First and Ten is back for a third week to bring you our Week Six State Football Rankings. As we have said in the past, we won’t hide behind our rankings on Twitter. In fact, we want to engage with you (and your team) about them. High school football is supposed to be fun, let’s make it that way.
The games begin to carry more and more weight each week. And some big games in week seven could really shake things up by next Sunday.
- Bellevue West (6-0). NSAA playoff points: 3. Another yawner for the Thunderbirds as they rolled over Norfolk 54-7 on Friday night. For as much as we want to yap about the BW offense (and it’s really good) that’s 29 points allowed through six games for the defense. And, we know what wins championships. The Omaha’s — South, North and Central — left for BW.
- Millard West (6-0). Points: 1. Toughest schedule in the class and it’s not close. Beat their third ranked team of the season on Friday when they defeated No. 9 Kearney 23-13 at Buell Stadium. The Cats spotted Kearney the first 13 points, but then allowed the just 49 yards the rest of them. The tests keep coming: a trip to Grand Island this Friday.
- Grand Island (6-0). Points: 5. Probably going to get some eye rolls here from the Metro for this slight adjustment the rankings, but given Kearney and Millard South’s similar losses to Millard West, we are moving GISH up. They haven’t allowed a point since week three and their starters played seven snaps on Friday — scoring four touchdowns — versus Omaha Bryan. Still, the point remains. Beat Millard West on Friday and you move up, lose and you fall behind the metro teams in the rankings.
- Omaha Burke (5-1). Points: 4. Two straight shut outs for the defending champion Bulldogs after they survived Omaha North in week four. They travel to Fremont this week in a game that will feature two of the top-three passers in Class A. Burke’s Reid Burke and the Tigers junior Jack Cooper.
- Lincoln Southeast (5-1). Points: 2. You can still almost look at the Knights as an unbeaten team — they had a game-winning field goal taken off the board because of an Omaha Burke offsides in week one. Running back Nick Halleen is the first Class A back to his 1,000 yards on the season and he stands at 1,078 through six games.
- Omaha Westside (5-1). Points: t6.,
- Millard South (5-1). Points: t6.
- Elkhorn South (4-2). Points: t9.
- Kearney (4-2). Points: t9.
- Omaha Creighton Prep (5-1). Points: 8.
Comments: The same ten as ranked last week and, as has been noted, it would take a major shake up to move another team in the rankings. The best cases coming up would likely be Lincoln Southwest and Lincoln East — who both have 4-2 marks. Southwest plays Kearney this Friday in what certainly could have an impact on the rankings. Millard South drops from 3rd to 7th after their close win over Elkhorn South, but both have games with Omaha Westside in the next three weeks that will have implications on the rankings and postseason.
- Omaha Skutt (6-0). NSAA playoff points: 3. The biggest game of the week in Class B will be in Waverly when the Skyhawks put their 19-game win streak to the test. Tyson Gordon and the Hawks have big game experience behind them. This one will go a long way toward playoff seeding.
- Scottsbluff (6-0). Points: 1. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. The Cats rolled past Class C-1 Sidney. Home games with Lexington and Alliance before a road trip to McCook closes out the season. Jacob Krul and Sebastian Harsh have combined for over 1,800 yards this year and could each hit 1,000 on Friday.
- Waverly (6-0). Points: 2. It’s not close the Vikings have played the most difficult schedule in the state — none of their opponents have a record below 3-3. A supreme test for Waverly awaits on Friday when Skutt comes to town. New Nebraska walk-on commitment Mason Nieman is sixth in the state in rushing.
- Grand Island Northwest (5-1). Points: t4. Banged up Vikings broke open a close game with Beatrice late in the third quarter and pulled away for a 38-20 win. It was 17-14 in the third quarter after the Orange score on their opening possession of the half. The Vikings, who played without standout Grady Griess on Friday due to a Naval Academy official visit, travel to York and host Crete before a week nine showdown with Hastings.
- Hastings (5-1). Points: t4. The blowout continue to pile up for Coach Charlie Shoemaker’s Tigers as they have now outscored their last four opponents 165-14 after a 41-0 blanking of York on Friday night. They must stay focused this week for a trip to Seward, which now has running back Gabe Knisley back from injury.
- Omaha Roncalli (4-2). Points: 6.
- Elkhorn Mt. Michael (5-1). Points: 7.
- Bennington (3-3). Points: 9.
- Norris (4-2). Points: 8.
- Seward (3-3). Points: 11.
Comments: Roncalli nudged past Elkhorn Mt. Michael 34-31 so the ratings don’t change. It looks like Mt. Michael and Bennington can work out their pre-playoff ranking in a week nine battle and the Badgers must remain ahead of Norris for their head-to-head win.
- Wahoo (6-0). NSAA playoff points: 4. Another week another shutout for the Warriors who face cross-town rival Neumann this Friday night in a game that should give them another litmus test of where they stand heading into the playoffs.
- Pierce (6-0). Points: 1. The Bluejays can make a case for being at the top spot given their season as well. And, quite frankly, it’s hard not to put them there after consecutive blankings over once-ranked Wayne and Columbus Lakeview.
- Adams Central (6-0). Points: 2. Patriots continue their impressive play and look poised for a district title game in week eight with Kearney Catholic. This week’s is Minden for Evan Johnson and company. Wins over three teams in this week’s rankings.
- Aurora (3-3). Points: t9. Making an adjustment on the Huskies after they posted back-to-back shutouts to start district play and Scotus knocked Neumann from the ranks of the unbeatens with a 34-33 win on Friday night. Quite simply, we think the Huskies (who have losses to Wahoo, AC and Class B, No. 4 Northwest) would be undefeated if they played Ashland-Greenwood’s schedule. They also have a 45-10 win over No. 9 Kearney Catholic.
- Ashland-Greenwood (6-0). Points: 5. Not much between the Jays and 9-0 after they shredded Falls City 38-7 on Friday night. Seven of the nine teams on their schedule are currently 3-3 which means their points could change for better or worse in the next three weeks.
- Columbus Scotus (5-1). Points: 3.
- Bishop Neumann (5-1). Points: 7
- Gothenburg (5-1). Points: 8.
- Kearney Catholic (5-1). Points: t6
- Ord (4-2). Points: t9.
Comments: Scotus remains sixth after they defeated then-No. 4 Wahoo Neumann 34-33 on Friday night, while the Cavaliers tumble to 7th and Aurora jumps based on schedule. Valentine (4-2) has a big opportunity the next two weeks with games against Gothenburg and Ord. Ogallala is the only 5-1 unranked team, but there is no room given their 28-19 loss to Kearney Catholic.
- St. Paul (6-0). NSAA playoff points: t3. The Wildcats just keep putting their head down and taking care of business. Have played up to Class C-1 Central City and won. Get another C-1 shot this week when they travel to O’Neill. Junior Eli Larsen leads the class in rushing at 1,073 yards. He’s average 9.6 yards carry.
- BRLD (6-0). Points: 6. The Wolverines aren’t hurting on offense as they scored 65 points on Friday in a win over Tekamah-Herman. Their week one win over Hartington Cedar Catholic get better each week. It’s Louisville this week before the finish with Fremont Bergan and Oakland-Craig.
- Oakland-Craig (6-0). Points: t7. The Knights keep picking off their opponents one at a time. They have given up just 39 points in six outings and the “playoffs” await: vs. Bergan this week; at Yutan; and at BRLD to finish. A pretty good report card to see how they stand heading into November.
- Shelby-Rising City (6-0). Points: 1. Survived Twin River and David City to start district play and still own the big 7-3 win over Battle Creek from the opening week. Host new-No. 9 and defending champion Centennial this week before road trips to North Bend and Aquinas to finish the season. Another team that will have a good feel about who they are heading to the playoffs.
- Aquinas Catholic (5-1). Points: t7. Since losing to Columbus Scotus on opening night, the Monarchs have given coach Ron Mimmick his 300th career win and allowed 3, 14, 6, 0 and 0 points in five games. Will travel to North Bend Central this week.
- Sutton (5-1). Points: 2.
- Fremont Archbishop Bergan (6-0). Points: t3.
- Battle Creek (5-1). Points: 9.
- Centennial (3-3). Points: 11
- Doniphan-Trumbull (5-1). Points: 5
Comments: In comes Centennial after their win over then-No 8 North Bend Central. The Broncos last four opponents are 20-4 and they face 6-0 SRC this week. Sutton does not drop for a 27-14 loss to Kearney Catholic and remains ahead of Bergan based on the result with common opponent Wilber-Clatonia (4-2), who has a stranglehold on District 1.
- Howells-Dodge (5-0). Points: 1.
- Wakefield (4-1). Points: t7 (ineligible for playoffs)
- Creighton (4-1). Points: t14.
- BDS (5-0). Points: 2.
- Dundy County-Stratton (5-0). Points: 11.
- Elm Creek (5-0). Points: 3.
- Wisner-Pilger (5-0). Points: 6.
- Cambridge (5-0). Points: t14.
- Burwell (4-1). Points: t8
- Neligh-Oakdale (4-1). Points: 12.
Comments: The top-nine are unchanged after all won this week. Elm Creek backed up their win over Burwell by escaping South Loup 14-12. East Butler falls out after an 18-12 loss to Cross County (2-3). Still no room for unbeaten Sutherland (5-0), but they do have a 38-34 win over South Loup we will continue to watch. Also no place for 4-1’s Ravenna and Fullerton (t4 in point standings) based on Cambridge’s 74-40 win over Ravenna in the opener.
- Humphrey St. Francis (5-0). NSAA playoff points: t2.
- Falls City Sacred Heart (5-0). Points: t11.
- Bloomfield (5-0). Points: 1
- CWCE (5-0). Points: t2.
- Central Valley (5-0). Points: t2.
- Sandhills/Thedford (5-0). Points: t11.
- Garden County (6-0). Points: 10.
- Johnson-Brock (4-1). Points: t2.
- Kenesaw (4-1). Points: t8.
- Overton (3-2). Points: t9.
Comments: Ten games, ten wins for the Class D-2 top-10 last week. Unbeaten and unranked: Plainview. But, the Pirates will make a strong case this week when they play Riverside (4-1) and end the season with a game against Humphrey St. Francis.
- Harvard (6-0). NSAA playoff points: t1.
- McCool Junction (6-0). Points: t1.
- Humphrey/Lindsay HF (4-1). Points: t6 (ineligible for playoffs)
- Creek Valley (6-0). Points: t1.
- Cody-Kilgore (5-0). Points: 4.
- Sioux County (5-0). Points: 10.
- Eustis-Farnam (4-2). Points: 13.
- GI Heartland Lutheran (4-1). Points: t6.
- Maywood-Hayes Center (3-2). Points: 5.
- Wilcox-Hildreth (4-1). Points: 11
Comments: Crawford drops out after a second straight loss to an undefeated as they lost to Cody-Kilgore, 51-13. We now zone in on the the bottom of this class after the five undefeated teams and Humphrey/LHF. We have shake ups after Heartland Lutheran lost to Harvard and Eustis-Farnam beat Maywood-Hayes Center. That result a week after MHC defeated defending champ Wilcox-Hildreth. Wilcox-Hildreth and Eustis-Farnam get to settle the ranking on the field on Friday.