[MEDIA:135853]

The 2001 high school football season is over, and De La Salle (Calif.) finishes as the top team in the final SchoolSports National Football Top 25. Jenks (Okla.) and Parkview (Ga.) follow the Spartans in the rankings.



Final 2001 Rankings


1. De La Salle High (Concord, Calif.) – (12-0) *1
Final Game: Beat San Leandro High, 48-13, in the CIF North Coast Section 4A finals.
Notes: De La Salle won its 125th consecutive game, earned its 10th NCS championship in a row and clinched its second straight national title by beating San Leandro in the 4A title game on Dec. 1. The Spartans finish the season right where they started -- in the No. 1 spot. Running back Maurice Drew rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns in the win over San Leandro, and senior quarterback Matt Gutierrez finished his prep career with a 37-0 record as the Spartans' starter.

2. Jenks High (Jenks, Okla.) – (13-0) *2
Final Game: Beat Putnam City North High, 38-28, in the Class 6A state finals.
Notes: The Trojans won their sixth straight Class 6A state title and their 38th game in a row on Nov. 30 by holding off a tough challenge from Putnam City North, which had beaten then-nationally ranked Tulsa Union High in the state semifinals. Quarterback Keith Jones threw for 145 yards and two touchdowns, running back Aaron Brewer rushed for 114 yards and one TD and tailback Eb Trevino ran for 110 yards in the win over Putnam City.

3. Parkview High (Lilburn, Ga.) – (15-0) *3
Final Game: Beat Northside High, 12-7, in the Class AAAAA state finals.
Notes: Parkview is quickly becoming the latest dynasty in Georgia high school football. The Panthers held off regionally ranked Northside in the state title game on Dec. 22 to claim their second straight state championship and third in the last five years. Parkview is the first team in 21 years to win back-to-back titles in the state's highest classification. Valdosta was the last to accomplish the feat in 1979 and '80. The Panthers forced three second-half turnovers to keep Northside at bay.

4. Independence High (Charlotte, N.C.) – (16-0) *4
Final Game: Beat Laney High, 49-25, in the Class 4A state finals. Notes: Independence dug an early hole in the state championship game on Dec. 15, falling behind Laney 13-0. But the Patriots responded with 42 unanswered points against the state's top-ranked defense to cruise to their second straight state title. Junior quarterback Chris Leak finished with 298 passing yards and four touchdowns. Running back Mario Crowe added 139 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.

5. Long Beach Poly High (Long Beach, Calif.) – (12-1) *5
Final Game: Beat Edison High, 42-28, in the CIF Southern Section Division I finals.
Notes: Running back Hershel Dennis rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns -- scoring all of his touchdowns in the fourth quarter -- as Poly erased a 21-14 third-quarter deficit against Edison to win its third consecutive Division I championship on Dec. 8. Despite having a loss on its record, Poly finishes in the top five, mainly because that one loss came to No. 1 De La Salle. Had the Jackrabbits won that game, they would be celebrating a national championship.

6. Harrison High (Farmington Hills, Mich.) – (14-0) *6
Final Game: Beat Fruitport High, 28-6, in the Division 3 state championship game.
Notes: Quarterback Drew Stanton threw for 210 yards and two TDs and rushed for another touchdown to lead Harrison to its fifth consecutive state title. Agim Shabaj caught a touchdown pass and also recovered a fumble on defense to contribute to the win over Fruitport in the championship game on Nov. 24.

7. Riverdale High (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) – (15-0) *7
Final Game: Beat Hendersonville High, 35-7, in the Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Riverdale used a balanced offensive attack that featured 129 yards rushing by running back Ralph King and four touchdown passes from quarterback Stephen Britton to beat Hendersonville in the state title game on Dec. 1. Junior receiver Taron Henry chipped in with 196 receiving yards and two TDs.

8. Ben Davis High (Indianapolis, Ind.) – (15-0) *8
Final Game: Beat Valparaiso High, 35-16, in the Class 5A state title game.
Notes: Blue-chip quarterback James Banks threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Ben Davis won its sixth state title in the past 15 years. Banks finished with 118 yards rushing and 85 yards passing in the state finals win over Valparaiso on Nov. 24.

9. Evangel Christian Academy (Shreveport, La.) – (14-1) *9
Final Game: Beat then-No. 3 West Monroe High, 34-27, in the Class 5A state finals.
Notes: The much-anticipated showdown of Louisiana powers didn't disappoint, as Evangel Christian beat West Monroe in the state title game on Dec. 8 to avenge an early-season loss. Evangel sophomore quarterback John David Booty threw for 339 yards and four touchdowns, hooking up with receiver Kenneth Brantley for a game-winning 12-yard TD pass with 2:16 remaining in the game. Considering the Eagles' strength of schedule -- they also beat nationally ranked Lufkin High (Texas) earlier this year -- and the fact that their only loss came to West Monroe, their Top 10 status is well-deserved.

10. Neshaminy High (Langhorne, Pa.) – (15-0) *10
Final Game: Beat then-No. 8 Woodland Hills High, 21-7, in the Class AAAA state finals.
Notes: Behind the superb play of senior running back Jamar Brittingham, Neshaminy shocked Woodland Hills on Dec. 8 to win its first-ever state title in football. Brittingham finished the state championship game with 284 yards of total offense, rushing for 157 yards and two TDs, catching four passes for 96 yards and even completing a pass for 31 yards. Woodland Hills had been blowing teams away throughout the postseason.

11. West Monroe High (West Monroe, La.) – (14-1) *11
Final Game: Lost to then-No. 15 Evangel Christian Academy, 34-27, in the Class 5A state finals.
Notes: What a disappointing end to a great season for West Monroe. Running back Edward Dade rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns and the Rebels' defense picked off four passes, but it wasn't enough in the loss to Evangel Christian in the state title game on Dec. 8. Evangel Christian scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:16 left in the game. Thanks in part to its win over Evangel earlier this season, West Monroe remains in the Top 25. But since the Rebels lost to the Eagles when it really counted, West Monroe will finish behind Evangel in the rankings.

12. Poly Prep (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – (8-0) *12
Final Game: Beat New Hampton School (N.H.), 38-6.
Notes: Poly Prep wrapped up an unbeaten season on Nov. 10 as quarterback John Poligione passed for 145 yards and two touchdowns and running back John Pannozzo rushed for 125 yards and two scores in the win over New Hampton.

13. Kahuku High (Kahuku, Hawaii) – (14-0) *13
Final Game: Beat St. Louis High, 21-14, in the state finals.
Notes: Running back Mulivai Pula rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries and quarterback Inoke Funaki ran for 114 yards and one TD on 14 carries as Kahuku held off St. Louis on Nov. 30 to win its second state title in a row.

14. Chatfield High (Littleton, Colo.) – (14-0) *14
Final Game: Beat Fairview High, 9-3, in the Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Running back Lendale White rushed for 105 yards and quarterback Allen Webb scored the game's only touchdown on a 1-yard sneak to lead Chatfield past Fairview in the state championship game on Dec. 1. It was Chatfield's first-ever state title in football.

15. Providence Catholic High (New Lenox, Ill.) – (14-0) *15
Final Game: Beat Richards High, 41-0, in the Class 6A state finals.
Notes: Providence capped a perfect season by blanking Richards in the state championship game on Nov. 24 behind a powerful running game. Running back Mike Mentz rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns, while Jim Berthoud added 109 yards and two TDs on the ground.

16. Daphne High (Daphne, Ala.) – (15-0) *16
Final Game: Beat then-No. 9 Hoover High, 48-21, in the Class 6A state finals.
Notes: Daphne stunned then-nationally ranked Hoover in the state title game on Dec. 8, racking up a 41-14 halftime lead and cruising to victory. Quarterback James Reiter threw for two touchdowns and rushed for three TDs to lead the Trojans to their first state football title. Hoover turned the ball over eight times to help Daphne's cause.

17. DeMatha Catholic High (Hyattsville, Md.) – (11-0) *17
Final Game: Beat Gonzaga, 20-14, in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference finals.
Notes: Senior running back Elijah Brooks (194 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries) scored the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter as the Stags eked out a win over Gonzaga in the WCAC finals on Nov. 16. It was DeMatha's second straight WCAC title.

18. Northridge High (Layton, Utah) – (12-0) *18
Final Game: Beat Skyline High, 37-26, in the Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Northridge's season has been over since Nov. 16, when the Knights held off Skyline in the state title game. Quarterback Jase McCormick threw for 200 yards. Northridge has won the last two Class 5A state championships.

19. Blue Springs High (Blue Springs, Mo.) – (14-0) *19
Final Game: Beat Hazelwood East High, 28-12, in the Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Blue Springs completed an unbeaten season and won its first state title in 10 seasons by knocking off highly touted Hazelwood East in the championship game on Nov. 24. Curtis Cooper found the end zone twice and the defense recorded 16 sacks to lead the Wildcats past Hazelwood East.

20. Joliet Catholic Academy (Joliet, Ill.) – (13-1) *20
Final Game: Beat Morris High, 27-20, in the Class 5A state finals.
Notes: Joliet Catholic, which began the year in the Top 10 before an early-season loss to Mount Carmel High dropped the Hilltoppers out of the rankings, will end the season back among the nation's best teams. Senior running back J.R. Zwierzynski rushed for 168 yards and three touchdowns in the state finals against Morris on Nov. 24 to cap his amazing career with a third straight state title. Zwierzynski finished as the school's all-time leading rusher with 5,073 career rushing yards.

21. Hart High (Newhall, Calif.) – (13-0) *21
Final Game: Beat Valencia High, 42-13, in the CIF Southern Section Division III finals.
Notes: Senior quarterback Matt Moore led Hart to its fourth straight Division III championship with a win over Valencia on Dec. 8. Moore threw for 277 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 95 yards and one score. He also caught his own 3-yard pass on a deflection.

22. Olathe North High (Olathe, Kan.) – (12-0) *22
Final Game: Beat Manhattan High, 21-7, in the Class 6A state finals.
Notes: Running back Maurice Mack rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns and threw for another TD as Olathe North beat Manhattan in the Class 6A state championship game on Nov. 17. The win gave Olathe North its second straight state title and fifth in the past six years.

23. Mesquite High (Mesquite, Texas) – (15-0) *23
Final Game: Beat Taft High, 14-13, in the Class 5A Division I state finals.
Notes: In a rain-soaked championship game on Dec. 15, Mesquite erased a 13-0 halftime deficit to beat Taft and win its first-ever state title. With pouring rain in the first half, Mesquite was held to no first downs and minus-18 yards at the half. But when the weather cleared in the second half, Mesquite rallied as senior receiver Brandon Douglas caught the game-winning touchdown pass. A missed extra point by Taft proved to be the difference.

24. Lincoln High (Tallahassee, Fla.) – (14-1) *24
Final Game: Beat then-No. 12 St. Thomas Aquinas School, 28-20, in the Class 4A state finals.
Notes: Lincoln began the season as the No. 4 team in the nation, and although the Trojans don't finish the year that high, they do at least finish in the Top 25 after beating nationally ranked St. Thomas Aquinas in the state title game on Dec. 6. Quarterback Gavin Dickey threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another score in the championship contest.

25. Lufkin High (Lufkin, Texas) – (15-1) *NR
Final Game: Beat Austin Westlake High, 38-24, in the Class 5A Division II state finals.
Notes: After starting the season ranked No. 5 in the nation, the Panthers will finish at No. 25 thanks to their win over Westlake (which was nationally ranked earlier this season as well) in the state title game. Lufkin's only loss came to No. 9 Evangel Christian. The Panthers edge out former No. 25 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) for the final spot in these rankings. Although both teams finished with one loss, Lufkin won its state championship while St. Thomas Aquinas did not. In the end, that was the deciding factor.


Dropped Out:

No. 25 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) – (14-1)
Final Game: Lost to Tallahassee Lincoln High, 28-20, in the Class 4A state finals.
Notes: One win stood between St. Thomas Aquinas and a Top 10 national ranking, but the Raiders fell to Lincoln in the state championship game on Dec. 6. Quarterback Dan Shula threw for 309 yards in the loss.


*: previous ranking


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