finishes as the top team in the final SchoolSports National Football Top 25. Independence (N.C.), led by Chris Leak, and Parkview (Ga.) follow the Spartans in the rankings.

Final 2002 Rankings

1. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) – (13-0) *1
Last Game: Beat then-No. 18 San Leandro, 42-14, in NCS Class 4A finals.
Notes: The Spartans won their 138th straight game and 11th consecutive NCS title by rolling all over a very good San Leandro team in the title game. Senior Maurice Drew rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns and also intercepted a pass on defense that set up another score. With the win, De La Salle repeated as national champion.
Preseason Ranking: No. 1

2. Independence (Charlotte, N.C.) – (16-0) *2
Last Game: Beat New Bern, 41-20, in Class 4AA state finals.
Notes: Holding just a 21-20 lead with only 10 minutes remaining, Independence scored the final 20 points against New Bern to win its third straight state title and 46th consecutive game overall. All-American quarterback Chris Leak didn't have a great game -- getting sacked five times and throwing for only 193 yards -- but he did toss three TD passes in his final high school game to earn championship MVP honors.
Preseason Ranking: No. 2

3. Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.) – (15-0) *3
Last Game: Beat Brookwood, 28-7, in Class AAAAA state finals.
Notes: Parkview won its state-record 45th consecutive game and third straight state title, becoming the first team to 3-peat in Georgia's highest class since Valdosta from 1960-62. Sean Dawkins rushed for 120 yards and three TDs to lead the Panthers past Brookwood in the finals. Parkview's defense surrendered one touchdown or fewer in 13 of 15 games this season.
Preseason Ranking: No. 3

4. Union (Tulsa, Okla.) – (14-0) *4
Last Game: Beat Broken Arrow, 52-3, in Class 6A state finals.
Notes: Complete domination. That's the only way to describe Union's 49-point win over Broken Arrow in the state championship game. Senior tailback Spencer McIllwain rushed for 219 yards and four TDs. Union had played in the title game in four of the previous eight seasons, but this was the team's first championship during that span.
Preseason Ranking: No. 10

5. Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.) – (13-0) *5
Last Game: Beat Lindbergh, 41-7, in Class 6 state finals.
Notes: Rockhurst completed an unbeaten season and finished in the top five thanks to a state championship win over Lindbergh in the largest big-class state finals rout since 1995. Rockhurst scored touchdowns on five of its first six possessions, and running back Tony Temple proved his worth yet again by rushing for 143 yards and three touchdowns in the title game.
Preseason Ranking: No. 22

6. Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) – (15-0) *6
Last Game: Beat Male, 59-56, in Class 4-A state finals.
Notes: In a state championship game that people will be talking about for decades, Trinity held off regionally ranked Male and blue-chip recruit Michael Bush in an absolute barn-burner to win Trinity's 14th state title. Junior quarterback Brian Brohm led Trinity with a state-record 552 passing yards and eight total touchdowns in the victory. We'd be remiss, however, if we didn't also give props to Bush, who threw for 468 yards and six TDs and also rushed for 116 yards and a score in a losing effort.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

7. Providence Catholic (New Lenox, Ill.) – (14-0) *7
Last Game: Beat Pontiac, 42-0, in Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Providence finished an undefeated season with a dominating shutout win in the state finals against a Pontiac team that entered the game with a 12-1 record. The Celtics held Pontiac to a Class 5A record-low 77 yards of total offense en route to their second straight state title and 28th straight win overall.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

8. Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.) – (14-1) *9
Last Game: Beat West Monroe, 35-4, in Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Despite being known for its offensive exploits, Evangel Christian won its eighth state title with a dominating defensive performance against West Monroe in the state finals. West Monroe scored its only points on a pair of safeties on botched punt attempts. Evangel Christian won its eighth title in eight trips to the state finals and will return junior quarterback John David Booty and junior defensive lineman Chris Bowers (state finals MVP) next season.
Preseason Ranking: No. 17

9. Phoebus (Hampton, Va.) – (14-0) *10
Last Game: Beat Stafford, 39-13, in Group AAA Division 5 state finals.
Notes: Phoebus scored on its first three possessions and running back Elan Lewis rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns as Phoebus rolled over Stafford in the state finals. The win gave Phoebus its second straight state title and 26th consecutive victory overall.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

10. Gilman (Baltimore, Md.) – (10-0) *8
Last Game: Beat McDonogh School, 35-14.
Notes: By beating McDonogh in the season finale, the Greyhounds avenged a 2000 loss that denied them an unbeaten season and finished in our Top 10.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

11. Columbine (Littleton, Colo.) – (14-0) *11
Last Game: Beat Fairview, 38-10, in Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Columbine capped one of the most dominating seasons in Colorado high school football history by routing Fairview in the state championship game. The win gave the Rebels their third state title in the past four years. Columbine's run-oriented offense was led by senior quarterback Tanner Rogers, who rushed for 259 yards in the finals and finished the season with 2,174 yards rushing and 32 TDs.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

12. Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas) – (16-0) *17
Last Game: Beat Smithson Valley, 45-14, in Class 5A Division II state finals.
Notes: Senior quarterback Chase Wasson threw for 490 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another TD as Southlake Carroll capped an improbable undefeated season with a state championship. Wasson, a first-year starter, threw for a state-record 4,800 yards and tied a state record with 54 TD passes this season. Carroll, which competed in Class 4A last year, became the first team in Texas to win a state title in its first season in a higher classification.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

13. St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) – (13-0) *12
Last Game: Beat La Salle, 24-3, in season finale.
Notes: Senior Pat Kaiser was the star again in the Thanksgiving win over La Salle. Less than a week after scoring 32 points in the Hawks' Catholic League Red Division championship win, Kaiser scored 18 of St. Joe's 24 points against La Salle -- rushing for 122 yards and a TD, amassing 44 receiving yards and another TD, kicking a field goal and adding three extra points. He finished the year with 306 points (which was briefly a state record until No. 20 Parkland's Austin Scott broke it in the Class AAAA state finals) as St. Joe's capped its first unbeaten season in more than 40 years.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

14. Elder (Cincinnati, Ohio) – (14-1) *13
Last Game: Beat then-No. 5 Harding, 21-19, in Division I state finals.
Notes: The Panthers pulled off an upset of then-No. 5 Harding to win Elder's first Division I state title. Playing in heavy snow and winds of 20-25 mph, Elder forced an incompletion on Harding's two-point conversion attempt with 46 seconds remaining to preserve the win. Junior quarterback Rob Florian led Elder in the title game by passing for 165 yards and a TD and rushing for another 95 yards.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

15. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) – (12-0) *14
Last Game: Beat Bergen Catholic, 26-7, in Parochial Group 4 state finals.
Notes: Don Bosco won its first state title since 1990 by handily beating regionally ranked Bergen Catholic for the second time this season in the state finals. Quarterback Mike Teel was 16-of-25 passing for 221 yards and two TDs.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

16. Mountain View (Mesa, Ariz.) – (14-0) *16
Last Game: Beat Ironwood, 50-8, in Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Quarterback Max Hall was 15-of-18 passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns and Mountain View ripped off 29 points in the final six minutes of the second quarter to win its eighth state title. The 42-point win was the most lopsided in Class 5A state title game history.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

17. Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.) – (13-0) *15
Last Game: Beat Champlin Park, 21-0, in Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Eden Prairie finished an unbeaten season by blanking Champlin Park in the state finals to win its fourth state title in the past seven years. The Eagles are 84-3 in their last 87 games.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

18. Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, Calif.) – (14-0) *19
Last Game: Beat Hart, 10-6, in Southern Section Division II finals.
Notes: Mission Viejo won its 28th straight game and second consecutive section title with a dominating defensive performance against regionally ranked Hart in the Division II title game. The Diablos' defense held Hart without a touchdown and recorded six sacks and two interceptions to key the win.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

19. Lockport (Lockport, Ill.) – (13-1) *18
Last Game: Beat Stevenson, 35-14, in Class 8A state finals.
Notes: Lockport beat a very good Stevenson team by 21 points in the state finals, giving the Porters their first state championship and capping an incredible season. Lockport quarterback Steve Walker finished the season with 3,971 yards and 34 TDs through the air.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

20. Parkland (Allentown, Pa.) – (14-1) *20
Last Game: Beat then-No. 20 Woodland Hills, 34-12, in Class AAAA state finals.
Notes: Senior running back Austin Scott capped one of the greatest seasons in Pennsylvania high school history by rushing for 251 yards and five touchdowns in the state title game upset of previously unbeaten and nationally ranked Woodland Hills. This year Scott broke single-season state records for rushing yards (3,853), touchdowns (53) and points (318), and his 251 rushing yards in the finals was a state title game record.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

21. Los Alamitos (Los Alamitos, Calif.) – (13-0-1) *21
Last Game: Beat Mater Dei, 41-14, in Southern Section Division I finals.
Notes: Los Alamitos quarterback Jeff Kline threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 129 yards and three more TDs as the Griffins routed Mater Dei in the Division I championship game. Los Alamitos running back Ryan Bagley added 109 yards on the ground.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

22. Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.) – (14-1) *22
Last Game: Beat Tampa Wharton, 22-10, in Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Miami-bound senior running back Tyrone Moss rushed for 210 yards and three touchdowns to lead Ely past Tampa Wharton in the state finals for the school's first-ever state football title. Moss finished his career with 107 rushing touchdowns to tie the state's all-time record.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

23. Everett (Everett, Mass.) – (12-0) *23
Last Game: Beat then-No. 15 St. John's Prep, 13-7, in Division 1 Super Bowl.
Notes: Everett won its second Super Bowl title in a row and third in four years by upsetting nationally ranked St. John's in the championship game. Last year, Everett knocked off St. John's in the semifinals. With the score tied 7-7, the game turned on a huge defensive play by junior linebacker Frank Nuzzo, who intercepted a pass at the 3-yard line and returned it 97 yards for the game-winning touchdown in the third quarter of a defensive battle.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

24. Judson (Converse, Texas) – (14-1) *24
Last Game: Beat Midland, 33-32, in Class 5A Division I state finals.
Notes: Judson captured the state title with what might be the play of the year in high school football. After Midland scored to take a 32-27 lead with 22 seconds remaining in the game, Judson scored the winning touchdown on a 76-yard pass from quarterback Dustin Quinney to Andrew Williams with seven seconds left. The win gave the Rockets their first state title since 1998 and their sixth overall.
Preseason Ranking: Not ranked

25. Denton Ryan (Denton, Texas) – (15-1) *25
Last Game: Beat Brenham, 38-8, in Class 4A Division II state finals.
Notes: Led by senior quarterback James Battle, Denton Ryan won its second straight state title with a 30-point rout of Brenham in the state finals. Battle, who is headed to TCU next season, finished the game with 193 yards passing and 130 yards rushing. The Raiders are 42-4 over the past three seasons.
Preseason Ranking: No. 24

Dropped out: None

* previous ranking

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