13. (16) ELK GROVE 11-1
Why This Ranking: Controlling their chance to make a bowl game if they keep winning, the Thundering Herd currently are ranked third in the CIFSJS, behind only No. 8 Franklin and No. 9 Folsom. Their only loss is 17-7 to Franklin and they could play Folsom in two weeks.
Weekend Result: With the weather far from ideal for the passing game, the Thundering Herd featured the running game as they ran 45 times for 341 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-14 win over Del Campo of Fair Oaks. Del Campo also was a team that played its close (20-16) against Elk Grove early in the season. Robert Frazier led the rushing attack with 21 carries for 227 yards and two touchdowns while Wadus Parker added 100 yards and two scores on 19 carries. Parker also caught the team’s lone reception of the game as he took a pass from Tommy Arnold and went 82 yards for a score.
Up Next: Elk Grove will get to stay home for its semifinal game this week hosting 7-5 Del Oro of Loomis after the Golden Eagles went on the road and defeated St. Mary’s of Stockton 21-10. The Thundering Herd has not played Del Oro since 2008 when they went to Loomis and lost 27-22 in a regular season non-league matchup.
14. (14) OCEANSIDE 10-1
Why This Ranking: The Pirates get to stay in front of Edison for now because they keep rolling and we like to avoid dropping teams that do. However, two more teams have hopped Oceanside and Edison may be next. The problem is that the Pirates’ lone loss to Temecula Chaparral is becoming more of a blemish on their resume while teams like Edison, Chaminade and Serra of Gardena are benefitting from how they’re doing as well as by other key results involving teams they’ve played.
Weekend Result: The Pirates came off a bye but if the first playoff game and the last three games is any indication of things to come, coach John Carroll and the boys better start lobbying the commissioners right now. Chula Vista Hilltop was the latest victim of the juggernaut after a 50-0 Oceanside victory in the Division II quarterfinals. That makes it a 140-0 combined score in three games. In fact, since D1 top seed and semifinalist Mission Hills (San Marcos) put 17 points on the board against them two months ago the Pirates have outscored opponents 287-9 in six games. Against Hilltop, William Gulley rushed for four touchdowns and Israel “Tofi” Paopao threw for two scores, both to Johnny Arzola.
Up Next: A Valhalla (El Cajon) team comes northwest to Oceanside off a 34-33 victory over a Carlsbad La Costa Canyon team the Pirates hijacked 56-0 on the road. This will be Oceanside’s 19th straight trip to the semifinals where it will seek a ninth consecutive berth in the finals and 14th title.
15. (17) EDISON (HUNTINGTON BEACH) 11-1
Why This Ranking: The Chargers get a two-spot bump and fall in place behind the Oceanside team that is just ahead of them in the CIF SoCal D2 Bowl Rankings, but that very well could change. Edison’s only loss is to No. 6 Mater Dei and with that team winning again in the state’s toughest playoff division, that makes Edison’s case to jump Oceanside stronger as the funnel narrows.
Weekend Result: The CIFSS has teams hit the road and that’s exactly what the Chargers did in going to Placentia where they had a nice ride home after a 52-14 Southwest Division quarterfinal victory over Valencia. The ride was probably tougher than the game as the Chargers led 38-7 at the half and 52-7 going into a running clock fourth quarter. Quarterback Aleksander Torgersen passed for 235 yards and two scores in limited action and eight different ball carriers gained 181 yards. Junior Kiante Goudeau returned a kickoff 95 yards for a score and Elijah Herrera took an interception 23 yards to paydirt.
Up Next: Foothill of Tustin is the Chargers’ semifinal opponent, this time in Huntington Beach. The two teams have two common opponents, Villa Park and Anaheim Esperanza. Edison beat Villa Park 27-7 while Foothill lost to the Spartans 25-21. Edison beat Esperanza 27-3 while Foothill beat them 44-34. It doesn’t look like Foothill is the team that will stand in the Chargers’ way of a drive toward the SoCal playoff berth.
16. (18) CHAMINADE (WEST HILLS) 11-1
Why This Ranking: It’s been no contest so far for the Eagles in the CIFSS Western Division and their stock continues to rise based on other results as well. Keep in mind that they have a win over Serra of Gardena, which has a win over Long Beach Poly, the team that just beat Mission Viejo.
Weekend Result: Terrell Newby continued to rack up rushing touchdowns with sprints of 29, 60 and 2 yards in the team’s 61-7 romp at Morro Bay. The defense also got into the act, led by Cory Harris with an interception return touchdown.
Up Next: Chaminade is a big favorite again in this week’s Western Division semifinal against Cathedral of Los Angeles. Cathedral, which upset No. 3 seed Camarillo 28-25 in another quarterfinal, lost in the regular season finale to the Eagles 62-26. If Chaminade wins, it would then play the winner of the other semifinal – either 12-0 Lompoc or 10-2 Serra – in the section final. It still looks good as well that the Western Division winner will get one of the two berths into the CIF Division II Southern California bowl game.
17. (19) LOMPOC 12-0
Why This Ranking: The Braves move up two spots this week after winning their 32nd consecutive game, a 49-6 victory over Culver City in the CIFSS Western Division quarterfinals. For many who follow the teams in the state Top 25, Lompoc’s real season begins this week as the top-seeded Braves face third-seeded and No. 18 Serra in a highly-anticipated semifinal.
Weekend Result: Lompoc fell behind Culver City 3-0, but from there on the Centaurs were completely overwhelmed by the Braves’ running game. After taking a 14-6 lead on a touchdown pass from QB Tyler Ornelas to WR Greg Mitchell, Lompoc’s Ornelas only threw once the rest of the game. Lompoc finished with 379 yards and scored five touchdowns on the ground.
Up Next: Lompoc will look to extend the state’s longest winning streak (32
and counting) against 10-2 Serra, which is ranked right behind them in the Top 25. There is no doubt Serra has faced the tougher competition. The Cavs were competitive with state No. 2 Narbonne and their win over Long Beach Poly is starting to look a lot better. On the other hand, Lompoc has been preparing for this game for weeks. The Braves are healthy, at home and confident their offense is balanced enough to win this game.
18. (21) SERRA (GARDENA) 10-2
Why This Ranking: A rise was definitely justified due to the Cavaliers breezing into the CIFSS Western Division semifinals and because of their earlier win over Long Beach Poly. They also still are ranked only behind teams they’ve lost to – Narbonne and Chaminade.
Weekend Result: Sophomore Malik Roberson dashed for 227 yards on just 10 carries and scored twice in a 58-6 win over Santa Monica in the quarterfinals. Junior quarterback Jalen Greene had two touchdown passes while junior Adoree Jackson scored on runs of 11 and 26 yards.
Up Next: Serra will now be in the bright lights if it keeps playing the rest of the season. This week, it will be a CIFSS Western Division semi against No. 17 Lompoc, which has the longest current win streak in the state at 32 games. The title game could see the Cavs get another shot at Chaminade and after that could be a regional bowl game followed by a state bowl game.
19. (NR) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH) 9-3
Why This Ranking: There are bound to be those who will lament the Jackrabbits being this high with three losses. The fact that two of those losses were to higher-ranked teams (Narbonne and Gardena Serra) won’t matter. It’s that there’s that other loss to Bakersfield of the CIF Central Section. In this case, however, Long Beach Poly has clearly overcome that defeat with its inspiring effort in the upset of previous No. 4 Mission Viejo.
Weekend Result: It was more the defense than the offense that keyed the win over the Diablos. That unit was facing a Mission offense that was averaging more than 50 points per game and held it to just two scores. Late in the game, a huge sack by defensive end Roman Wiant helped stop a scoring drive. Earlier, John Smith came up with an interception. Offensively, power running was utilized effectively. Manusamoa Luuga rushed for 135 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown. Gerard Wicks added 75 yards, including two short touchdown runs.
Up Next: Coach Raul Lara’s club will meet the No. 4 team in the state for the second straight week in the CIFSS Pac-Five Division semifinals against St. John Bosco at Veterans Stadium. The only difference is that while Mission Viejo was undefeated, the Braves have four losses by forfeit. On the field, though, Bosco is 12-0. At this point, don’t expect any opponent to take anything for granted.
20. (4) MISSION VIEJO 11-1
Why This Ranking: This is where the Diablos must land for now after coming up on the short end of their CIFSS Pac-Five playoff quarterfinal with visiting Long Beach Poly. With Poly being unranked and coming in at No. 19, Mission Viejo had to fall in behind the Jackrabbits for this week’s ranking. As more results come in, the final ranking could be higher but it also could drop a bit more, too.
Weekend Result: Despite the Diablos’ high-powered offense being held in check by the defense of Poly, Coach Bob Johnson’s boys still had a chance to win in the final moments of a 21-16 defeat. Mission Viejo got down to the Poly 22 with 1:14 left but a sack that forced the team to burn its last time out, an incompletion in the end zone, a short gain, and another incompletion in the end zone gave the ball over on downs with four seconds left.
Up Next: Season complete. The 11-1 record may be fine at most places with a loss in the CIFSS Pac 5 quarterfinals, but it’s disappointing to the players, coaches and fans because a possible dream season ended.
21. (12) SANTA MARGARITA (RANCHO SM) 9-3
Why This Ranking: The Eagles land behind Mission Viejo after a valiant effort came up short in a CIFSS Pac-Five quarterfinal loss to St. Bonaventure at Trabuco Hills. When Nebraska-bound Johnny Stanton went down for the season late in the Eagles’ 35-27 win over the Seraphs in September, many people were ready to write off Coach Harry Welch and the boys, but the wily veteran, who notched win No. 250 this year, got sophomore quarterback Kyle Sweet groomed in a hurry and the Eagles made a nice run.
Weekend Result: The Eagles came back from a 14-point late deficit to force overtime, but couldn’t get over the hump in a 27-21 loss to St. Bonaventure. They began the fourth quarter down 21-7 when they fumbled near the Seraphs’ end zone to kill that scoring chance. They stayed down by two scores until a touchdown run by Sweet with 2 minutes left and a touchdown pass to Connor O’Brien with 25 seconds left tied it at 21-apiece.
Up Next: Season complete, but considering the circumstances Welch and the Eagles’ fans have to be happy with the way the team responded after the loss of Stanton.
22. (23) BURBANK (SACRAMENTO) 12-0
Why This Ranking: Seeded No. 2 in the CIFSJS Division I playoffs behind No. 8 Franklin of Elk Grove, the Titans move up one spot as they remain undefeated and are two wins away from playing in a Northern California regional bowl game. We waited a bit to get the Titans into the State Top 25, but now at 12-0 there is no reason to not have them in there and moving up as they keep winning. There could be some huge jumps in the rankings in the next two weeks, too.
Weekend Result: In a game that wasn’t as close as the final score, the Titans led 32-14 and held on for a 32-27 win over Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove in the quarterfinals. Isaiah Williams ran for 134 yards and one score on 23 carries while Ernest Jenkins rushed for 110 yards and a score while also throwing two touchdown passes. Calvin Green shined on both sides of the ball as he had a touchdown catch and a rush for a score. He also had two interceptions while playing defense.
Up Next: With a trip to the CIFSJS Division I championship game on the line, Burbank will host No. 25 Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills on Saturday afternoon. The Trojans earned their way to the semifinals with a narrow 17-16 win over Pitman of Turlock.
23. (20) ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 9-3
Why This Ranking: With the schedule they’ve played and the teams they’ve beaten, there’s no way that the Warriors would drop too far this week even though they’re now done for the season. In addition to last Friday’s loss to No. 6 Mater Dei, the other losses are to No. 7 Corona Centennial and by two points to bubble team Crespi. The best wins are against Moorpark, Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, Bishop Amat of La Puente and Norco.
Weekend Result: Alemany came up on the wrong side of a back-and-forth 53-42 contest against No. 6 Mater Dei in the CIFSS Pac-Five Division quarterfinals. Devon Dunn completed 10 of 18 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns, but suffered an interception with 1:47 left that was critical. Stephen Mitchell scoring on a 92-yard kickoff return and Brandon Boyd intercepting his eighth pass of the season were other team highlights.
Up Next: The season is over for the Warriors, who will now wait to see where they land in the final rankings.
24. (NR) TUSTIN 12-0
Why This Ranking: Any undefeated team at this point of the season has a good reason to be ranked, but for the Tillers they also have the possibility of being 13-0 and then facing No. 15 Edison of Huntington Beach in the CIFSS Southwest Division championship. They advanced to the semifinals with a 49-18 win over Huntington Beach. Their best win this season so far was during the regular season as they defeated Foothill of Santa Ana 35-28.
Weekend Result: Behind the running of Terence Martinez and Davonte Young, the Tillers ran over the Oilers as they combined for 365 yards and seven touchdowns. Martinez carried the ball 10 times for 152 yards and three touchdowns just in the first half while Young also ran for two first-half touchdowns.
Up Next: For the third year in a row, coach Myron Miller’s team will face 11-1 Villa Park with one of the two teams’ season coming to an end. A trip to the section finals also will be on the line. The Tillers have won both of the playoff meetings the last two years against Villa Park. Two years ago, it was 20-7 in the semifinals. Last year it was 35-7 in the quarterfinals.
25. (NR) OAK RIDGE (EL DORADO HILLS) 11-1
Why This Ranking: The Trojans’ lone loss this season was to current No. 9 Folsom and since then they have since won six in a row and find themselves in the CIFSJS Division I semifinals. Another reason for Oak Ridge going in has been some of the quality wins, including those against Vista del Lago of Folsom, Grant of Sacramento, Vacaville and Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove.
Weekend Result: Coach Eric Cavaliere’s Trojans narrowly kept their season alive with a 17-16 win over Pitman of Turlock in a game that came down to a matter of inches in the final seconds. Leading 17-10, the Trojans allowed a touchdown in the final minutes but the Pride’s attempted two-point conversion to take the lead was stuffed just short of the goal line by the Trojans’ defense. Jason Samuels completed nine of his 16 pass attempts for 137 yards and two touchdowns to help Oak Ridge to a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
Up Next: The Trojans will head to Sacramento on Saturday afternoon to face No. 22 Burbank in the section semifinals. Last year, the Trojans and Titans faced off in the opening round of the playoffs as the No. 13 seeded Trojans picked up a 30-28 win over the No. 4 seed Titans.
TEAMS THAT DROPPED OUT
Previous No. 22 Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks); No. 24 Murrieta Valley (Murrieta); No. 25 Clovis.
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 8-4
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 8-3
Bishop Amat (La Puente) 7-3-1*
Buhach Colony (Atwater) 10-2
California (San Ramon) 9-2
Carter (Rialto) 12-0
Charter Oak (Covina) 10-2*
Central (Fresno) 10-2
Citrus Hill (Perris) 12-0
Clayton Valley (Concord) 11-1
Clovis North (Clovis) 10-1
Crespi (Encino) 8-2*
Del Oro (Loomis) 7-5
El Cerrito 12-0
El Toro (Lake Forest) 9-2*
Granite Bay 9-3
Helix (La Mesa) 9-1**
James Logan (Union City) 10-1
La Serna (Whittier) 11-1
Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 10-1
Mission Hills (San Marcos) 9-2
Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 10-2*
Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 8-4*
Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 8-3*
Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 9-3
Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 11-0
Rancho Cucamonga 10-2
Serra (San Mateo) 9-2
Serrano (Phelan) 12-0
St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 8-3
*Indicates season complete.
**Indicates one win by forfeit not included.
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