The following 10 teams are scary.
Nearly everyone in our Southeastern Pa. rankings absolutely smoked their opponent this week. More than anything, muscle stands out this year among the top teams in Southeastern Pa. football: The area appears to be strongest in the trenches. Some of the best defensive recruits in the country are playing in the Delaware Valley this season. Check them out while you can.
The final score of this week’s marquee matchup wasn’t a surprise: La Salle edged Imhotep Charter, 13-8. While most were split on who they thought would win this game, no one expected a shootout.
The biggest surprise this week — a truly rare occurrence — was St. Joseph’s Prep’s loss to fellow national power Milton out of Georgia. This was an upset, to be sure. And any loss just seems jarring when it’s the St. Joe’s Prep Hawks. But it’s nothing for St. Joe’s to hang its head over.
And, of course, there are plenty more national powers coming up for the Hawks. These sort of games are just getting started around the area.
Check our updated NBC Sports Philadelphia South Jersey High School Power Rankings every Sunday morning throughout the season. Rankings from last week are in parentheses.
1. St. Joseph’s Prep 1-1 (1)
No, this isn’t a misprint: The St. Joseph’s Prep football team did, in fact, lose a game this weekend. The Hawk’s fell 28-21 to Georgia’s Milton. It was just the third time in head coach Tim Roken’s three-year tenure (and first loss in almost two years) that the Hawks found themselves on the wrong side of a final score. This, however, is an occupational hazard for a team that plays a national schedule against some of the top programs in the country. The loss will likely pay dividends for the team going forward.
2. La Salle 3-0 (3)
In the area’s marquee matchup of the young season, La Salle topped Imhotep Charter, 13-8, Saturday afternoon. As expected, this was a defensive battle. The Explorers shut out Imhotep Charter in the second half and Rutgers recruit Sam Brown rushed for more than 100 yards to help carry La Salle to victory.
3. Imhotep Charter 2-1 (2)
It was a loss, but it was another sign of how far Imhotep has come as a program. In Saturday afternoon’s defeat to La Salle, Imhotep again established itself as one of the top teams in the area and should be very much in the mix in the state playoffs. Imhotep was actually leading La Salle into the fourth quarter until a decisive 79-yard, grind-it-out scoring drive sealed the win for La Salle.
4. North Penn 3-0 (4)
North Penn kept rolling in typical North Penn fashion this week. The Knights blanked Pennsbury, 35-0. They’ve outscored opponents 135-15 through three games but are set for a more formidable showdown next week against an Upper Dublin team also sporting a 3-0 record.
5. Archbishop Wood 3-0 (5)
The Vikings beat Cheltenham 46-0 on Friday night. Cornerback Johnny Pergine recorded two interceptions in the win. Archbishop Wood is another area team yet to be really tested but, like North Penn, that will change on Sept. 18 when the Vikings visit Malvern Prep.
6. Garnet Valley 3-0 (6)
Garnet Valley brushed aside Marple Newtown, 42-7, Friday night in a rematch of last year’s Central League championship game, which the Jaguars also won. Quarterback Max Busenkell has been a standout for Garnet Valley all season. Friday night he was aided by the Jaguars’ typical solid running game as Jason Bernard rushed for 68 yards and Ryan Saunders rushed for 74 yards.
7. Malvern Prep 1-1 (7)
After a hard-fought loss to La Salle in its opening game, Malvern Prep bounced back with a 46-0 win over West Catholic on Friday night. D’Angelo Stocker had two touchdowns — one rushing and one on a kickoff return — and the Friars forced four turnovers in the win.
8. Downingtown East 3-0 (8)
Quarterback Jamy Jenkins continued to shine and running back Bo Horvath had more than 200 all-purpose yards as Downingtown East topped Delaware Valley by a 39-14 score to continue its smooth start to this season.
9. Quakertown 3-0 (9)
After beating its first two opponents by a score of 42-7, Quakertown’s 41-13 win over Council Rock South on Friday night felt almost like a nail-biter (not really). Senior defensive tackle Freddie Retter already has 5.5 sacks for Quakertown. The Panthers will try to keep it rolling next week against Abington.
10. Neumann-Goretti 1-1 (10)
Goretti was idle this week as it prepares for a Sept. 16 matchup with Archbishop Ryan.
Check back every Sunday morning for NBC Sports Philadelphia's Southeastern Pennsylvania High School Power Rankings. For more, check out our High School Football hub page. For comments or questions, or if you have a high school sports story that needs to be told, email Chris Melchiorre at email@example.com.