Los Gatos and Freedom hammer their way into the top list by posting impressive wins. The toughest decision, meanwhile, was how far to drop Mitty.
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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, November 16. We have more than 35 years of compiling high school football rankings in Northern California.
The Cal-Hi Sports Caravan made just one stop over the weekend after deciding to pack it in for the first round CIF North Coast Section playoff games Friday night.
The one game we did witness, Archbishop Mitty at Serra, was attended by a who’s who of Bay Area prep sports writers. What they saw was the Padres net the Monarchs in a 31-7 victory
In the end, Serra showed why the Padres gave No. 1 De La Salle such a hard time.
Although Mitty had the CCS Open Division No. 1 seed in hand, a perfect West Catholic Athletic season, and a 10-0 record heading into the playoffs at stake, it wasn’t enough to stunt Serra. As a result, the Monarchs fell to a No. 5 seed in the CCS Open Division.
Because the system used in the CCS for playoff seedings gives teams credit for beating league champions, regardless of how strong the league is, means Serra took the No. 2 seed instead of No. 1.
Because neither won its league, the Padre wins over Atwater Buhach Colony and Alameda Encinal got them less credit in the CCS system.
Another factor in seedings is that two teams from the same league can’t play each other in the first round, but that could have been remedied by making San Jose Pioneer the No. 8 seed instead of No. 7, and making Valley Christian the No. 7 seed instead of No. 8.
The folks out on the coast probably wish they had gotten the No. 2 seed. Now, instead of facing the same Pioneer team the Tigers blew out, they get Valley Christian. However, a big reason VC struggled in a 10-9 come from behind victory over St. Ignatius is they played without Kirk Johnson, who was injured for the second time this season. The Warriors star running back tore ligaments in his shoulder two week’s ago in the win over St. Francis.
Maybe Terra Nova can hang with the big boys from the WCAL other than the St. Ignatius team they beat by 17 points early in the season. With star running back Johnson out , things might be falling in place at just the right time for veteran head coach Bill Gray and his boys.
Will this be the year they have a big bonfire and dance on the beach in Pacifica? We’ll find out right out of the box Friday night out on the coast.
Here are this week’s new rankings:
(Through games of November 16) (Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 10-0
The Spartans received no marching orders last week after receiving a first round bye in the CIF North Coast Section Division I playoffs. After getting a rest they don’t need, Sparta welcomes Granada, a 24-20 winner over Amador Valley, on Friday.
2. (3) Serra (San Mateo) 7-2
After thumping Mitty only to be rewarded with a No. 2 seed, the Padres actually come out smelling like a rose after drawing San Jose Pioneer in the first round of the CCS Open Division playoffs.
3. (4) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 10-0
Both the Wildcats and Mitty had similar wins against St. Ignatius but MC is riding high and looks deserving at this point of moving past the Monarchs. After a first round bye, the Marin boys face a Redwood Empire foe in a Eureka team that beat Hercules 29-12.
4. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 9-1
For whatever reason, Mitty was just plain flat against Serra. According to San Jose Mercury News writer Darren Sabedra, this was not the same team he’s been covering all season. Now, head coach Matt Haniger and his crew must regroup for an opening round game at Salinas against No. 4 seed Palma.
5. (5) Pittsburg 9-2
Only De La Salle received a first round bye in the NCS D1 playoffs. The Pirates played and rolled 47-13 over Fremont Irvington behind four rushing TDs from Jaylyn Morgan. Next up is an Oakley Freedom team they beat 34-13 this season on the road.
6. (6) California (San Ramon) 9-2
With quarterback Cameron Owen done after fracturing his pelvic bone, the Grizzlies have to find a way to go on, and they did with a 37-12 victory over San Ramon Dougherty Valley. San Ramon Valley is up next, and although they beat the Wolves 35-21 in late October that was with Owen calling signals.
7. (7) Deer Valley (Antioch) 10-1
After a slow start the Wolverines took charge in a 49-21 win over Castro Valley. Next up is Logan at home.
8. (8) Clayton Valley (Concord) 9-1*
Clayton Valley didn’t even have to show its Charter as the Ugly Eagles put a 62-7 thrashing on San Lorenzo.
9. (9) James Logan (Union City) 8-2
The Colts didn’t exactly have a romp in the pasture but they did pull out a 14-7 victory over upstart Brentwood Liberty. Now comes the first good matchup in the NCS D1 playoffs when Logan travels to Deer Valley.
10. (10) Valley Christian (San Jose) 7-3
The Warriors trailed 9-0 after three quarters before rallying to pull out a 10-9 victory at San Francisco St. Ignatius. Now they face top-seeded Terra Nova in the CCS Open Division.
11. (11) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 7-4
The Wolverines prevailed 42-24 over San Leandro and now meet California in the NCS D1 quarterfinals.
12. (12) Campolindo (Moraga) 10-0
Like Marin Catholic, Campo had a first round bye and now meets an Acalanes team that beat in league, 24-14 in Lafayette.
13. (13) St. Francis (Mountain View) 7-3
The Lancers disposed of the Irish, 42-13 at home, and then celebrated on Sunday when first-year head coach Greg Calcagno and his boys were awarded the top seed in the CCS Division II playoffs. San Jose Andrew Hill is the first round opponent.
14. (14) Bellarmine (San Jose) 7-3
The Bells gave up some points in San Francisco to Archbishop Riordan, but still took home a 35-22 victory. Next up for the CCS Open Division No. 6 seed is a date with No. 3 seed Wilcox on Friday in Santa Clara.
15. (15) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 11-0
Nowhere to go up this week despite the NCS Division II top seed and only 11-0 team in the rankings beating Alameda 45-14 in a game they led 45-0 at the half.
16. (16) Terra Nova (Pacifica) 10-0
The CCS Open Division top-seeded Tigers hold tight after a 56-0 non-league whitewashing of Half Moon Bay. Next up is Valley Christian at home.
17. (17) El Cerrito 8-2
The No. 3 seed in the NCS D3 playoffs did a bam-bam on Tamalpais (Mill Valley), in a 64-8 victory. Next up is surprising No. 10 seed Novato, a 23-6 winner at Encinal.
18. (20) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 9-1
The Chargers get to go in front of the Milpitas team that beat them, but that could change when the CCS Open Division No. 3 seed hosts Bellarmine, or Wilcox could be moving up again next week.
19. (21) Miramonte (Orinda) 9-2
The No. 3 seed in the NCS D2 playoffs had to travel to No. 14 Hayward Tennyson but it didn’t matter in a 54-28 Mats victory. Remember, this team’s only losses are to Marin Catholic and Campolindo.
20. (22) Analy (Sebastopol) 10-1
The No. 4 seed in the NCS D3 playoffs lone loss is to the team they continue to fall in behind. No problems last week in 42-6 win over Petaluma, but the Tigers next opponent Cardinal Newman, is a horse of a different color.
21. (NR) Los Gatos 7-3
Losses are to Mitty and Menlo-Atherton in the first two weeks. Since then, first-year head coach Mark Krail and his boys are 7-1 with the loss coming to Wilcox. The Cats were awarded the No. 2 seed in the CCS D2 playoffs
22. (19) Milpitas 8-2
Besides the shootout loss in Los Gatos the other loss is to Valley Christian. The Los Gatos loss knocked the Trojans out of the Open Division and into the D1 playoffs as the No. 2 seed.
23. (23) Carmel 10-0
The Padres knocked off Pacific Grove 40-35 in a 9-0 vs. 9-0 matchup from last Friday and they have a win over CCS Open Division No. 4 seed Palma.
24. (24) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 9-1
The Gators rebounded from the 29-15 loss to Terra Nova by beating their arch-rival from down the block Menlo, 10-3. SHP received the top seed in the CCS Division IV playoffs with Carmel No. 3 and the two on a path to meet in the final.
25. (NR) Freedom (Oakley) 6-5
The Falcons were ranked in the preseason, but dropped out and in fact lost their first three games. Since then, they’ve regrouped under Joe “PRIMETIME” Mixon, sophomore quarterback Joe Sweeney has improved markedly, and Freedom has only lost to Deer Valley and Pittsburg since week three. This week, they avenged a home blowout to Foothill early in the season with a 55-17 victory behind 221 yards and seven rushing TDs by Mixon.
Previous No. 18 Foothill (Pleasanton), No. 25 Menlo-Atherton (Atherton)
Teams On The Bubble
Acalanes (Lafayette) 8-3, Alvarez (Salinas) 10-0 Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 5-6, Aptos 8-2, Burlingame 10-0, Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 8-3, Concord 7-3*, Encinal (Alameda) 8-3, Foothill (Pleasanton) 8-3, Granada (Livermore) 6-5, Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 7-4, Liberty (Brentwood) 5-4**, McClymonds (Oakland) 8-2, Menlo (Atherton) 6-3, Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 7-3, Montgomery (Santa Rosa) 9-2, Northgate (Walnut Creek) 9-2, Palma (Salinas) 7-3, Palo Alto 5-5, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 6-5, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 2-8, San Leandro 6-5 San Marin (Novato) 8-2, Windsor 6-5
(*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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend