Clayton Valley joins the top 10 as No. 1 D2 North bowl game ranking also gains strength. San Ramon Valley also gets a bump while this week’s newcomers are Wilcox and Northgate.
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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, October 12. We have more than 35 years of compiling high school football rankings in Northern California.
De La Salle has 64 players on its roster, and Corona Centennial has an amazing 97 players on its roster, but there may not be a school in Northern California – and even the state — that can match the 75 players that second-year head coach Tim Murphy suits up for the top Division II team in the CIF NorCal Bowl rankings at Clayton Valley of Concord.
“I always carry around 70 players because it’s no secret,” Murphy said. “You get big numbers, get the kids to play hard, show them you care about them, and get them to keep their grades up.”
Murphy has coached at three schools and brought each its first section championship.
The 1988 College Park (Pleasant Hill) graduate was at the helm of Concord Ygnacio Valley from 1996-2000, winning a CIF North Coast Section title in 1999.
Murphy then took over a new program at Clovis East of Clovis in 2001, and not only did his 12-1 team win a CIF Central Section Division I title in 2006, he had his team on the board for the SoCal D1 Bowl Game berth. In a controversial vote by the commissioners that spot eventually went to the Canyon of Canyon Country team that beat De La Salle 27-13 in the first year the CIF Bowl Games were held.
Last season, after 11 years in Clovis and his first at Clayton Valley after replacing East Bay legend Herc Pardi, Murphy coached the Eagles to a 12-2 record and their first NCS title. Had star running back Joe Protheroe not gotten injured late in a 27-24 loss to Oakdale in the Northern Regional Division II Bowl Game, there’s a good chance Murphy and his boys would have faced Gardena Serra in last year’s D2 state title tilt.
This year’s team looks like it very well may be better than last year, and has some underclass stars to boot. One of those is junior running back Miles Harrison, who had four TDs rushing (179 yards) and one catch for 31 yards and a fifth score, all in the first half of the Eagles’ 71-14 pounding last Friday over College Park.
Should the Eagles continue to play the way they have so far this season, they will be a definite favorite to represent the north in Carson in December.
Here are this week’s new rankings:
(Through games of October 12; previous ranking in parenthesis)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 6-0
The Spartans had a bye, so no one had to deal with offensive and defensive lines that could match up with some solid college programs.
2. (2) Serra (San Mateo) 4-1
The Padres showed no mercy in a 50-3 thumping of visiting Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco.
3. (3) Bellarmine (San Jose) 4-1
The Bells had just enough offense and the defense played well in a 21-14 road victory against previously unbeaten St. Francis.
4. (4) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 7-0
The Wildcats have now won 32 straight against Marin County Athletic League foes. The last loss was in the playoffs in 2008 to Novato. .
5. (5) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 5-0
The Monarchs stayed unbeaten and tied at 2-0 with Serra atop the wild-and-wacky West Catholic Athletic League, after squeaking out a 14-13 win at crosstown Valley Christian.
6. (7) James Logan (Union City) 5-1
The Colts had a bye and their effort in a season-opening 27-14 loss to Del Oro is looking better after the way that team has played the last three weeks. They assume the spot Foothill vacates with its loss.
7. (9) Pittsburg 3-2
With Harris Ross sidelined in the third quarter with a leg injury that is not believed to be serious, the Pirates needed a 35-yard field goal by Antonio Saldana with 18.4 seconds left to pull out a 10-7 victory over a Brentwood Heritage team that has played everyone tough but is yet to win a game.
8. (10) California (San Ramon) 4-1
The Cal-Hi Sports Caravan missed the top team from the East Bay Athletic League spotting Foothill a 7-0 lead before the grinding running game ground down the visitors. The 24-7 victory keeps them behind the Pittsburg team that edged them 35-33 earlier this season.
9. (11) Deer Valley (Antioch) 6-0
The Wolverines have moved up 10 spots in two weeks. Can you say Malik Hutchings?
10. (12) Clayton Valley (Concord) 4-1
The top D2 team in Northern California did as well as anyone in the state in a 34-14 loss at De La Salle. They get to move ahead of D1 teams this week that lost.
11. (8) St. Francis (Mountain View) 4-1
The Lancers made it close in a 21-14 loss to Bellarmine, but while the defense has been strong, the offense will need to improve for the Lancers to make a mark in league. This is where they land but it’s still a good spot for first-year head coach Greg Calcagno and his boys.
12. (6) Foothill (Pleasanton) 6-1
The way Foothill was playing coming into the game made many think the team was deserving of a top 10 ranking in the Bay Area, but California had something to say in handing the Falcons a decisive loss. The Falcons will stay in front of Campolindo since that team probably wont lose until the playoffs while the Falcons have more than one EBAL challenge upcoming.
13. (13) Campolindo (Moraga) 6-0
The Cougars had a bye but their decisive win over an El Cerrito team that almost took down Bellarmine may be a factor as we go into the stretch run before the playoffs.
14. (14) El Cerrito 5-2
After a 41-0 whitewash of host Walnut Creek Berean Christian, the Gauchos hold tight in this week’s rankings.
15. (15) Valley Christian (San Jose) 3-2
A close loss to Mitty doesn’t drop the Warriors among this bunch.
16. (20) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 3-3
The Wolves have three losses but those have been to De La Salle, Folsom and a close one to Logan. That coupled with a 56-28 win over visiting Amador Valley this week means a bump over D2 teams from the CIFNCS and Terra Nova as well.
17. (17) Terra Nova (Pacifica) 4-0
After a bye, the Tigers posted a 26-17 win over visiting Sequoia, but that’s not exactly a power statement. Whether they have the goods to make noise in the CCS Open Division still remains to be seen.
18. (18) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 6-0
The No. 2 team from the Redwood Empire continues to roll after a 37-18 win at Santa Rosa Maria Carrillo.
19. (16) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 4-2
A 56-28 loss at high-scoring San Ramon Valley means a drop but at this point not below a D4 Carmel team with a light schedule.
20. (21) Carmel 5-0
It was a 52-16 victory this weekend over visiting and winless Gonzales.
21. (23) Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 4-1
A 31-19 winner against South San Francisco has a lone loss to Campolindo.
22. (24) Milpitas 4-1
A 54-14 win over visiting Saratoga means a two-spot bump for a team with lone loss to Valley Christian.
23. (NR) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 4-1
A 42-39 win at Palo Alto moves up this team with a lone close 27-20 loss to Milpitas. The Warriors also own a win over a solid Manteca team.
24. (NR) Northgate (Walnut Creek) 6-0
The incoming No. 3 ranked team in the CIF NorCal Division II Bowl rankings should have come in last week ahead of Montgomery based on being higher in those rankings, but this week they take their rightful place after 65-8 thumping of visiting Concord Mt. Diablo.
25. (25) Montgomery (Santa Rosa) 5-1
Vikings showed that the win at Cardinal Newman was no fluke after a decisive 28-3 win over visiting and previous No. 19 Rancho Cotate.
Dropped Out: Previous No. 19 Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park), No. 22 Palo Alto.
Teams On The Bubble
Analy (Sebastopol) 6-1, Berkeley 3-3, Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 4-2
Concord 4-1*, Encinal (Alameda) 5-1, Freedom (Oakley) 2-4, Granada (Livermore) 4-2, Justin-Siena (Napa) 5-2, Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 5-2, Liberty (Brentwood) 4-0*, Los Gatos 3-2, McClymonds (Oakland) 3-2, Menlo School (Atherton) 4-1, Miramonte (Orinda) 5-2, Palma (Salinas) 3-3, Palo Alto 2-4, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 4-2, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 5-0, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 1-4, Salinas 5-2, San Marin (Novato) 6-1, Scotts Valley 4-1, Sequoia (Redwood City) 3-2,
(*Not including forfeits)
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend