NEW Bay Area 25 Football Rankings

Two outstanding juniors from two of the top teams in the Bay Area are running back Justin Locklear from California of San Ramon and wide receiver Collin Johnson from Valley Christian of San Jose. Photos: Paul Muyskens & Mark Tennis.

Two outstanding juniors from two of the top teams in the Bay Area are running back Justin Locklear from California of San Ramon and wide receiver Collin Johnson from Valley Christian of San Jose. Photos: Paul Muyskens & Mark Tennis.

Valley Christian climbs back into the top five after strong outing against Bellarmine. Palma of Salinas and St. Francis of Mountain View also get a major bump while this week’s lone newcomer is Las Lomas of Walnut Creek.

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The Bay Area caravan put on almost 400 miles and encircled the Bay between Friday and Saturday covering St. Ignatius at Serra on Friday night, and then returning home to Petaluma before turning back around to cover Day Two of the Levi’s Stadium Friday Nights Lights Black Bear Diner event in Santa Clara.

Serra silences naysayers

When Serra started the season with a 41-13 loss to De La Salle and then lost 24-14 the following week at now state No. 19 Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, the 0-2 record caused the pundits, prognosticators and self-proclaimed experts to dismiss them down in the Bay Area pecking order, but not in the Cal-Hi Sports methodology in determining the pecking order, how long we stay with some teams and why.

Sitakeli Nunn had a huge night for Serra as the team's featured running back after starting for five weeks as the quarterback. Photo: Harold Abend.

Sitakeli Nunn had a huge night for Serra as the team’s featured running back after starting for five weeks as the quarterback. Photo: Harold Abend.

It turns out the 28-point loss to the alma mater of Serra head coach Patrick Walsh was as good as nationally-ranked Byrnes (South Carolina) did and much closer to the 23-point loss by state No. 7 Anaheim Servite – and way better than any Northern California team could muster against Sparta. Plus, it was the least points De La Salle has registered this season.

Then last week the Padres flexed their muscles in a 24-10 win at Valley Christian.

Against St. Ignatius on Friday night, Walsh unveiled the Hunter Bishop era, but former quarterback turned running back Sitaleki Nunn stole the show and showed just how deep the arsenal is for the Padres this season.

Senior star Kava Cassidy is still out with a shoulder injury but Nunn and junior running back Kelepi Lataimua did just fine without him in the 32-20 home victory.

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Nunn finished with 209 yards on 17 carries with three TDs on runs of 63, 9 and 75 yards. Lataimua started a little slow but warmed up after halftime to finish with 85 yards on 15 carries with a 22-yard TD run.

Pancake man

On both of the long TD runs it was never a doubt once Nunn and his acceleration got to the outside and then down the left sideline. It was how he got there and a lot of that had to do with 6-foot-8, 290-pound Stanford-bound offensive tackle Jack Dreyer.

On the 63-yard run Dreyer took out two would be tacklers to open the outside lane. Nunn’s 75-yard run saw Dreyer literally pancake three defenders leaving no one but a defensive back to beat and Nunn blew by him to pay dirt.

With his size and frame Dreyer has an amazing presence on the field. “He’s only going to get better,” remarked Cal-Hi Sports Editor Mark Tennis when told of Dreyer’s feats in the game.

Bishop a little shaky

After sitting out the first four games because of his transfer from St. Francis, junior quarterback Hunter Bishop was a little shaky and threw a pick six that accounted for SI’s only second half touchdown and cut it to a 19-17 Serra lead. However, shortly after the gaffe, he directed a 13-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in the Lataimua TD run to make it 26-17. The drive had two critical fourth down conversions, including the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Bishop’s best play of the night, an 8-yard pass on fourth-and-seven right on the money to Brandon Monroe.

“Hunter was a little jittery but look at the ton of expectations put on him for a first varsity game,” Walsh told Cal-Hi Sports. “He’s got a lot of capabilities and he’s going to grow. We’re fortunate to have him.”

For details on San Francisco 49ers ticket giveaway for Levi's Stadium, CLICK HERE.

For details on S.F. 49ers ticket giveaway for Levi’s Stadium, CLICK HERE

Here are the sixth rankings of the 2014 season (after games of Saturday, Oct. 11):

1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 7-0
The Bay Area caravan was on hand at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday to see Silver-and-Black fan and Spartans’ quarterback Anthony Sweeney do his thing in a 51-7 victory over James Logan in the 49ers house. “My dad may have something to say about this because he’s a 49ers fan, and I have respect for the 49ers, but I’m a Raiders’ fan,” chuckled Sweeney and then he continued. “I know for our whole team, it was a privilege to play in the best stadium in the world. It feels like a whole different experience than playing in front of high school bleachers.” For Sweeney, the experience only lasted a half because that’s all he played, but the 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior still threw for three TD passes. Running back Andrew Hernandez got his two rushing TDs (28 and 67 yards) and 116 yards on only six first half carries. Up next is visiting Foothill in two weeks in what should be an interesting matchup. The Spartans have a bye this week.

2. (2) Foothill (Pleasanton) 6-0
The Falcons posted one of their biggest margins of victory ever over East Bay Athletic League rival Monte Vista (Danville), in a 41-7 victory they led 21-0 at the half and 41-0 after three quarters. Will an easy game like they had against the Mustangs benefit head coach Matt Sweeney and his boys coming up against De La Salle? Nothing probably will matter except that Sweeney has to keep his boys focused on not letting whatever happens against the Spartans derail their efforts at capturing the East Bay Athletic League title where they are currently tied for first place at 3-0 with California. That’s who Foothill plays next on Friday night at home.

3. (4) Serra (San Mateo) 3-2
An omen in the game was the Padres’ defense being vise-like against visiting St. Ignatius even if head coach Patrick Walsh dodged the question when asked if stopping the run was the key to winning the West Catholic Athletic League this season. “The key to winning this league is winning games,” said a grinning Walsh in a duh-like response. Maybe so, but Serra sacked SI QB Ryan Hagfeldt five times and the Wildcats were minus-8 yards on 21 carries rushing for the game. Next up is a Saint Francis team next Saturday which is coming off a win over Archbishop Mitty.

4. (5) Milpitas 6-0
It’s not so much the 49-0 shellacking of Saratoga this past week that makes Milpitas look even better than it did previously. It has more to do with Valley Christian beating Bellarmine after the Trojans dropped Valley Christian 31-17 on the road a few weeks ago. Their stock rises and Milpitas is going up statewide, but in this group it can only get them one notch.

5. (9) Valley Christian (San Jose) 3-2
The Warriors lost two spots last week after the loss to Serra but as we said at the time if they could silence the Bell the two-spot drop for the loss would be a thing of the past – and it is with VC now falling in behind the two teams that beat them but getting credit for the big 42-17 home win over Bellarmine. It was a performance that showed how good we and others in the CCS thought the Warriors were going to be this season.

6. (6) Clayton Valley (Concord) 6-0
We thought about dropping the Ugly Eagles one spot and leaving Bellarmine higher, but the margin of defeat for the Bells was enough so that Clayton Valley simply stays put. The Uglies won their game 65-7 over Mt. Diablo of Concord and to us still look like the team to beat for the NorCal D2 state bowl game. Their strength of schedule is obviously lacking but that will get better when they travel to play Concord in two weeks.

7. (3) Bellarmine (San Jose) 4-1
The Bells have to fall after a decisive loss to a Valley Christian team that was beaten soundly by both Serra and Milpitas. Until another WCAL team beats them, though, they drop in behind the two teams that beat them but still ahead of the St. Ignatius team they beat two weeks ago. Up next is a San Francisco Sacred Heart Cathedral that’s lost two straight WCAL games, including 14-7 to Riordan last week.

8. (7) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 3-2
The Wildcats are 0-2 in the WCAL and the loss to Bellarmine last week doesn’t help them, but they almost beat the Bells and were in the Serra game for three quarters. The theories and conjectures that they should have lost to St. Mary’s of Stockton and Los Gatos should have beaten St. Mary’s are shoulda, woulda, coulda, but didn’t happen. At this point, SI only drops to make room for Valley Christian rising above them in the wild-and-wacky West Catholic Athletic League pecking order. That could change this week when the Wildcats host a Mitty team coming off a loss to St. Francis.

9. (10) Los Gatos 4-1
There were no problems in a 63-14 win over Monta Vista of Cupertino but the Wildcats still have to stay behind St. Ignatius for now due to the common opponent factor involving St. Mary’s of Stockton. Playing Santa Clara and Palo Alto the next two weeks shouldn’t be a problem either, but then comes Milpitas.

St. Francis senior Riley Quinn is one of the most versatile and inspirational players in the state. Photo:

St. Francis senior Riley Quinn is one of the most versatile and inspirational players in the state. Photo:

10. (8) James Logan (Union City) 4-2
Other teams like the San Ramon Valley team that Logan beat and that gave up 70 points to De La Salle last week didn’t drop or dropped just a bit after losing big to the Spartans, and the Colts fall into the latter category. They drop one spot to make room for Valley Christian and at this point without much of a challenge until the CIFNCS D1 playoffs, it makes sense to put them behind Los Gatos since that team has Milpitas and Wilcox still on its schedule.

11. (12) Campolindo (Moraga) 7-0
The Cougars stayed perfect with a Diablo Foothill League 55-21 win over Martinez Alhambra. It was a game they led 48-7 at the half. Nick Fadelli ran for 150 yards and three TDs and quarterback Jack Stephens was 13-of-19 for 287 yards and two TDs with an interception. Once again, quality of competition both past, present and future make it hard for Campo to jump larger schools.

12. (13) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 3-3
Owning that head-to-head win over Pittsburg allows the Wolves to pick up a spot after a 33-10 win over Livermore. Next up is a Pleasanton Amador Valley that has lost two straight since opening with four wins.

13. (20) Palma (Salinas) 5-0
Despite a bye, the Chieftains’ win to open the season over a St. Francis of Mountain View team that just beat Mitty means Palma has to come up and looks like more of a lock to be in the CCS Open Division playoffs. Next up is a trip across town to play North Salinas.

14. (22) Saint Francis (Mountain View) 4-1
Devin Hurtado rushed 22 times for 177 yards, including the game-winning touchdown with 7:31 to go in the fourth quarter, but a safety was ultimately the difference in a 15-14 win over Archbishop Mitty that gets the Lancers to 2-0 in the WCAL and gives them a huge jump on the coattails of Palma.

15.(11) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 3-2
The loss to a Saint Francis team that has a loss to Palma means the Monarchs fall in behind Saint Francis and Palma but ahead of the Pittsburg team they beat three weeks ago.

16. (14) Pittsburg 3-2
After the 13-7 loss to Mitty and a bye last week, the Pirates went into Antioch and clobbered Deer Valley, but despite the 50-0 shellacking they still have to fall in behind Mitty so they lose ground in this week’s rankings. Next up is Brentwood Heritage.

17. (15) California (San Ramon) 4-1
The Grizzlies are still paying for the loss to a Pittsburg team that has losses to San Ramon Valley and Archbishop Mitty. This past week they beat Amador Valley 17-7. Next up is a trip to Foothill and if they win head coach Eric Billeci and his boys will get to go in front of Pittsburg despite the early loss and perhaps get back into the top 10.

18. (16) Freedom (Oakley) 4-2
Quarterback Joe Sweeney came back from a concussion to pass for 225 yards and account for all of his team’s touchdowns with three TDs in the air and a fourth score rushing in a 27-16 win over Antioch.

19. (18) Concord 5-0*
*Not including forfeits. The Minutemen were 60-14 winners over Pleasant Hill College Park and face Mt. Diablo this week in Diablo Valley League action.

QB Jacob Wooldridge and teammates at California of San Ramon hope to prove the rankings wrong with a strong outing in next game against Foothill of Pleasanton. Photo: Paul Muyskens.

QB Jacob Wooldridge and teammates at California of San Ramon hope to prove the rankings wrong with a strong outing in next game against Foothill of Pleasanton. Photo: Paul Muyskens.

20. (19) McClymonds (Oakland) 5-0
The season is in jeopardy if the ineligible ruling of transfer quarterback Kevin Davidson is upheld. This past Friday, the Warriors didn’t seem fazed and posted a 55-0 win over Sonoma Valley. Next up is an Oakland Athletic League opener with Oakland.

21. (23) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 5-0
After a bye, the Gators open Peninsula – Bay League action on the road at Terra Nova with Washington-bound Ben Burr-Kirven scheduled to play.

22. (24) St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 7-0
The Panthers scored 48 points for the second straight week only this time the defense was stouter than against El Cerrito in a 48-9 victory over visiting Dublin Valley Christian.

23. (21) San Leandro 2-4
The Pirates came off a bye to post a 33-9 road win at Berkeley but a 14-10 loss two weeks ago to a Liberty team that just lost to Heritage means a drop for a team that still could very well be 6-4 entering the NCS D1 playoffs. Next up is a trip to Alameda Encinal.

24. (NR) Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 5-1
We thought of bringing in the Knights last week but even with a bye this week the lone loss to San Ramon Valley coupled with a pretty strong schedule and a shutout of Miramonte coupled with Windsor giving up four touchdowns to Miramonte and barely beating Santa Rosa Montgomery means Las Lomas gets to come in to take the place of Liberty as the lone newcomer, but ahead of Windsor.

25. (25) Windsor 6-0
The top team in the Redwood Empire had a hard time with a down Montgomery team but came away with a 10-7 victory. This coupled with a 50-27 win over Miramonte and a common opponent with a Las Lomas team that put a 49-0 shellacking on Miramonte means the Jaguars fall in behind the only newcomer this week.

Dropped Out: Previous No. 17 Liberty (Brentwood)

On the Bubble
(In alphabetical order)

Acalanes (Lafayette) 5-1
Alhambra (Martinez) 5-2
Alvarez (Salinas) 5-1
Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 4-2
Analy (Sebastopol) 5-1
Antioch 4-2
Aptos 4-1
Burlingame 5-0
Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 3-3
Carmel 3-2
Deer Valley (Antioch) 4-2
El Cerrito 2-4
Justin-Siena (Napa) 5-2
Kennedy (Fremont) 6-0
Liberty (Brentwood) 5-1
Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 4-3
Monterey 6-0
Piedmont 6-0
Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 4-2
Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 3-2
Salesian (Richmond) 4-2
San Benito (Hollister) 3-3
Terra Nova (Pacifica) 2-3
Wilcox (Santa Clara) 4-1

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

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  1. NorCalSportsFan
    Posted October 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Latest on Sacred Heart Prep’s Ben Burr-Kirven is that it is still uncertain if he will play against Terra Nova this week, but even if he does he isn’t 100% according to SJ mercury News. Achilles strains take a while to heal. Terra Nova has had SHP’s number the last few years and defeated a Salinas High team soundly while SHP won in the last seconds against Salinas. There is a good chance your ranked team will be upset this week.

    Foothill may be a little high. They have defeated only one team with a winning record so far. They are good, but probably not as good as Serra. Valley Christian is inconsistent. I would take VC over Foothill as well if I had to pick, but record doesn’t Warrant. Milpitas is also a tough matchup for some teams due to their physicality. Not sure Foothill will run the table in the EBAL, but probably only Cal High and a slight chance SRV. I think WCAL defenses especially Serra’s would pretty much neutralize Foolthill this year.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted October 13, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      It would not be an upset if Terra Nova beats Sacred Heart Prep given who the teams have played so far this year and comparing results. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if Serra does end up as Bay Area’s second-best team. It was the loss to Notre Dame Sherman Oaks that cost them more than losing big to DLS. NDSO wasn’t that highly ranked in the CIFSS but has been better than expected mainly because people didn’t know how exceptional C.J. Sanders can be.

    • Pep
      Posted October 14, 2014 at 1:23 am | Permalink

      Looking forward to nephews, TN’s Junior #11 Reggie & Sophomore #34 Randall (aka Puka) Auelua to make their presence felt with The Entire Tiger Nation to welcome SHP Gators 7pm Friday & by the end of the night SHP will leave Pacifica 5-1. Go Tigers!!!

  2. NorCalSportsFan
    Posted October 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    On a note on Serra, I can understand being cautious as well with the St Francis game coming up. The Lancer hex seems to come into play a lot and even the best Serra teams haven’t figured out how to over come it in most years. Serra definitely looks better than St Francis, but the Lancers play physical run defense and have a grind em out offense. Will be interesting to see matchup with the Lancers Thomas Toki versus Serra’s Jack Dreyer – two of the state’s premiere linemen. I have been surprised that Toki hasn’t been more disruptive in the games I have seen him in though. Dreyer has looked like a load. St Francis has been moving Toki around on the d-line so I would think they will match up. St Francis DE/OLBs will make it tough on Serra pass downs, but Lancers will have to figure out how to stop that Serra rushing attack which is exceptional. Lancers may have a tough time scoring on the Serra defense. On paper looks like a big Serra victory, but I have seen some really strange outcomes in this game between the two over the years.

  3. Pep
    Posted October 14, 2014 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Saturday Serra’s Annual Polynesian Day. 10am JV & 1pm The 2014 Varsity Padres/Lancers Showdown!! Serra broke the curse in 2011 by defeating the Lancers on their home field since the days of NFL Hall of Famer, Lynn Swan HS Playing Days As A Padre, since then The Lancers have had 2 Straight Smash Mouth Wins. Look for The Padre Nation, Coach Walsh & Staff w/All The Weapons @ Their Disposal To Have The Padres Ready for Another Round of Smash Mouth Football!!! Let’s Do This!!! Go Padres!!!

  4. monte300
    Posted October 14, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I would love it if Foothill is looking ahead to DLS.

  5. Grey Crane
    Posted October 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    So Liberty beats San Leandro, then gets beat by 3 points by a tough Heritage team in a cross-town rival game. They have one loss. Therefore, you drop them out of the list completely and keep the 4-loss San Leandro team that Liberty just beat two weeks ago at 23.

    You’ve said in the past that head-to-head matters and levels of competition matter Liberty beat the same Berkeley team SL just beat by 30-0. Not sure what the real story is, but you make another weak case for the validity of this poll.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted October 15, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I think Harold was looking at Heritage having a loss to Marin Catholic and didn’t want to put Heritage in and dropped Liberty. Good point about San Leandro, though. They should have dropped out as well with a loss to Liberty.

  6. itsyaboy
    Posted October 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    This is a good list but i think I’m making a valid argument by saying Milpitas should be #2 over a good Serra team that would be a tough game and I think they would handle Foothill easier than Serra their offense struggled early but picked do to superstar Christian Rita and picked there running game up with good performances Cros Chavez also their defense is the best out of the 3 holding Texas bound Kurt Johnson to 57 yards on the ground vs valley that torched Bellarmine.

  7. Posted October 17, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I feel Clayton Valley should be ranked higher and Campolindo lower by the fact Napa played well against Campo, but the score doe not show that, and Clayton Valley was one of the best teams we’ve seen to play NHS in a long time.

    • itsyaboy
      Posted October 18, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      I can see Clayton Valley at #4 and move Serra to #5 and Milpitas to #3 plus this week they had that blow out win vs Northgate

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