1. Charlotte Christian (8-0)
Previous Ranking: No. 1
This Week: Providence Day (5-4)
The Knights had given up just seven points through seven games, but there was talk from some media outlets that their schedule had been weak. When conference rival Charlotte Latin hosted them, maybe it would be different since Latin is the last CISAA team to beat the Knights. It wasn’t. Christian admittingly didn’t play well. Some players said they may have been looking ahead to their rival game with Providence Day this week. But the Knights won 41-7, dominating in every facet of the contest. The Hawks did score just the second touchdown of the year on this defense, but it was on a short field. Charlotte Christian is as good as any team in the county. They’ve also won 18 consecutive games.
2. Charlotte Catholic (8-1)
Previous Ranking: No. 2
This week: Cuthbertson (3-6)
The Cougars dominated Parkwood on the ground as Lamagea McDowell and Michael Neel combined for five first half rushing scores that led to a 34-0 halftime lead. Catholic has outscored its opponents 267-44 on the season, but have really turned up the ground attack as they’ve scored 90 combined points in the past two weeks. Cuthbertson got torched last week by Sun Valley, but the Cavs still put up 400 yards of offense and 28 points in a 55-28 blowout. So, they’ll test the Cougar defense but they’ve won 23 of their past 24 games.
3. Butler (6-2)
Previous Ranking: No. 4
This week: at Garinger (2-7)
Jamal Worthy’s first half touchdown run was all either team could muster in a showdown with Hickory Ridge, who had beaten Butler last year in the team’s first-ever meeting. But, the Bulldogs did everything right in the second half, getting touchdowns from Worthy, Keyon Lesane, Quasean Holmes and Lamont Brooks as they hammered the Bulls 47-14. Butler’s run game is averaging well over 200 yards per game, and will help the Bulldogs blow out Garinger and East Meck before meeting old rival Independence on Nov. 9.
4. Myers Park (7-1)
Previous Ranking: No. 5
This Week: at Porter Ridge (6-3)
The Mustangs came out in their first game after losing to Butler and overwhelmed an undermanned East Meck team in all three areas of the game. Drake Maye threw four touchdown passes mostly to big-play receivers Elijah Bowick (six receptions, 126 yards, two touchdowns and Homecoming King honor at halftime) and Moose Muhammad (seven receptions, 87 yards and a touchdown). Camden Partington had three sacks, and the Mustang defense held East Meck to 75 yards of total offense including minus-5 rushing yards on 19 carries. It will be interesting to see which unit wins in the battle of the Mustang run defense and Porter Ridge, who averages 363 rushing yards per game.
5. Providence Day (5-4)
Previous Ranking: No. 3
This week: Charlotte Christian (8-0)
Christ School came in with a six-game win streak to challenge the Chargers, who had won five in a row. The Greenies got a huge game from quarterback Navy Shuler (25-35, 302 yards) and the Chargers couldn’t contain receivers Kaedin Robinson (15 receptions, 162 yards and two scores). Now they get Charlotte Christian, who put up over 600 yards of offense and thrashed Providence Day 52-14 in this matchup last season. A loss and 5-5 record for Providence Day, a star-studded team once filled with so much hope after going 9-3 last year, would be devastating.
6. Charlotte Latin (5-4)
Previous Ranking: No. 6
This Week: at Country Day (5-4)
The Hawks struggled, as any team would, to move the ball against Charlotte Christian’s defense. They passed for just 44 yards and ran the ball 34 times, but averaged just 2.9 yards per carry and totaled 141 yards of offense while the defense gave up over 500 yards and 41 points to the unbeaten Knights. But this is the exact time they got hot last year and ran the table. The Hawks could win out these next three weeks and claim a second straight crown.
7. Country Day (5-4)
Previous Ranking: No. 7
Rylan McLaurin ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns and Twan Flip caught four balls for 157 yards and two scores as the Bucs rolled Covenant Day 45-14. Now comes Charlotte Latin, who has become the Bucs nemesis of late. Latin won 48-30 in the regular season finale last season and then embarrassed Country Day 33-0 in the Division II championship game. So there will be some revenge factor in this game, although Charlotte Latin has won each of the previous eight meeting dating back to 2013.
Also receiving votes: Independence (5-3)
– Andrew Stark