Mitty gets the fourth spot this week just in front of Marin Catholic. Newcomers, meanwhile, are Miramonte and Sacred Heart Prep.
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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 19. We have more than 35 years of compiling high school football rankings in Northern California.
The Cal-Hi Sports Caravan hasn’t witnessed an upset yet in the first eight weeks this season, and our reputation as Mr. Kibosh got no test this past weekend in visits to Casa Grande of Petaluma on Friday night and in a journey across the Golden Gate to San Mateo to see Serra on Saturday.
Casa Grande had never been 6-0 let alone 7-0 to start a season. Now, after a 42-13 pasting of Rohnert Park Rancho Cotate, the Gauchos are just that, and at 4-0 in a North Bay League race they control.
Gauchos’ quarterback JaJuan Lawson, who was one of 100 quarterbacks invited to the Elite 11 qualifying in Santa Clara, completed TD passes of 40, 44 and 34 yards and ran 80 yards for a fourth score.
The Gauchos only led 18-13 at the half, but from there the defense took over. Casa forced four turnovers, including three interceptions, one of which Brad Freitas returned 35 yards for a score.
Serra had some trouble early on with a stingy Valley Christian defense, and had it not been for two fourth-and-long TDs in both the first and second quarters, the visiting Warriors pretty much held their own with the Padres in the first half.
Quarterback Matthew Fa’aita only completed five passes in the first half but two of them went for scores. On fourth-and-10, he found Easop Winston for a 31-yard TD that gave Serra a 7-0 lead after one quarter. Then, on fourth-and-nine with 11.6 seconds remaining in the half, Fa’aita connected with Austin Jackson on a 41-yard scoring strike to give the Padres a 14-0 halftime lead. They went on to post a 28-7 victory.
Junior running back Kava Cassidy was held to 27 yards on nine carries in the first half, but finished with 130 yards rushing on 22 carries and scored Serra’s final touchdown on a 1-yard plunge
The Valley Christian TD came late in the game when Serra coach Patrick Walsh subbed out. Still, even with a 25-yard TD pass from Warriors quarterback Mike Machado, son of VC head coach Mike Machado, the Warriors only gained 40 total yards in the second half and 129 for the game.
Here are this week’s new rankings:
(Through games of October 19; previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 7-0
The Spartans made it look easy in a 49-7 win over Logan. John Velasco ran for three TDs as Sparta rolled Logan for the 33rd straight time.
2. (2) Serra (San Mateo) 5-1
The Padres can smell the West Catholic Athletic League title, but they still have four games remaining with three on the road before a showdown at home with Archbishop Mitty in the final week of league play. St. Ignatius, a team head coach Patrick Walsh says “has traditionally been our biggest rival,” is up next Saturday afternoon in San Francisco.
3. (3) Bellarmine (San Jose) 5-1
The Bell rang a lot at San Jose City College, and it had to in a hard-fought 42-28 win over visiting St. Ignatius of San Francisco.
4. (5) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 6-0
Mitty continues to roll and is tied at 3-0 with Serra atop the WCAL. Although the Monarchs’ strength of schedule so far isn’t much better than Marin Catholic’s, it’s the upcoming schedule that is the difference for switching those teams in the order at this time.
5. (4) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 8-0
The Wildcats have won 33 straight Marin County Athletic League games after coasting to a 41-0 victory over defending NCS Division IV champion Justin-Siena of Napa.
6. (7) Pittsburg 5-2
The Pirates handled a Liberty team that is playing well this year, 28-13, in Brentwood. Harris Ross, who was banged up in the Brentwood Heritage win two weeks ago and who earlier in the week changed his college commitment to Oregon State, ran for 173 yards and two scores.
7. (8) California (San Ramon) 6-1
When the Cal-Hi Sports and XOS Digital Caravan visited the Grizzlies’ practice last week, they looked like a well-oiled machine. A few parts came loose but they still held on for a 31-28 win at Monte Vista of Danville.
8. (9) Deer Valley (Antioch) 7-0
The Wolverines had little trouble with crosstown rival Antioch in a 49-7 drubbing. Senior running back Kyle McDonald had a career-best 198 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Deer Valley has already won more games than last year’s 6-5 team.
9. (10) Clayton Valley (Concord) 6-1
The Eagles barely left the nest in a 35-0 victory over cross-town Ygnacio Valley.
10. (6) James Logan (Union City) 5-2
The Colts got a reality check in the loss to De La Salle. They have to drop but not far, and since two of the teams that jumped them, Pittsburg and Deer Valley, play each other, they might be able to climb again starting next week.
11. (11) St. Francis (Mountain View) 5-1
Landon Baty returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a TD and the Lancers rolled from there in a 49-15 victory in San Francisco over Archbishop Riordan.
12. (12) Foothill (Pleasanton) 6-1
Head coach Matt Sweeney and his Falcons weren’t doing any flying last week since the team had a bye. Up next is Livermore Granada.
13. (13) Campolindo (Moraga) 7-0
The Cougars beat a solid mid-level and host Las Lomas team, 35-20. Earlier this season, Las Lomas lost 31-6 at Foothill.
14. (14) El Cerrito 5-2
The Gauchos hold tight again after a bye week.
15. (16) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 4-3
It’s taken a bit, but after a 31-26 victory in Livermore over a Granada team the East Bay coaches say is very solid, the Wolves are over .500 and get rewarded with a one spot bump. They could move up again if they beat California on the road this week.
16. (15) Valley Christian (San Jose) 3-3
Without the Johnson brothers, Kirk and Collin, the Warriors had no chance against Serra. But in this group and with the way their defensive line looked, they don’t suffer much of a rankings penalty.
17. (17) Terra Nova (Pacifica) 6-0
Head coach Bill Gray’s boys barely broke a sweat in a 35-0 win over South San Francisco. That should change the next three weeks when the Tigers face co-PAL Bay League leader Atherton Menlo next week, then Atherton Menlo-Atherton, and finally an Atherton Sacred Heart Prep team that just dealt Menlo-Atherton a 15-13 loss.
18. (18) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 7-0
Despite the best start ever, the Gauchos have nowhere to move in this week’s rankings.
19. (19) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 5-2
The Dons rebounded from the loss to San Ramon Valley, but it was anything but easy. Amador Valley survived five fumbles and needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to eek out a 10-7 victory over visiting Livermore. Next up is De La Salle.
20. (20) Carmel 6-0
Junior quarterback Connor Marden was 23 of 29 for 325 yards and three TDs in another rocking-chair victory, this time 46-17 over visiting and previously unbeaten Stevenson of neighboring Pebble Beach.
21. (22) Milpitas 5-1
The Trojans posted a 46-7 win at Santa Clara. Their lone loss is to Valley Christian when that team was at full strength.
22. (23) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 5-1
The Chargers remain behind the team that dealt them their lone loss after following up their win over Palo Alto with a 40-0 shellacking of Fremont Sunnyvale.
23. (NR) Miramonte (Orinda) 5-2
The Matadors were idle last week but based on lone losses to Marin Catholic and Campolindo, plus a victory over an Analy team that upset Pittsburg, and a win two weeks ago over a Lafayette Acalanes team that has played everyone tough, all of that gets the Mats in as this week’s highest newcomer.
24. (25) Montgomery (Santa Rosa) 6-1
It took three overtimes, but after Ukiah missed a field goal that would have won the game in the second overtime, the Vikings converted their FG in OT No. 3 to pull out a 38-35 victory.
25. (NR) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 7-0
Thought was given to an Alameda Encinal team that has a lone loss to Serra, and is coming off a 10-0 blanking of Berkeley, but the decision was to go with the Gators. Despite being a small school, the defending CCS Division IV champions are 13-0 since a loss last year to Terra Nova, and just pinned a 15-12 loss on host and previous No. 21 Menlo-Atherton.
Dropped Out: Previous No. 21 Menlo-Atherton (Atherton), No. 24 Northgate (Walnut Creek)
Teams On The Bubble
Analy (Sebastopol) 7-1, Berkeley 3-4, Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 5-2, Concord 5-1*, Encinal (Alameda) 6-1, Freedom (Oakley) 3-4, Granada (Livermore) 4-3, Justin-Siena (Napa) 5-3, Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 5-3, Liberty (Brentwood) 4-1**, Los Gatos 4-2, McClymonds (Oakland) 4-2, Menlo (Atherton) 5-1, Miramonte (Orinda) 5-2, Northgate (Walnut Creek) 6-1, Palma (Salinas) 3-3, Palo Alto 3-3, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 4-3, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 1-5, San Marin (Novato) 6-1, Scotts Valley 5-1
(*Not including forfeits) (**Forfeited two games but won both on the field)
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