1. (1) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 5-0
Why This Ranking: There would be no change close to being contemplated with No. 2 team having a bye and with De La Salle posting an easy shutout win.
Weekend Result: Allan Marion’s 61-yard punt return for a score put the Spartans on the board even before the offense ran a play in their 57-0 romp past Livermore. The visiting Cowboys came into the game averaging 313 yards per game on the ground, but only got 53 vs. the vaunted DLS front seven. And this was still with standouts Austin Hooper and Victor Egu being held out with injuries. Tiapepe Vitale rushed for four scores while Kyle Mouton had nine carries for 130 yards and one TD.
Up Next: Coach Bob Ladouceur’s squad hosts Foothill of Pleasanton on Friday. Foothill is coming in after a 36-7 loss to unbeaten California of San Ramon, but had a quality win the week before over Monte Vista of Danville. California now looks like it could be 9-0 on Nov. 2 when it hosts DLS. If that happens, the Grizzlies probably will have climbed pretty high in the State Top 25 by then.
2. (2) SANTA MARGARITA (RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA) 5-0
Why This Ranking: Life without Nebraska-bound quarterback Johnny Stanton (out with ACL knee surgery) was delayed one week with the team having a bye before opening Trinity League action this week with a new signal caller. The good news for Eagles’ faithful is that the week off gives coach Harry Welch and his staff time to prepare for not having Stanton. The biggest question in southeast Orange County is which of the two main backups, junior Josh Canty or sophomore Kyle Sweet, will win the job this week. Sources also say that 6-foot-4 JV quarterback K.J. Costello may be brought up as well. The ability to stay in the elite of California prep football may rest on whether the new quarterback that emerges can step up and fill the void.
Weekend Result: The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for Welch as it gives him time to groom a new signal caller and tweak the offense if necessary.
Up Next: If Welch had all his horses, the Trinity League opener with a 2-3 Anaheim Servite would probably be an easy win. Now, we’ll have to wait and see just what kind of drop-off the loss of Stanton will have on the team, if any.
3. (3) VISTA MURRIETA (MURRIETA) 5-0
Why This Ranking: The Broncos needed no late rally last week as they had an easy time picking up their fifth win of the season. With the big injury to Johnny Stanton of Santa Margarita, Vista Murrieta could be the team to move up should Santa Margarita lose a game. If that loss is to Mater Dei, however, that would obviously favor Narbonne moving up to second.
Weekend Result: Nick Stevens passed for 203 yards and three touchdowns as the Broncos ended their non-league portion of the schedule with a 42-6 win over Palisades of Pacific Palisades. Stevens completed 10 of his 12 pass attempts. Vista Murrieta led 42-0 at halftime.
Up Next: Southwestern League play gets going this week for the Broncos as they go on the road to take on Temecula Valley of Temecula. The last time they lost a game in league play was back in 2008. They have gone 15-0 over the past three seasons.
4. (4) NARBONNE (HARBOR CITY) 5-0
Why This Ranking: The Gauchos’ one-point victory over state-ranked Mater Dei was the program’s fourth consecutive impressive outing against a highly-regarded CIF Southern Section opponent. The three teams ahead of Narbonne, however, also won last week or didn’t play and it’s rare for us to drop a highly ranked team in those circumstances.
Weekend Result: Narbonne linebacker Keishawn Bierria came up with yet another big play to spark the Gauchos. Two weeks ago it was a 54-yard fumble recovery touchdown against Gardena Serra and against Mater Dei it was an electrifying 92-yard punt return touchdown to give Narbonne its first score. Mater Dei wasn’t able to get outside against Narbonne’s highly-regarded defense, but it is susceptible to power running teams. The Gauchose also have big-play ability in all three facets of the game, but their kicking game is still a work in progress.
Up Next: Coach Manuel Douglas’ team takes on winless Carson. After the Mater Dei win, Douglas reminded his team the Colts are still dangerous, as they have lost only to teams outside the L.A. City Section. Narbonne also has the pressure of knowing any slips the rest of the way will virtually kill its chances at a CIF open division regional bowl game bid.
5. (5) BAKERSFIELD 5-0
Why this ranking: With everyone above them either winning or having a bye like the Drillers had this past week, this means the pecking order doesn’t change among this week’s top spots.
Weekend result: Did not play.
Up Next: The Drillers open Southwest Yosemite League play with visiting Liberty of Bakersfield. Liberty was 4-1 in league last year with its lone loss coming in a 42-13 setback at home to 5-0 Bakersfield. If the Drillers run the table this year and enter the playoffs 10-0, a Valley (CIF Central Section) title should mean Bakersfield will play in the SoCal bowl games either in the Open Division or Division I.
6. (6) MISSION VIEJO 6-0
Why This Ranking: The Diablos hold fast just like the rest of the top 10 after an easy win over Redlands East Valley of Redlands. Things may get a little tougher for the team now that South Coast League action begins with back-to-back games on the road.
Weekend Result: Coach Bob Johnson’s high-powered offense didn’t put up 84 points on the board like it did two weeks ago, but went over the 50-point mark for the third time this season in a 52-21 victory over the visitors from Redlands, a game in which they scored on their first four possessions. Not only was the offense clicking, but the defense recorded nine sacks. Garrett Marino, a 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive end, had five sacks (one shy of making the Cal-Hi Sports state record book), forced a fumble and recovered it to set up a touchdown run for Marcus Collins. Quarterback Ian Fieber threw for over 300 yards and three TDs, while running back Alex Suchesk rushed for 117 yards and two scores.
Up Next: The sniping around Orange County is with Santa Margarita’s woes at quarterback that the Diablos may ascend to the county’s top spot in the rankings. They probably won’t be tested in the South Coast opener at San Clemente, a team coming off two-straight losses, but in two weeks they face No. 7 Tesoro in what could be a real doozy.
7. (7) TESORO (RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA) 5-0
Why This Ranking: There was no reason to move the Titans anywhere as they didn’t play and no teams lost or won that were near them in last week’s rankings.
Weekend Result: Tesoro did not play after winning 17-14 over No. 16 Chaparral of Temecula the week before.
Up Next: With an extra week to prepare, coach Brian Barnes’ team hits the road to take on Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo in the South Coast League opener. Last season, Tesoro opened up league play with a 26-14 home win over the Mustangs.
8. (8) ELK GROVE 5-0
Why This Ranking: Like Tesoro, the Thundering Herd did not play a game and with the teams around them winning or not playing they stayed put after moving up three spots the previous week.
Weekend Result: The No. 1 ranked team in Sacramento and No. 1 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section did not play after defeating Nevada Union of Grass Valley the week before 43-19.
Up Next: Delta Valley League play will get underway with a home game against Laguna Creek of Elk Grove. Elk Grove has won its last five league games, but didn’t win the league title two years ago because Grant of Sacramento had one of its more loaded squads.
9. (9) ST. BONAVENTURE (VENTURA) 5-1
Why This Ranking: All teams higher than the Seraphs had byes last week or won so it wasn’t possible to reward them with any kind of a bump following their big win against Westlake of Westlake Village. And with Westlake having losses in its two previous games, the win against Westlake also doesn’t carry as much weight as it might have earlier in the season.
Weekend Result: The Seraphs (who have lost only to No. 2 Santa Margarita) shined on defense and special teams in defeating Westlake 31-23. The defense scored on a 77-yard interception return by Marcus Chambers and on a 34-yard interception return by Davontae Nunnery. Darren Flores also reached the end zone on a 5-yard return of a blocked punt.
Up Next: With the Westlake game out of the way, St. Bonaventure should be in cruise control for several weeks. The Seraphs host Simi Valley on Friday, then have a bye after that.
10. (10) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 4-1
Why This Ranking: Since their season-opening 40-35 loss to St. Bonaventure of Ventura, the Huskies have won four straight and continue to light up the scoreboard so it makes sense to have them right behind the Seraphs once again this week.
Weekend Result: Robert Webber completed seven of his 12 pass attempts for 227 yards and two touchdowns as the Huskies defeated Etiwanda 68-15. Averaging 49 points per game, Centennial jumped out to a 34-0 lead after the first quarter before outscoring the Eagles 34-15 over the final three quarters.
Up Next: Coach Matt Logan’s team has gone 7-0 in each of the last two years in Big VIII League competition. This year’s team can’t do that because J.W. North of Riverside is no longer in the league, but a perfect record can still be attained and in one of the tougher leagues around that’s nothing to sneeze at. The first league game this year is Friday at Corona.
11. (12) ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 5-1
Why This Ranking: The Warriors were moved up one spot this week after notching a win over a Norco team that was coming into the matchup fresh after beating La Serna of Whittier (La Serna, remember, beat Westlake 38-9 two weeks ago). Alemany’s only loss is 34-32 to Corona Centennial.
Weekend Result: After Norco cut the score to 20-13 early in the fourth quarter, Devon Dunn answered for Alemany with a 33-yard touchdown run. The Warriors went on to a 27-13 triumph. Dunn finished 20 of 26 passing for 284 yards and one touchdown. He also had 11 carries for 51 yards rushing. Deshone Randall added a 2-yard scoring run and a 59-yard TD reception.
Up Next: After two straight 4-0 finishes in the rugged Serra League, the Warriors will start their quest for a third straight 4-0 run when they host 5-1 Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks on Friday. The Knights were No. 16 in last week’s State Top 25, but lost to Chaminade of West Hills and had to drop out this week.
12. (14) ST. JOHN BOSCO (BELLFLOWER) 5-0*
Why This Ranking: The four forfeit losses may come into play if the Braves were to win the CIF Southern Section Pac-Five title and then go for a CIF regional bowl berth, but in the state rankings we do it’s only on-the-field results that count. Bosco’s latest on-the-field result was pretty impressive too since it was on the road against a very good out-of-state opponent.
Weekend Result: Sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen connected with tight end Nick Lehman for a 28-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left as the Braves topped Jordan (Sandy, Utah) 34-33. The Beetdiggers (had to get Jordan’s unique nickname in here) were 5-0 and were No. 1 in the Class 5A state rankings for Utah entering the matchup. Rosen ended 21 of 30 for 277 yards and four scores. Chandler Hawkins helped out on defense with a pair of interceptions.
Up Next: Trinity League play starts for St. John Bosco Friday against unbeaten Lutheran of Orange at Orange Coast College. While the Lancers have not played the same type of schedule as the Braves, you just never know when it comes to the Trinity League and it’s not like Bosco has a recent tradition of doing well in the league, either.
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