(After games of Saturday, Oct. 6)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Writeups by Mark Tennis, Ronnie Flores, Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens)
1. (1) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 6-0
Why This Ranking: There’s no change for the Spartans when it comes to their state ranking after they improved their winning streak against California teams to 46. With three of those wins coming in the last three CIF Open Division state bowl games, it’s hard to argue for anyone else at the top until that loss occurs.
Weekend Result: Several teams in the East Bay Athletic League – such as Foothill, San Ramon Valley, California and Monte Vista – are always dangerous so the Spartans “only” winning by 34-17 over Foothill may or may not be an indication of things to come. Foothill has certainly been up-and-down with a 21-14 win two weeks ago against Monte Vista but a 36-7 loss to California, and that Monte Vista win looks better too since the Mustangs beat California last weekend. Still, there was never much danger that the Spartans would lose. Tiapepe Vitale rambled for four more touchdowns and had 149 yards rushing. Linebacking star Michael Hutchings also scored on the ground with a 7-yard run.
Up Next: The team’s seven-week stretch of facing East Bay Athletic League opponents officially in non-league games continues Friday at Amador Valley of Pleasanton. The Dons (3-3) beat Livermore 34-20 last Friday. Two of their losses have come to San Ramon Valley and California and they also have yet to play either Foothill or Monte Vista.
2. (2) SANTA MARGARITA (RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA) 6-0
Why This Ranking: The “life without quarterback Johnny Stanton” era began in grand style and although the Eagles didn’t light up the scoreboard, and started slow in a win over visiting Anaheim Servite, the defense looked very sharp and the drop-off was not as much a factor as some had speculated and Eagles’ faithful had feared. Still, to hold their spot by staying unbeaten in the ultra-tough Trinity League is something only the future will tell.
Weekend Result: A 21-0 blanking of Servite allowed the Eagles to break a seven-game losing streak to the Friars and open the season 6-0 for the first time since 2006 and fifth time overall. Junior Josh Canty won the starting quarterback job in practices and led the team to a 7-0 halftime lead despite only passing for 29 yards with two interceptions. Sophomore Kyle Sweet came on in the third quarter, and according to observers Sweet looked the more comfortable of the two. He completed 6 of 7 passes for 36 yards, and rushed 11 times for 52 yards with a touchdown that closed out the scoring. Ryan Wolpin, who missed three days of school with the flu and was not at full strength, rushed 14 times for a season-low 64 yards and two touchdowns. The two scores gave him 50 in his Eagles’ career.
Up Next: Coach Harry Welch probably has the answer to the question but so far he hasn’t made it official, and might not until Thursday. The question is will Canty or Sweet get the nod against a No. 13 Mater Dei team licking its chops at the possibility of facing a less than 100-percent Eagles’ squad this Friday night at Saddleback College.
3. (3) VISTA MURRIETA (MURRIETA) 6-0
Why This Ranking: For the second week in a row, the Broncos jumped out to a big early lead and cruised to a victory to move to 6-0 on the year. If they win out all the way through the CIF Southern Section Inland Division, they might have the edge over No. 4 Narbonne to play in the CIF Southern California Open Division bowl game.
Weekend Result: Southwestern League play got underway as the Broncos headed on the road to take on Temecula Valley of Temecula and picked up a 58-14 win. Nick Stevens passed for 175 yards and three touchdowns while Keshawn Holmes ran for 120 yards and three touchdowns. Vista Murrieta scored 37 points in the second quarter alone before a scoreless second half that was played with a running clock.
Up Next: After two road games, head coach Coley Candaele’s squad returns home Friday night to take on Great Oak of Temecula in what could be their third straight game with a running clock in the second half.
4. (4) NARBONNE (HARBOR CITY) 6-0
Why This Ranking: The Gauchos’ 26-20 victory over Carson helps keep them on pace with the state’s top teams. With previous No. 5 Bakersfield of the Central Section losing, the Gauchos have an even clearer path to a CIF Regional Bowl Game berth should they win the L.A. City Section Div. I title with a 14-0 mark.
Weekend Result: Narbonne’s players know Carson is always a tough game, but they couldn’t get over the fact the Colts came in 0-5. Predictably, Narbonne came out flat and gave up two first-half touchdowns. Trailing 14-13, Troy Williams and the Gauchos’ offense woke up after lineman Victor Villareal left the game with concussion-like symptoms.
Up Next: Coach Manuel Douglas’ team will take on 3-3 Banning of Wilmington next week. Narbonne must not overlook the Pilots in anticipation of a tough game against San Pedro in two weeks.
5. (6) MISSION VIEJO 6-0
Why This Ranking: Despite not playing, the Diablos ascend into the top five and replace fallen Bakersfield. There are still some questions about the quality of their opponents, so whether or not the big numbers they’ve posted will continue should be tested in South Coast League play.
Weekend Result: It was bye week for Mission Viejo. The rest of the schedule will be against league opponents.
Up Next: If Santa Margarita can’t keep winning without Johnny Stanton at quarterback in the Trinity League, coach Bob Johnson could have his boys poised to take over the top spot in Orange County. The answer of whether Mission is the heir apparent might not come in the league opener at San Clemente this week, but more in two weeks against No. 7 Tesoro in what could be a real doozy.
6. (9) ST. BONAVENTURE (VENTURA) 6-1
Why This Ranking: Judging from watching them in person in the 35-27 loss to No. 2 Santa Margarita (with Johnny Stanton still playing at QB for the Eagles) and because of how much the opening win against Corona Centennial has become more significant, it’s a good time to bump the Seraphs closer to the top five in this week’s rankings.
Weekend Result: Zach Green went 84 yards for a score on St. Bonnie’s first play to get things going quickly in a 42-0 romp past Simi Valley. The Seraphs then scored on their next play as well on a 86-yard touchdown pass from Ricky Town to Nicholas Rodriguez. Defensively, standouts included Devontae Nunnery with a 102-yard interception return and Dalton Rocha with three sacks.
Up Next: Coach Todd Therrian’s club will take this week off, then return to Marmonte League play on Oct. 21 with a road contest at Newbury Park.
7. (7) TESORO (RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA) 6-0
Why This Ranking: With No. 5 Bakersfield losing, there was room for the Titans to move up one spot this week, but we decided to jump St. Bonaventure higher. The Titans have also had a few too many close wins, although some of the close wins were against other ranked opponents.
Weekend Result: With an extra week to prepare, Tesoro opened up South Coast League play on the road at Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo and held on for a 35-28 victory. Nate Tago ran for 168 yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Matt Adam passed for two touchdowns while rushing for 58 yards.
Up Next: The Titans will be tested much more this week as they go on the road to take on undefeated and No. 21 El Toro of Lake Forest. Led by quarterback Conner Manning, Tesoro will try to slow down what could be one of the most prolific offenses in Orange County history.
8. (8) ELK GROVE 6-0
Why This Ranking: The Thundering Herd continues to make sure there’s no reason to drop them as the top team in the Sacramento area and CIF Sac Joaquin Section as they dominated in their Delta Valley League opener.
Weekend Result: With the ball marching up and down the field with a rushing attack that combined for 390 yards and four touchdowns, Elk Grove defeated Laguna Creek of Elk Grove 52-7. Wadus Parker led the way with 160 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries while Robert Frazier ran for 123 yards on 16 carries. Tommy Arnold wasn’t needed to pass much, but he did complete three of his seven pass attempts for 52 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for a 1-yard touchdown.
Up Next: The next two weeks will be key for the Thundering Herd as they go on the road to take on Grant of Sacramento this week before returning home for a game against No. 16 Franklin of Elk Grove. Making the Elk Grove-Franklin game even bigger is that the two teams will be in different divisions for the section playoffs.
9. (10) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 5-1
Why This Ranking: A loss by No. 5 Bakersfield made room for several teams to move up and the Huskies were one of those teams. Centennial’s only loss came in the first game on the road and by just five points to No. 6 St. Bonaventure.
Weekend Result: For the second straight week, the Huskies’ offense exploded for over 60 points as they opened up Big VIII League play with a 61-24 road win over Corona. Robert Webber was 10 for 18 passing for 203 yards and four touchdowns. Centennial, which jumped out to a 37-9 lead by halftime, also featured Marco Catalano, who caught four passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, and Barry Ware, who caught two passes for 93 yards and two scores.
Up Next: Looking to go undefeated in league play for the third year in a row, coach Matt Logan’s team will go on the road to face Norco this Friday night.
10. (11) ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 6-1
Why This Ranking: There was no reason to jump anyone else in front of the Warriors this week to prevent them from moving up one spot in the aftermath of previous No. 5 Bakersfield’s fall. The close loss to No. 9 Corona Centennial and getting another big win against Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks is enough for us to return them to the top 10.
Weekend Result: Devon Dunn ran for a 4-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left to lift Alemany past Notre Dame 49-42. Coming in after a tough loss to Chaminade, Notre Dame played a spirited Serra League opener, but could not stop the Warriors when it mattered. Dunn ended 25 of 35 passing for 282 yards and also had 13 rushing attempts for 122 yards. Deshone Randall also stood out with 13 carries for 128 yards and four touchdowns.
Up Next: One shootout in the Serra League may be followed by another as this Friday it will be 5-0-1 Bishop Amat of La Puente coming to down. In the Lancers’ tie, it was 48-48 with Chino Hills. The fact is that all five Serra League teams this season can easily be considered for the top 25 level statewide.
11. (12) ST. JOHN BOSCO (BELLFLOWER) 6-0*
Why This Ranking: The Braves move up a spot and inch closer to the top 10 following their 21-6 victory over Orange Lutheran. They remain unbeaten on the field (2-4 including forfeit losses) and the manner in which they beat solid teams such as Lakewood and Loyola in non-league play means one ineligible player probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome of those games.
Weekend Result: St. John Bosco opened the Trinity League with a stellar defensive effort against run-oriented Orange Lutheran. The Braves held a team that came in averaging 325 yards rushing to 199 yards. The only score Bosco gave up was a gift in the first quarter after a botched punt gave Lutheran the ball on Bosco’s 3-yard line. Bosco scored three unanswered touchdowns after that.
Up Next: Coach Jason Negro’s team will take on 5-1 JSerra of San Juan Capistrano. Despite its record, JSerra will be decided underdogs against a team with a plethora of offensive weapons and a sophomore QB (Josh Rosen) who is getting more comfortable every week playing CIFSS Pac-Five varsity football.
12. (13) UPLAND 6-0
Why This Ranking: After missing out on a chance to move up a spot last week while on a bye, the Highlanders earned that one spot bump this week after an impressive road win over Rancho Cucamonga to start their Baseline League schedule.
Weekend Result: Facing a Cougars’ team that many had as the team to beat at the start of the year, the Highlanders’ defense shined in a 19-7 road win. Trailing 7-0 after one quarter and 7-3 at halftime, the Highlanders rallied behind Nate Romine as he passed for 127 yards and ran the ball 21 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Sean Aspinall also was a perfect 2 for 2 on field goals. The Cougars had been scoring an average of 35.8 points per game before being held to their lowest total of the year by Upland.
Up Next: The Highlanders return home Friday to host Glendora. The Tartans are 3-3 on the year after opening up league competition with a 32-0 win over Alta Loma.