Week 4: NorCal CIF Bowl Rankings

Serra of San Mateo running back Eric Redwood is now the team’s main threat after graduation of Erich Wilson (now at Washington). Photo: Harold Abend.

There are no new No. 1 teams, but new teams going up to No. 2 include Inderkum, El Cerrito and Valley Christian of Dublin. Go inside to read analysis of every division by long-time editor Mark Tennis. Check this page on Thursday for nearly 100 State Stat Stars for the last two weeks of games.

Note: The top 10 teams that would be ranked by CalHiSportsFootball for the CIF Open Division in Northern California would be:

1. De La Salle (Concord); 2. Elk Grove; 3. James Logan (Union City); 4. Lincoln (Stockton); 5. Franklin (Elk Grove); 6. Bellarmine (San Jose); 7. Folsom; 8. Serra (San Mateo); 9. Buhach Colony (Atwater); 10. Placer (Auburn).

With assistance from Harold Abend and Paul Muyskens, here are the Week 4 rankings for each of Northern California’s CIF bowl game divisions (previous ranking in parentheses):

1.  (1) De La Salle (Concord) 3-0
2.  (2) Elk Grove 4-0
3.  (5) James Logan (Union City) 4-0
4.  (4) Lincoln (Stockton) 2-1
5.  (14) Franklin (Elk Grove) 4-0
6.  (6) Bellarmine (San Jose) 2-1
7.  (7) Folsom 4-0
8.  (10) Serra (San Mateo) 2-0
9.  (15) Buhach Colony (Atwater) 3-1
10. (NR) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 3-0
11. (8) Palo Alto 1-1
12. (12) Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 3-1
13. (13) California (San Ramon) 3-0
14. (NR) Luther Burbank (Sacramento) 3-0
15. (NR) Granite Bay 1-2
Drops: Previous No. 3 Vacaville lost to Granite Bay 47-21; No. 9 Palma (Salinas) lost to St. Joseph (Santa Maria) 22-7; No. 11 Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) lost to Inderkum (Sacramento) 42-28.
Bubble Teams: Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 2-1, Del Oro (Loomis) 0-3, Freedom (Oakley) 2-2, Monte Vista (Danville) 3-0, Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 2-2, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 2-1, St. Mary’s (Stockton) 2-2, Vacaville 2-1, Valley Christian (San Jose) 1-1.
No. 1 Team Result: De La Salle (Concord) defeated St. Mary’s (Stockton) 21-13.
Race for No. 1: Whenever De La Salle has an unexpectedly close game, such as the one last Friday at home against St. Mary’s of Stockton, it can cause much excitement that the school’s 20-year run of dominance in Northern California might be about to end. The Spartans, though, have had numerous scares early in the season (such as last year vs. Bellarmine and in 2008 vs. Serra of San Mateo) and have gotten the kinks out of their offense in time for the playoffs. St. Mary’s also has played De La Salle strongly in Concord in the past. In fact, the closest game DLS had at home in its national-record 151-game win streak was against the Rams. Another theme for the season in this division could be that there is no dominant team in the Sac-Joaquin Section. Elk Grove’s four-point win over Del Campo of Fair Oaks was followed up last week by a much-more-like-it 54-0 romp past Sheldon. But previous No. 3 Vacaville was surprisingly beaten easily at home 47-21 by Granite Bay. The Grizzlies, who opened with two bad losses to SoCal powers Westlake and Oaks Christian, have another chance to beat a ranked team in Week 5 when they host Lincoln of Stockton. But Lincoln is going to have to prove it can finally beat St. Mary’s on Friday. When Granite Bay and Lincoln meet, Granite Bay could actually be the higher-ranked team.

1.  (1) Placer (Auburn) 3-0
2.  (3) Inderkum (Sacramento) 3-0
3.  (2) Concord 4-0
4.  (4) Paradise 2-1
5.  (5) Oakdale 2-1
6.  (6) Benicia 3-0
7.  (7) Sierra (Manteca) 3-0
8.  (NR) Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 3-0
9.  (10) Foothill (Palo Cedro) 2-1
10. (8) Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) 3-1
Drops: Previous No. 9 Windsor lost to Washington (Fremont) 25-20.
Bubble Teams: American Canyon 4-0, Casa Grande (Petaluma) 2-1, Dublin 2-2, Washington (Fremont) 1-2, Windsor 1-2.
No. 1 Team Result: Placer defeated Casa Roble (Orangevale) 63-21.
Race for No. 1: While Placer stayed solid in the top spot, there was a switch directly behind the Hillmen in this week’s rankings. Previous No. 3 Inderkum took on Pleasant Grove, which was in the D1 North rankings and has been to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I final for the last two seasons, and put a 42-28 defeat on the Eagles’ slate. Concord has been strong as well, including a 50-13 win last week over Bethel of Vallejo, but Inderkum’s win over Pleasant Grove is enough for the bump.
Placer and Inderkum could meet in the Sac-Joaquin Division III playoffs if Placer stays in that bracket and does not get shuffled down to Division IV. Three of the top seven teams in this division – Paradise, Oakdale and Sierra of Manteca – also did not play last week, which prevented too many other moves from taking place.
Note about CIF Central Coast Section teams: Once the playoff brackets are announced, we expect several quality teams from CCS “A” leagues that are not going to be in the CCS Open Division to be placed in the section’s Division I or Division II brackets. Examples could be a third-place team from the West Catholic Athletic League or a second-place team from the De Anza League (Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Milpitas, etc.).
At that point, those teams would then get placed into our D2 North bowl game rankings (they are all considered Division I now) and it’s possible one or more of those teams will be ranked near the top.

1.  (1) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 3-1
2.  (6) El Cerrito 4-0
3.  (3) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 3-0
4.  (5) Los Banos 4-0
5.  (4) Sutter 3-0
6.  (2) Campolindo (Moraga) 3-1
7.  (7) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 3-1
8.  (8) Seaside 2-0
9.  (9) Salesian (Richmond) 4-0
10. (10) Hilmar 4-0
Drops: None.
Bubble Teams: Aptos 1-2, Argonaut (Jackson) 4-0, Carmel 2-1, Escalon 3-1, Menlo School (Atherton) 2-0, Ripon 4-0, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 3-0, Soquel 2-1, St. Helena 3-0, West Valley (Cottonwood) 4-0.
No. 1 Team Result: Marin Catholic bounced back from loss to Vacaville by blowing out bubble team Justin-Siena of Napa 47-7.
Race for No. 1: It was a battle between a pair of 3-0 teams as previous No. 2 Campolindo and No. 6 El Cerrito battled in Moraga and when the clock finally read 0:00 it was the lower-ranked Gauchos who pulled out a hard-fought 16-14 road win to earn the bump up to the No. 2 spot this week. Marshon Ardoin had two touchdowns for El Cerrito as it forced a turnover on downs in the game’s final minute to clinch the victory. Later this month, El Cerrito also could be the team to end Richmond Salesian’s long winning streak. The two teams play on Sept. 29. Salesian won last weekend and has won 27 straight games. Los Banos, meanwhile, scored at least 42 points for the third straight week and gained one position in this week’s rankings. The Tigers went on the road and defeated Dos Palos 43-7 in the “Westside War” as James Sams ran for 135 yards and a score while also catching two passes for 100 yards and another score. Los Banos should have a tougher test this week when it plays Central Catholic of Modesto, still the No. 1 team in the Division IV North rankings.
Note about CIF Central Coast Section teams: Once the playoff brackets are announced, we expect several quality teams from CCS “A” leagues that are not going to be in the CCS Open Division to be placed in the section’s Division III or Division IV brackets. At that point, those teams would then get placed into our D3 North bowl game rankings and it’s possible one or more of those teams will be ranked near the top.

1.  (1) Central Catholic (Modesto) 2-2
2.  (4) Valley Christian (Dublin) 4-0
3.  (5) Capital Christian (Sacramento) 4-0
4.  (3) McClymonds (Oakland) 1-2
5.  (2) Ferndale 2-1
6.  (7) Le Grand 2-1
7.  (9) Pierce (Arbuckle) 4-0
8.  (NR) St. Vincent de Paul (Petaluma) 2-1
9.  (8) Bradshaw Christian (Sacramento) 1-3
10. (NR) Foresthill 3-1
Drops: Previous No. 6 Willows lost to Orland 24-6; No. 10 Woodland Christian lost to Foresthill 28-6.
Bubble Teams:  Chester 3-0, Hamilton (Hamilton City) 2-1, St. Bernard (Eureka) 2-1, Willows 1-2.
No. 1 Team Result: Central Catholic lost to Downey (Modesto) 45-42.
Race for No. 1: The top three teams from last week in this division all lost. Once again, Central Catholic’s loss was to a much bigger school and because both Ferndale (lost 27-7 to Argonaut) and McClymonds (lost 20-18 to West Valley of Cottonwood) also lost there was no reason to make a change at the top. The Raiders could even stay No. 1 in this division next week if they lose again this week to D3 North ranked Los Banos. Valley Christian, Ferndale and the rest of schools in the CIF North Coast Section have until Friday of this week to declare if they are going to move up or stay put in this year’s playoffs. If both Valley Christian and Ferndale stay put, they’d both be in the NCS Division V bracket. If they were to elect to move up (Ferndale almost always does), both teams would be in Division IV, which is the same as Salesian of Richmond and potentially could be the same as Marin Catholic or Cardinal Newman (although those two probably will move up to D3). From our selfish reasons (which is to eventually send the best NorCal teams to state bowl games), we hope both Valley Christian and Ferndale don’t move up.

Comments or corrections? Email markjtennis@gmail.com.

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