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(Previous ranking in parentheses; through games of Saturday, Sept. 30)
1. (1) ST. JOHN BOSCO (BELLFLOWER) 1-0
Why This Ranking: You never know how some of those trips to Hawaii will go but it was smooth sailing for the Braves when they opened the season on Aug. 22 with a 63-14 blasting of Honolulu St. Louis. As the defending CIF Open Division state champs, Bosco stays No. 1 in the state and might even stay there with a close loss on Sept. 26 to Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas.
Weekend Result: After their trip back from the islands, coach Jason Negro’s team didn’t play and no doubt liked how strong other teams from the Trinity League looked in their openers.
Next Up: All-American QB Josh Rosen probably won’t play too long when the Braves play Norwalk on Friday in their second game. They also should have little difficulty in their other games before playing in Las Vegas at the end of the month. That one will have major national implications especially if both teams were to play out the rest of their seasons without losing and winning state titles.
2. (2) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 1-0
Why This Ranking: Since Bosco is the only California team to beat DLS in 43 games dating back to 2008, it only makes sense that the Spartans stay right behind the Braves in the state rankings. They’ve also still won four of the last five CIF Open Division state titles.
Weekend Result: Even with key starters Anthony Sweeney (quarterback) and Simba Short (Northwestern-bound linebacker), De La Salle dominated Jesuit of Carmichael 63-0 in its first game, which was played at Cal’s Memorial Stadium after the contest was switched from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara due to turf conditions. Je’Vari Anderson took the opening kickoff back 98 yards for a score, then the defense blocked a punt that led to a 1-yard plunge by back-up quarterback Chris Vanderklugt. Jesuit was a 9-4 team last year that lost in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 quarterfinals 42-35 to Folsom.
Next Up: Head coach Justin Alumbaugh and the Spartans will march into their home field in Concord on Friday night to play defending CIF Central Coast Section Open Division champion Serra of San Mateo. The only teams from Northern California in recent years that really give DLS some major difficulty have been those from the West Catholic Athletic League, like Serra (last year 21-14 and 29-28 a few years before that) and Bellarmine (went double-overtime two years ago).
3. (4) MATER DEI (SANTA ANA) 1-0
Why This Ranking: The Monarchs move up a spot after previous No. 3 Servite lost its opener while head coach Bruce Rollinson’s club steamrolled preseason No. 9 Corona Centennial 38-18 in a game Big Red completely dominated. It’s also not as if Mater Dei won’t have a bunch of tough games on its schedule, either. St. John Bosco, Servite and the rest of the Trinity League will see to that.
Weekend Result: Mater Dei controlled the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense against the Huskies and jumped out to a 28-0 lead, as Centennial struggled to establish a running game or stop Mater Dei’s ground game. New Monarch QB Jack Lowary completed 16-of-27 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown.
Next Up: After taking on Villa Park this week, the Monarchs then face a talented Upland club on September 19. Unlike year’s past, Mater Dei also could run into Centennial down the line since the Big VIII League is now part of the CIFSS Pac-Five Division.
4. (3) SERVITE (ANAHEIM) 0-1
Why This Ranking: The 48-27 loss to Bishop Gorman (USA Today’s No. 1 team) drops head coach A.J Gass’ club one spot but no more because of the quality of the opponent, because the Friars went toe-to-toe with Gorman for most of the game and the quality of opponents coming up for the Friars. Perhaps history will repeat itself for Servite taking on the nation’s No. 1 ranked team early in the season. In 1982, Servite, behind future NFL QB Steve Beuerlein, took on national No. 1 Moeller of Cincinnati on the road and lost 29-15 in their first game and the Ohioan’s third. Servite went on to win the CIFSS Big-Five title over Long Beach Poly.
Weekend Result: Four failed attempts in the Red Zone in the first half spelled doom against Bishop Gorman once the Gaels’ offense got going behind sophomore QB Tate Martell, who played last season at Poway.
Next Up: To get as far as that 1982 team dd, Servite will have to show it has the team defensive speed to win the murderous CIFSS Pac-Five title. The Friars should pick up their first win Friday at Corona.
5. (5) FOLSOM 1-0
Why This Ranking: It was contemplated to move up the Bulldogs in front of Servite, but since they could potentially go 16-0 and win the CIF D1 state title without having to play De La Salle or the CIFSS Pac-Five champ they actually are going to stay pretty much anchored at No. 5 for a long time. On the other hand, it’s doubtful Folsom is going to do anything poorly to merit any kind of a drop, either.
Weekend Result: As expected, senior Jake Browning moved to No. 1 on the all-time state career passing yards list as he passed for 520 yards and seven touchdowns in their 55-10 win over Cathedral Catholic of San Diego. Cole Thompson was his leading target as he caught 10 passes for 193 yards and four scores while Jake Jeffrey, Tre Green and Parker Boone also caught TD passes.
Next Up: Based on the Cal-Hi Sports state record book (the only one that exists), Browning should break the state record for career touchdown passes this Friday at home against Clovis North. He currently is one behind the record of 146 set by Jimmy Clausen at Oaks Christian. Clovis North is No. 17 in this week’s State 25, but frankly will have to play a lot better than it did when we watched the Broncos last Saturday if there’s a chance against Folsom.
6. (6) LONG BEACH POLY (LONG BEACH) 1-0
Why This Ranking: We could have hopped the Jackrabbits up to fourth and dropped Servite further, but it’s too early to tell how impressive the 54-14 win over Crenshaw will end up.
Weekend Result: The Antonio Pierce era began with a resounding victory over L.A. City Section Division I contender Crenshaw. The win could be a bit misleading because Crenshaw sometimes does takes its licks early against top CIF Southern Section foes and then peaks later in the season. Still, it was a great start, especially if returning QB Josh Love plays like he did to open the season (15-of-18, 230 yards, 2 TDs passing, 2 TDs rushing). Of course, Poly always has athletes flying to the ball on defense and Crenshaw was overmatched in the trenches as all-state DL candidate Joseph Wicker was credited with six sacks.
Next Up: Coach Pierce and the Jackrabbits will get 1-0 Narbonne of Harbor City in the second game. Like Crenshaw, the Gauchos should be in the thick of the L.A. City Section title race as well.
7. (7) SERRA (GARDENA) 1-0
Why This Ranking: This is where the Cavs began in the preseason and this is where they stay after toppling Lakewood 24-6 in a sloppy first game in which the two teams combined for a reported 40 penalties. Since Serra will play national power Bellevue (Wash.) on Saturday at the U-T Honor Bowl held at Oceanside High, there’s no reason to change its ranking.
Weekend Result: According to the South Bay Daily Breeze, head coach Scott Altenberg used alternating quarterbacks Caleb Wilson and Khalil Tate in the opener against Lakewood. Wilson completed 8 of 15 passes for 142 yards and one TD. Tate rushed for 109 yards and a score. Malik Roberson, who starred as a sophomore on Serra’s D2 state title title team two years ago but missed last season with a torn ACL, scored on a three-yard run.
Next Up: Bellevue’s Wing-T is extremely difficult to stop but the Serra defensive line, led by national recruit and preseason All-State Rasheem Green, may be able to do just that. Serra linebacker John Houston also will likely have to have a strong outing if the Cavaliers are able to knock off the Wolverines, who have won 53 straight games.
8. (8) ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS) 1-0
Why This Ranking: The Warriors are actually higher in the CIF Southern Section Pac-Five division rankings but are solidly in the top 10 of our top 25. There’s no need to change things around too much from the preseason so we won’t either. When other teams start to lose, then the CIFSS Pac-Five pecking order becomes more important in our criteria.
Weekend Result: Brandon Pierce returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score and caught seven passes for 84 yards as Alemany rolled over Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga 44-15. The L.A. Daily News also reported that starting QB Blake Green came out of the game with an injury. Back-up Cayden Dunn led the team afterward and scored on a short run.
Next Up: According to Brandon Huffman, the terrific recruiting analyst from Scout.com and the best in the business along with our long-time former Student Sports colleague Greg Biggins, Alemany is going to face a tough challenge when it goes up against Eastside Catholic of Washington up in the Northwest this week. Huffman lives in Seattle and told us at the Honor Bowl that Eastside is beginning to attract a number of top players.
9. (10) CHAMINADE (WEST HILLS) 1-0
Why This Ranking: With previous No. 9 Centennial of Corona losing by 20 points to Mater Dei, there was room to move up the Eagles one spot in this week’s rankings. There weren’t any other reasons, however, for them to hop over any of the other CIFSS Pac-Five teams that are higher.
Weekend Result: Looking again for that balance of passing, rushing, defense and special teams, Chaminade displayed that in mid-season form during a 73-23 win over Venice in a game played last Thursday. Quarterback Edward Sias completed 8 of 14 passes for 138 yards and two TDs while new running back Okalani Langi rushed for four scores.
Next Up: When head coach Ed Croson’s team took on Hart of Newhall last year in the regular season, the Indians knocked off the Eagles 55-54 in overtime. It was another Chaminade win in the CIF Division II South bowl game but not in the same fashion. If last week’s scores are a barometer (Hart scored 48 points in a loss), it probably will be another high-scoring frenzy.
10. (14) BAKERSFIELD 1-0
Why This Ranking: With previous No. 9 Centennial losing by 20 points to Mater Dei, a spot opened up in the top 10. Since the Drillers notched an impressive win over Oaks Christian (a team they lost to last year) and are the defending CIF Division I state bowl champions, it made the most sense to move them up and keep Pittsburg at No. 11.
Weekend Result: Two-way standout Marcus Bruce keyed the ground game against the Lions in Bakersfield’s 34-21 win. He finished with 23 carries for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
Next Up: It’s going to be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup for many in the CIF Central Section when the Drillers travel up Highway 99 to play Edison of Fresno on Friday at Ratcliffe Stadium. We had Clovis North higher in the preseason and are keeping it that way prior to the Broncos having to play Folsom.
11. (11) PITTSBURG 1-0
Why This Ranking: The Pirates were in this position for the preseason and proved they belonged with a 19-7 win over California of San Ramon. It was a rematch of last year’s CIF NCS Division I semifinals that Cal High won. They also are No. 2 in the Bay Area according to our own rankings behind only De La Salle.
Weekend Result: Pitt scored the game’s final 19 points to start the season with by beating the Grizzlies. The Pirates trailed 7-0 after a touchdown in the middle of the second quarter, but took the momentum right before halftime when Shurod Thompson intercepted a pass and returned it for a score in the final minute of the first half. Nick Moore then gave them the lead with a 17-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter and moments later their defense once again came through with a score. On that play a forced fumble on a sack was recovered in the end zone by Harland Tautalatasi.
Next Up: Coach Vic Galli’s club will play its home opener on Friday against San Ramon Valley of Danville, which like Cal High is another top team from the East Bay Athletic League.
12. (9) CENTENNIAL (CORONA) 0-1
Why This Ranking: After the loss to Mater Dei, the best place to drop the Huskies was to a position still in front of Vista Murrieta, which was the team they beat last year in the CIFSS Inland Division final.
Weekend Result: Without graduated star QB Robert Webber at the controls, it took awhile for the Centennial offense to get going in the 38-18 loss to the Monarchs. Head coach Matt Logan rotated QBs Anthony Catalano and Nate Ketteringham. Both had success going to Jayon McKinley, who caught eight passes for 104 yards. Junior RB J.J. Taylor also had 75 yards rushing and one score.
Next Up: The Huskies will take on their second straight Trinity League opponent on Saturday afternoon in the third game of the U-T Honor Bowl in Oceanside when they face Orange Lutheran. The Lancers (1-0) topped Dominguez of Compton 33-7 in their opener and the new QBs for the Huskies could be running for their lives from OLu beast DE Keisean Lucier-South.
13. (13) VISTA MURRIETA (MURRIETA) 0-0
Why This Ranking: The Broncos haven’t started their season yet, so instead of moving up this week they just stayed put. Bakersfield was given a bump ahead of them for beating Oaks Christian and we also didn’t want to drop Corona Centennial below them for losing to Mater Dei. The Monarchs just might be that good this season.
Weekend Result: Vista Murrieta did not schedule a Week Zero game this season but does have some big games coming up.
Next Up: This week’s opener will be on the road at Downey. Last season, Vista Murrieta opened at home against the Vikings and picked up a 66-28 win. The Broncos also will be on the road the following week at a place we are getting very familiar with on Labor Day weekend – Del Oro of Loomis.
14. (15) WESTLAKE (WESTLAKE VILLAGE) 1-0
Why This Ranking: The Warriors moved up one spot due to previous No. 12 Mission Hills going down to defeat but did not move up higher because previous No. 9 Corona Centennial did not fall that far due to its loss to Mater Dei.
Weekend Result: In the first game of the 26th season of head coach Jim Benkert leading the program, Westlake downed Canyon of Canyon Country 44-17. Junior quarterback Malik Henry connected on 18 of 28 passes for 188 yards and three scores. According to the L.A. Daily News, two of Henry’s TDs went to receiver Theo Howard.
Next Up: Under Benkert, Westlake has often played out-of-state competition and will do so again this weekend with a trip to the Valley of the Sun to meet Red Mountain of Mesa, Ariz.
15. (22) HELIX (LA MESA) 1-0
Why This Ranking: It’s a close call between the Highlanders and Oceanside for No. 1 in San Diego but for this week anyway we’ll give Helix the edge due to collecting its big win over No. 18 St. Bonaventure of Ventura. Defending San Diego Open Division champ Mission Hills also was close to those two, but lost its first game to Timpview of Provo, Utah.
Weekend Result: Head coach Troy Starr’s team collected an impressive 24-20 win over St. Bonnie. With the running game being their weapon of choice, the Highlanders ran the ball 50 times for 316 yards and three touchdowns. Curtis Holmes’ two-yard touchdown run with just under two minutes remaining gave Helix the winning points. Nathan Stinson rushed for 146 yards on 19 carries while Jihad Woods rushed for 82 yards and one touchdown in the win.
Next Up: In the Southern California portion of the Honor Bowl that takes place this weekend in Oceanside, Helix will get the party started on Friday at 5 p.m. by taking on Del Oro of Loomis. It’s a rematch of the 2009 CIF Division II state final.
16. (21) OCEANSIDE 1-0
Why This Ranking: In the CIF San Diego Section, while Helix was just in front of the Pirates in the preseason rankings, it was the Pirates who had more first-place votes. For us, after looking at the first games, it just made the most sense for the two to be side-by-side this week.
Weekend Result: It was much closer than the Pirates would have liked but they did open the season with a 34-28 win over St. Augustine of San Diego. Matthew Romero passed for 271 yards and three touchdowns with Johnny Arzola playing the role of his leading target. Arzola had eight catches for 132 yards and a score. Davione Taylor and Isaiah Paopao each caught a touchdown pass while Josh Bernard led the rushing game with 104 yards and a score.
Next Up: Oceanside’s game on Friday at home in the second game of the U-T Honor Bowl against Mission Viejo will no longer be a battle of teams ranked in the State 25 since Mission was upset by Liberty of Bakersfield. Honor Bowl director Mark Soto didn’t know that Mission had lost last Saturday until we told him. Still, as Soto surmised, it’s just going to make the Diablos ticked off and ready to take down Oceanside. That’s how the Pirates should look at it as well.
17. (17) CLOVIS NORTH (FRESNO) 1-0
Why This Ranking: The Broncos had to sweat out a 19-17 win over Reed of Reno at the Honor Bowl last Saturday and since Reed was a team that had lost 66-13 in its previous game, that wasn’t enough for them to get any kind of a bump. While Liberty of Bakersfield is now firmly in the mix to get a State 25 ranking after its win over Mission Viejo, we also aren’t ready to move up Edison of Fresno either after it’s scary win over Buchanan. One more week of results should more firmly establish those teams with Bakersfield and Edison playing each other and Clovis North facing Folsom.
Weekend Result: WR-DB Noruwa Obanor was the MVP for Clovis North with two touchdown catches from quarterback Austin Autry and he played well on defense in the win over the Raiders. Coach Tim Simons and the staff hope their team will enjoy the same major improvement of performance this week that Reed showed in its second game last week.
Next Up: For the second straight week, Clovis North will head up to the Sacramento area for a game, this time with the daunting task of slowing down the offense of Folsom. It might not be like playing St. John Bosco last year because Folsom isn’t as physical, but it would be considered a big upset if the Broncos won.
18. (18) ST. BONAVENTURE (VENTURA) 0-1
Why This Ranking: Since Helix was given a bump up to No. 15 for getting the win last week over the Seraphs, it was okay not to drop the Seraphs this week, either. Other teams also lost (Mission Hills, Hart, Mission Viejo) so that gave us other reasons to keep it the same. Plus, it’s not as if Helix won easily. St. Bonnie was in it from beginning to end.
Weekend Result: Giving up the go-ahead touchdown with just under two minutes remaining, the Seraphs were unable to drive down and get the win and lost 24-20 to Helix. Ricky Town had some clutch touchdown passes and led a late drive into the opponent’s side of the field before turning it over on downs.
Next Up: St. Bonnie will be on the road once again this week and should get its first win Friday at Cabrillo of Long Beach.
19. (19) SERRA (SAN MATEO) 0-0
Why This Ranking: When teams like Serra from CIF Central Coast Section are starting one week later than most, unless there are unusual circumstances, our basic rule is not to move them up or down in the rankings. Of course, we also pay attention to other rankings in the Bay Area and those done by our friends at SportStars Magazine. We just don’t change anything until teams actually get on the field.
Weekend Result: The Padres did not play. The only CCS team that did play was Wilcox of Santa Clara, which was supposed to play Manteca at Levi’s Stadium. That game got moved (Wilcox lost) but still had to be played. Wilcox and Manteca also will still get to play at Levi’s Stadium in October.
Next Up: Head coach Patrick Walsh will take his team to his former stomping grounds at Owen Owens Field on Friday on the campus of De La Salle. Serra only lost to DLS 21-14 last year. It was the Spartans’ closest game until they lost to St. John Bosco in the CIF Open Division state bowl game.
20. (23) UPLAND 1-0
Why This Ranking: Coach Tim Salter’s team gets a rise this week due to its own performance plus losses by Mission Hills, Hart and Mission Viejo. Hart and Mission Viejo also are two of the other top teams in the new CIFSS West Valley Division.
Weekend Result: Everyone had an opportunity to play in Upland’s season opener as the Highlanders led 28-0 after one quarter and 57-0 at halftime on the way to a 71-0 win over Knight of Palmdale. Tyler Hilinski was 8 of 12 for 198 yards and five touchdowns with Malik Yoakum having all three of his catches go for scores. Nathan Tilford carried the ball eight times for 129 yards and two scores while Aaron Graham and Darreyon Jones also ran for scores.
Next Up: It should be a much tougher test this week when the Highlanders go on the road to face Redondo Union of Redondo Beach on Friday. Of course, it will be even much tougher than that with upcoming games vs. Mater Dei and St. Bonaventure.
21. (12) MISSION HILLS (SAN MARCOS) 0-1
Why This Ranking: As last year’s San Diego Open Division champions, we started off the Grizzlies at No. 1 in San Diego, but they now fall after a loss to Utah 4A champion Timpview on Saturday. Since Timpview is a quality team, however, the loss wasn’t deemed bad enough to drop Mission Hills any further than to No. 3 in the section (behind Helix and Oceanside) and to just outside the top 20.
Weekend Result: The 42-28 loss to Timpview was tied after the first, second and third quarters but Mission Hills was outscored 14-0 in the final quarter and was unable to slow down Britain Covey as the senior QB and Utah Player of the Year candidate rushed for all six of the Thunderbirds’ touchdowns. DeChaun Holiday caught six passes for 117 yards and a touchdown while Martrel Holmes also caught a touchdown pass in the loss.
Next Up: In their home opener this Friday night, the Grizzlies will take on Torrey Pines of San Diego.
22. (NR) JSERRA (SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO) 1-0
Why This Ranking: Early in the season, it’s often a fourth (or fifth) team from the vaunted Trinity League gets into the State 25. That team this time is the Lions because they were next in line in the preseason CIF Southern Section Pac-Five rankings and because they had a win last year over Santa Margarita, which also was considered for this spot after its win over Bishop Amat.
Weekend Result: Edward Vander, a junior transfer from Paramount, racked up 171 yards on 21 carries and scored three times as the Lions beat Cabrillo of Long Beach 40-0. Despite the final score, it was only 7-0 heading into the final quarter. D.J. Bailey added 59 yards rushing and a pair of TDs.
Next Up: Coach Jim Hartigan’s bunch will have to play even better on defense this week than in last week’s shutout because the opponent at home on Friday will be Chino Hills, which just scored 62 points in a 62-48 win over previous state No. 16 Hart of Newhall.
23. (25) GRANT (SACRAMENTO) 1-0
Why This Ranking: The Pacers were our next team in line from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and it was decided not to change that for now after the first week. Since previous No. 24 Valley Christian didn’t play, Grant moved up two positions.
Weekend Result: While the offense might not have been as good as hoped in the season opener, Grant fans had to be pleased with the defense as it recorded a shutout during a 20-0 win over Burbank of Sacramento. Coming up with four turnovers, the Pacers recovered three fumbles while holding the Titans to under 100 yards rushing on the night. Deondre Whittington-Grays rushed for two touchdowns while TieNeal Martin rushed for a score and recovered one of the three fumbles on defense.
Next Up: Grant’s home opener on Friday will be against a Central of Fresno team that lost its season opener by one point to Liberty of Brentwood.
24. (24) VALLEY CHRISTIAN (SAN JOSE) 0-0
Why This Ranking: Many in the CIF Central Coast Section look at the Warriors as the team to beat due to their high number of returning standouts. We didn’t go as far as to put them ahead of Serra to start, but they did land at No. 24 and basically stay there because they haven’t played yet.
Weekend Result: Head coach Mike Machado’s Warriors are no doubt ready to battle this coming week as they didn’t start their season this past weekend.
Next Up: Valley Christian takes the field for its season opener this Friday night against Pioneer of San Jose. The Warriors will be looking to open the season with a win for the first time in three years since they lost their season opener the past two seasons against Vacaville.
25. (NR) ELK GROVE 1-0
Why This Ranking: Most others in Northern California have the Thundering Herd at No. 2 in the Sac-Joaquin Section behind Folsom. While we’re still waiting to move them up in front of Grant, it was an easy call to give them one of this week’s two new State 25 slots.
Weekend Result: Elk Grove dominated Damonte Ranch of Reno 55-7 in the first of five games played at the Honor Bowl that took place at Del Oro of Loomis. Leading 28-0 after one quarter and with a running clock in the third quarter, the Thundering Herd got outstanding performances from all over the field, including Manny Scott-Anderson, who had three sacks on defense while rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Vander Waal had two touchdown passes to Kyle Van Lindt while Eltoro Allen rushed for two touchdowns and returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a score.
Next Up: Coach Chris Nixon’s club will have an extra week to prepare for its next game. Elk Grove doesn’t play this weekend before facing Lincoln of Stockton in their home opener next Friday night.
Teams That Dropped Out
Previous No. 16 Hart of Newhall (lost to Chino Hills)
Previous No. 20 Mission Viejo (lost to Liberty of Bakersfield).
Teams On The Bubble
Bishop Amat (La Puente) 0-1
Chaparral (Temecula) 1-0
Chino Hills 1-0
Clayton Valley (Concord) 1-0
Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 1-0
Del Oro (Loomis) 0-1
Edison (Fresno) 1-0
Edison (Huntington Beach) 2-0
Foothill (Pleasanton) 1-0
Hart (Newhall) 0-1
Liberty (Bakersfield) 1-0
Lutheran (Orange) 1-0
Mission Viejo 0-1
Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 1-0
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 1-0
Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley) 1-0
Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 1-0
Santiago (Corona) 1-0
St. Augustine (San Diego) 0-1