1- Charlotte Christian (5-0)
Previous Ranking: No. 1
This Week: Country Day (4-2)
The Knights were a study in efficiency in last week’s 62-0 win over previously unbeaten High Point Christian. Garrett Shrader was 13-of-16 for 219 yards and five touchdowns. Henry Rutledge ran for 128 yards on three carries, Ben Williams scored twice and the Knights run game averaged 23 yards per carry. In total, the Knights ran 29 plays and gained 495 yards (17.1 yards per play). The defense has allowed seven points all season so far, and there isn’t a better private school in the state.
2- Myers Park (5-0)
Previous Ranking: No. 2
This Week: Butler (3-2)
Myers Park led 42-0 at the half and beat Rocky River relentlessly in a 56-0 win to get to 6-0 for the third straight season. This week it was Moose Muhammad starring, but with Andre Francois, Elijah Bowick and Muhammad at receiver and a trio of capable running backs under the guidance of quarterback Drake Maye, this offense is lethal. And, oh yeah, the defense has allowed 34 points this season, which is the fewest in 4-AA football across the state. The Mustangs beat Butler in the playoffs last year, but a second straight win would only solidify that they are the new team to beat.
3- Charlotte Catholic (5-1)
Previous Ranking: No. 3
This week: Sun Valley (5-1)
The Cougars owned the Southern Carolinas Conference last season and they made a strong statement on Friday with a 20-0 shutout of previously unbeaten Weddington a week after escaping upstart Monroe. Nick King and Kevin Coss wreaked havoc on the Warrior offense, shutting Weddington out for the first time since 2013. This week they have Sun Valley and all-American quarterback Sam Howell to contend with, but a win pushes Catholic one step closer to a repeat title.
4- Providence Day (3-3)
Previous Ranking: No. 7
This week: Christ the King (0-7)
The Chargers showed what they can do in a must-win game over Charlotte Latin this week. Porter Rooks made all of the big plays and scored three touchdowns, but Cody Cater made some big plays when he needed to and the defense shut down the Latin attack in the second half. After a slow start the Chargers are where they should be and gaining momentum.
5- Butler (4-2)
Previous Ranking: No. 5
This week: Myers Park (6-0)
The bad news is the Bulldogs have taken deficits or tie games late into the fourth quarter each of the past two weeks against teams they probably should have handled easier. The good news is they’ve won both. Last week they got up 28-7 on Porter Ridge only to have the Pirates tie the game before Keyon Lesane won it. The Bulldogs do not have the luxury of being inconsistent this week with mighty Myers Park rolling in. No 4-AA team has given up fewer points, and the Mustang offense could run Butler off the field. However, a win would silence that talk and get Butler’s name back in the marquee.
6- Charlotte Latin (4-2)
Previous Ranking: No. 4
This Week: Covenant Day (4-2)
The Hawks looked to turn the momentum with a touchdown right before half, but five turnovers ultimately doomed their upset bid over Providence Day. But there’s a lot to like about this team. Carter Stockwell runs hard, sophomore quarterback Jake Helfrich looks the part and completed 20 passes in the loss and the defense is stout. This week they get Covenant Day, who has won four straight. However, the Lions schedule hasn’t been particularly grueling. We’ll see, but I expect Latin to get right back up this week.
7- Country Day (4-2)
Previous Ranking: No. 6
This week: at Charlotte Christian (5-0)
The Bucs are starting to play some really good football, but still drop a spot this week just based on movement ahead of them. Last week, they got 214 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Quentin Cooper and blew out Rabun Gap, 44-6. This week, it will be a little bit different. Charlotte Christian is putting up ridiculous numbers on both sides of the ball and will be a major challenge, and especially so at home.
Also receiving votes: Independence (4-2); Covenant Day (4-2)
– Andrew Stark