Here are rankings done by longtime Bay Area analyst Harold Abend and done for use on Antioch High football game broadcasts. Anyone wishing to see writeups and breakdowns of the top teams in the state, sign up for our Gold Club membership. For details, CLICK HERE.
Antioch played De La Salle as close as anyone from the East Bay has since Clayton Valley had a 17-17 tie with the Spartans 12 years ago. Although the Panthers played De La Salle tough, they still have to be behind Milpitas due to a head-to-head loss and can’t jump California yet so they remain in the No. 11 spot in the rankings.
The good news for Panthers fans is the Antioch football train and Najee Harris watch have a bye this week to rest up after a tough stretch of games and get ready for a showdown in Oakley at Freedom next week.
As for Harris, he took a lot of punishment as expected trying to march against Sparta, and although he had a respectable 132 yards rushing he had to carry the pigskin 32 times and could only find paydirt once, so it’s likely Najee welcomes a week to recharge his batteries.
There were two newcomers this week, one each from the CCS and NCS with Palma (Salinas) and Moreau Catholic of Hayward coming in, respectively.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(After games of Saturday, Sept. 24)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 4-1
Even the wins are coming tough as Spartans survive against Antioch and Najee Harris.
2. (2) St. Francis (Mountain View) 4-0
Blowout of Riordan sets up face-off with Bellarmine.
3. (3) Monte Vista (Danville) 4-0
Kicker Peyton Henry came through to keep Mustangs unblemished.
4. (4) Pittsburg 5-0
The Pirates pass a big test at Vacaville.
5. (5) Bellarmine (San Jose) 2-1
We didn’t drop the Bells after their loss to Del Oro but they went behind Clayton Valley in the state rankings. This week, they go back in front with St. Francis game coming up.
6. (6) Clayton Valley (Concord) 4-1
The Ugly Eagles registered an ouch in win over Deer Valley-Antioch.
7. (7) Valley Christian (San Jose) 4-0
The Warriors stayed unbeaten with a hard fought WCAL opening win over Serra, its first since 2010.
8. (9) Milpitas 5-0
The win over Antioch and the unblemished record gets a bump and not necessarily the blowout of Saratoga.
9. (8) Serra (San Mateo) 0-4
It looks crazy to have the winless Padres in this spot but they’re a TD worse than Valley Christian so they only fall behind Milpitas.
10. (10) California (San Ramon) 4-1
No way are we dropping the Grizzlies after they took Monte Vista to the wire.
11. (11) Antioch 3-2
12. (13) Freedom (Oakley) 5-0
13. (12) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 2-1
14. (14) San Benito (Hollister) 5-0
15. (16) Analy (Sebastopol) 4-1
16. (17) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 3-1
17. (18) McClymonds (Oakland) 3-1
18. (20) Miramonte (Orinda) 5-0
19. (21) Campolindo (Moraga) 3-2
20. (15) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 3-1
21. (22) Concord 4-1
22. (25) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 3-2
23. (NR) Palma (Salinas) 2-2
24. (NR) Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 4-1
25. (23) Oak Grove (San Jose) 2-2
Dropped Out: Previous No. 19 Granada (Livermore), No. 24 Liberty (Brentwood).
On the Bubble
(In alphabetical order)
Acalanes (Lafayette) 3-2, Aptos 3-2, Aragon (San Mateo) 4-1, Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) 2-2, Carmel 4-0, Encinal (Alameda) 4-1, Foothill (Pleasanton) 2-3, Granada (Livermore) 3-1, Half Moon Bay 4-0, Heritage (Brentwood) 5-0, Hillsdale (San Mateo) 3-1, Kennedy (Fremont) 4-0, King’s Academy (Sunnyvale) 4-0, Liberty (Brentwood) 3-2, Live Oak (Morgan Hill) 4-0, Los Altos 5-0, Los Gatos 1-3, Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 2-2, Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 5-0, Piedmont 3-2, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 2-2, Redwood (Larkspur) 4-1, Salinas 3-2, San Leandro 2-3, San Ramon Valley (Danville) 3-1, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 2-2, St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo) 4-0, Saratoga 3-2, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 2-3, Woodside 4-0.
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