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Florida high school football: 5 observations from the second FHSAA rankings

SportsFlorida high school football: 5 observations from the second FHSAA rankings

The Florida High School Athletic Association released its second rankings of the 2022 season on Wednesday afternoon.

Chaminade-Madonna, the No. 1 team in Class 1M on the USA Today Florida Network Top 100, remains the No. 1 overall team in the state regardless of classification.

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Here are five observations from the second state rankings:

Bradford stands out

Undefeated Bradford’s season has been impressive for many reasons, most notably the fact that the Tornadoes have outscored opponents by a combined score of 164-7 with five shutouts in six games. Bradford, ranked No. 8 overall and No. 1 Class 2S, also has the distinction of being the lone Suburban program in the top 10. For what it’s worth, eight of the teams ranked between 11 and 20 are Suburban schools.

Cardinal Newman moving up

The Crusaders (6-0) beat previously undefeated John Carroll Catholic 40-7 on Monday and vaulted all the way to No. 10 overall in the state. Cardinal Newman plays in a deep classification (four of the top 10 teams in the state are in Class 1M) and has a very difficult roadblock in Region 3-1M in Chaminade, but the ranking is a validation of the job coach Jack Daniels has done in his first 18 months in West Palm Beach.

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Class 4S is as deep as expected

As soon as the new football classes were released, it looked like teams in Class 4S would have the toughest road to the state championship. The rankings after six weeks agree. Five of the top 18 teams overall — Vero Beach (No. 11), Buchholz (12), Bartram Trail (13), Niceville (14) and Lakeland (18) — are in Class 4S. That doesn’t even include Venice, the 2021 Class 8A state champion, which is No. 6 in the state. Undefeated Land O’Lakes is No. 7 and Lake Minneola (2020 Class 5A state finalist) is No. 9.

Williston is the No. 1 rural program

Williston has had an impressive start to the season with a 5-0 record, three consecutive shutouts and scoring at least 42 points in every game. The Red Devils are the top rural team in the rankings and No. 25 overall in the state — ahead of traditional powers such as Tampa Bay Tech (2021 Class 7A state runner-up), Miami Northwestern, Venice (2021 Class 8A state champion) and others. Chiefland (No. 30) and Hawthorne (No. 37) are the only rural programs in the top 40.

Just for fun

Let’s play the what-if game for just a second. If the playoffs started today and the top-seeded team won every matchup, this is what the Final Four would look like in each classification.

Class 4M

Newsome at Columbus

Santaluces at Winter Park

Class 3M

Edgewater's Cedric Baxter rushed for 1,651 yards and 22 touchdowns during his junior year.

Largo at St. Thomas Aquinas

Homestead at Edgewater

Class 2M

Bishop Kenny quarterback James Resar throws a pass during first half action. The Tocoi Creek Toros hosted the Bishop Kenny Crusaders at the school's Saint Johns County campus Friday, September 9, 2022.

Bishop Kenny at Plantation-American Heritage

Clearwater-Calvary Christian at Miami Central

Class 1M

Trinity Christian Academy's Colin Hurley (2) throws the ball for a touchdown pass during the first quarter of a regular season football game Friday, Sept. 23, 2022 at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville.

Miami-Westminster Christian at Chaminade-Madonna

Northside Christian at Trinity Christian

Class 4S

Buchholz Bobcats Creed Whittemore (2) scrambles for yards. Vanguard High School hosted Buchholz High School at Booster Stadium in Ocala, FL on Friday, September 23, 2022.  [Doug Engle/Ocala Star Banner]

Venice at Vero Beach

Lakeland at Buchholz

Class 3S

Mainland vs Flagler Palm Coast at Daytona Stadium in Daytona Beach, Monday, Sept.19, 2022.

Mainland at Dunbar

Pine Forest at Lake Wales

Class 2S

Carter Smith, the quarterback for Bishop Verot throws the ball for yards against Gulf Coast High School at Bishop Verot on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. Bishop Verot won.

Bishop Verot at Bradford

South Sumter at Florida High

Class 1S

Ocala Trinity Catholic running back Jamarcus Starkes (7) runs up the field after making a catch during a game against Gainesville High School, at Citizens Field in Gainesville FL. Sept. 8, 2022.   [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Ocala-Trinity Catholic at Naples-First Baptist Academy

John Carroll Catholic at North Florida Christian

Class 1R

Sneads at Williston

Northview at Union County

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