(After games of Saturday, Nov. 3)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Writeups by Mark Tennis, Ronnie Flores, Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens)
1. (1) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 10-0
Why This Ranking: The Spartans have been No. 1 in the state for three straight years and have posted quality wins over Bellarmine of San Jose, Mullen Prep of Colorado, St. Mary’s of Stockton and California of San Ramon. There’s certainly no reason for any movement regarding DLS until a California team is able to beat DLS.
Weekend Result: Tiapepe Vitale had another standout performance with 22 carries for 194 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-14 win against California. The defense also allowed just 87 rushing yards, but the Grizzlies (who were 8-1 entering the game) did not go away quietly. They in fact ended up with the No. 2 seed behind De La Salle in the CIF North Coast Section Division I playoffs.
Up Next: Spartan coaches have tended to be not fond of first-round byes in the NCS playoffs but that could be different this year with the addition of the CIF NorCal regional bowl games. The extra week off may end up being beneficial. DLS will play a quarterfinal game on Nov. 16 against the winner of a first-round game between Monte Vista of Danville and Pittsburg.
2. (2) NARBONNE (HARBOR CITY) 10-0
Why This Ranking: The Gauchos were expected to run through the Marine League unbeaten, which has now been completed. It’s the performances against a tough non-league slate, however, that makes them
a solid No. 2 team in the state and the top-ranked team in Southern
California. Still, for later on, it will be helpful if some of those early opponents go deep into the CIFSS playoffs instead of losing early.
Weekend Result: Narbonne’s Mr. Football candidate, QB Troy Williams, closed out the regular season in grand fashion. He threw for a season-high 347 yards and tossed six touchdown passes as the Gauchos defeated overmatched Gardena 53-7. Gardena was supposed to offer some resistance, so the score of this game is an indication Narbonne won’t play down to its level of competition in the early rounds of the L.A. City Section Div. I playoffs.
Up Next: As expected, the Gauchos grabbed the top seed in the L.A. City
Section Div. I playoffs and open against 4-6 Locke of Los Angeles. Narbonne could potentially face Marine League rival Carson in the city semifinals.
3. (3) VISTA MURRIETA (MURRIETA) 10-0
Why This Ranking: Although Mission Viejo did post perhaps the most impressive win of the week, it’s not like the Broncos were struggling. Their own win over Chaparral of Temecula was strong as well and proved to be too much for there to be a switch between the two. Plus, Mission Viejo wasn’t given the top seed in its CIFSS playoff division while Vista Murrieta is a top seed. Yes, we do see a potential 14-0 Diablo team eventually getting chosen over a potential 14-0 Bronco team for CIF bowl game purposes due to how those selections have gone in the past. But there is not yet enough evidence for us to change the ranking between the two.
Weekend Result: Capping off an undefeated regular season with their second shutout in a row, coach Coley Candaele’s team defeated Chaparral of Temecula 38-0. Su’a Cravens is nearing the end of his sensational high school career and on senior night he caught eight passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns to help Nick Stevens pass for 192 yards and three scores. Kishawn Holmes also carried the ball for 118 yards and a score.
Up Next: As the top seed and defending champion in the CIFSS Inland Division playoffs, the Broncos will host South Hills of West Covina. Unbeaten Upland may have something to say about it, but the odds still look good for a Vista Murrieta-Corona Centennial rematch of last year’s final in this year’s final.
4. (4) MISSION VIEJO 10-0
Why This Ranking: The pecking order remains the same although of all top five teams with perfect records on the field, no one had a more impressive outing last week than the Diablos in their dismantling of previous No. 11 and current No. 23 El Toro.
Weekend Result: Not only did the offense come up huge in a 49-7 shellacking of visiting El Toro, the defense was just as dominating after intercepting six passes off the Chargers’ Utah-bound quarterback Conner Manning, who came into the game with three interceptions all season. Safety Hunter Remington had three interceptions, returning the last 31 yards for the final score with 5:46 left. What was supposed to be a shootout between two high-powered offenses turned into a blowout in front of an estimated 7,500 fans. Ian Fieber passed for 267 yards and three TDs for Mission, Alex Suchesk rushed for 128 yards and a score, and Max Redfield blocked a punt and caught six passes, including a 48-yard touchdown.
Up Next: Despite the big win and an undefeated season, the Diablos begin the CIFSS Pac-5 playoffs as the No. 2 seed instead of No. 1 and open at home Friday night against last year’s CIF Open Division Bowl Game runner-up and current 6-4 Westlake of Westlake Village. It seems strange that St. Bonaventure, with a loss to the third-place team in the Trinity League, was given the top seed. Since injuries aren’t supposed to be a factor, it shouldn’t have made a difference that the Seraphs’ loss to Santa Margarita came with Johnny Stanton playing part of the game before being injured. The argument must have been that the Diablos’ schedule was too weak to warrant the top spot.
5. (5) ST. JOHN BOSCO (BELLFLOWER) 10-0*
Why This Ranking: Mission Viejo is ranked ahead of the Braves and after its impressive win over El Toro, the Diablos deserve to stay there from a
rankings perspective. From a seeding perspective, going unbeaten through the Trinity League is normally a strong case to award a top seed in the CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs. With Bosco, however, there is previous precedent to ding the Braves for their four forfeit losses, hence they were given the division’s No. 3 seed behind Mission Viejo and top-seeded St. Bonaventure.
Weekend Result: Bosco was impressive in closing out the regular season unbeaten on-the-field via its 42-15 victory over previous No. 7 Santa Margarita. The Braves jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never let off the gas as RBs Darren Walker and Lonell Woodhouse combined for five rushing touchdowns. With this win, Bosco captured its first outright league title since 2002 when the team was a member of the Serra League.
Up Next: Coach Jason Negro’s team takes on 7-3 Tesoro of Las Flores, a team that received one of the highly scrutinized at-large berths in the Pac-Five playoffs. As the No. 3 seed, Bosco is on the same side of the bracket as Mission Viejo and a potential quarterfinal game with either Oaks Christian or Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks won’t be easy by any means, either.
6. (8) ST. BONAVENTURE (VENTURA) 9-1
Why This Ranking: While we wouldn’t agree that the Seraphs should be the top seed for the CIFSS Pac-Five Division over Mission Viejo, the boys clearly have done enough to now be ahead of both Mater Dei and Santa Margarita despite their loss to Santa Margarita when that team was still being led by the now-injured Johnny Stanton at quarterback.
Weekend Result: After falling behind 21-0 to an Oaks Christian of Westlake Village team that had beaten them four times in five previous games, the Seraphs stormed back for a 30-21 triumph. St. Bonaventure thus wins the first Marmonte League championship game and stamps itself as a strong contender in the CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs. Zach Green, the team’s Arizona-bound running back, scored on a 3-yard run with 4:33 left to help put the Seraphs ahead by 22-21. Green then iced the win by racing for a 47-yard score on the team’s next series. He finished with 27 carries for 240 yards. Ricky Town added 18 completions in 27 throws for 201 yards.
Up Next: Coach Todd Therrian’s top-seeded club starts the CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs at home against Cabrillo of Long Beach. After that, there’s a chance that St. Bonnie could play Santa Margarita in the second-round provided that the Eagles get past El Toro.
7. (6) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 8-2
Why This Ranking: The Monarchs drop a spot to make room for St. Bonaventure, which won the Marmonte League in impressive fashion with a come-from-behind win over Oaks Christian. St. Bonaventure also is a league champion, whereas Mater Dei finished second in the Trinity League, and the Seraphs have one less loss.
Weekend Result: The Monarchs defeated archrival Anaheim Servite in their annual battle played at Anaheim Stadium 36-22. Starting QB Ryan McMahon couldn’t generate any offense early and was pulled in favor of Chase Forrest, who was aided greatly by the play of junior flanker Jonathan Lockett. He returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score after Servite took a 3-0 lead and also scored touchdowns on a 76-yard punt return and a nine-yard reception. Lockett also had a pick on defense.
Up Next: Mater Dei was awarded the No. 4 seed in the CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs — highest among teams that didn’t win a league title — and will open the post-season against 7-3 Lakewood, the No. 2 team from the Moore League. A potential quarterfinal game with Alemany could be as tough as any semifinal foe the Monarchs might face.
8. (10) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 9-1
Why This Ranking: Santa Margarita losing made room for the Huskies to move up a spot. Instead of one position, though, they made it two with perhaps their most impressive outing of the season. The likelihood of a matchup with No. 3 Vista Murrieta in the CIFSS Inland Division final also looks more solid.
Weekend Result: Making sure they ended the regular season on a high note, the Huskies scored a season-high 70 points in a 70-28 road win against Santiago of Corona to win their third straight Big VIII League championship. According to the Riverside Press Enterprise, Centennial had a total of 742 yards as one of several school records set in the win. Robert Webber passed for 364 yards and four touchdowns while Chase Krivashei set a school record with 14 receptions for 198 yards.
Up Next: Seeded second in the Inland Division playoff bracket, behind No. 3 in the state Vista Murrieta, coach Matt Logan’s Huskies will open the postseason at home against Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga.
9. (9) FRANKLIN (ELK GROVE) 10-0
Why This Ranking: A loss by previous No. 7 Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita made room for the Wildcats to move up a spot but we decided to leave them at No. 9 and move up Centennial of Corona ahead of them. Centennial’s only loss is to new No. 6 St. Bonaventure and it’s also hard to argue against that program’s prominence in recent years. Franklin still remains as the No. 2 team in Northern California behind De La Salle of Concord.
Weekend Result: For the fourth game in a row, the Wildcats’ defense allowed just single digit points as they finished an undefeated regular season with a 28-6 road win at Monterey Trail of Elk Grove. Coach Mike Johnson’s defense has only allowed opponents to score more than eight points in a game three times so far this season.
Up Next: There was no doubt that Franklin deserved and would be given the top seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. The team will host Nevada Union of Grass Valley on Friday night. With a win, the Wildcats could then potentially face Lincoln of Stockton in the second round if the Trojans defeat Merced. Johnson and many of his assistant coaches were at Lincoln previously with some of them, including defensive coordinator Jim Rubiales, for many years.
10. (13) FOLSOM 10-0
Why This Ranking: As we mentioned last week, the Bulldogs could find a way to pass Franklin of Elk Grove for the No. 2 spot in Northern California if both win out so we wanted to get the Bulldogs closer to the Wildcats in the rankings after they both wrapped up No. 1 seeds in their playoff brackets.
Weekend Result: With the Delta Valley League championship on the line, the Bulldogs wrapped up the title and an undefeated regular season with a 30-14 win over Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove. Jake Browning completed 17 of his 29 pass attempts for 288 yards and three touchdowns with Lucas Owan on the receiving end of many big plays as he caught six passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
Up Next: Named the No. 1 seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs, Folsom will open the postseason at home on Friday against Atwater. The second round could feature a rematch of last year’s championship game that saw the Bulldogs surprised by Vacaville. A potential matchup against No. 16 Elk Grove or St. Mary’s of Stockton could come in the finals.
11. (12) UPLAND 10-0
Why This Ranking: For the last few weeks the Highlanders have been inching up the list one spot at a time. This time, the loss by Santa Margarita to St. John Bosco helped that cause. For the team to truly make itself known to the rest of the state, however, it will probably take a trip to the CIF Inland Division championship game.
Weekend Result: The Highlanders’ streak of holding teams to just seven points ended at two games but their undefeated record stayed intact as they finished the regular season with a 57-39 win over Etiwanda. Finishing off a Baseline League championship season, Nate Romine completed just nine of his 14 pass attempts but they went for 385 yards and five touchdowns while he also rushed for 77 yards and a score. Anthony Romero caught five passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns while both of Trevor Wright’s receptions went for scores along with a total of 130 yards. Senior Tyler Bratton enjoyed his senior night as well by rushing for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
Up Next: As expected, Upland was seeded third in the CIFSS Inland Division playoffs behind No. 3 Vista Murrieta and No. 8 Centennial of Corona. The team opens the playoffs at home on Friday against Great Oak of Temecula.
12. (7) SANTA MARGARITA (RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA) 8-2
Why This Ranking: This is where the Eagles land after taking it on the chin in their Trinity League finale at No. 5 St. John Bosco. The drop is just about right since the loss is to one of the state’s top teams and it was on the road. To finish third in the Trinity at 8-2 and state ranked at this stage without quarterback Johnny Stanton and a sophomore in his place is a testament to the Eagles’ talent level and the coaching of Harry Welch.
Weekend Result: The lone bright spot in a 42-15 loss to St. John Bosco was wide receiver River Cracraft. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound senior caught seven passes for 124 yards and two scores. Cracraft is now second on Santa Margarita’s all-time receptions list with 125 trailing only former NFL wide receiver Brian Finneran (Philadelphia and Atlanta) who recorded 178 for the Eagles from 1991-93. River is also closing in on 2,000 career receiving yards. He now has 1,929.
Up Next: It’s like a brand new season for Welch’s charges, and they’ll have to put the St. John Bosco loss out of their minds, just like their opponent El Toro has to forget about getting blown out by Mission Viejo. Despite two losses to El Toro’s one, the Eagles have the higher seed and the game is in their house on Friday night.
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