13. (16) BELLARMINE (SAN JOSE) 8-1
Why This Ranking: The No. 2 team from the Bay Area has a lone loss to De La Salle and is continuing find a way to get past everyone they’ve played since, including a very stubborn Valley Christian (San Jose) team that has six losses by 36 combined points. One of a few reasons the Bells jump a couple of teams this week is that their earlier win over No. 21 Serra is gaining importance as that team is rolling now as well.
Weekend Result: It wasn’t easy, but the Bells’ 38-35 victory at Valley Christian is their 15th straight win against teams from the West Catholic Athletic League, a pretty remarkable feat considering how tough that league is year in and year out. Running back Kenneth Olugbode ran for two touchdowns and Vanderbilt-bound quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels and running back Joey Sanfilippo each ran for scores.
Up Next: Coach Mike Janda sends his boys against Sacred Heart Cathedral at home on Friday night, and barring what would be the biggest upset in many years the Bells should close out the WCAL title and earn the top seed in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs beginning in two weeks.
14. (14) OCEANSIDE 9-1
Why This Ranking: Despite another huge blowout to secure the Avocado West League title, the Pirates are going to stay put for now since there is a little bit of a question as to how strong teams are in the CIF San Diego Section this season. Oceanside’s loss to Temecula Chaparral was early in the season and injuries were a factor, but Chaparral now has two straight losses.
Weekend Result: The Pirates barely broke a sweat once again in a 34-0 shellacking of crosstown arch rival El Camino. In four league games, they’ve outscored opponents by an unbelievable 188-3 combined.
Up Next: Despite the fall of the one team that dealt them a loss, the Pirates would still seem to control their destiny with respect to a trip to the CIF Southern California Division II regional bowl game. As expected, Oceanside received the top seed in the San Diego Division II playoffs and received a bye. They await the winner of the game between Chula Vista Hilltop at Escondido Orange Glen. There is danger that two CIFSS champions could beat out the Pirates for the D2 South bowl game so continuing to dominate might be a good idea.
15. (18) CRENSHAW (LOS ANGELES) 8-1**
Why This Ranking: The Cougars move up three spots this week after Elk Grove was unimpressive in its regular season finale. The Shaw had some defensive problems early in the season, but since getting its personnel in the right positions, the Cougars have been rolling. They appear to have enough speed and talent to play with many of the state’s best teams.
Weekend Result: Manual Arts’ junior QB Randall Johnson had looked impressive at times this season, but against Crenshaw’s talented secondary he was able to complete only 6 of 24 pass attempts for 48 yards. Dominique Hatfield and Mossi Johnson, Crenshaw’s highly-regarded corners, had a big overall impact against the Toilers as Hatfield scored on a 35-yard rush, a 43-yard reception and a 83-yard kickoff return while Johnson hit pay dirt on a 60-yard punt return.
Up Next: As expected, Crenshaw nabbed the No. 2 seed in the L.A. City
Section Division I playoffs behind Narbonne. The Cougars open the post-season against 8-2 Arleta.
16. (15) ELK GROVE 9-1
Why This Ranking: For the second time in three weeks, the Thundering Herd didn’t have their best but this time it was still enough to defeat Davis 17-10. With the only loss to No. 9 Franklin and with wins over Lincoln of Stockton, Grant of Sacramento and Nevada Union, Elk Grove hangs on in the top 20. The potential to get a game against No. 10 Folsom also helps.
Weekend Result: Wrapping up a second-place finish behind No. 9 Franklin in the Delta Valley League, the Herd went on the road and defeated the Blue Devils to end that team’s playoff hopes. Trailing 7-3 after one quarter, Robert Frazier gave Elk Grove a 10-7 lead with his lone touchdown run of the night to go with 173 yards on 23 carries. Spencer Sheff ran 34 yards for a score in the fourth quarter to account for the winning points.
Up Next: Seeded third in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs, Elk Grove hosts Ponderosa of Shingle Springs on Friday night. Also on their half of the bracket is St. Mary’s of Stockton, which has won six straight since a 21-13 loss to No. 1 De La Salle.
17. (17) EDISON (HUNTINGTON BEACH) 9-1
Why This Ranking: The Chargers stay put this week since previous No. 18 Crenshaw was given a boost and not enough other ranked teams suffered losses. The team’s only loss remains the one by 20-14 to No. 7 Mater Dei and as long as the Monarchs are going in the CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs then it also will be good for Edison’s ranking.
Weekend Result: After its 21-3 win over Fountain Valley from the previous week, Edison capped its seventh Sunset League title in the last eight years with a 34-0 shutout of Huntington Beach. Derek Baljeu paced the defensive effort with four quarterback sacks. The unit only gave up 17 points in league play and set a school record with its fifth shutout of the season. On offense, Huntington Beach got torched by quarterback Aleksander Torgerson (8 of 16, 264 yds, four TDs plus 59 yds and 2 TDs rushing) and receiver Trevor Borkowski (5 catches, 193 yds, 1 TD).
Up Next: Coach Dave White’s squad is seeded No. 1 in the CIFSS Southwest Division playoffs and starts at home Friday against Esperanza of Anaheim. While this is a new division for the Chargers (who used to be in the more difficult Pac-Five) they can still play their title game at Angels Stadium. If they get that far, that game would be Friday, Dec. 7.
18. (21) CHAMINADE (WEST HILLS) 9-1
Why This Ranking: Beating an 8-1 Cathedral of Los Angeles squad 62-26 gets the Eagles a push past Lompoc in these rankings even though Lompoc is the No. 1 seed and Chaminade is No. 2 in the CIFSS Western Division playoffs. Strength of schedule is the reason for that and it’s also based on Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks (a team Chaminade beat) knocking out previous No. 23 Bishop Amat from this week’s rankings. This week’s new team in the State Top 25, Serra of Gardena, also has a win over Notre Dame but a loss to Chaminade.
Weekend Result: While the Eagle defense was picking off highly regarded Cathedral quarterback Hayden Rettig four times, the offense was scoring in bunches. Terrell Newby only carried the ball 12 times but had 104 yards and scored six touchdowns. Donovan Lee also displayed his blazing speed with touchdown runs of 48 and 54 yards.
Up Next: It looks like clear sailing for Chaminade in the CIFSS Western Division playoffs until the semifinals, but the players can’t get complacent. The school, after all, has never won a CIFSS title in its 60 years. The first postseason game is Friday at home against 4-6 Pacifica of Oxnard.
19. (20) LOMPOC 10-0
Why This Ranking: The Braves won their 30th consecutive game, a 66-0 blanking of crosstown Cabrillo, in a contest known as the Big Game to the locals. Lompoc moves up one spot this week and is the No. 1 seed in the CIFSS Western Division playoffs, but in our ratings system No. 2 seed Chaminade has performed well enough against a much tougher schedule to be ranked ahead of them – at least for now.
Weekend Result: Lompoc racked up 485 yards of total offense against Cabrillo as a host of players contributed on offense. Coach Andrew Jones was especially happy to see RB Lavon Coleman rush for 133 yards on 12 carries and return a punt 72 yards for a score because Jones knows at some point in the playoffs he’ll need a big game from Coleman to advance.
Up Next: Lompoc will look to extend the state¹s longest winning streak (30 and counting) against 4-6 St. Francis of La Canada in the first round of the CIFSS Western Division playoffs. Even with a sub .500 record, St. Francis is a bigger threat than many of the teams Lompoc played in the Los Padres League.
20. (22) ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 8-2
Why This Ranking: After suffering their first Serra League loss in three years in a two-point thriller to Crespi of Encino, the Warriors came back strong to beat Loyola of Los Angeles 45-17. Alemany’s only other loss was by 35-32 to No. 8 Centennial of Corona.
Weekend Result: Devon Dunn had his usual solid outing by going 14 of 21 passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns against the Cubs. It was the team’s return game, though, that led to the lop-sided score. Brandon Boyd ran back an interception 42 yards for one touchdown while Quentin Tartabull picked up another on a 53-yard onside kickoff return touchdown.
Up Next: Alemany’s first-round matchup in the CIFSS Pac-Five Division playoffs is not as easy as some other state-ranked teams are facing. But then again the Warriors are not a top four seed, either. Their first playoff game is at home Friday against 8-2 Moorpark, which is coming in after a 38-35 win over Westlake in the Marmonte League’s third-place game.
21. (25) SERRA (SAN MATEO) 8-1
Why This Ranking: The lone loss was in overtime in mid-October to No. 13 Bellarmine. Since then, the Padres have routed Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco), and then they had a little trouble two weeks ago with Valley Christian like everyone in the WCAL has had, but this past Saturday afternoon the Padres left little doubt as to who is the league’s No. 2 team after a decisive home win over a very solid San Francisco St. Ignatius.
Weekend Result: Serra led 27-0 after two quarters, and although St. Ignatius did cut it to 34-21 at one point, the powerful Padres’ running game finished the job in a convincing 47-21 victory. Eric Redwood led the attack with 227 of the 411 total rushing yards. Redwood had one TD with five other Padres reaching paydirt once.
Up Next: Coach Patrick Walsh will lead his team into a home game regular season ending game with a St. Francis (Mountain View) team that despite a 4-5 overall record (and 3-3 in league), has played everyone very tough. With no one other than Bellarmine able to match or counter the steamroller running game of Serra, Its beginning to look more and more like the Padres and Bells may meet again in the CCS Open Division title game.
22. (19) OAKS CHRISTIAN (WESTLAKE VILLAGE) 8-2
Why This Ranking: The Lions now have two losses, but falling to No. 6 St. Bonaventure definitely isn’t enough to drop them too many positions. The only other loss was to No. 15 Crenshaw and the best wins have come against Chaminade, Moorpark, Granite Bay and Del Oro.
Weekend Result: After roaring out to a 21-0 lead, Oaks Christian lost its momentum late in the second quarter against St. Bonaventure and never got it back in a 30-21 defeat. Junior quarterback Brandon Dawkins led the Lions as he connected n 21 of 39 passes for 225 yards. Dawkins also scored twice on short runs and ran for 70 yards on 19 carries.
Up Next: One of the most intriguing first-round games in the CIFSS Pac-Five Division playoffs is Oaks Christian playing at Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. Notre Dame isn’t in the State Top 25 (due to an early-season loss to Serra of Gardena) but the Knights are entering that game after posting a big win over Bishop Amat of La Puente. These two San Fernando Valley/Ventura County powerhouse programs also have never played each other before.
23. (11) EL TORO (LAKE FOREST) 9-1
Why This Ranking: It wasn’t that the Chargers lost to No. 4 Mission Viejo that caused the big drop this week, but it was that it came in blowout fashion and after they had an extra week to prepare. El Toro does stay in the State Top 25, however, because of its win early in the season over Clovis, which has since climbed to No. 1 in the CIF Central Section.
Weekend Result: Coming off of a bye, the Chargers went on the road to take on the Diablos in a game for the South Coast League championship and it wasn’t a pleasant trip home as they suffered a 49-7 loss. Conner Manning struggled as he completed just 22 of his 47 pass attempts for 215 yards and a touchdown while throwing six interceptions. Junior Jacob Frigger rushed for 77 yards on 17 carries and Dominic Collins had three catches and their lone touchdown.
Up Next: Things won’t get much easier this week as El Toro opens the CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs at home against No. 12 Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita. Hard to think one of those two teams will be done for the season so soon.
24. (24) CLOVIS 9-1
Why This Ranking: The Cougars didn’t deserve to be dropped out of the rankings after a win over host Fresno Clovis West, but it could have happened if the El Toro team that beat them 27-10 in their house was dropped after its dismal performance against Mission Viejo, and that was considered. The lone team from the CIF Central Section holds fast but the recipe for a team from the Valley getting a SoCal regional large school playoff berth is getting harder to sell to the commissioners. This is especially true because Mission Viejo also has a 35-21 win over Mission Hills of San Marcos (which could be the best San Diego D1 team this season).
Weekend Result: The boys got it done, leading 14-3 at the half and then coasting home to a 28-16 win over 2-8 Clovis West of Fresno.
Up Next: Clovis did receive the top seed in the CIF Central Section Division I playoffs and earns a first round bye. The Cougars will open in two weeks against the winner of Bakersfield Liberty at Clovis Buchanan.
25. (NR) SERRA (GARDENA) 8-2
Why This Ranking: The Cavaliers have lost only to No. 2 Narbonne (22-9) and to No. 18 Chaminade (28-20) and they have a 26-23 win over Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. Notre Dame is the team that just beat previous No. 23 Bishop Amat of La Puente.
Weekend Result: Malik Roberson dashed for 168 yards on just eight carries and scored two touchdowns to pace Serra past Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood 35-8. Runningmate Marques Rodgers also had a strong night with 110 yards rushing and two more scores. Defensively, Harvard-Westlake and stat star quarterback Chad Kanoff was held to just 102 total yards. Nicholas Usher was a big reason for that as he sacked Kanoff three times.
Up Next: Serra starts the CIF Western Division playoffs as the No. 4 seed but would have been No. 3 if teams from the same league were allowed to be on the same side of the bracket. In this case, Serra couldn’t be on the same side as No. 2 Chaminade. It sure looks like the Cavs will probably play No. 1 seed Lompoc in the semis, but coach Scott Altenberger knows you can’t count on anything because of last year’s team losing in the first-round to Culver City. This year’s first-round game is Friday at home vs. 6-4 Oxnard.
TEAMS THAT DROPPED OUT:
Previous No. 23 Bishop Amat (La Puente).
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE:
Bishop Amat (La Puente) 7-2-1
Buhach Colony (Atwater) 8-2
California (San Ramon) 8-2
Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 8-2
Chaparral (Temecula) 7-3
Charter Oak (Covina) 9-1
Citrus Hill (Perris) 10-0
Clovis North (Clovis) 9-1
Crespi (Encino) 8-2
Freedom (Oakley) 8-2
Helix (La Mesa) 8-1
James Logan (Union City) 9-1
La Serna (Whittier) 9-1
Luther Burbank (Sacramento) 10-0
Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 9-1
Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 9-1
Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 7-3
Oak Grove (San Jose) 9-0
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 9-1
Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 7-3
Placer (Auburn) 10-0
Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 10-0
Rancho Cucamonga 8-2
Serrano (Phelan) 10-0
St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 6-2
St. Mary’s (Stockton) 8-2
Tesoro (Rancho Santa Margarita) 7-3
Westlake (Westlake Village) 6-4
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