Top-5 shakeup headlines Kalamazoo-area Week 8 high school football power rankings
The home stretch of the high school football season has arrived, as the top teams from across Michigan look to finish their season with two strong performances and cement their status as elite.
The Kalamazoo area is well-represented in the latest Associated Press prep football rankings, with Vicksburg checking in at No. 7 in Division 4, Constantine at no. 2 in Section 6, Lawton at number 4 in division 7, Centreville at 7-nation No7 in League 8, White Pigeon At No 9 in Quarter 8, and Martin at 6-player Nos.
But where do these top-notch teams rank among the areas top teams in all divisions?
Vicksburg, Martin, Kalamazoo United, and Paw Paw were the areas top teams in the seventh edition of the prep power rankings, with some of these teams coming off impressive victories in Week 7.
Vicksburg and Martin both made moves in the top half of the rankings, with the Bulldogs climbing to No. 3 and the Martins making their first appearance in this year's top five.
There is still plenty of time for teams to make their mark, but heres where they are heading into Week 8.
On the bubble: Three Rivers (4-3), Delton Kellogg (4-2), Denton Kelloggingg (5-2).
10. Paw Paw (5-2)
Last weeks ranking: Honorable mention
Paw Paw is now in the top 10 after Fridays 35-18 victory over Niles thanks to a big game from senior running back Cullen Sylvester, who ran for more than 140 yards and three touchdowns, threw eagle pass for 87 yards, and intercepted two passes on defense.
The Red Wolves Week 1 overtime loss to Three Rivers was a welcome start to the season, but they will have lacked luster by visiting Vicksburg and hosting Plainwell in the final two weeks of the regular season.
9. White Pigeon (6-1) (6-1), White Petrel (6-2, White Peregrine (6-3, Red Percy, 6-1) White Elk (6-4, Black Percegrino (6-5, Blue Perch, 6-5).
Last weeks ranking: No. 8 in the nation.
White Pigeon crushed Cassopolis 32-8 in a Week 7 thriller to boost the Chiefs' chances of hosting saturday's Round 1 playoff game. Dylan Carper added 103 yards and nine tackles (2 for loss), while Jack Davidson churned out 163 yards on the ground, in typical White Pigeon fashion, throwing for 334 yards while holding Cassopolis to 118 yards of offense. The Chiefs style of smashmouth football is built for the playoffs, when Michigans weather tends to get a bit dreary, and Friday skepticism about possible rain showers is reassuring for White PigeonS matchup at White Cloud.
(Pr (#), Kalamazoo United (5-2)
Last weeks ranking: No. 9 (last week's).
After suffering defeats to a pair of teams that are now 6-1 (Whitehall and Stevensville Lakeshore), United has found its stride over the last five games, and the recent two sweeping victories over Parchment and Watervliet have been especially impressive. The Titans are strong in all three phases of the game, with quarterback Will Zuiderveen and running back Drew Finley leading a balanced offense, defensive lineman Brandon DeVries and cornerback Isaac Backman leading an aggressive defense, and wide receiver/defensive back/return man Willem de Jong doing 'a little bit of everything', including finding the end zone on kick returns.
United welcomes undefeated Constantine to the SAC Lakeshore championship this week.
7. Plainwell (5-2)
Last weeks ranking: No. 4 (last week's assessment)
Plainwells ground game against an impressive Vicksburg defense failed to hold its ground, and now, after a 4-0 start, the Trojans are 1-2 in their last three games. Week 8 presents a good opportunity for the Trojans to turn things around, as Plainwell hosts 'Three Rivers' team that can light up the scoreboard, but struggles to stop the run. Plainwells playoff ticket would be much more secure if it beat the Wildcats.
(Took, Mine, (Count,), (Contin) (B) () Centreville (6-1) Centretown (6-1), Centreborough (6-5), Centerville (5-2) Centrebourg (6-11), centreville (1-6), centresville, centreburg (6-9), centerville (7-1).
Last weeks ranking: No. 6.
Centrevilles Week 7 forfeit victory over Comstock may be a relief for the Bulldogs, who are preparing to face one of the toughest opponents theyll see all year in Muskegon Catholic Central. After overcoming White Pigeon and Cassopolis by scores of multiples in Weeks 5 and 6, the Bulldogs should be rested and confident for the trip to Muskegon.
5. Martin (7-0)
Last weeks ranking: No. 7 (last week's top 7)
The Clippers claimed their biggest win of the year, and perhaps the most regular-season victory since moving to 8-player football in 2019, as they beat perennial power Mendon 28-20 to claim a share of league title. J.R. Hildebrand is just as good as Jesse Hilderbrand, even though hes only a junior. Quarterback was regarded as ambiguous heading into the season as the Clippers sought to replace all-stater Gabe Meyers. The Clippers should be considered a state championship contender in Division 1 of the 8-man game if they have dozens of weapons around Hildebrand, as well as stout defense.
4. Constantine (7-0)
Last weeks ranking: No. 3 in the world.
Constantine defeated Allegan to claim yet another victory last week, and the Falcons are currently outscoring their opponents by an average of 34,9 points per game. The Falcons have been progressively tougher in the past month, with a Week 5 victory over Parchment and securing's Week 6 victory at Watervliet, but on Friday they host, their toughest test yet, courtesy of sweeping 4-0 victory against -kalamazoo United, which has won five consecutive. A win will not only give Constantine a share of the conference title, but it will also give him he best chance at two home games to start the playoffs.
3. Vicksburg (6-1) Vickerstown (6-1 Vickingsburg 6-1) Vikburg (6-2 VicKsburg 6-1
No. 4 last weeks ranking: No 4.
Vicksburg picked up its biggest win of the season in Week 7, defeating Plainwell 35-6, marking their best start since 2017. The Bulldogs have a balanced offense, with quarterback Evan Anderson and receivers Logan Jones, Grant Anderson, and Jim Cutshaw forming shrewd passing attacks, as well as opulent junior running back tandem of Bo Skidmore and Xavier Wadley. Vicksburg will have to be firing on all cylinders once again this week for a home game against tame Paw Paw team that is finding its footing.
2. Lawton (7-0)
Last weeks ranking: No. 2.
Lawton secured its fourth shutout of the season in the 49-0 victory over Galesburg-Augusta after giving up 40 points to a talented Montrose team last week. Running back Jake Rueff ran for two touchdowns, giving him 26 on the year, and promising sophomore quarterback Aiden OBrien completed 8 of 11 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown in relief of starter Landon Motter.
Lawton plays a home game this week against 'Schoolcraft', which hasnt lost to the Blue Devils since 1986 and has eliminated them from the playoffs each of the previous two years.
1. Portage Central (5-2)
Last weeks ranking: No. 1
While it didnt have the intensity of the Mustangs fourth-quarter comebacks against Battle Creek Lakeview and St. Joseph the past two weeks, Fridays 33-17 victory over rival Portage Northern was a huge deal for the Portages Central players and fans, and it extended the team s winning streak to three games. Battle Creek Central and Battle creek Harper Creek will play their final two matches on the road, and neither one is a certainty, but if they win both, they would go incredibly long way toward securing home-field advantage for at least one round of the playoffs.
More high school football coverage
Vote for Kalamazoo-area prep football Player of the Week from Week 7 of 2021 season.
The Kalamazoo-area high school football playoff picture heading into Week 8 is looking bleak.
The Associated Press high school football state rankings through Week 7 in Michigan reveal the top ten teams in the nation.
Rockford, Muskegon, and Muskogee rise to the top 10 in new-look top ten for Week 8.
Stunning defeats, thrilling comebacks are among the highlights of Kalamazoo-area Week 7 prep football action.
Portage Central football overcomes early setbacks, snaps a 4-game losing streak to rival Northern Athletics.