(After games of Saturday, Oct. 13)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Writeups by Mark Tennis, Ronnie Flores, Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens)
1. (1) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 7-0
Why This Ranking: With previous No. 2 Santa Margarita losing, there is even less doubt than before that the Spartans should be No. 1 in the state until they lose. All of the Southern California naysayers about the team’s strength of schedule, however, will always be around even though the last three CIF Open Division bowl game wins (28-14, 48-7, 35-0) were rather convincing.
Weekend Result: A 10-yard interception return for a score by USC-bound Michael Hutchings gave De La Salle a 14-3 early lead en route to a 52-24 triumph against Amador Valley of Pleasanton. Allan Marion would later add a kickoff return touchdown while Tiapepe Vitale rushed for 142 yards. The negative was that the defense allowed 278 yards of passing by Amador Valley’s Kyle Moreno.
Up Next: Monte Vista of Danville may not be in the Top 25 for the state, but the 6-1 Mustangs still look very capable of giving the Spartans all they can handle in this Friday’s matchup at Owen Owens Field. If DLS plays like it did on offense in its matchup earlier this season against St. Mary’s of Stockton and gives up yards and points on defense like it has against Foothill of Pleasanton and Amador Valley, Monte Vista has a chance to become the first S.F. Bay Area team since 1991 to get a win against Sparta.
2. (4) NARBONNE (HARBOR CITY) 7-0
Why This Ranking: With previous No. 2 Santa Margarita losing to a team Narbonne already beat (Mater Dei), the decision was made to move the Gauchos up two spots ahead of No. 3 Vista Murrieta. Nabonne’s victory over Mater Dei was one big factor and the quality of its overall wins so far compared to Vista Murrieta’s was the other. The overall record of the Broncos’ five non-league foes is currently 26-11 while Narbonne’s is 25-11, but even Narbonne’s victory over 5-2 Gardena Serra is as good as any Vista Murrieta win so far. That could change in the CIFSS Inland Division playoffs or if Mater Dei suddenly goes flat.
Weekend Result: Narbonne took care of business against Banning of Wilmington, 54-7, even though All-State QB Troy Williams was held to 115 yards passing. RB Tony Gates stepped up for 218 yards and three rushing touchdowns as the Gauchos scored five times on the ground. The running game is an aspect of the offense coach Manuel Douglas wants to keep improving in preparation for the playoffs.
Up Next: Douglas’ boys will take on 5-2 and always tough San Pedro. Narbonne is at home for a game that will go a long way in deciding the Marine League title.
3. (3) VISTA MURRIETA (MURRIETA) 7-0
Why This Ranking: With previous No. 2 Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita losing, many Bronco fans were probably expecting to see their team move up a spot but instead the team has been left at No. 3 in favor of Harbor City Narbonne. This is not a final ranking, however, and it could change. While Narbonne has played a stronger schedule so far, the rest of the schedule could get stronger for Vista Murrieta and weaker for Narbonne. This would be due to the teams each could possibly face in their respective section playoffs.
Weekend Result: With a dominating defense that forced six turnovers and scored two touchdowns, the Broncos defeated Great Oak of Temecula 65-14 to move to 2-0 in Southwestern League play. Treshon Broughton intercepted a pass and returned it 60 yards for a score while Tyler Cook returned a fumble 19 yards for six points. Bryce Smith also recovered two fumbles while blocking a punt out of the end zone for a safety. On offense, Nick Stevens had a touchdown pass and also rushed for two scores in the team’s highest scoring game this season.
Up Next: In a matchup of two teams with identical 7-0 records, the Broncos will go on the road and take on Murrieta Valley of Murrieta. Most believe Vista Murrieta’s toughest league challenge will come from state-ranked Chaparral, but you can never tell with a team that has a perfect record.
4. (5) MISSION VIEJO 7-0
Why This Ranking: With the loss by Santa Margarita, the Diablos ascend to the top spot in Orange County after sending San Clemente to its fourth straight defeat. There are those who may argue that the Diablos deserve to be higher, but at this point the schedule doesn’t dictate it. But if Mission were to continue to win and come out of the CIFSS Pac-Five as the champion at 14-0, not only will the team move up in the rankings but based on precedent would probably get one of the two SoCal Open Division bowl game bids no matter what happens with Narbonne and Vista Murrieta.
Weekend Result: It’s hardly a surprise that Mission Viejo posted a 45-7 win on the road at San Clemente, it was the way it happened. MV scored 21 points in both the first and second quarters to lead 42-0 at the half. The bye week didn’t produce any rust on quarterback Ian Fieber’s arm, either. The junior quarterback threw four touchdown passes in the first half and finished 13 of 18 for 261 yards. The Diablos have now scored 40-plus points in five straight games and are averaging more than 57 points per game.
Up Next: There was no guarantee Mission Viejo would meet an unbeaten Tesoro this week in Rancho Santa Margarita, and it won’t happen as Tesoro took it on the chin against El Toro. Still, now with El Toro proving it’s for real in the race for Orange County supremacy, the place will be going bonkers on Friday night when the high-powered offense of coach Bob Johnson gets its biggest test of the season.
5. (13) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 6-1
Why This Ranking: The Monarchs make the biggest movement up in this week’s ratings because of the common opponent factor between them and No. 6 St. Bonaventure with regards to Santa Margarita. Yes, Johnny Stanton didn’t play against Mater Dei, but the Monarchs won convincingly (24-7) whereas the game with St. Bonaventure came down to a two-point conversion attempt. Also coming into play is the fact Mater Dei lost to No. 2 Narbonne by a single point.
Weekend Result: Mater Dei’s defense rose to the occasion once again and is proving to be the strongpoint of coach Bruce Rollinson’s club this year. Santa Margarita was limited to 40 yards rushing and scored only because of a busted coverage in Mater Dei’s secondary on a fourth-and-27 play. Mater Dei’s J.C. Genova rushed for a game-high 64 yards, scored a touchdown and
contributed three sacks.
Up Next: There is no rest for Mater Dei following its big win as Rollo’s boys will tangle with No. 11 St. John Bosco with first-place in the Trinity League on the line. The comparative scores between the games against JSerra make the Monarchs the favorites going into this one, but St. John Bosco’s overtime win last Friday could inspire the Braves this week, too.
6. (2) SANTA MARGARITA (RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA) 6-1
Why This Ranking: Life without quarterback Johnny Stanton reared its ugly head with the offense getting exposed in a loss on the road at Mater Dei. Still, the No. 3 team from Orange County was in the game most of the way due to a pretty stout defense that just couldn’t keep holding down the visitors. Now, if Coach Harry Welch can continue re-building the offense, don’t expect the Eagles to disappear from the map. At this point, this is where the Eagles land in the rankings and that’s still ahead of St. Bonaventure due to a head-to-head win.
Weekend Result: Trailing 10-0 in the third quarter, the Eagles overcame a fumble in the red zone by sophomore quarterback Kyle Sweet when on the next play the sophomore connected on a 30-yard fourth-and-27 TD pass to Connor O’Brien that cut it to 10-7 late in the third quarter. Unfortunately for the boisterous Eagles’ faithful, Mater Dei came right back with a long scoring drive, and then on the offense’s next play from scrimmage Sweet threw a pick six and their fate was sealed in a 24-7 defeat.
Up Next: With Stanton not in the picture and the offense reeling a bit, every one of the Eagles’ remaining Trinity League opponents will present problems. It starts again this week on the road at 6-1 Orange Lutheran, whose only loss is to No. 11 St. John Bosco. In four meetings, the Eagles are 1-3 on the road against Orange Lutheran so this will be another huge test.
7. (6) ST. BONAVENTURE (VENTURA) 6-1
Why This Ranking: Teams that are idle don’t often move up or down in the rankings, but the Seraphs have to go down one spot to make room for Mater Dei going up. Although their loss to Santa Margarita occurred when standout QB Johnny Stanton was still starting for the Eagles and Mater Dei’s win last Friday came when Stanton was out, the common opponent score is still enough for Mater Dei to be in front of St. Bonaventure. The head-to-head loss also is still enough for St. Bonaventure to have to remain behind Santa Margarita.
Weekend Result: Coach Todd Therrian’s club enjoyed its bye week.
Up Next: Sophomore QB Ricky Town and the rest of the Seraphs hope to pick up right where they left off in a matchup Friday at Newbury Park. The Panthers just lost 27-17 to Westlake of Westlake Village.
8. (8) ELK GROVE 7-0
Why This Ranking: At first glance, a loss by previous No. 7 Tesoro made some room for the Thundering Herd to move up in this week’s rankings. Instead, we needed to move Mater Dei of Santa Ana into the top five after knocking off previous No. 2 Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita. This left the Thundering Herd at the same spot they called home last week.
Weekend Result: Grant of Sacramento has struggled somewhat this season and is in danger of missing the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time in 21 seasons. The Thundering Herd helped make sure of that as they went on the road and picked up a 24-0 victory against the Pacers. Robert Frazier ran for 159 yards and one touchdown while Wadus Parker rushed for 103 yards and two scores.
Up Next: In a game that has been circled for a few weeks, the Thundering Herd will host undefeated and current No. 14 Franklin of Elk Grove in a battle for the top spot in the Delta Valley League and the honor of being the top-ranked team in the Sacramento area.
9. (9) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 6-1
Why This Ranking: The Huskies stay behind St. Bonaventure due to a head-to-head loss so they don’t move up in this week’s rankings even though both previous No. 2 Santa Margarita and previous No. 7 Tesoro lost.
St. Bonaventure keeps winning and so do the Huskies so there is no need for the Huskies to make a move more than a spot or two in a given week as they remained tied for first in the Big VIII league with a last second win over Norco.
Weekend Result: Trailing 37-35 with under two minutes remaining, Centennial had the ball at its own three-yard line but then drove the field and set up Hector Luna for a 30-yard game-winning field goal with three seconds remaining for a 38-37 win. Luna on the night had three field goals, including a 49-yard field goal right before half time. Robert Webber completed 18 of his 31 pass attempts for 205 yards while Austin Renken rushed for 125 yards on 12 carries.
Up Next: Returning home this week for a Thursday night game, coach Matt Logan’s club will host King of Riverside. The Huskies are currently tied for first in the Big VIII League with Santiago of Corona, which they will play in two weeks to end the regular season.
10. (10) ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 7-1
Why This Ranking: Although previous No. 7 Tesoro dropped out of the top 10, the Warriors could not move up due to Mater Dei’s ascent into the top five. As a member of the CIFSS Pac-Five Division, however, all Alemany has to do is win in the playoffs and the rankings will take care of themselves.
Weekend Result: It was another Serra League offensive shootout when Alemany took on Bishop Amat of La Puente, but this time the score wasn’t as close as the Warriors topped the Lancers 56-35. Devon Dunn led the way by completing 22 of 34 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns. Dunn also scored twice on the ground. Sophomore Desean Holmes was the leading receiver with seven grabs for 175 yards and two scores. USC-bound Steven Mitchell had six catches for 56 yards and one score plus a 50-yard rushing touchdown. All totaled, coach Dean Herrington’s offense put up 634 yards. The defense, however, did give up 432.
Up Next: Alemany will take its bye this weekend. After that, it will be Crespi of Encino and Loyola of Los Angeles to end the regular season.
11. (11) ST. JOHN BOSCO (BELLFLOWER) 7-0*
Why This Ranking: The Braves almost cracked the top 10 this week as two previous top 10 squads went down last week. They didn’t go up because Mater Dei went in front and Santa Margarita wasn’t dropped that far. We also were hesitant to move up Bosco too quickly because the team almost blew a 24-point lead in their 44-41 overtime win over JSerra last Friday. On the other hand, the Braves face No. 5 Mater Dei this week and it’s a game they have the capability to win.
Weekend Result: St. John Bosco led 24-0 before JSerra tied the game at 38-38 on a 42-yard field goal with 35 seconds remaining in regulation. In overtime, St. John Bosco’s Darren Walker won it on a 25-yard scoring jaunt — his fifth touchdown of the game. Walker finished with 191 yards rushing while sophomore QB Josh Rosen accounted for 226 yards.
Up Next: Coach Jason Negro’s team will take on No. 5 Mater Dei with the winner clearly in the driver’s seat to win the coveted Trinity League crown. Bosco’s defense can’t have letdowns like it did against JSerra, a team Mater Dei beat 42-10.
12. (21) EL TORO (LAKE FOREST) 8-0
Why This Ranking: The Charger offense has been putting up big numbers and it continued as they put up 41 points and knocked off previous No. 7 Tesoro to remain undefeatd and earn the biggest jump in our state rankings this week.
Weekend Result: Utah-bound QB Conner Manning was just 14 of 27 passing for 280 yards but he did finish with four touchdown passes and surprisingly caught the game-winning touchdown in a 41-31 win over Tesoro. Trailing 31-27, Manning handed the ball to Jacob Furnari who ran right before stopping and throwing the ball back to the other side of the field to an open Manning, who walked into the end zone for six points. Besides throwing the game-winning touchdown, Furnari also rushed for 149 yards.
Up Next: It won’t get much easier for the Chargers the rest of the regular season as they go on the road to take on Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo before a regular season finale at No. 4 Mission Viejo.