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It’s almost a month away, but after Bay Area football fans got to see Antioch star Najee Harris, the Bay Area, state and nation’s top running back recruit show his stuff against De La Salle, the top quarterback recruit from Northern California will get his chance when Washington-bound Jake Haener gets a shot at Sparta on November 4 in Concord.
“That’s five games away and we have a lot of football until then,” Monte Vista head coach Craig Bergman remarked.
That may be so but the way the Mustangs are playing it’s not likely Dublin, Livermore, Amador Valley or San Ramon Valley can upend them in the next four weeks.
The big game this week is Antioch making a short bus ride east to take on Freedom in a battle of Harris and Freedom running back Ronnie Rivers. Both teams are rested and coming off a bye. Also making a move is a newcomer Heritage that probably should have been in already due to the strength of the Bay Valley Athletic League so it jump a few teams and has a bye pending a big matchup in two weeks with Pittsburg.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(After games of Saturday, Oct. 1)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 4-1
The march of the Spartans was suspended for a week with a bye before they invade San Ramon Valley of Danville this week.
2. (2) St. Francis (Mountain View) 5-0
After 11 straight unsuccessful Lancers’ tries, the bell finally tolled for host Bellarmine after St. Francis used two long punt return TDs to post a 21-12 victory in a game that also was won by the defense in the final quarter.
3. (3) Monte Vista (Danville) 5-0
The Mustangs posted a 35-14 win over a Livermore-Granada team that had started strong but has now lost two straight in East Bay Athletic League action.
4. (4) Pittsburg 5-0
The Pirates had a bye, which gave a banged up running back Montaz Thompson a chance to rest heading into Antioch Deer Valley this week.
5. (6) Clayton Valley (Concord) 4-1
The Ugly Eagles rested in preparation for an upstart Miramonte team that has nothing to lose. Like in the state rankings, Clayton Valley moves back in front of Bellarmine.
6. (5) Bellarmine (San Jose) 3-2
Someone other than Del Oro and St. Francis has to beat the Bells for them to drop in this group and it’s highly unlikely it will be Sacred Heart Cathedral this week.
7. (7) Valley Christian (San Jose) 4-0
It took double overtime but the Warriors prevailed 38-31 over Archbishop Mitty. That can’t jump them over Bellarmine, particularly with Archbishop Riordan on tap.
8. (10) California (San Ramon) 4-1
The Grizzlies had a bye after they took Monte Vista to the wire two weeks ago so they move up ahead of Serra at this point with Granada on tap.
9. (11) Antioch 3-2
Antioch had a bye but gets to move back in front of Milpitas pending a matchup with Freedom.
10. (12) Freedom (Oakley) 5-0
Freedom also had a bye and stays right behind Antioch team it meets this week.
11. (13) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 4-1
The lone 49-32 loss to St. Mary’s moves Newman up but the Cards will likely have a hard time moving further up until the playoffs even if they keep winning in North Bay league action.
12. (9) Serra (San Mateo) 1-4
The Padres have to drop in a re-adjustment this week but in some rankings they’re not even on the radar screen. Those other rankings aren’t crediting the strength of schedule or the one TD loss to Valley Christian.
13. (14) San Benito (Hollister) 6-0
14. (15) Analy (Sebastopol) 4-1
15. (8) Milpitas 5-1
16. (16) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 3-2
17. (17) McClymonds (Oakland) 4-1
18. (18) Miramonte (Orinda) 5-0
19. (19) Campolindo (Moraga) 3-2
20. (NR) Heritage (Brentwood) 6-0
21. (20) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 4-1
22. (21) Concord 4-1
23. (22) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 4-2
24. (23) Palma (Salinas) 3-2
25. (24) Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 4-1
Previous No. 25 Oak Grove (San Jose).
On the Bubble
(In alphabetical order)
Acalanes (Lafayette) 3-2, Aptos 3-2, Aragon (San Mateo) 4-1, Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) 2-3, Carmel 5-0, Encinal (Alameda) 4-1, Foothill (Pleasanton) 2-3, Granada (Livermore) 3-1, Half Moon Bay 5-0, Hercules 6-0, Kennedy (Fremont) 5-0, Leigh (San Jose) 4-1, Liberty (Brentwood) 3-3, Live Oak (Morgan Hill) 4-1, Los Altos 5-0, Los Gatos 2-3, Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 3-2, Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 5-1, Oak Grove (San Jose) 3-2, Piedmont 3-2, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 3-2, Redwood (Larkspur) 5-1, Salesian (Richmond) 4-1, Salinas 4-2, San Leandro 2-3, San Ramon Valley (Danville) 4-1, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 3-2, St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo) 5-0, Saratoga 4-2, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 3-3.
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