In the 15th week of these rankings in football, it’s time for the Bay Area to rock and roll in regional bowl games against opponents mostly from outside of the region.
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Welcome to the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 25 compiled in conjunction with the award-winning Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area TV show that is aired every Sunday night on KOFY, Channel 20, San Francisco and during the week on CSN Bay Area throughout Northern California. These rankings are after games played through Saturday, December 7. We have more than 35 years of experience compiling high school football rankings in Northern California.
Richmond Salesian and El Cerrito already have theirs, but until they decide what to do about re-scheduling the CIF North Coast Section Division IV title game, the Tri-County Rock League will have to wait to attempt to become the first league to ever win three NCS championships in the same season.
The same rain, sleet and freezing temperatures this past weekend that had the Cal-Hi Sports Caravan bundled up like a Sherpa in the Himalayas at the two games covered, curtailed the St. Mary’s of Berkeley team from reaching its destination at Humboldt State in Arcata for its Friday night matchup with Fortuna.
Since neither team was likely to be considered for a NorCal Bowl berth, the NCS will decide on Monday how to remedy the situation. It would be a shame if they don’t play the game and declare co-champions. Maybe the Fortuna folks would be willing to come down for convenience sake and play it during the week at Rohnert Park Rancho Cotate.
It was a bad weekend for my neighbors in the Redwood Empire, with the two undefeated Bowl Game favorites going down to defeat.
On Friday, and in a constant rainstorm, No. 3 seed El Cerrito dominated top-seeded Marin Catholic in a 54-38 NCS D3 title-game victory that was 41-3 at one point before the Gauchos relaxed on defense.
Saturday in Rohnert Park it was 27 degrees when the game ended but it didn’t rain anything but footballs in a Miramonte 41-28 NCS D2 championship game victory over top-seeded Casa Grande.
Miramonte quarterback Drew Anderson was the rainmaker after the 6-4, 192-pound senior completed 21 of 29 passes for 438 yards and five touchdowns. Look for more on Anderson later this week in the Stat Stars Record Book Tracker.
Here are this week’s new rankings:
(Through games of December 7) (Previous ranking in parenthesis)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 13-0
No surprises this week in the Spartans’ 22nd consecutive NCS championship and 229th straight win against teams north of Fresno. Will Folsom have some surprises for Sparta on Saturday night at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.
2. (2) Serra (San Mateo) 11-2
The Padres finally made it to the mountain in the CCS Open Division, but it wasn’t easy in a 21-7 title-game victory over Mitty that was tied 0-0 at halftime and the Padres trailed 7-0 in the third quarter. Serra will now face Loomis Del Oro at San Jose City College on Friday night in the NorCal D1 Bowl Game.
3. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 11-2**
Mitty played without starting quarterback Trenton Scharrenberg but still led 7-0 in the third quarter before the roof caved in. No drop in this group when their only losses are to Serra.
4. (5) California (San Ramon) 11-3**
Even with a 49-17 loss to De La Salle, there’s no one to jump them and in fact they move up to take Marin Catholic’s spot.
5. (6) Pittsburg 10-3**
The Pirates get back the spot they lost last week since they get dragged along to remain behind California.
6. (7) Deer Valley (Antioch) 11-2**
The Wolverines’ season ended in a 57-27 loss to De La Salle and that score is looking pretty good right now.
7. (14) El Cerrito 11-2
This is where the Gauchos rise after their huge win over previous No. 4 Marin Catholic. They can be in front of the Bellarmine team that edged them, 28-25, in week two because that was early and El Cerrito now has a chance to win the D3 state title. If the Gauchos were to lose either this week or next, then they’d drop back behind the Bells.
8. (8) James Logan (Union City) 9-3**
Stays the same as last week.
9. (4) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 12-1**
The gusty wind and heavy rain are a passing team’s nightmare, and also makes tackling quick, elusive runners difficult as well. All were factors in the loss to El Cerrito. The Wildcats’ earlier win, though, over Miramonte is now looking better.
10. (9) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 7-5**
El Cerrito’s rise causes one-spot drop.
11. (10) Valley Christian (San Jose) 8-4**
The Warriors were shorthanded again but the second meeting with Mitty wasn’t anywhere as close as the first one.
12. (13) Bellarmine (San Jose) 8-4**
The Bells get a bump due to head to head win over El Cerrito.
13. (15) Campolindo (Moraga) 11-1**
The lone loss came in a split with El Cerrito. Earlier win over Miramonte causes rankings’ rise.
14. (16) Miramonte (Orinda) 12-2**
The Mats won their ninth NCS title but still can’t jump the two teams that dealt them their losses, MC and Campo. The Mats’ faithful held out hope for bowl berth but it didn’t happen, although in CIF press conference Sunday afternoon it was stated the D2 North drew some of the longest and toughest discussions.
15. (18) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 9-2**
This team has a win over Los Gatos but a loss to Milpitas and both of those teams won CCS titles. Other loss is to Bellarmine.
16. (20) Los Gatos 10-3**
The way the Wildcats have been playing it’s not really an upset, but after they trailed 17-14 at the half few expected it to be the Cats putting pedal to the medal in the second half and the defense sealing the deal in a 31-14 CCS Division II title game victory over St. Francis.
17. (21) Milpitas 11-2**
The Trojans have a loss to Wilcox but a win over Los Gatos, and this past week they added a CCS Division I title to their resume with a 37-23 victory over Hollister San Benito.
18. (12) St. Francis (Mountain View) 9-4**
The Lancers were soundly beaten by Los Gatos and have to drop behind all three of the De Anza League teams.
19. (11) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 13-1**
The clock struck midnight for Cinderella in the Miramonte loss, however despite not winning a first NCS championship it was still the greatest season in Casa Grande history.
20. (17) Clayton Valley (Concord) 10-2* **
This is where the drop begins to make room for CCS teams that either won a title or were in the mix with teams that did due to head-to-head results.
21. (19) Analy (Sebastopol) 11-2**
Tigers drop for same reason as Clayton Valley.
22. (22) Freedom (Oakley) 6-6**
Falcons get to hold tight.
23. (23) Terra Nova (Pacifica) 10-1**
These Tigers hold tight and continue to fall in behind Freedom.
24. (24) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 12-1
Despite winning a second straight CCS Division IV title with a 56-21 victory over Pacific Grove, the Gators can’t jump the Terra Nova team that beat them and played in the CCS Open Division. That could change if the Gators can pull off a huge upset in the CIF Division III North Bowl Game against El Cerrito.
25. (NR) Aptos 11-2**
We thought strongly about giving the final spot to McClymonds since Aptos has two stinker losses to Alameda Encinal and at Clovis East, but both were close, Encinal played everyone tough, and Clovis East is a large school. Plus, the Mariners earned the spot and took it away from St. Ignatius by winning the CCS Division III title from SI, in a 41-35 victory.
Dropped out: Previous No. 25 St. Ignatius
Teams On The Bubble
Acalanes (Lafayette) 8-4**, Alvarez (Salinas) 11-1** Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 5-6**, Burlingame 11-1**, Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 8-4**, Carmel 11-1**, Concord 7-3* **, Encinal (Alameda) 8-3**, Foothill (Pleasanton) 8-3** Granada (Livermore) 6-6**, Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 7-5**, Liberty (Brentwood) 5-4* **, McClymonds (Oakland) 10-2, Menlo (Atherton) 6-4**, Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 8-4**, Montgomery (Santa Rosa) 10-3**, Northgate (Walnut Creek) 9-3**, Palma (Salinas) 7-4**, Palo Alto 6-6**, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 6-5**, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 4-9, St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 9-4, San Leandro 6-5**, San Marin (Novato) 9-3**, Windsor 6-6**
(*Not including forfeits) (**Season complete)
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend