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Despite an undefeated start to the season, the RivalsHigh 100 Preseason No. 1-ranked Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita will slide down to the No. 35 spot in the national rankings this week.
Santa Margarita finished off a quality 35-27 victory over then-No. 70 Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure and looked likely to hold onto its No. 2 national ranking. But that all changed Saturday evening as the school released the news that its star quarterback Johnny Stanton would be lost for the year with a torn ACL.
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Stanton, the No. 14 dual-threat quarterback ranked by Rivals.com and Nebraska commit, was the key cog in an offensive unit that helped win a CIF Division I Bowl last season. Santa Margarita is poised to challenge for an Open Division Bowl bid and potential National Championship if it is able to finish the current year unbeaten, but that is much more unlikely without Stanton.
On the season, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Stanton had completed 59 of 88 passes for 949 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also accounted for 386 yards rushing on 47 carries with eight touchdowns.
In Friday's victory, Stanton surpassed current Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer for the all-time total offensive leader with the program, finishing his career with 5,900 total yards. He had 3,763 yards passing and 2,137 rushing during his time on the field.
Stanton was the first quarterback at Santa Margarita to ever rush for 1,000 yards in a single season as he totaled 1,528 as a junior en route to becoming the All-Trinity League Most Valuable Player, All-CIF-SS Offensive Player of the Year and garnering All-State honors.
Santa Margarita had already suffered the transfer of three-star offensive lineman Erik Bunte, starting wide receiver Sean Modster, and backup running back Alex Suchesk to Mission Viejo (Calif.) in the last month.
The bulk of the offensive load will fall onto running back Ryan Wolpin for the remainder of the season.
Wolpin currently has 728 yards rushing on 87 carries with 12 touchdowns. His 200-yard effort against St. Bonaventure was a season high.
Surgery for Stanton's injury has not been scheduled but is pending.
Santa Margarita is idle this week and opens Trinity League play the first weekend of October against Anaheim (Calif.) Servite.
KLEPAL'S CAREER OVER: Tampa (Fla.) Plant four-star offensive lineman Richy Klepal received devastating news this week as an MRI revealed spots on his brain that will prematurely end his football career.
The 6-foot-5 Florida State commit suffered what he estimated to be his fifth concussion on Sept. 7 against River Ridge (La.) John Curtis and had reoccurring dizziness this past week, which prompted him to receive medical attention.
Klepal told Warchant.com that Florida State said it still planned to honor his scholarship.
Plant head coach Robert Weiner told the site that while the process has been hard, the fact that Florida State plans to stand by Klepal meant a lot.
"(Coach Jimbo Fisher) treated Richy like he was already part of the team," Weiner said. "It's been a roller coaster day for Richy, but he is at a real emotional high now, knowing that he can continue his education at Florida State."
Plant is currently the No. 70 team in the RivalsHigh 100. The team was idle this week and is set to resume its season on Sept. 28 at Tampa (Fla.) Tampa Bay Tech.
MOVING INTO THE RANKINGS: There will be a dozen new teams breaking into the national rankings this week, but for the first time in a month no new team will start inside the Top 50.
The highest debut will be at No. 65 as Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward has staked its claim to the No. 4 spot in Ohio.
The Cleveland-area team finished No. 3 in the RivalsHigh 100 after the 2010 season and has started this season with five consecutive wins, outscoring its opponents 228-63. This past week it defeated Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline, 45-21, and will travel to play Erie (Pa.) McDowell this coming Friday.
Joining St. Edward in the rankings this week is a new top team in Michigan, Muskegon, which used its early season victory over Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary to vault into the top spot after St. Mary defeated the former No. 9 team in the nation, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech. Muskegon has quality wins over Lowell (Mich.) High and Rockford (Mich.) High to go along with its victory of St. Mary and will start the week at No. 74. St. Mary will enter the rankings at No. 77 just ahead of Cass Tech, which fell 69 places to No. 78.
Waco (Texas) Midway, College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated, Encino (Calif.) Crespi, Elk Grove (Calif.) High, Owasso (Okla.) High, and Suwannee (Ga.) North Gwinnett are all making initial entries into the rankings this week.
THREE TEAMS RETURN: Familiar names return to the national rankings this week as Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, Broken Arrow (Okla.) High, and Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County are all checking back into the rankings after a brief exit.
St. Thomas Aquinas began the season nationally ranked and climbed inside the Top 25 before falling 20-10 to Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep two weeks ago. The loss knocked the Raiders out of the national rankings, but as can happen any week with the RivalsHigh 100, the class and state rankings of Aquinas improved, pushing the Raiders back into the national rankings.
Broken Arrow re-joins the rankings as a cluster of Oklahoma teams have failed to separate from one another but all have shown merits of national rankings.
Broken Arrow is the third-ranked team in the state behind Tulsa (Okla.) Union and Jenks (Okla.) High but remains ahead of Owasso (Okla.) High. The quartet have all played overlapping games against each other and each has at least one victory in the series. With only a separation game remaining between Jenks and Broken Arrow, this is a knot that will likely only become undone come playoffs.
Colquitt County is the No. 8 team in Georgia, and that was good enough to reclaim the No. 100 spot in the national rankings this week.
After starting the season inside the RivalsHigh 100, the rankings regulars quickly fell as a loss in the Corky Kell Classic to Suwannee (Ga.) North Gwinnett was its undoing. As the season has progressed, the loss to North Gwinnett has become less of a stain as the play in the state has elevated both teams into the back end of the rankings.
ON THE SLIDE: Suffering a 30-28 loss this week to College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated continued to push Austin (Texas) Lake Travis down the national rankings.
Lake Travis had been as high as No. 10 in the RivalsHigh 100, but an uninspiring victory last week moved the program back to No. 16. The latest setback pushes the five-time defending state champions to No. 88.
The top team in Texas has been a revolving door this season as Southlake (Texas) Carroll, Dallas (Texas) Skyline, and Lake Travis have all had a chance but fell short. Katy (Texas) High has held the top position each of the last two weeks with DeSoto (Texas) High and Allen (Texas) High charging hard.
This week there are 16 teams from Texas in the RivalsHigh 100 -- tying a single week record -- with Lake Travis clinging to the last spot.
KEEP AN EYE ON ... : ... how upstart teams continue to play.
For the first time, Colleyville (Texas) Heritage will enter its contest with Euless (Texas) Trinity favored to win. Seeing how the No. 39-ranked team handles the pressure of being the hunted and not the hunter will be interesting.
After knocking off Loganville (Ga.) Grayson two weeks ago, Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview escaped with a 20-18 victory over Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer on a missed field goal at the end of regulation. Parkview also suffered the loss of its starting quarterback. It will be tested this week against Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood and could see its ranking evaporate with a loss at the hands of the Broncos.
Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary does not have time to celebrate its 13-6 victory over Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech as the team will be back on the field this week against another ranked opponent, No. 84 Birmingham (Mich.) Brother Rice.
After knocking off Austin (Texas) Lake Travis, the College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated program can ill-afford an emotional letdown as it will host Lufkin (Texas) High this coming Friday. Lufkin is not quite at the same level it was a few seasons back, but after suffering a demoralizing 45-14 loss to Longview (Texas) High this week, the program will be playing for pride and energized to regain its respect.
ON HIS SHOULDERS: A spot usually saved for the top individual performance will be granted to a stellar team effort as the Hoover (Ala.) High defense held Alabama commit Bo Scarbrough to just 84 yards on 18 rushing attempts in a 55-7 victory Friday night.
The Buccaneers stifled the previously unbeaten Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Northridge team from start to finish, allowing just nine first downs all evening and sacking the quarterback for minus-18 yards to the teams rushing total.
The defense will not get credit for a shutout, but the lone score on the evening was when Northridge returned a fumble for a score.
The dominating performance pushed Hoover into the Top 10 nationally as the No. 8 school in the country.
ON TAP THIS WEEK: With the out-of-state battles all but finished for the season, there are fewer nationally ranked teams going after one another each and every week. This week there will be just five games featuring two nationally ranked teams playing one another.
No. 12 Allen (Texas) High will travel to No. 75 Coppell (Texas) High; No. 27 Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern will host No. 58 Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe; No. 30 Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco leaves the state to play No. 50 Sandy (Utah) Jordan; No. 39 Colleyville (Texas) Heritage is favored when it hosts No. 64 Euless (Texas) Trinity; and No. 77 Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary will be tested at home by No. 84 Birmingham (Mich.) Brother Rice.
There are other ranked teams that have games of national interest and will receive plenty of attention as well.
No. 6 Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County opens region play against Valdosta (Ga.) High; No. 8 Hoover (Ala.) High will travel to its rival Vestavia Hills (Ala.) High; upstart No. 13 Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne will play unbeaten Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei; No. 42 Miami (Fla.) Central comes off a bye to play Miami (Fla.) Columbus; No. 57 Mesquite (Texas) High will play previously ranked Longview (Texas) High; No. 68 Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview will try to get passt Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood; and No. 90 Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe will try to keep its magic going against previously ranked Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy.
Dallas Jackson is the High School Football analyst for Rivals.com. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
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