(After games of Saturday, Oct. 20)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Writeups by Mark Tennis, Ronnie Flores, Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens)
1. (1) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 8-0
Why This Ranking: There certainly won’t be a change at the top as long as the Spartans keep playing like they did in their game against Monte Vista of Danville. The first win over Bellarmine of San Jose also continues to gain in significance as the Bells have clearly moved to No. 1 in the CIF Central Coast Section.
Weekend Result: It was senior night for the Spartans since it was the last regular season home game and senior Tiapepe Vitale enjoyed it the most with a career-best 202 yards rushing on 24 carries and three touchdowns in the 41-9 win against Monte Vista. Facing a team that had scored 48, 44 and 49 points in its previous three games, the DLS defense also looked stout and clearly enjoyed having defensive end Austin Hooper back in the lineup. With Hooper applying pressure and sealing the ends, even though he still isn’t back up to 100 percent due to a knee injury, the Spartans kept the Mustangs out of the end zone as all of their points came on field goals, including two that were after DLS turnovers.
Up Next: Coach Bob Ladouceur’s club faces San Ramon Valley of Danville on the road on Friday. The Wolves played opposite DLS in last year’s CIF North Coast Section Division I final, but have been up-and-down in recent weeks. They did just beat Foothill of Pleasanton 31-21, a team that De La Salle topped 34-17 three weeks ago.
2. (2) NARBONNE (HARBOR CITY) 8-0
Why This Ranking: The Gauchos remain the top-ranked team from Southern California after moving up to No. 2 in the state last week ahead of Vista Murrieta. They were prohibitive favorites against San Pedro last week, but Narbonne’s 28-7 victory was still big since the Pirates had beaten the Gauchos the last two years.
Weekend Result: Narbonne fell behind San Pedro 7-0, but rattled off 28 unanswered points to remain unbeaten. In past years against a disciplined team like San Pedro, the Gauchos may have panicked or pressed, but this veteran group didn’t lose its poise and showed it knows how to win. It also helps to have a quarterback with the ability of Troy Williams, who completed 13 of 14 passes for 116 yards and three touchdowns.
Up Next: The L.A. City Section Div. I favorites will take on 4-4 Washington of Los Angeles on the road.
3. (3) VISTA MURRIETA (MURRIETA) 8-0
Why This Ranking: Unlike last week, which saw a top four team suffer a defeat, the top four this week all picked up wins leaving the Broncos and the other three unchanged. Vista Murrieta still has yet to have a game decided by single digits, but because of Narbonne being higher and there being precedence for the CIFSS Pac-Five champion, it may prove very difficult for the Broncos to be given one of two berths to the CIF Southern California Open Division bowl game. The CIF Division I SoCal game at this point might be more likely.
Weekend Result: Mr. Football State Player of the Year candidate Su’a Cravens caught a touchdown pass, returned a punt for a score and intercepted a pass and returned it 100 yards for six points as he scored the Broncos first three touchdowns in a 45-17 road win over previously undefeated Murrieta Valley of Murrieta. Kishawn Holmes also ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
Up Next: In their final road game of the regular season, the Broncos will take on Murrieta Mesa of Murrieta before they return home to finish the regular season with No. 16 Chaparral of Temecula.
4. (4) MISSION VIEJO 8-0
Why This Ranking: The Diablos hold strong and seem poised to win the South Coast League title. They also would then snag the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Pac-Five Division playoffs. The team’s offense, considered a question mark by traditional Mission Viejo standards, at the start of the season keeps improving and is proving very tough to stop.
Weekend Result: It was a 55-32 victory over No. 15 Tesoro but Mission Viejo trailed 7-0 early and 21-14 at the half before the offense exploded for 28 third-quarter points to take a 42-24 lead into the fourth quarter. The onslaught started on the first play from scrimmage in the second half when junior quarterback Ian Fieber connected with Max Redfield for an 80-yard touchdown. Running back Alex Suchesk finished with 203 yards on 17 carries with touchdown runs of 34, 56 and 80 yards. On the 34-yarder, he somehow stayed on his feet after looking like he was down, and then outraced everyone to the end zone.
Up Next: The Diablos basically eliminated Tesoro from winning the league title but it’s still not smooth sailing as the game that looms huge is in two weeks when head coach Bob Johnson’s boys will face No. 12 El Toro. While El Toro rests this week in wait of that matchup, Mission Viejo hosts crosstown Trabuco Hills.
5. (12) ST. JOHN BOSCO (BELLFLOWER) 8-0*
Why This Ranking: The Braves move up seven spots this week following their big 27-19 victory over previous No. 5 Mater Dei. The Braves can’t go any higher in our rankings because their non-league schedule wasn’t as strong as Narbonne’s and they needed overtime to defeat JSerra of San Juan Capistrano.
Weekend Result: Last week we stated the Mater Dei matchup was a winnable game for Bosco and the Braves rose to the occasion after the overtime wake-up call against JSerra. The Braves came up with some key defensive stops early and went up on Mater Dei 24-10 before the Monarchs rallied late. Offensively, Bosco was led by Darren Walker, who shook off a bothersome ankle to rush for 181 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Up Next: Coach Jason Negro’s team will take on 3-5 Servite of Santa Ana in a Trinity League matchup it will be highly-favored to win. Bosco controls its own destiny to win its first league title in 10 years, but because of some
inconsistent play so far this year the last two games (Santa Margarita looms next) won’t be a cakewalk by any means.
6. (5) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 6-2
Why This Ranking: After making a big jump last week following their big win over Santa Margarita, the Monarchs slip back down as a result of the 27-19 loss to unbeaten St. John Bosco. The Monarchs still own a victory over Santa Margarita, the team that defeated St. Bonaventure, and their other loss is by just one point to No. 2 Narbonne. We’ll continue to stick with the head-to-head results involving those teams.
Weekend Result: Mater Dei’s offense simply couldn’t convert when it needed to the most against an explosive St. John Bosco team. Mater Dei actually had 19 first downs to Bosco’s 12. It also didn’t help head coach Bruce Rollinson and offensive coordinator Dave Money when star receiver Thomas Duarte (3 catches, 20 yards) missed the second half with a thigh contusion.
Up Next: Mater Dei must regroup quickly as it faces a tough 6-2 Orange Lutheran squad. The Monarchs are currently tied for second place in the Trinity League with Santa Margarita while Orange Lutheran has lost to both St. John Bosco and Santa Margarita.
7. (6) SANTA MARGARITA (RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA) 7-1
Why This Ranking: Despite pulling out a close win over Orange Lutheran, the Eagles have to drop a spot this week to remain behind a Mater Dei team they lost to. Still, with most of the starting offense on the bench with injuries, the Eagles continue to hold fast as a top 10 team.
Weekend Result: Not only did the Eagles have to play without quarterback Johnny Stanton against Lutheran, they were without leading rusher Ryan Wolpin. Even so, cagy veteran coach Harry Welch got career win No. 250 in a 17-14 victory that was 0-0 at the half. The defense, led by sophomore linebacker Grady Higgins (10 tackles two sacks, fumble recovery) played tough, and kicker Alex Ury booted home a 19-yard field goal with 37 seconds left for the game winner. The Lancers actually still had a chance to win or tie the game until River Cracraft intercepted a pass in his own territory with four seconds remaining.
Up Next: This week it’s a home game at Saddleback College against a 5-3 San Juan Capistrano JSerra team that’s 0-3 in Trinity League play but did take No. 5 St. John Bosco to overtime. After that, it’s a showdown with that very St. John Bosco on the road in Bellflower.
8. (7) ST. BONAVENTURE (VENTURA) 7-1
Why This Ranking: Along with Santa Margarita, the Seraphs also have to drop one spot this week due to head-to-head results involving St. John Bosco, Mater Dei and the Eagles. Sure, the head-to-head scores are misleading because of the Johnny Stanton injury, but all of the teams in the CIFSS Pac-Five Division playoffs will eventually play each other and sort out the most accurate pecking order.
Weekend Result: Standout sophomore quarterback Ricky Town went to town once again by completing 20 of 27 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-7 victory against Newbury Park. Senior running back Zachary Green also had another solid night with 13 carries for 116 yards and two scores.
Up Next: The Seraphs host Royal of Simi Valley in their final regular season game on Friday, and then would play another game for the Marmonte League championship on Nov. 2.
9. (14) FRANKLIN (ELK GROVE) 8-0
Why This Ranking: After back-to-back weeks of moving up two spots, the Wildcats earned a five-spot bump this week into the top 10 as they knocked off previous No. 8 Elk Grove. The win puts them firmly up at No. 1 for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section as well as No. 2 in Northern California behind only De La Salle.
Weekend Result: In a game that was being looked at in advance for quite some time, the Wildcats went on the road and ended Elk Grove’s undefeated season with a 17-7 victory. Taking control of the Delta Valley League with the win, the Wildcats were led on offense by Christian Fonbuena who rushed for 81 yards on 15 carries while Kyran Harris rushed for 65 yards and a score on 11 carries. The defense also did a fine job limiting Elk Grove’s stellar running back duo of Robert Frazier and Wadus Parker.
Up Next: Returning home for senior night, Franklin should remain undefeated as it hosts a Laguna Creek of Elk Grove squad that has lost its last five games.
10. (9) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 7-1
Why This Ranking: An extra two teams needed to move into the top 10 this week, causing the Huskies to drop a spot despite picking up a comfortable 49-17 win over M.L. King of Riverside.
Weekend Result: Robert Webber completed 18 of his 24 pass attempts for 187 yards and three touchdowns in a Thursday night win over the Wolves. Tre Watson also rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns while Barry Ware caught seven passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns. With the win, Centennial remained tied for first Big VIII League play with Santiago of Corona.
Up Next: In their final home game of the regular season, coach Matt Logan’s club will host Roosevelt of Eastvale. The final regular season game should be for the Big VIII League championship as it will be at Santiago of Corona.
11. (10) ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 7-1
Why This Ranking: No, the Warriors didn’t drop a spot this week because they didn’t play. Instead, it all had to do with previous No. 12 St. John Bosco having to jump in front of them and other teams because of its win over Mater Dei.
Weekend Result: After playing the first two of four Serra League games (both wins against Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks and Bishop Amat of La Puente), Alemany took its bye week.
Up Next: Coach Dean Herrington’s club, led by Mr. Football State Player of the Year watch list member Devon Dunn, resumes its schedule Friday at Crespi of Encino. The Celts began the year with seven straight wins, but have lost their last two. Alemany is looking to go unbeaten in the Serra League for the third straight season.
12. (12) EL TORO (LAKE FOREST) 9-0
Why This Ranking: The Chargers’ win over Tesoro two weeks ago helped them jump nine spots and they did nothing this week to show they shouldn’t remain at No. 12 with a win at Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo. Having a game coming up against No. 4 Mission Viejo also would normally help a team move up, but this week the only higher-ranked teams to lose were Mater Dei (to St. John Bosco) and Elk Grove (to Franklin).
Weekend Result: For just the second time this season, the Chargers failed to score at least 41 points in a game but the 35 they did score was more than enough to earn a 35-17 win against the Mustangs. Conner Manning passed for 307 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for a score. Jacob Furnari added 109 yards on 17 carries while Dominic Collins and Cody White each caught two touchdown passes from Manning.
Up Next: El Toro will have two weeks to prepare for their regular season finale at No. 4 Mission Viejo since there is a bye on the schedule for this week.
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