(After games of Saturday, Oct. 27)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Writeups by Mark Tennis, Ronnie Flores, Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens)
1. (1) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 9-0
Why This Ranking: With a team that clearly has the capability of making it four straight CIF Open Division state championships, there’s just no sense in ranking any other team in California higher than the Spartans until they lose.
Weekend Result: The Spartans weren’t quite as crisp on offense as they were in their previous game against Monte Vista of Danville, but there was still little suspense in a 34-9 road win against San Ramon Valley of Danville. Junior quarterback Chris Williams scored three times, including one on a fumble recovery in the end zone, and threw a 45-yard TD pass to Austin Lonestar. Senior running back Tiapepe Vitale also continued to roll with 15 carries for 131 yards and one score.
Up Next: Two years ago, when DLS played its final regular season game at California of San Ramon, the two teams were both 9-0 at the time. This season, the Grizzlies are 8-1. While Cal High has a loss to Monte Vista (a team DLS beat 41-9 two weeks ago), the team has been one of the top teams in the East Bay all year long.
2. (2) NARBONNE (HARBOR CITY) 9-0
Why This Ranking: Even if they keep winning, the Gauchos have nowhere to move as long as De La Salle keeps up its 21-year mastery of Northern California opponents. Keep in mind the Spartans also are three-time defending open division state champions.
Weekend Result: Narbonne wasted no time showing host Washington Prep it basically had no chance to win last Friday’s game as WR A.J. Richardson returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. QB Troy Williams then threw five touchdown passes before halftime as Narbonne rolled to a 62-3 victory. Williams finished with 227 yards passing and Richardson finished with three touchdowns.
Up Next: The L.A. City Section Div. I favorites close out the regular season against 7-2 Gardena and will look to clinch its first Marine League title since 2008.
3. (3) VISTA MURRIETA (MURRIETA) 9-0
Why This Ranking: For the second week in a row, all of the top four teams held serve and gave no reason for any change. The Broncos have yet to have a single game decided by single digits and will want to try to keep that going so they can make it harder for two teams to get selected ahead of them for a potential CIF Southern California Open Division Bowl Game. We have say, however, that if No. 4 Mission Viejo beats No. 11 El Toro this week that there’s a good chance that Mission Viejo will be elevated to No. 3 in next week’s rankings.
Weekend Result: All-American Su’a Cravens scored two touchdowns in the first quarter as the Broncos opened up a 21-0 lead on the way to a 52-0 road win over Murrieta Mesa of Murrieta. In limited action, quarterback Nick Stevens completed five of his eight pass attempts for 93 yards and one touchdown. Garrett Caraway, Kishawn Holmes and Colton McCullah all added rushing scores in the win.
Up Next: With a chance to finish Southwestern League play and the regular season undefeated, Vista Murrieta will host a 7-2 Chaparral of Temecula squad that was No. 16 in our state rankings last week before it lost to Murrieta Valley.
4. (4) MISSION VIEJO 9-0
Why This Ranking: The fourth of the top five teams, all with 9-0 records on the field, has nowhere to go after a victory over a visiting crosstown Trabuco Hills, in a game that was a baseball-like 7-5 at halftime. If the Diablos beat No. 11 El Toro this week, though, there’s a good possibility for a shift in front of No. 3 Vista Murrieta.
Weekend Result: Mission Viejo’s halftime lead ended up a 35-12 victory over Trabuco Hills as the Diablos scored on four of six second-half possessions. The 35 points was the least they’ve scored this season, matching the outputs of each of the first two games. Quarterback Ian Fieber was 17 of 28 passing for 262 yards and two touchdowns. Max Redfield caught 10 of the passes for 182 yards and snagged both TD passes.
Up Next: The rubber meets the road this week when Coach Bob Johnson leads his boys against visiting No. 11 El Toro in what will most probably be their toughest test of the regular season. Both teams have already secured the South Coast League’s automatic berths in the CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs but this game not only decides the league champion but will have a huge impact on the Pac-Five playoff seedings.
5. (5) ST. JOHN BOSCO (BELLFLOWER) 9-0*
Why This Ranking: The Braves solidified their status as a top five team with a 39-13 victory over Servite of Anaheim. As long as the top four teams keep winning, Bosco can’t move up but any slips and they themselves could tumble down since some of the quality teams they defeated are not as good as they looked on paper to start the season.
Weekend Result: Servite played the Braves tough until things unraveled at the end of the second quarter. It was 7-7 when sophomore QB Josh Rosen set up a touchdown with a 56-yard pass to Shay Fields. Servite then turned the ball over on downs and with two seconds left in the half, Rosen hit Fields on a 56-yard touchdown as Bosco rolled to a 39-13 victory.
Up Next: Coach Jason Negro’s team takes on No. 7 Santa Margarita with huge Trinity League and CIFSS Pac-Five Division playoff implications on the line. For the first time since the league formed, Servite will not at least share the league title and if Bosco defeats Santa Margarita, it will be just the second program to win the league with an unblemished record. Should Bosco lose, it will likely create the dreaded three-way first-place tie.
6. (6) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 7-2
Why This Ranking: It’s pretty simple. Mater Dei lost to No. 5 St. John Bosco and defeated No. 7 Santa Margarita. The Monarchs’ other loss — by one point — was to No. 2 Narbonne.
Weekend Result: The Monarchs trailed Orange Lutheran 21-20 at halftime, but their defense played a strong second half to spark a 32-21 victory. Junior cornerback Jonathan Lockett set up a 34-yard touchdown reception by intercepting a pass and DB Ben Humphreys recovered a fumble on Orange Lutheran’s next offensive snap to set up the final score — a 12-yard run by RB London Iakopo.
Up Next: Mater Dei clinched a playoff berth with its win over Orange Lutheran and if the Monarchs defeat archrival Servite this week they can grab a share of the Trinity League title — provided Santa Margarita defeats St. John Bosco. Last year, Mater Dei missed the playoffs after making it 24 consecutive seasons but regardless of its league finish, the team will be a tough out in the CIFSS Pac-Five division playoffs.
7. (7) SANTA MARGARITA (RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA) 8-1
Why This Ranking: Just like the teams above them and a few below, there’s been few opportunities to move up in recent weeks so the Eagles stay put and right behind the Mater Dei team that dealt them their lone defeat. They also stay in front of a St. Bonaventure team they have defeated and has not lost to any other school
Weekend Result: Unlike the closeness of the win over Orange Lutheran two weeks ago, the Eagles flew past JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) in shutout fashion 42-0. Ryan Wolpin returned after sitting out the Orange Lutheran game with a sore ankle. The senior running back rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns, with several other running backs easing his load with an additional 160 yards rushing and three TDs combined.
Up Next: Nothing is easy in the Trinity League and this week’s game in Bellflower against St. John Bosco will be just as or even more of a challenge than Mater Dei was without Johnny Stanton. The difference is that sophomore quarterback Kyle Sweet now has a lot of snaps under his belt. He was 12 of 18 for 130 yards against JSerra.
8. (8) ST. BONAVENTURE (VENTURA) 8-1
Why This Ranking: With the top seven teams above the Seraphs all winning last week, it may not be until the upcoming CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs until they will get the opportunity to move up. In St. Bonaventure’s case, that opportunity probably will come from actually playing higher-ranked opponents.
Weekend Result: It was 42-0 at halftime as St. Bonnie crushed Royal of Simi Valley 56-7 in anticipation of this week’s monster matchup vs. Oaks Christian. There was no lack of focus on either side of the ball. Offensive leaders included quarterback Ricky Town, the sophomore who hit on 14 of 19 for 227 yards and two TDs, and Zachary Green, the big-time running back who scored three touchdowns in just six carries. Richard Lucero caught both of Town’s scores on plays of 49 and 4 yards.
Up Next: In the first Marmonte League title game that will match winners of the East and West divisions, the East champion Seraphs will travel to play the West champion Oaks Christian Lions. It’s looking like Oaks Christian’s earlier 13-2 loss to Crenshaw of Los Angeles was an abherration so don’t pay attention to the records and rankings of the two teams. It could definitely turn into a high-scoring game decided in the closing seconds.
9. (9) FRANKLIN (ELK GROVE) 9-0
Why This Ranking: The win two weeks ago over Elk Grove earned the Wildcats this spot and they did nothing not to hold it. It was the first time in three weeks, however, that Franklin did not move up. If they win out all the way through the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 title game, the Wildcats would likely be looking at a chance to play De La Salle of Concord for the right to play in the CIF Open Division Bowl Game.
Weekend Result: The rout was on early as the Wildcats led 28-0 after a quarter of play on the way to a 66-8 win over Laguna Creek of Elk Grove. Trent Spallas completed 10 of his 12 pass attempts for 132 yards while the team scored on all nine of its touchdowns with the running game. Christian Fonbuena and Steven Rogers were the only Wildcat players to reach the end zone twice as seven different players rushed for scores. In all, nine different ball carriers combined for 202 yards on 27 carries.
Up Next: Looking to finish up an undefeated Delta Valley League season, coach Mike Johnson’s team will host Monterey Trail of Elk Grove. Two years ago, the Wildcats lost a 37-36 heartbreaker at the Mustangs before winning at home 28-7 last season.
10. (10) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 8-1
Why This Ranking: Winners of eight straight games, the Huskies keep winning as does St. Bonaventure (the only team they’ve lost to). They might have to drop a spot next week, though, if No. 11 El Toro were to beat No. 4 Mission Viejo when those two teams hook up on Friday.
Weekend Result: Robert Webber had an early 60-yard touchdown pass to Chase Krisvashei for his first of two first-quarter touchdown passes in the team’s 59-14 win over Roosevelt of Eastvale. For the night, Webber finished 10 of 18 for 158 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 22 yards. Junior Tre’ Watson led the rushing attack as he carried 15 times for 143 yards and three touchdowns.
Up Next: Averaging just over 50 points per game, Centennial will finish the regular season at Santiago of Corona with the Big VIII League championship on the line. Santiago also is unbeaten in league.
11. (12) EL TORO (LAKE FOREST) 9-0
Why this ranking: Despite having a bye, the highest ranked team to move up gets a one-spot bump and takes the slot vacated by Alemany of Mission Hills. The Chargers haven’t been rolling South Coast League opponents but they have scored at least five TDs in each of the first three games, the number they scored two weeks ago in their win over Trabuco Hills.
Weekend Result: Did not play. Bye week.
Up Next: In what may be one of the biggest games in school history, and in at least the last 10 years, El Toro will go to Mission Viejo with both teams undefeated and the South Coast League title, Orange County bragging rights, and a possible No. 1 seed in the CIFSS Pac-5 playoffs at stake.
12. (13) UPLAND 9-0
Why This Ranking: We had to drop the Highlanders one spot two weeks ago to make room for another team but the loss this week by previous No. 11 Alemany of Mission Hills made room for them to move back up to the No. 12 spot they called home three weeks ago. While Upland’s strength of schedule isn’t good so far, the boys will be in the same CIFSS playoff division as Vista Murrieta and Corona Centennial.
Weekend Result: For the third time in the past four games, Upland allowed just seven points. The team went on the road to Alta Loma and returned home with a 49-7 victory. Early on, the Highlanders had Nate Romine throw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Russell Boucher and they would never trail.
Up Next: Currently in sole possession of first place in the Baseline League, the Highlanders will look to wrap up the league title and an undefeated regular season when they host Etiwanda on Friday night.