Milpitas joins the first five, St. Ignatius gets a jump into the top 15 while Freedom of Oakley goes from unranked to No. 15 after impressive win over San Leandro. WCAL, EBAL league schedules get going in next two weeks.
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They don’t call it the wild-and-wacky West Catholic Athletic League for nothing. Not after the past three weeks that have seen a new team each week from the WCAL ranked highest in these rankings.
After Serra lost to De La Salle, and the Valley Christian team that was anointed after faltered in a loss to fast-rising Milpitas, the new WCAL leader is a Bellarmine team that got veteran head coach Mike Janda win No. 250 in his career at the Bells’ helm after a 56-20 victory over crosstown Piedmont Hills.
Janda is now in a position to pass recently retired Pacifica Terra Nova head coach Bill Gray (255 wins from 1972 to 2013 at Pacifica Oceana and Terra Nova) later this season to become the third winningest in the CIF Central Coast Section. The record, according to our files (which do not include forfeits), is 269 for Benny Pierce of Saratoga.
At the very top of the heap wasn’t the only place the wild-and-wackiness was front and center in what is looking more and more like a wide open run for the league title.
The Cal-Hi Sports caravan was on hand at St. Ignatius on a foggy San Francisco Saturday afternoon to see Wildcats’ senior kicker Andrew Ferrero give the hosts a stunning 27-24 victory over Stockton powerhouse St. Mary’s after he split the uprights from 26 yards out in the second overtime.
Before St. Ignatius tied the game 21-21 on a 3-yard run by Brian Vollert and a 2-point conversion on a pass from Ryan Hagfeldt (21-of-28, 166 yards, one TD) to Dominic Burke, it looked like Ferrero might be the goat after shanking an extra point and coming up short on a first-quarter 46-yard field goal attempt.
“Absolutely. It was great to be able to redeem missing that extra point,” Ferrero told Cal-Hi Sports. “I was thinking about it a little bit in the fourth quarter, especially after I missed a field goal I should have made, but the guys picked me up with that huge two-point conversion.”
It wasn’t just Ferrero or Hagfeldt who survived seven sacks. The SI defense held its own and shut down the St. Mary’s running game.
Despite Rams’ quarterback Noah Righetti running for 57- and 31-yard touchdowns, he and the others that carried the ball only gained 59 yards on 19 combined remaining carries.
Bay Valley Athletic League begs to be heard
All the who-beat-who stuff in the CIF North Coast Section takes a hit with Freedom (Oakley) beating San Leandro, but with San Leandro missing UCLA-bound Stephen Johnson it was bound to be an up and down year even though the Pirates have some other good athletes.
Now, after not having any teams ranked two weeks ago, the BVAL has three teams in the mix.
Here are the third rankings of the 2014 season (after games of Saturday, Sept. 20):
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 4-0
It was another cakewalk after a 52-0 dismantling of a very solid and defending NorCal Division I Bowl Game champion Loomis Del Oro, a team coming off a win over previously state-ranked Vista Murrieta of Murrieta. The Cal-Hi Sports No. 2 state-ranked Spartans will try to avoid another blip this week when they welcome the No. 4 ranked Friars of Anaheim Servite.
2. (3) Foothill (Pleasanton) 3-0
The Falcons had little trouble in a 50-14 shellacking of Castro Valley. They now get to move in behind the De La Salle team they meet in late October pending an East Bay Athletic League opening showdown this week with San Ramon Valley. Foothill’s earlier 42-6 win over Freedom of Oakley also is gaining in significance after Freedom’s big win last Friday over San Leandro.
3. (4) Bellarmine (San Jose) 3-0
After a bye this week, the Bells open WCAL play on the road at a St. Ignatius team that will be no pushover in the WCAL this season.
4. (5) Serra (San Mateo) 1-2
As expected, the Padres rolled past South San Francisco 50-0 on Saturday to pick up their first win. Their opening losses are to De La Salle (No. 2 in the state) and Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks (going into the State 25 this week).
5. (7) Milpitas 3-0
An impressive 31-17 win over previous No. 2 Valley Christian vaults the Trojans past Clayton Valley and into the top five of the Bay Area this week. A De Anza Division Santa Clara Valley Athletic League showdown with unbeaten Los Gatos also is brewing.
6. (6) Clayton Valley (Concord) 4-0
If the Ugly Eagles had the ability to be in an NCS Open Division (like Milpitas could be in the CCS), then moving Milpitas higher may not have occurred. Strength of schedule is not just games played but looking ahead to games that will be played.
7. (2) Valley Christian (San Jose) 2-1
After the 31-17 loss to Milpitas, the Warriors fall to No. 3 in the WCAL pecking order and fall in behind the team that dealt them the loss and also behind a Clayton Valley team that does not deserve to drop. VC can turn it around in a hurry this week when they host Serra in the WCAL opener for both.
8. (9) James Logan (Union City) 2-1
All of the who-beat-who scenarios in the NCS stay in place except for San Leandro, which now has three losses and can now drop behind Logan despite head-to-head win. Logan, which had a bye last week, has a win over San Ramon Valley.
9. (10) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 2-1
Another team with a bye this week has to rest on a resume that consists of a win over Pittsburg but a loss two weeks ago to Logan. The Wolves also play Foothill on Friday.
10. (11) Pittsburg 3-1
After a 42-0 blowout of Berkeley, the Pirates are left with a loss to San Ramon Valley but with a win over California on their grid log.
11. (12) California (San Ramon) 2-1
After a bye week, the Grizzlies will look to make a run in the EBAL. Their only loss is to Pitt in a close game and there are many returnees from last year’s D1 section title game participant.
12. (13) Campolindo (Moraga) 4-0
A huge 52-27 win over highly regarded Napa moves up the Cougars a notch but they have to wait to start jumping too many NCS D1 teams that will be playing each other soon.
13. (14) Los Gatos 3-0
The Cats move up a bit after a 35-14 win that knocked San Benito out of the rankings. Should they put a hurt on Stockton St. Mary’s this week, it would be justification to possibly jump them into the top 10 for the following week.
14. (21) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 3-0
The win over St. Mary’s is worth a huge jump for the Wildcats, particularly with Bellarmine coming up in two weeks. The Stockton school also was coming into last Saturday’s game after posting a win over two-time defending CIF Division IV state champion Central Catholic of Modesto.
15. (NR) Freedom (Oakley) 2-2
There will be some who question a .500 team jumping in so high and ahead of Liberty in the BVAL pecking order. It’s about the wins and losses, however. The Falcons lost to No. 2 Foothill and Sac-Joaquin D1 powerhouse Granite Bay, and have wins over a very good Tracy team to go with the 42-6 trouncing of San Leandro last week.
16. (8) San Leandro 1-3
With each week a question in an up-and-down season so far, there’s no choice but to drop a Pirates team with a 5-point home win over Logan but a 36-point loss this week to Freedom. The Pirates could move back up if teams ahead of them lose and they handle another BVAL foe, Liberty, in this week’s game.
17. (15) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 1-1
The Monarchs beat a re-building Palo Alto 35-14 but still drop two spots to make room for Freedom and a St. Ignatius team they fall in behind in the WCAL pecking order (at least for this week). Next up is what should be a great game with Pittsburg at Foothill College.
18. (16) Concord 3-0*
*Forfeit win not included. The Minutemen are in the same boat as the other teams right above them and lose two spots despite a forfeit win over Oakland.
19. (17) McClymonds (Oakland) 3-0
After a bye week, the Warriors host Analy on Friday. They drop but probably couldn’t care less. Mack’s eyes are pointed to Carson in December and a D4 state bowl game appearance.
20. (18) Palma (Salinas) 3-0
Just like the three teams up stream from them in these rankings, the Chieftains drop two spots despite an easy 35-6 win over San Jose Willow Glen. Palo Alto on the road is on tap.
21. (19) St. Francis (Mountain View) 2-1
Lancers continue to fall in behind a Palma team that beat them two weeks ago after a 35-7 win over Oakland Skyline. After a bye, they open WCAL action with Riordan (San Francisco) at home.
22. (20) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 3-0
Like the first two wins, this week’s 27-21 victory against Salinas was no blow-out but it came against a decent large school and once again without star Ben Burr-Kirven.
23. (22) Liberty (Brentwood) 4-0
The Lions mauled 1-3 Monte Vista 34-7 but the real test so far this season will be can they do the same against a Jekyll and Hyde San Leandro team that will probably be the best team they’ve faced so far.
24. (23) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 2-2
The Wildcats got to .500 but had to come from a 7-0 deficit in a 21-7 victory over Novato for a 36th straight Marin County Athletic League win.
25. (24) Analy (Sebastopol) 3-0
It was a 42-21 win last week over rebuilding Santa Rosa Montgomery in preparation for this week’s showdown with McClymonds.
Previous No. 25 San Benito (Hollister).
Teams On the Bubble:
(In alphabetical order)
Acalanes (Lafayette) 3-1
Alhambra (Martinez) 4-0
Alvarez (Salinas) 3-0
Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 3-0
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 1-2
Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 1-2
Deer Valley (Antioch) 3-0
El Cerrito 1-2
Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 3-1
Northgate (Walnut Creek) 3-1
Pacific Grove 2-0
Palo Alto 1-2
Pinole Valley (Pinole) 3-1
Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 1-2
Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 3-0
San Benito (Hollister) 2-1
St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 4-0
Terra Nova (Pacifica) 0-3
Wilcox (Santa Clara) 1-1
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