Weekly Associated Press Poll Drops Reitz Down After Loss
Friday night's Mater Dei versus Reitz game was an instant classic that fans on both sides will remember for a long time. Unfortunately, someone had to lose, and this time around that someone was the Panthers 29-28, causing a ripple effect that has shown itself in this week's Associated Press state rankings.
For the first time in the rivalry's storied history, both team's entered the game undefeated and ranked number one in their respective classes. Now that the game is over, only one remains undefeated (obviously) and number one in their respective class.
After spending the entire season ranked number one in Class 4A, the loss to Mater Dei dropped the Panthers to number four in this week's rankings, making room for Lowell to take the top spot.
Ask anyone in Evansville that witness the game against the Wildcats, and they'll tell you Reitz should still be considered the number one team in the state in 4A. They had the Wildcats on the ropes in the second half, and had it not be for a fumble with less than a minute to go in the game that sealed it for Mater Dei, Reitz had a legitimate shot to come back and win that game. My guess is that the one loss coupled with the fact it was against a team two classes smaller was enough for several voters (some of whom have probably never seen a Reitz or Mater Dei game in person) was enough to drop them down. Fair? Probably not, but it is what it is whether we agree with it or not.
Elsewhere in Class 4A, Jasper remains number five after a 27-7 win over Mt. Vernon to finish the season at 8-1, and claim the Big Eight Conference title. Harrison remains in the top 15 (number 13 to be exact) after finishing with a winning record for the first time since 2004, and their first with seven wins since 1998.
In Class 3A, the Gibson Southern Titans held firm to the number one spot receiving 15 of 16 first place votes after another dominating 50-0 performance against Southridge (ranked 15th in 3A this week) to end the regular season and claim the Pocket Athletic Conference title. Right behind them at number two sits the Heritage Hills Patriots who finished with an 8-1 record. Their only loss of the season coming at the hands of Gibson Southern.
In 2A, the aforementioned Mater Dei Wildcats remain the top dogs (or, cats?) after their thrilling win over west side rival, the Reitz Panthers.