NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Ronnie Rivers tries to use stiff-arm during game earlier this season against Logan of Union City. He's one of six NorCal/SoCal players of the week. Photo: Tessie Robinson/

Ronnie Rivers tries to use stiff-arm during earlier game vs. Logan of Union City. He’s one of six NorCal/SoCal players of the week. Photo: Tessie Robinson/

Ronnie Rivers of surging Freedom (Oakley) gains NorCal offensive honor with seven TDs and nearly 400 yards rushing against Antioch. In the south, Matt Corral of Oaks Christian passes for 529 yards in a game in which both teams had more than 700. Others chosen this week are from San Jose, Danville, Twentynine Palms and Rancho Cucamonga.

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Note: Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens also wrote several of these player bios. For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To find out how your business could benefit by sponsoring these honors each week or to nominate your own favorite player, email

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Ronnie Rivers
(Freedom, Oakley) Sr.

After an impressive off-season that included being named the running back MVP at The Opening in Oakland, Rivers has had an outstanding senior season, which just included stealing the spotlight from Alabama-committed Najee Harris of Antioch.

With Antioch having only lost by 28-21 to NorCal No. 1 De La Salle in its previous game, Rivers ran wild against the Panthers for seven touchdowns and set a school record by rushing for 387 yards in a 65-28 victory.

The son of Fresno State legend and former NFL running back Ron Rivers (who actually coaches softball at nearby Heritage of Brentwood) scored five of his seven touchdowns in the second half during the come-from-behind win.

A search of recruiting sites shows no offers yet for Rivers from Fresno State, but San Jose State has offered as has Sacramento State, Idaho and Army. His 5-foot-8 size probably has limited the offers, but eye-opening outings like the one last week could change some opinions.
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Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Grady Ryan
(Oak Grove, San Jose) Sr.

During a 48-14 win last week by the Eagles over Leigh of San Jose, the son of San Francisco 49ers radio color analyst and former NFL player Tim Ryan had his third game this season with double-digit tackles.

Ryan recorded 14 total tackles while also making his first interception this season, an interception he returned 65 yards for a score. Ryan, whose father also played at Oak Grove back in the day, contributed on offense in the win as well with three receptions for 45 yards and one TD.

Since losing two in a row to start the season, the Eagles have now won four in a row and improved to a perfect 3-0 in Mount Hamilton League play with their defense allowing just 27 points combined over their last four games.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Special Teams Player of the Week

Peyton Henry
(Monte Vista, Danville) Sr.

Perhaps the top-ranked kicker in Northern California, Henry is one of those players we could almost pick any week for this honor. He already had one game-winning field goal this season to beat California of San Ramon, but this week turned out to be the time to do it.

In unbeaten Monte Vista’s 45-7 win against Dublin, Henry made a 36-yard field goal, went 6-for-6 on PATs, went 8-for-8 at putting kickoffs through the end zone and had a 48-yard punt.

Henry’s season-long for field goal is 47 yards, but last year he made one from 52. He’s also averaging 41.8 yards per punt.

QB Matt Corral and his team at Oaks Christian seem to be involved in a wild-and-crazy shootout just about every week. Photo:

QB Matt Corral and his team at Oaks Christian seem to be involved in a wild-and-crazy shootout just about every week. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Matt Corral
(Oaks Christian, Westlake Village) Jr.

There’s a good chance that many years from now a lot more people will claim to have been at games when quarterbacks Matt Corral of Oaks Christian and Cameron Rising of Newbury Park and their teams faced off.

Corral and Rising certainly both shined, but Corral’s team prevailed 63-49 last Friday in a game that will go down in state history since it’s the first time both teams had more than 700 yards of offense.

Corral, considered by some as the No. 1 junior QB in the nation and committed to USC, completed 19 of 29 passes for 529 yards and rushed for another 84 yards. He only had two TD passes (72, 71) but used big completions to set up teammate Zach Charbonnet to score six times on short runs.

In seven games so far this season, Corral has passed for 2,342 yards with 16 TDs and just two interceptions.

Rising, who was coming off of an injury that sidelined him for three weeks, had 485 yards passing and 144 rushing for a Ventura County total offense record of 629 yards. Corral’s total of 611 wasn’t far behind.

According to the Cal-Hi Sports state records, the only two-team total offense total in state history that is higher than the 1,430 by Corral’s and Rising’s teams is 1,519 set in 2013 by Corona Centennial and Upland. The Huskies set the single-game total offense national record that night with 946 yards while Upland hung close in the 86-56 defeat with 573 yards.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Derek Sutherland
(Twentynine Palms) Sr.

Sutherland and the Wildcats opened up De Anza League play with a 57-24 win over Desert Hot Springs as the senior WR/DB filled up the stat sheet on both sides of the football.

To go along with four tackles, he had two interceptions in a game for the second time this season. Sutherland also moved to No. 1 on the season leaderboard for interceptions in the state with nine. He has had at least one pick in all six of Twentynine Palms’ games this season. There is a player on the MaxPreps’ leaderboard list with 11, but that’s an obvious reporting error.

On offense in the same game against Desert Hot Springs, Sutherland caught four passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns, which was also the second game in a row he had two touchdown catches.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Special Teams Player of the Week

Jaylon Redd
(Rancho Cucamonga) Sr.

Showing why he is committed to Oregon, this four-star senior had another big game last week for a team that is unbeaten and now up to No. 6 in the state rankings.

With the score 3-3 in the second quarter against Upland, Redd took a punt return for 48-yard touchdown. Then to start the second half, Redd went for a 99-yard kickoff return. Just like that, Rancho Cucamonga was up 17-3 and on its way to a 47-10 victory.

On the night, Redd also rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries while and caught four passes for 34 yards and a score.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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