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Top 25 MIAA Football Rankings

After a season-ending knee injury limited him to just 17 carries in 2015, running back Devin DeMeritt says he's "100 percent" headed into this season. Todd Maddock for ESPNBoston.com

Our preseason rankings of the best teams in the state, as selected by our panel of staff writers and correspondents. (Updated 9/19)

1. Duxbury (2-0; Last Week – 3) Say what you will about a Division 2 program being ranked above the top names in the state, but Duxbury did dismantle D1 power Bridgewater-Raynham one week before the Trojans snapped Xaverian’s 25-game winning streak on the road.

2. Xaverian (1-1; Last Week – 1) The defending champs wound up on the wrong side of a second consecutive close contest, losing 22-21 to Bridgewater-Raynham last Friday night. There doesn’t seem to be the same air of invincibility surrounding this year’s Xaverian team.

3. Everett (1-1; Last Week – 2) After taking care of business with a 51-20 win over New Bedford in Week 2, Everett will prepare to run a gauntlet with games against St. John’s Prep and Billerica scheduled over the next two weeks.

4. Central Catholic (2-0; Last Week – 4) With a stellar defense to compliment Bret Edwards and a capable offense, the Raiders are true D1 State Title contenders. A narrow 21-14 victory at St. John’s Prep last Saturday proved as much.

5. Billerica (2-0; Last Week – 5) Another team with an impressive win in Week 2, the Indians shut down a high-powered Andover offense for three quarters before holding on in the face of a late comeback effort.

6. BC High (1-0; Last Week – 6) Idle from game action this week, the Eagles will prepare for a tough stretch against Leominster and Brockton in Weeks 3 and 4. Star running back Danny Abraham will look to follow up a breakout game that helped him earn an offer from Boston College.

7. Bridgewater-Raynham (1-1; Last Week – 22) With head coach Dan Buron back on the sidelines, the Trojans pulled off an incredible upset to down Xaverian 22-21 last Friday night.

8. St. John's (Shrewsbury) (2-0; Last Week – 10) The Pioneers dominated the second half to down Shepherd Hill 44-20 last Friday in a reverse of their second half collapse during a narrow win over Catholic Memorial in Week 1. This team is capable of great things if they can put together 44 minutes of solid football.

9. Leominster (2-0; Last Week – 8) Blue Devils survived a scare at the hands of regional rival Oakmont, and held on for a 30-20 victory last Friday. Up next is a huge road test at BC High.

10. St. John's Prep (1-1; Last Week – 7) The future is bright for Prep with junior quarterback Mike Yarin flashing plenty of upside, but the Eagles struggled at home against another elite opponent, as they fell 21-14 to Central Catholic last Saturday.

11. Springfield Central (1-1; Last Week – 14) After losing in a 48-40 shootout against La Salle Academy (R.I.) in their opener, the Golden Eagles took out their frustrations with a 53-6 drubbing of East Longmeadow.

12. Catholic Memorial (1-1; Last Week – 12) Knights rode the momentum of a strong finish at St. John’s (Shrewsbury) last week, as they steamrolled Hartford (Vt.), 34-6, on the road last Friday.

13. Holliston (2-0; Last Week – 14) The Panthers played up against Division 1A program Lincoln-Sudbury this week and handled the Warriors by a final of 30-20.

14. Brockton (2-0; Last Week – 11) Managing just 14 points in a narrow overtime win over Weymouth certainly raises some red flags for the Boxers, who will lean on a solid running attack all year, but might not have the versatility to compete with the state’s elite.

15. King Philip (2-0; Last Week – 18) With convincing wins over two conference rivals in North Attleborough and Foxborough, the Warriors are proving that they’re not just contenders for the Kelley-Rex Division Title, but a potential Division 1A South Title this year.

16. Tewksbury (2-0; Last Week – 17) Brian Aylward’s creative offense continued to put points on the board, but the Redmen were even more impressive defensively during a 21-0 shutout of Methuen last Friday.

17. Reading (1-1; Last Week – 16) The Rockets couldn’t get much going against Central Catholic’s loaded defense in Week 1, but they found plenty of running room during a 37-13 victory over Acton-Boxborough this past Friday.

18. Andover (0-2; Last Week – 9) Strength of schedule must be considered, but the Golden Warriors’ inability to stop the run or get much of a ground attack going over their first two contests should be quite disconcerting for Andover fans.

19. Milton (2-0; Last Week – 19) “Demball” appears to be alive and well, as Milton pasted Quincy 34-0 in another impressive offensive performance. Up next for the Wildcats is a tough test at Walpole.

20. North Attleborough (1-1; Last Week – 20) Chad Peterson and company found their rhythm in Week 2 with a 34-0 pasting of regional rival Bishop Feehan.

21. Mansfield (1-1; Last Week – 23) The Hornets bounced back in a big way after dropping an out-of-state tilt, as they handled an excellent Braintree team 34-10 on the Wamps home turf.

22. Haverhill (1-1; Last Week – NA) Utilizing a couple of transfers from North Andover along with a stocked senior class, the Hillies dominated the Scarlet Knights 34-7 in a tough road environment last Friday.

23. Melrose (1-1; Last Week – 15) The Red Raiders had Waltham’s offense pinned down throughout most of their Week 2 tilt, but a 92-yard kick return touchdown from senior Anthony DiGenova in the game’s final minute handed Melrose a stunning 15-14 defeat.

24. Danvers (2-0; Last Week – 24) The Falcons continued to pile up yards on the ground in a 30-14 win over Lynnfield in Week 2. They’ll host rival Marblehead next Friday in a litmus test for both programs.

25. Marshfield (2-0; Last Week – NA) While the Rams graduated a ton of talent last spring, one constant remains in head coach Lou Silva, and so far he’s guided this young group to a huge win over Cranston (R.I.) and a 21-13 victory at Stoughton.

Last 10 Out: Braintree (1-1), Dartmouth (2-0), Falmouth (2-0), Grafton (2-0), Hanover (2-0), Marblehead (2-0), Nashoba (1-1), Natick (2-0), Shrewsbury (1-1), Westford Academy (2-0)