An impressive win by the Bells and a ringing endorsement of what Antioch’s Najee Harris did against Milpitas tops this week’s Bay Area roundup. Aptos is this week’s lone newcomer while we also give some props to big rivalry matchup behind the Redwood Curtain.
Note: For this week’s Gold Club post highlighting the State Top 25 overall rankings, CLICK HERE.
The big news in the Bay Area is down in San Jose and out in Antioch, about 60 miles apart as the crow flies.
Down in San Jose, it’s not that No. 2 Bellarmine Prep wasn’t expected to beat Elk Grove Franklin, it was the way it came down.
There are some who questioned Bellarmine being in the state rankings and so high in the Bay Area, but after the way the Bells opened the season and handled Franklin the naysayers have little fodder for the fire of negativity. In an eye-opening win, the Bells put a 42-0 shellacking on a Franklin team that was coming off a 30-24 win over a Clovis North team expected to be a CIF Central Section D1 contender. Quarterback Troy Martig accounted for four scores, passing and running for two each. Next up is a huge test on the road against state-ranked Del Oro in Loomis. Temperature at game time could still be well over 90 degrees, too.
Out in Antioch, the community is buzzing about the start for the No. 12 Panthers and junior running back phenom Najee Harris. Most rating services have him as either the No. 1 or No. 2 running back in the state, so it’s no wonder back in April when Alabama offered, Harris accepted. So far this season, his numbers are off the chart. After two games, he has 583 yards rushing on 37 carries (15.8 yards per carry) with five touchdowns. In week one, he saw limited action in a 62-7 win over Lafayette Acalanes, but last week in a 47-22 win over a pretty decent No. 17 Milpitas, the 6-foot-2, 222-pounder who runs a 4.56 in the 40 rambled for 396 yards and three TDs and had an 18-yard per carry average. The next test for Harris is this week against visiting San Leandro.
The Bay Area rankings don’t cover the metro Eureka portion of the North Coast Section, but we wanted to give a shoutout to Tag Wotherspoon, a local Eureka sports radio personality and a prep and college sports aficionado. Tag is a wealth of info about prep sports behind the “Redwood Curtain” and generally makes it down for the playoffs to broadcast a game.
This week, Tag’s missive is about the annual Milk Can Game between Fortuna and Ferndale, two towns in the dairy-rich area just south of Eureka. Fortuna (2-0) is the top team in the area and has won two straight in the series, however Ferndale (1-1) holds an edge overall and has won nine of the last 12 games. The legendary Ferndale program is led by head coach Kim Jorgensen, a legend of his own. Jorgensen, who in 25 years at the Wildcats’ helm has led the school to eight CIFNCS and 19 league titles, will be going for career coaching win No. 234.
There was only one newcomer this week and that’s Aptos. The Mariners take the spot of Los Gatos after a 17-12 win over Salinas. This week, they face the Mitty team that pinned a 45-16 loss on Los Gatos.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through games of Saturday, Sept. 5)
(Includes all Central Coast Section schools but no North Coast Section schools north of the Santa Rosa Metro area)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 1-1
2. (2) Bellarmine (San Jose) 1-0
3. (3) Pittsburg 2-0
4. (4) Clayton Valley (Concord) 1-1
5. (5) Serra (San Mateo) 0-1
6. (6) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 1-0
7. (7) Valley Christian (San Jose) 1-0
8. (8) Foothill (Pleasanton) 2-0
9. (9) Palma (Salinas) 1-0
10. (10) Campolindo (Moraga) 2-0
11. (11) St. Francis (Mountain View) 1-0
12. (12) Antioch 2-0
13. (13) Freedom (Oakley) 1-1
14. (17) Monte Vista (Danville) 1-0
15. (14) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 1-1
16. (18) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 1-1
17. (16) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 1-1
18. (24) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 1-0
19. (19) California (San Ramon) 1-1
20. (20) Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 1-0
21. (15) Milpitas 0-1
22. (22) Windsor 2-0
23. (23) James Logan (Union City) 2-0
24. (25) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 1-0
25. (NR) Aptos 1-0
Dropped Out: Previous No. 21 Los Gatos.
On the Bubble
Analy (Sebastopol) 2-0, Burlingame 1-0, Concord 1-1, Deer Valley (Antioch) 1-0, Fremont (Oakland) 1-1, Half Moon Bay 1-0, Justin-Siena (Napa) 1-1, Los Gatos 0-1, Liberty (Brentwood) 1-1, Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa) 1-1, McClymonds (Oakland) 1-0, Miramonte (Orinda) 2-0, Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 2-0, Oak Grove (San Jose) 0-1, Palo Alto 1-0, Piedmont 2-0, Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 1-0, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 0-1, Salesian (Richmond) 2-0, San Benito (Hollister) 1-0, San Marin (Novato) 2-0, 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 email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend