One of the nation’s top-10 teams will lose one of only 10 games it will play in 2019 because of the impending landfall of Hurricane Dorian.
IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), ranked No. 7 in the USA TODAY Super 25, was scheduled to face off against Norland High School (Miami, Fla.) on Friday night. First the game time was moved up to avoid Hurricane Dorian’s potential strike, then on Thursday it was cancelled altogether.
As reported by High School Football America and 247Sports’ John Garcia Jr., the two teams cancelled their Friday game out of safety concerns early Thursday evening, less than 24 hours before the scheduled kick off.
Dropping Norland from the schedule, even in weather-forced conditions, is no small matter for IMG. The Ascenders cruised to a 46-7 opening week victory against a talented Venice (Fla.) squad, but Norland was to be one of just two more games before IMG goes on the road to play two top-10 teams in the Northeast; first No. 11 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Penn.) and then No. 5 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.).
Those games are likely to be the ones that decide the larger trajectory of IMG’s season, whether the Ascenders make a true push toward a first-ever Super 25 national title or fight through another season farther down the top-10 … or even Super 25. But IMG also needs games against the Norland’s and Northwestern’s (Miami, Fla.) of the world just to have enough victories to stack up against teams that play more games. After all, how could one rank a 9-0 IMG team ahead of a 16-0 Texas or California state champion?
Now we may find out because of Hurricane Dorian.