13. (13) BELLARMINE (SAN JOSE) 9-1
Why This Ranking: Coach Mike Janda and his boys avoided the wild and wackiness that finally struck the West Catholic Athletic League when previous No. 21 Serra (San Mateo) was shut out 24-0 at home by 5-5 Mountain View St. Francis to create two-way ties for second and third place in the league. Meanwhile, the Bells rolled to their 16th straight win over a WCAL opponent by easy fashion against San Francisco Sacred Heart Cathedral to wrap up league play.
Weekend Result: The bell tolled for the Irish pretty quickly after Bellarmine opened up a 35-0 lead before coasting home to an easy win that wrapped up the league title. Kenneth Olugbode rushed for two touchdowns, and Joey Sanfilippo scored twice — on a 34-yard pass from K.J. Carta-Samuels and a 95-yard kickoff return.
Up Next: The Bells earned the top seed in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs and open at home on Friday at San Jose City College against No. 8 seed Pacifica Terra Nova. State Top 25 bubble team Oak Grove drew the No. 2 seed but before the Bells and Eagles meet in a title game matchup, three other WCAL teams — Serra, St. Ignatius and Archbishop Mitty — plus Palo Alto and Palma of Salinas are in the mix.
14. (14) OCEANSIDE 9-1
Why This Ranking: It’s not like the Pirates needed, or probably even wanted, a rest after outscoring their four league opponents 188-3 combined, but a bye is what they got as the top seed in the CIF San Diego Section Division II playoffs. While the team has that loss to Chaparral of Temecula, there are impressive wins over D1 section title favorite Mission Hills along with 10-1 Oakdale of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section. Plus, in order to win its section title, Oceanside will have to get through a strong field that includes defending D2 state champ Helix along with unbeaten Otay Ranch and 2011 D1 section champ Poway.
Weekend Result: The Pirates had a bye and did not play.
Up Next: Coach John Carroll and his boys play host to Chula Vista Hilltop, a 35-28 winner over Orange Glen of Escondido. The way the Pirates have dominated the CIFSDS schools this season, it’s doubtful anyone can stop them before the section final.
15. (15) CRENSHAW (LOS ANGELES) 9-1**
Why This Ranking: The Cougars did what they were supposed to in their playoff opener, but they are going to need to be impressive in order to keep moving up in the rankings heading towards a likely showdown with No. 2 Narbonne in the L.A. City Section Div. I finals. The Shaw’s early-season victory over Oaks Christian doesn’t look all that impressive anymore, either, and there aren’t any other L.A. City teams close to cracking the top 25. **Indicates win by default not incluced.
Weekend Result: Crenshaw was coasting a bit in its playoff opener against Arleta and leading only 10-7 near the end of the second quarter. The Cougars then scored right before halftime and it sparked them to a 38-7 victory. Crenshaw spread the wealth around as Max Lyons, Mossi Johnson, Devonte Singleton and Jacob Knight all hit pay dirt.
Up Next: Crenshaw, the No. 2 seed in the L.A. City Section Div. I playoffs, will face archrival Dorsey in the quarterfinals in a contest where The Shaw will be favored but the Dons will have tons of incentive. Dorsey lost 34-14 at home during the regular season and were not happy about a Shaw supporter branding a large “C” on its campus near the mural honoring the late Kevin Copeland.
16. (16) ELK GROVE 10-1
Why This Ranking: A loss to Franklin of Elk Grove four weeks ago ended the Thundering Herd’s hopes of an undefeated season but after two close wins to end the regular season they kept their hopes alive for a section championship and possible state bowl game appearance with a dominating 41-0 win over Ponderosa of Shingle Springs. Along the way to a potential CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title, they could face St. Mary’s of Stockton and Folsom.
Weekend Result: As has been the case most of this season, Robert Frazier was outstanding on both sides of the ball against Ponderosa. He carried16 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns while intercepting a pass on defense. Junior Wadus Parker ran for 73 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries while Tommy Arnold completed seven of his 11 pass attempts for 92 yards and a score to Bwon Canada. Along with the touchdown catch, Canada also had a sack and an interception on defense.
Up Next: In this week’s second round, Elk Grove will play Del Campo of Fair Oaks and will try to not look ahead to a potential semifinal matchup against Del Oro of Loomis or St. Mary’s of Stockton. That task will be easier because Del Campo nearly upset Elk Grove earlier season in a 20-16 contest.
17. (17) EDISON (HUNTINGTON BEACH) 10-1
Why This Ranking: The top seed in the CIFSS Southwest Division playoffs continues to roll, winning its seventh straight game since a six-point loss to No. 7 Mater Dei. Although there’s no place to move up this week, the Chargers could get a boost soon if they continue to dominate in the playoffs while some teams above them will begin to lose.
Weekend Result: With an opening-round 27-3 win over Anaheim Esperanza, Edison has now outscored its last four opponents 160-6 combined. Senior quarterback Aleksander Torgersen passed for 200 yards and a TD and led the team with 61 yards rushing and one score. Senior 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker Alejandro Perez led the defense with 11 tackles.
Up Next: Valencia of Placentia is the Chargers’ second-round opponent and moves on by virtue of avenging an early season 13-10 loss on the road at La Habra Sonora with a 31-13 victory last week in their own house. The two teams also have a common opponent in Villa Park, with Sonora on the short end 24-7, and with Edison a 27-7 winner in that team’s lone loss so far this season.
18. (18) CHAMINADE (WEST HILLS) 10-1
Why This Ranking: Despite two of the best teams that the Eagles have beaten (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame & Gardena Serra) continuing to make those wins look better and better, there was just no place for them to move up this week. That will probably change next week, especially if coach Ed Croson’s bunch keeps playing like it has been the last two months.
Weekend Result: While running back Terrell Newby is getting most of the accolades, this team has another phenom it can turn to as well in Donovan Lee. In last Friday’s 64-11 win against Pacifica of Oxnard to open up the CIF Western Division playoffs, Lee raced for touchdowns from 80 and 76 yards on kickoff returns. He also came up with two interceptions on defense and had a 3-yard scoring run. Newby, meanwhile, rushed for 140 yards and scored four times and now has 33 touchdowns for the season.
Up Next: The Eagles must travel for this week’s second-round playoff game, but still should have little difficulty getting past Morro Bay. They could get a test in the semis, however, from Camarillo, which also is 10-1 heading into its next game.
19. (19) LOMPOC 11-0
Why This Ranking: The Braves won their 31st consecutive game with a 42-7 triumph over St. Francis of La Canada to open the CIFSS Western Division playoffs. The score was indicative that Lompoc’s talent level and ability is on par with the Mission League’s other powers in the division such as No. 18 Chaminade and No. 21 Gardena Serra. St. Francis coach Jim Bonds was quite impressed with Lompoc’s size and blocking ability up front.
Weekend Result: Lompoc wasted no time jumping all over St. Francis, as Taylor Cornejo raced 90 yards for a touchdown. He also had an interception return for a touchdown and rushed for 59 yards on eight carries as Lompoc gained 240 rushing yards. Junior DT Ainuu Taua was also dominant on both sides of the ball.
Up Next: Lompoc will look to extend the state¹s longest winning streak (31 and counting) against 7-4 Culver City, the No. 3 team out of the Ocean League. Culver City lost to the only team it faced (Bishop Amat of La Puente) that cracked the Top 25 at some point this season.
20. (20) ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 9-2
Why This Ranking: This is the final spot in this week’s rankings in which there was no movement due to the many first-round section playoff routs. If the Warriors had not lost that one league game to Crespi of Encino (29-27), they would probably be in the top 10 of the state heading into this week’s games.
Weekend Result: Devon Dunn only got one TD pass, but still ended up 10 of 18 for 328 yards to help Alemany roll past Moorpark 42-14. This was one first-round playoff game, however, in which the rout was not expected since Moorpark was entering off of a win against Westlake of Westlake Village. Steven Mitchell had a huge game for Alemany as well. He had four catches for 216 yards, including an 81-yard score, and also added more than 80 yards on returns. Deshone Randall only rushed for 68 yards on 15 carries, but powered his way for four short touchdowns.
Up Next: All four of the CIFSS Pac-Five quarterfinals are strong matchups and the Warriors’ game against Mater Dei will be between the No. 7 Monarchs and No. 20 Alemany. It is probably the best defense that the Warriors have faced all season.
21. (25) SERRA (GARDENA) 9-2
Why This Ranking: With losses only to No. 2 Narbonne and to No. 18 Chaminade, the Cavaliers are an easy choice to move up and grab the slot that was previously occupied by one of the state’s other Serra high schools, the one in San Mateo. The Cavs owning a win over Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks also certainly helps as the Knights are now right behind following their win over Oaks Christian.
Weekend Result: Coach Scott Altenberg’s team made sure early on that there would be no repeat of last year’s stunning loss to Culver City in the first-round of the CIFSS Western Division playoffs. The Cavs scored early and dominated on both sides of the ball in a 49-14 romp past Oxnard. Despite committing 15 penalties, Serra rolled behind junior quarterback Jalen Greene and its defense. Greene passed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 86 yards on just five carries with one other score. The defense held Oxnard’s Adam Espinosa, who had rushed for 1,500 yards in the regular season, to just 35 yards on 22 carries.
Up Next: It still looks like Serra is on track to play No. 19 Lompoc in the CIFSS Western Division semifinals in two weeks, but first the boys need to take care of business in this week’s quarterfinals against Santa Monica. The Vikings (8-3) advanced to that game by defeating Templeton 44-0.
22. (NR) NOTRE DAME (SHERMAN OAKS) 8-3
Why This Ranking: As easy as it was to move up Serra of Gardena to No. 21 this week, it also was easy to put the Knights back in at No. 22. All three of the teams they’ve lost to – Serra, Chaminade and Alemany – are ranked higher plus they are coming off a big win over previous No. 22 Oaks Christian. Notre Dame also has quality wins over Crespi of Encino and Hamilton of Chandler, Ariz. Hamilton is 10-2 and still going strong in the Arizona Class 5A state playoffs. Its last loss was the one to the Knights.
Weekend Result: The 2011-12 State Boys Athlete of the Year, running back Khalfani Muhammad, scored twice on runs of 13 and 19 yards in helping Notre Dame beat Oaks Christian 28-27. The first-round CIFSS Pac-Five Division win also was aided by Kelly Hilinski completing 10 of 16 passes for 192 yards, including a 63-yard TD to Daniel Khan. Still, for the Knights to move on, they had to watch a PAT kick with 1:19 left sail wide. Otherwise, Oaks Christian would have tied the score at 28-28 and likely sent the game to overtime.
Up Next: Don’t pay attention to the official record of this week’s opponent, St. John Bosco of Bellflower, in the CIFSS Pac-Five quarterfinals. The Braves may be 7-4 in the office due to forfeit losses, but on the field they are 11-0 and could be the best team that the Knights have played this season.
23. (NR) BURBANK (SACRAMENTO) 11-0
Why This Ranking: We’ve been holding back a bit on the Titans, waiting for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs to start and can’t do that any longer. Their second win of the season over Grant of Sacramento helps with this upward move, but it’s perhaps more about getting a win over Del Oro of Loomis (which has a win over 9-1 James Logan of Union City).
Weekend Result: Burbank improved to 11-0 for the first time ever by topping Grant 26-19. Senior Isaiah Williams, who had more than 250 yards rushing when the team beat the Pacers earlier in the season, ripped off 155 this time and scored on a 25-yard run. Quarterback Ernest Jenkins added 140 yards and one score on the ground, while Keith Marcus contributed with a 66-yard scoring run.
Up Next: Coach John Heffernan’s squad will host 7-4 Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove in this week’s SJS D1 quarterfinals. Pleasant Grove enters after a 22-21 win over Stagg of Stockton, which was 9-1 entering that game. The Eagles are no stranger to playoff success, either, so it will be another test for Burbank. Pleasant Grove won the D1 section crown two years ago and made it to the finals last year.
24. (NR) MURRIETA VALLEY (MURRIETA) 10-1
Why This Ranking: With the shaking up of the bottom of the rankings, we decided to make the Nighthawks one of three newly ranked teams this week. Their lone loss was to No. 3 Vista Murrieta 45-17 but it was followed up by an impressive 41-31 road win against Chaparral of Temecula to set the stage for them finishing second in the Southwestern League. Chaparral had been in the State Top 25 earlier in the season when it had a win over Oceanside and a close loss to Tesoro.
Weekend Result: In a game that was tied at 21 apiece at halftime, it was the Nighthawks’ defense that stood strong in the second half for a 35-27 win over Eisenhower of Rialto in the first-round of the CIFSS Inland Division playoffs. Andrew Blake had two touchdown passes and rushed for a score as Murrieta Valley won its first playoff game since 2008. With a narrow 28-27 lead in the fourth quarter, Damon Nolan returned a kickoff 95 yards for the game’s final touchdown.
Up Next: Trying to make their stay in the Top 25 more than just for one week, the Nighthawks will face No. 8 Centennial of Corona in the second round this week. Given its track record and University of Oregon-style offense, Centennial is a big favorite but you never know.
25. (24) CLOVIS 9-1
Why This Ranking: The Cougars had a bye, and despite the El Toro team that dealt them their lone loss ending its season with a second straight loss, the top team from the CIF Central Section stays in the rankings. El Toro’s exit just cost them one spot. It is at this point of the season when a head-to-head loss is diminished when one team is done while the other is still going. If Clovis doesn’t win its section title, then El Toro would go back in front. The Cougars do have that one big win, too, over Clovis North.
Weekend Result: Clovis did not play. Team had a bye in Division I section playoffs.
Up Next: Liberty of Bakersfield comes to town off a 28-3 win over a cross-town Buchanan team that Clovis beat 14-0 on the road early in the season. Liberty also beat Buchanan 42-21 in week four and also dealt previously state-ranked Bakersfield one of its two losses. The teams have a couple of other common opponents but one that stands out is a 15-12 road win for Clovis over previously state-ranked Fresno Central, a team that beat Liberty 10-9 in Bakersfield. At this stage in the Central Section Division I playoffs with so many common opponents and teams beating each other, an upset of Clovis is unlikely, but would not be a shocker.
TEAMS THAT DROPPED OUT
Previous No. 21 Serra (San Mateo); No. 22 Oaks Christian (Westlake Village); No. 23 El Toro (Lake Forest).
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Bishop Amat (La Puente) 7-3-1*
Buhach Colony (Atwater) 9-2
California (San Ramon) 8-2
Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 8-2
Charter Oak (Covina) 10-1
Central (Fresno) 9-2
Citrus Hill (Perris) 11-0
Clovis North (Clovis) 9-1
Crespi (Encino) 8-2*
El Toro (Lake Forest) 9-2*
Freedom (Oakley) 9-2
Granite Bay 8-3
Helix (La Mesa) 8-1
James Logan (Union City) 10-1
La Serna (Whittier) 10-1
Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 8-3
Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 10-1
Oak Grove (San Jose) 10-0
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 10-1
Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 8-3*
Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 8-3
Placer (Auburn) 11-0
Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 10-0
Rancho Cucamonga 9-2
Serra (San Mateo) 8-2
Serrano (Phelan) 11-0
St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 7-3
St. Mary’s (Stockton) 9-2
*Indicates season complete.
Note: This bubble list isn’t exactly an honorable mention list because it doesn’t include every team that has lost in a playoff game and is finished for the season. Some teams are put on the bubble because they are still going in the playoffs.
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