Teams on the rise include James Logan, Terra Nova and this week’s only newcomer, Miramonte. The top five remain De La Salle, Bellarmine, Palo Alto, Serra and El Cerrito.
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Welcome to the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 25 compiled in conjunction with the award-winning Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area TV show that is aired every Sunday night on KOFY, Channel 20, San Francisco and during the week on CSN Bay Area throughout Northern California. These rankings are after games played through Saturday, Sept. 14. We have more than 35 years of compiling high school football rankings in Northern California.
For those who thought injuries would slow the march by De La Salle of Concord towards a possible fifth straight CIF bowl game title, the team’s depth and its ability to roar back from a near-upset was on display during a 40-13 victory on Friday at St. Mary’s of Stockton.
John Velasco rebounded from a so-so performance in the 21-14 win over Serra of San Mateo to rush for 129 yards and two touchdowns, but with Das Tuatalatasi out, the Spartans needed someone to emerge, and that was Antoine Custer. The sophomore running back ran for 121 yards and one score, and added a second TD on 58-yard screen pass from Chris Williams. After Custer took the game’s first play for a 55-yard run, a new name in Concord had emerged.
The linebacking and secondary corps on defense is banged up, but the front line picked up the slack. Plus, Jerek Rosales, a senior defensive back who was questionable for the game with a leg injury, intercepted three first-half passes and returned one 93 yards for a touchdown.
Logging the miles
The Cal-Hi Sports Caravan logged nearly 400 miles this past weekend with trips to Modesto and Santa Rosa.
In Modesto on Friday night, host Central Catholic running back Matt Ringer took everything visiting McClymonds of Oakland could deliver on defense and still managed 274 yards on 40 carries with four touchdowns in a 38-24 victory.
In Santa Rosa on Saturday night, El Cerrito finally won a game against a top Division III opponent from the CIF North Coast Section, with an impressive 35-7 win at Cardinal Newman. “It was time to get the monkey off our back,” said a smiling El Cerrito head coach Kenny Kahn.
Here are this week’s new rankings:
(Through games of September 14; previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 3-0
The unbeaten streak against teams from north of Fresno is now 239 games with a very solid Del Oro of Loomis coming to town next. Two weeks ago, Del Oro lost 41-24 to Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks.
2. (2) Bellarmine (San Jose) 2-0
After winning convincingly over San Leandro the last few years, this year’s matchup took the work of Vanderbilt-bound quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels for a second straight week. His play, coupled with a stout second-half defense, overcame a 14-3 late second quarter deficit in a 31-21 road victory.
3. (3) Palo Alto 1-0
With San Francisco 49ers’ head coach and former Palo Alto quarterback Jim Harbaugh in the house for pre-game ceremonies honoring Paly’s refurbished stadium, the Vikings posted a season-opening 28-7 victory over San Benito of Hollister.
4. (4) Serra (San Mateo) 0-1
The Padres were idle this week with Encinal in Alameda on tap this Friday night.
5. (5) El Cerrito 2-1
An impressive 35-7 winner at Cardinal Newman leaves some doubt as to whether the Gauchos might have beaten Bellarmine had not Jalen Hervey been out due to two unsportsmanlike penalties in the Sutter game that meant a one game suspension.
6. (6) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 3-0
Andrew Celis took the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and the rout was on in a 42-6 win over visiting Brentwood Heritage.
7. (8) James Logan (Union City) 2-1
The host Colts passed a pretty tough test in a 21-18 victory over a solid San Ramon Valley. Nevada-bound Ahki Muhammad rushed for 112 yards and two TDs and had a key interception that helped preserve the win.
8. (9) Foothill (Pleasanton) 3-0
The Falcons gave up just six points for the third straight week and have now outscored opponents 114-18 after a 31-6 win over visiting Walnut Creek Las Lomas.
9. (10) St. Francis (Mountain View) 2-0
It’s now two straight shutouts for first-year head coach Greg Calcagno and his team after a 26-0 victory over Salinas Palma.
10. (11) Pittsburg 2-1
Running back Harris Ross went for an NCS record 464 rushing yards and scored seven touchdowns in a 49-29 victory over Monte Vista of Danville.
11. (12) California (San Ramon) 2-1
The Grizzlies went to their ground game to pile up 378 yards rushing in a 48-31 win over Castro Valley.
12. (13) Clayton Valley (Concord) 1-1
There were no surprises in a 66-6 win by Clayton Valley over visiting Oakland Castlemont.
13. (14) Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 2-0
The Cougars blasted Pinole Valley 42-7. We also will rise them in front of Cardinal Newman due to beating Newman in last year’s North Bay League race.
14. (15) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 3-0
After a 38-0 blanking of Oakland Skyline, the town of Pleasanton is 6-0 in football to begin the season.
15. (7) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 2-1
This is where the Cards fall after their loss to El Cerrito. If the score was a bit closer, the drop might not be as severe.
16. (16) Valley Christian (San Jose) 1-1
Coach Mike Machado’s team rebounded from the loss at Vacaville to be the most recent team to put a big number up on Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland in a 38-10 home win.
17. (18) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 3-0
Finally, a solid win over a good Napa team. The Gauchos won 31-19.
18. (19) Campolindo (Moraga) 3-0
It was a squeaker, but the Cougars remain unbeaten after a 28-24 win over visiting Fremont Washington.
19. (21) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 2-0
The Monarchs notched a 35-14 win at San Jose Leland with Palo Alto up next.
20. (25) Terra Nova (Pacifica) 2-0
The Tigers move up five spots after an impressive 50-33 win on the road at St. Ignatius, the first win for the Tigers over a WCAL team in 11 games since 2004.
21. (NR) Miramonte (Orinda) 2-1
This week’s lone newcomer knocks off previous No. 20 Analy 23-13 on the road. The loss is on the road at Marin Catholic while the other win was a blowout of Berkeley St. Mary’s.
22. (22) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 1-1
The Wolves lost 21-18 to Logan on the road but still have a big win over Atwater Buhach Colony, also on the road.
23. (24) Deer Valley (Antioch) 2-0
A 49-18 win over visiting Pleasant Hill College Park gives reason to move up the Wolverines in this week’s rankings.
24. (23) San Benito (Hollister) 1-1
The Haybalers lost 28-7 to Palo Alto but that was supposed to happen.
25. (17) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 0-2
That was a lot of points to give up in a 50-33 loss to fast-rising Terra Nova. But since both losses are to ranked teams, and the Wildcats were in both games, they get to stay in the rankings pending the opening of WCAL action.
Previous No. 20 Analy (Sebastopol).
On the Bubble
Acalanes (Lafayette) 3-0, Analy (Sebastopol) 2-1, Berkeley 2-1, Carmel 2-0, Castro Valley 1-2, Christopher (Gilroy) 2-0, Concord 0-2, Encinal (Alameda) 1-1, Freedom (Oakley) 0-3, Justin-Siena (Napa) 2-1, Liberty (Brentwood) 2-1, McClymonds (Oakland) 2-1, Menlo School (Atherton) 1-1, Milpitas 1-0, Monte Vista (Danville) 1-2, Northgate (Walnut Creek) 3-0, Oak Grove (San Jose) 1-1, Palma (Salinas) 0-2, Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 2-0, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 2-0, San Marin (Novato) 2-1, Sequoia (Redwood City) 2-0, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 2-0.
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend