Here is the opening top 25 for the greater San Francisco Bay Area for the 2014 football season. After De La Salle, it could be Pittsburg and the CIF Central Coast Section leaders (Serra & Valley Christian) jockeying inside the first five positions.
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The Cal-Hi Sports Top 25 for the San Francisco Bay Area and granddaddy of all Bay Area rankings is now in its third decade (we even did them for the San Francisco Chronicle for several years in the 1990s) and in its second with yours truly as the primary compiler.
In the Bay Area’s marquee opening game this season, the fact it was moved from 49ers’ Levi Stadium in Santa Clara to Berkeley because of sod problems made no difference.
And despite the pressure of the release of the movie When the Game Stands Tall and a lot of chatter about injuries jeopardizing a potential change at the top of the heap in these rankings, De La Salle of Concord marched into Cal’s Memorial Stadium, and after four dominating quarters marched out with a 63-0 dismantling of a very talented Carmichael Jesuit.
Besides the matchup of two solid teams, it pitted former De La Salle teammates and protégés of retired Spartans’ head coach Bob Ladouceur — Justin Alumbaugh of De La Salle and Marlon Blanton of Jesuit.
In the end, it was Alumbaugh that had the horses in what MaxPreps senior columnist and San Francisco Chronicle correspondent Mitch Stephens called “a resounding victory over shell-shocked Jesuit.”
The Bay Area caravan stayed local to the Petaluma abode by traveling 18 miles north to Apple Country. There we witnessed a game between host Analy of Sebastopol and Casa Grande of Petaluma that mirrored the De La Salle demolition of the Sac-Joaquin Section boys.
Analy bolted to a 40-0 halftime lead before pulling every starter in a 47-14 victory.
Another game that had a lot of interest was new look McClymonds of Oakland hosting Bradshaw Christian of Sacramento.
In his first varsity start, McClymonds transfer Kevin Davidson came over the hill from Danville San Ramon and hardly broke a sweat in two quarters of quarterbacking Mack to a 71-14 victory.
Davidson was 9 of 12 passing for 233 yards and five touchdowns.
Running back Lavance Warren also didn’t return for the second half after rushing for 189 yards and three TDs on runs of 62, 57 and 40 yards.
Here is this week’s first rankings (after games of Saturday, Aug. 30):
1) De La Salle (Concord) 1-0
By comparison, Jesuit lost its last game in the SJS playoffs last year to Folsom 42-35.
2) Pittsburg 1-0
Won 19-7 at California of San Ramon, which was in last year’s NCS D1 final.
3) Serra (San Mateo) 0-0
Opens at De La Salle on Friday night. Only lost 21-14 last year to Spartans.
4) Valley Christian (San Jose) 0-0
Hosts Pioneer of San Jose in first game on Friday.
5) Clayton Valley (Concord) 1-0
Assistant coaches told team afterward that 55-7 win over Carson (Nev.) at Honor Bowl “won’t be the first time we will have one of these type of games this season.”
6) Foothill (Pleasanton) 1-0
Kyle Kearns, Isaiah Langley and company won first game at San Leandro.
7) California (San Ramon) 0-1
Can’t drop Grizzlies too far for losing tough game to talented Pitt.
8) Milpitas 0-0
Trojans host Riordan of the WCAL in first game on Friday night.
9) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 0-0
Perhaps the best all-CCS opening game is the Monarchs traveling to play Los Gatos, which is coming off a divisional crown from last season.
10) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 1-0
First game under new coach Aaron Becker was a success as Wolves mashed Las Lomas 44-17.
11) Campolindo (Moraga) 1-0
The Cougars rolled past Heritage of Brentwood 56-31 in first game.
12) St. Francis (Mountain View) 0-0
The Lancers have some questions on offense but defense could be among best in the Bay Area. They host Oak Grove on Friday in season opener.
13) Bellarmine (San Jose) 0-0
The Bells looked good in a scrimmage against Monterey and will have to be at their best in first game against Franklin of Elk Grove.
14) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 0-0
All-State junior LB Ben Burr-Kirven will be out for the first few weeks with an injury.
15) Concord 1-0
Prolific QB Mitch Daniels and the Minutemen blew past Benicia 48-13 in season opener.
16) Terra Nova (Pacifica) 0-0
First two games for the Tigers will be tough ones against Bishop O’Dowd, then St. Ignatius.
17) McClymonds (Oakland) 1-0
Warriors were big 71-14 winners over Bradshaw Christian of Sacramento. Mack isn’t playing Central Catholic of Modesto in the regular season this year but probably will for the third straight year in NorCal D4 bowl game.
18) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 0-1
That Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove team that beat the Wildcats last Friday 23-10 might be pretty good this season.
19) James Logan (Union City) 1-0
Knowing they will get to play De La Salle later on at Levi’s Stadium should pump up the Colts for weeks to come.
20) Los Gatos 0-0
Returning standout RB Joey Wood and the Wildcats could move up with a win in first game against Mitty.
21) San Leandro 0-1
Pirates still look like team to beat in Hayward Area Athletic League despite loss in first game to No. 6 Foothill.
22) Analy (Sebastopol) 1-0
It wasn’t surprising that Tigers beat Casa Grande in first game, but 47-14 score raised some eyebrows.
23) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 1-0
Remember the name Jordon Brookshire. Sophomore QB led Cards in 56-32 win last Saturday over Churchill County of Fallon, Nev.
24) St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 1-0
With El Cerrito losing to Sutter and Panthers looking good in 38-6 win over Moreau, thoughts that there could be a change coming in western Contra Costa County might be even more assured.
25) Freedom (Oakley) 1-0
Tracy team that the Falcons beat 14-6 last Friday went 10-2 last season.
Teams On the Bubble
Alvarez (Salinas) 0-0
Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 1-0
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 0-0
Casa Grande (Petaluma) 0-1
Castro Valley 1-0
Deer Valley (Antioch) 1-0
El Cerrito 0-1
Encinal (Alameda) 0-1
Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 0-1
Liberty (Brentwood) 1-0
Menlo Atherton (Atherton) 0-0
Miramonte (Orinda) 0-1
Northgate (Walnut Creek) 1-0
Pacific Grove 0-0
Palo Alto 0-0
Pinole Valley (Pinole) 1-0
Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 0-0
San Benito (Hollister) 0-0
St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 0-0
Wilcox (Santa Clara) 0-0
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend