Check here for writeups on teams ranked from No. 21 to No. 50. Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills and Franklin of Elk Grove make it into the final top 25. Valhalla of El Cajon is perhaps team that comes up the most for final 50.
Note: For teams ranked No. 1 – No. 20, CLICK HERE
21. (21) CLOVIS NORTH (CLOVIS) 12-1
Why This Ranking: There was a little movement in the three spots above them, but despite previous No. 20 Marin Catholic losing last week, the Broncos stay at No. 21 for the final rankings. Coach Cory Hall loses a ton of seniors, including quarterback Christian Rossi, but sources say 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior James Humphrey is more than ready to start calling signals. Even so, it’s no guarantee the Broncos will start the preseason as the Valley’s top team. Bakersfield, for example, is one team that was loaded with juniors and sophomores.
22. (23) OAKS CHRISTIAN (WESTLAKE VILLAGE) 8-3
Why This Ranking: At the Battle for Veterans event way back at the start of the season in early September, there’s no doubt that the Lions were the cream of the crop based on their impressive wins against both Del Oro of Loomis and Granite Bay (yes, the eventual CIF Division I state champion). They didn’t end up as strong as a missed PAT cost them dearly in a 28-27 loss to Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks in the opening round of the CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs. The only other losses were to Crenshaw and St. Bonaventure. Part of the reason for the inconsistency could be youth and a majority of coach Jeff Woodruff’s starters were non-seniors, including quarterback Brandon Dawkins (the 2011 State Sophomore of the Year).
23. (NR) OAK RIDGE (EL DORADO HILLS) 12-2
Why This Ranking: Despite having their season come to an end in the CIFSJS Division I finals with a loss to Granite Bay, the Trojans find their way back into the top 25 to end the season thanks to Granite Bay capturing the Division I state title. The team’s only other loss was to No. 6 Folsom to end their five-game winning streak to start the season. During the early-season winning streak, the Trojans routed a Vista del Lago of Folsom squad (42-6) that reached the CIFSJS Division III finals and they posted wins against Vacaville and Grant of Sacramento. Before losing to Granite Bay, Oak Ridge also knocked off unbeaten Burbank of Sacramento in the section semifinals.
24. (NR) FRANKLIN (ELK GROVE) 12-1
Why This Ranking: The Wildcats are another team with a final ranking that has been helped by Granite Bay’s Division I state championship win since their lone loss came to the Grizzlies in the CIFSJS Division I semifinals. Although that score was lopsided (37-7), Franklin had several top players who were missing due to injury. The team’s big win during the season came in a battle of undefeated teams as the Wildcats went on the road and defeated Elk Grove 17-7 to take control of the Delta Valley League. Other key wins came against Freedom of Oakley and Lincoln of Stockton.
25. (24) EL TORO (LAKE FOREST) 9-2
Why This Ranking: Charging their way to nine wins in a row to start the season, El Toro’s season came to a sudden stop with big losses to No. 13 Mission Viejo (league finale) and No. 17 Santa Margarita (opening round of CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs). The earlier wins, though, have become more significant and gets the Chargers a final top 25 state ranking. Among those were against No. 34 Palos Verdes, No. 42 Clovis, No. 45 Valhalla and Tesoro. Senior Conner Manning will be missed next year after he passed for 4,062 yards and 41 touchdowns.
EXPANDED NEXT 25 TEAMS IN ORDER
26. Bishop Amat (La Puente) 7-3-1
The Lancers are another team that benefits from Poly’s run through the CIFSS Pac-Five Division and from playing in the tough Serra League. Amat tied for second in the league with Crespi, but defeated the Celts in a head-to-head matchup. Amat, which last won a section title in 1995, lost to Long Beach Poly in the first round of the Pac-Five playoffs. The team also notched quality wins over Servite, Charter Oak and La Mirada.
27. Crespi (Encino) 8-2
Crespi’s 24-21 loss to Bishop Amat cost the Celts a CIFSS Pac-Five playoff berth for the third time in four years, and in retrospect the team not being chosen for an at-large was even more of a ripoff than it seemed at the time. Tesoro of Rancho Santa Margarita basically got that spot, which in the end didn’t make the top 50. Crespi gets rankings credit mostly for a win over Alemany, but there also was a win over Westlake of Westlake Village.
28. Elk Grove 12-2
Starting off the season with four road games, the Thundering Herd defeated Lincoln of Stockton and Del Campo of Fair Oaks on their way to wins in their first seven games before a loss to No. 24 Franklin of Elk Grove. In the playoffs, they defeated Del Campo of Fair Oaks once again and then defeated No. 39 Del Oro of Loomis before the season ended in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II finals against No. 6 Folsom. Senior Robert Frazier rushed for 2,120 yards and 22 touchdowns while junior Wadus Parker ran for 1,373 yards and 24 touchdowns.
29. Luther Burbank (Sacramento) 12-1
With a rushing attack that saw three players all rush for over 1,100 yards, the Titans’ undefeated season came to an end in the CIF SJS Division I semifinals against No. 23 Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills. Two wins against Grant of Sacramento, another over Del Oro of Loomis and a playoff win against Pleasant Grove were other highlights.
30. James Logan (Union City) 12-2
The Colts actually had one of the best seasons in school history but just like everyone else since 1991 they ran into a buzzsaw called De La Salle in the CIF NCS Division I championship game. With Marin Catholic losing and with its own loss early in the season in overtime at No. 39 Del Oro, Logan can be No. 2 in the Bay Area. It also means, though, that for the first time ever the Bay Area only has one team in the final top 25 for the state.
31. Citrus Hill (Perris) 14-0
It almost seems unfair, but despite the Hawks going 14-0 they had little chance of being selected to compete in a regional bowl game behind the other Division II heavyweights, like Serra of Gardena and Edison of Huntington Beach. Still, they got to finish the season undefeated as they captured the CIFSS Eastern Division championship with a win over previously unbeaten Serrano of Phelan in the finals. Key to their winning the Mountain Pass League championship was a road win over Beaumont and in the section semifinals they defeated Tahquitz of Hemet 37-0. Senior quarterback Trevor Hodge passed for 2,934 yards and 31 touchdowns while junior P.J. Walker ran for 1,922 yards and 34 touchdowns.
32. Lompoc 12-1
The Braves were in the Top 25 for most of the season and upped their winning streak to 32 games before losing 34-21 to No. 5 Serra in the CIFSS Western Division semifinals. It might seem like a low final spot considering how good Serra was, but there wasn’s really any other win that stood out this season. What stood out more was Lompoc’s ability to rally in the second half against Serra after quickly falling behind because of two first-half turnovers. After watching this year’s and last year’s CIF bowl games, it’s even more evident how much Lompoc got shafted for a spot in last year’s Division III game.
33. Central (Fresno) 11-3
After getting stomped by No. 21 Clovis North 50-7 in the regular season, the Grizzlies lost by a more respectable 27-10 in the CIF Central Section Division I final. Their only other loss was to No. 42 Clovis. They didn’t avenge that loss directly, but did defeat Liberty of Bakersfield in the semifinals after Liberty had beaten Clovis the week before. Central also notched a win over CIF Southern Section Northern Division titlist Palos Verdes.
34. Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 11-3
This was the best season for the Sea Kings since the school re-opened in 2002. Led by quarterback Bryan Scott and running back Matt Lopes, Palos Verdes captured the CIFSS Northern Division title with a win over league rival West of Torrance. It was the team’s earlier wins against Moorpark, Hart of Newhall and Valencia that gained this ranking. Plus, the only losses were all to higher-ranked foes – Narbonne, El Toro and Central of Fresno.
35. Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 10-2
Coach Greg Ireland’s Nighthawks started the season with seven wins in a row, which included three straight shutouts, before a loss to No. 4 Vista Murrieta of Murrieta set the stage for them to finish second in the Southwestern League behind the Broncos. They also picked up a postseason win over Eisenhower of Rialto before the season ended in the second round of the CIFSS Inland Division playoffs with a loss to No. 2 Centennial of Corona. The best win of the year probably was 41-31 on the road at Chaparral of Temecula (the team that got a win against Oceanside).
36. Moorpark 8-3
The Musketeers make the cut basically for getting a 38-35 win in the Marmonte League playoff against Westlake of Westlake Village. One of the losses also was by just one point to Palos Verdes. Quarterback Austin Cole and receivers Chad Hansen and Tyler Collet were among top players.
37. Westlake (Westlake Village) 6-5
It’s tough to put the Warriors in the top 50 with a lopsided loss to La Serna of Whitter (not in the top 50), but the entire scope of their season log is enough. Westlake’s first three games were wins against Granite Bay, Del Oro of Loomis and Crenshaw of Los Angeles. And other than La Serna, which did not win a CIFSS title, all of the losses were to higher-ranked opponents.
38. Rancho Cucamonga 10-3
With senior Adam Friederichsen behind center the Cougars finished in second place in the Baseline League behind No. 16 Upland and advanced to the CIFSS Inland Division semifinals before losing to No. 4 Vista Murrieta of Murrieta. Before league play they defeated a pair of teams that finished 8-4 on the year as they opened the season with a win over Redlands and then bounced back from a 24-23 loss to Servite of Anaheim with a 54-14 win over Muir of Pasadena. Their final win of the season was a 23-7 final score over Charter Oak of Covina.
39. Del Oro (Loomis) 7-6
With a challenging schedule, the Golden Eagles started out 0-4 before winning seven of their next eight games to finish in second place in the Sierra Foothill League behind Division I state champion Granite Bay. Starting the turnaround was a win over Logan of Union City and in the playoffs Del Oro defeated Yuba City and St. Mary’s of Stockton before losing 35-32 at Elk Grove in the CIFSJS Division II semifinals. San Jose State-bound Brandon Monroe rushed for 1,545 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season.
40. Villa Park 12-2
If not for No. 14 Edison of Huntington Beach, who knows how high the Spartans might have ended up as both of the their losses this season came against the Chargers. Playoff wins included those against Newport Harbor of Newport Beach and previously unbeaten Tustin. Junior quarterback Dylan Osborne will be back next season after passing for 2,371 yards and 18 touchdowns.
41. Poway 10-3
The defending CIF San Diego Section Division I champions dropped down to D2 this year where they ran into an Oceanside team that dealt them two of their three losses — 23-13 in the regular season and 32-10 in the CIFSDS Division II title game. The Titans’ big game came in the semis when they topped defending D2 state champ Helix of La Mesa.
42. Clovis 9-2
The No. 3 team from the CIF Central Section and top seed in the D1 playoffs was upset by Bakersfield Liberty in the second round of the playoffs, but prior to that their only loss was to No. 25 El Toro. In the regular season, the Cougars also posted wins over No. 21 Clovis North and No. 33 Central of Fresno.
43. Charter Oak (Covina) 10-2
Coach Lou Farrar continues to add to his career win total and had a 2012 squad possibly as strong as those Charter Oak teams that won CIFSS titles. This year’s team, though, competed in the tougher Inland Division and lost in the quarterfinals to Rancho Cucamonga. The Chargers won the week before, though, against Chaparral of Temecula (team that beat Oceanside earlier in the season) and lost their only other game to No. 26 Bishop Amat. They also had impressive wins over Chino Hills (team that had a tie vs. Bishop Amat) and South Hills (team that had a win over Monrovia).
44. Helix (La Mesa) 9-2*
Last year’s CIF Division II state bowl champs went out of this year’s Division II section playoffs in the semifinals with a loss to Poway. The Highlanders still showed some strength, especially early on with a win against Eastlake of Chula Vista (eventually won San Diego D1 title) and then a win over Valhalla of El Cajon (lost by just three to Oceanside in San Diego D2 semifinals).
45. Valhalla (El Cajon) 9-4
Of all the teams in the state, the Norsemen go up the most in the final rankings. This is due to them having a head-to-head win over Madison, which won the CIF Division III state final, in addition to having lost by just three points to Oceanside in the CIF San Diego Section Division II semifinals. And other than a first game loss to Mira Mesa (also by just three), Valhalla’s other losses were to higher-ranked El Toro and Helix. Another key win came against La Costa Canyon (which was good enough on one night to beat Poway).
46. Madison (San Diego) 14-1
The 38-35 win over Marin Catholic last weekend by head coach Rick Jackson’s squad was big not just because it was in the CIF Division III state bowl. It also was big since Marin Catholic coming in was considered the No. 2 team in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Warhawks therefore get to jump a number of other S.F. Bay Area teams for the final rankings, but they have to stay behind Oceanside, Poway, Helix and Valhalla in San Diego.
47. Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 14-2
Strong consideration was given to dropping the Wildcats completely out of the rankings after they fell apart in losing 38-35 to San Diego Madison in the CIF D3 state bowl game. But after reviewing the relative strength of the Bay Area compared to the San Diego Section, and the fact the San Francisco Chronicle left them at No. 2 in their metro rankings, Marin Catholic was given the nod to stay in front of the S.F. St. Ignatius team it beat to open the season and hang on to a spot in the final state top 50.
48. St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 10-4
Had Bellarmine or even San Mateo Serra won the CIF CCS Open Division, there would have been no problem ranking either in front of Marin Catholic and possibly as high as the low 30s for the final rankings. That’s not what happened, however. Instead, the Wildcats upset the Bells in the Open Division game before being overmatched in a 45-17 loss to Granite Bay in the D1 NorCal regional. Consideration was given to ranking St. Ignatius and Bellarmine higher than Marin Catholic, but the head-to-head loss and two other losses in a weakened West Catholic Athletic League buttressed Marin Catholic’s argument.
49. Bellarmine (San Jose) 11-2
As was stated, had the Bells not lost 13-10 in overtime to St. Ignatius in the CCS Open Division championship game, everything would have been different, including the likelihood the Bells would have been playing Granite Bay, and the game might have been at San Jose City College. None of that happened, so veteran coach Mike Janda’s boys fall in behind the team that beat them in the title game, but they beat 35-28 in league play.
50. California (San Ramon) 9-3
Like a few of the teams at the bottom end of the rankings, coach Eric Billeci and his boys have a stinker loss, in their case to Danville Monte Vista. However, he and the Grizzlies snag the final spot based on being the co-champion of the East Bay Athletic League. They also posted quality wins over Pittsburg, Foothill of Pleasanton (twice), San Ramon Valley and Amador Valley. The other two losses were to De La Salle and James Logan.
Note: There is no bubble for the final expanded top 50 rankings, but there are expanded final CIF bowl rankings that have been done as well. Those will be posted on Friday morning, Dec. 21.
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