Before we get into it, a bit of an explanation. Ranking teams this season was exceedingly difficult, and why we did not put any out until now. The issue was the different number of games for many of the teams, which made this all hard to compare. We ended up going with this final list. We feel good about them, but the lack of a statewide playoff made much of this a bit of a guessing game. Some teams, like Everett, were not ranked due to a shortage of games to go by. The Crimson Tide would likely have been somewhere in the top 10 had they started earlier. So, without further ado, our final Fall II statewide rankings.
1. Catholic Memorial (4-0) — One of the few certainties from this season was that the Catholic Conference was a clear step up from everyone else. CM was the best team there, and we felt the Knights' 23-19 win over Xaverian was the most significant victory of the season. As good as the Knights were this year, the future is just as bright. Many sophomores played big roles in Fall II.
2. Springfield Central (3-0) — Speaking of teams with high-level sophomores, Central has three with major college offers, and that number may be higher when all is said and done. This is a team that will be difficult to beat for years to come, and even though the Golden Eagles only played three games, they were dominant in their performances to gain this standing.
3. Xaverian (5-1) — For everyone who declared this program dead after a losing season in 2019, the Hawks showed they have plenty of life left in them going forward. For our money, this was the best offensive line in the state, and you can make a good argument for No. 2 here. As it is, the Hawks have righted the ship, and will be back in the fall for another run at it.
4. Central Catholic (6-0) — This is another team with a decent argument to be higher. Any team with Ayden Pereira can compete with the best in the state, and Central is happy to have him back in the fall. The Raiders had an efficient offense and swarming defense. Yet another team who will be back for more in the fall.
5. Mansfield (6-0) — This Hornets team was pretty loaded across the board. They were good up front on both sides of the ball, and had very good speed, especially in running back Cincere Gill, who was a threat to take it to the house on every touch.
6. Lincoln-Sudbury (7-0) — We did not expect L-S to beat Reading, but the Warriors did so convincingly. This was a very solid team throughout Fall II. We also feel that L-S will continue its winning ways in the fall.
7. Natick (5-0) — The Redhawks were dominant in Fall II, with convincing victories every time out. Perhaps the best win was a 48-26 defeat of Milton. This team will have to replace a lot in the fall, but this program is usually on solid footing.
8. Reading (5-1) — For most of Fall II, Reading took care of business, but a loss at the end of the season to Lincoln-Sudbury took some of the wind out of its sails. Like many teams on here, Reading will have to replace some key pieces in the fall, but has enough to be good again.
9. Wachusett (5-0) — Our highest-ranked Central Mass. team did everything it could to impress in Fall II. This is routinely one of the most physical teams in the state, and we expect that to continue in the fall.
10. North Attleboro (6-0) — The Red Rocketeers were stout on both sides of the ball, and the defense shined in the final game of Fall II against Attleboro. With quarterback Tyler DeMattio returning, we expect this team to be right back in the mix in the fall.
11. Brockton (4-1) — Outside of a 42-7 loss to Xaverian, the Boxers were terrific in Fall II. Quarterback Devonte Medley was lethal both as a runner and a passer, while the defense made some strides since 2019. The Boxers lose a lot to graduation and will have to reload.
12. Melrose (6-0) — This team picked up where it left off in 2019's Div. 4 state title season and beat everyone in its path.
13. Duxbury (3-0) — The inappropriate and anti-Semitic remarks made by this team marred Fall II, but the win over Scituate was the high point on the field.
14. BC High (2-3) — Yes, a losing record, but the two wins were against a good St. John's Prep team.
15. St. John's Prep (3-4) — Again, don't mind the record. Wins over St. John's (S) and Tewksbury showed how good this team could be.
16. St. John's (S) (2-3) — The Pioneers notched two quality wins over BC High and Fitchburg.
17. Marblehead (7-0) — The Magicians notched big wins over Peabody and Swampscott.
18. Doherty (4-1) — Another Central Mass. team that had a strong Fall II, the only loss was to Wachusett and the Highlanders beat Shrewsbury and Shepherd Hill.
19. Marshfield (4-1) — The Rams gave Mansfield its toughest game of the season and took care of the rest of the teams on the schedule.
20. Bishop Fenwick (6-0) — We felt the Crusaders could have competed with many higher-division teams around.
21. Acton-Boxboro (5-1) — Competed very well with L-S and earned some nice wins along the way.
22. Andover (4-2) — A promising program with some very good young players.
23. Tewksbury (4-2) — Only losses to Central Catholic and St. John's Prep.
24. Lowell (4-2) — First-year coach Rob Pike has already done a nice job here.
25. Milford (4-2) — Only losses to Mansfield and Lowell, and first-year coach Dale Olson has started off well with the Scarlet Hawks.
First 15 out
Apponequet (4-0), Barnstable (2-0), Bridgewater-Raynham (4-1), Ipswich (6-0), Mashpee (6-1), Milton (5-1), Nashoba (4-0), Northbridge (4-0), Plymouth South (5-1), Rockland (6-0), St. Bernard's (5-0), Shrewsbury (3-2), Stoughton (4-2), West Boylston (4-1), West Springfield (5-0)