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.
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As for the wild-and-wacky West Catholic Athletic League, can it get any wackier than this year?
With St. Francis beating a Valley Christian team, 13-10 in overtime, and Valley Christian owning a 7-point win over a Serra team that has an overtime win over St. Francis, about the only thing you can say is Holy Toledo.
That makes figuring out who should be on top among those three almost needing a Ouija Board for assistance. For now, we’re going with St. Francis because the Lancers’ only loss is in OT, because Serra’s loss to Valley Christian was not in OT and because SF has a head-to-head over VC. Plus, Serra still has to play Bellarmine this week while the other two have already beaten the Bells.
In the NCS, Freedom’s win over Pittsburg is the biggest news with De La Salle hosting Monte Vista this week. Antioch plays Pitt next in the Little Big Game with the Panthers hoping to win for the second straight year and big-time RB Najee Harris hoping to keep churning out the yardage.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through games of Saturday, Oct. 29)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 8-1
In a battle of De La Salle coaching protégés, it was Spartans’ head coach Justin Alumbaugh and his boys in a school record for points in a win over Spartans’ alum and James Logan head coach Zac McNally. The chit-chat about De La Salle falling to a local team has intensified with this week’s matchup with Monte Vista.
2. (2) Monte Vista (Danville) 9-0
A showdown with De La Salle is about as good it gets for a Mustangs’ team that is almost assuredly CIFNCS Open Division bound regardless of the outcome.
3. (4) Freedom (Oakley) 9-0
The Falcons have exceeded all expectations this season and if they can close out BVAL play with a win at arch-rival Liberty the NCS seeding committee will have to place them either No. 2 or No. 3 depending on the Monte Vista at De La Salle showdown.
4. (5) Clayton Valley (Concord) 8-1
After another blowout win, the question is can Clayton Valley upcoming opponent Campolindo match up physically with the Ugly Eagles?
5. (3) Pittsburg 8-1
The Pirates fall a little short against Freedom so their bowl game aspirations based on the NCS Open Division formula would seem to have Pitt as an out team and in the NCS D1 playoffs that won’t send a team to a NorCal Bowl game.
6. (8) St. Francis (Mountain View) 8-1
Prior to the Valley Christian game, head coach Greg Calcagno told various media that the key to the game would be not putting the ball on the turf. Well, he was just about correct. Down 10-0, a third quarter deflected punt turned into a 60-yard touchdown return by Brandon Baines, and then an interception led to a field goal by Matt Keeth that tied it before Keeth won it in OT by splitting the uprights once again.
7. (7) Serra (San Mateo) 5-4
Padres stay in this position but now behind St. Francis due to the SF win over Valley Christian.
8. (6) Valley Christian (San Jose) 8-1
We’re still listing the Warriors on the NorCal Bowl Board because they’ll be D3 Open in the CCS playoffs while Serra and St. Francis will be D2 Open.
9. (9) Bellarmine (San Jose) 6-3
The Bells got past Mitty 28-21 and boy would they like to be a spoiler this week against Serra since neither St. Francis nor Valley Christian should be tested against St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart Cathedral, respectively
10. (10) California (San Ramon) 7-2
No problems with Dublin but this week against host San Ramon Valley could be interesting.
11. (11) Antioch 5-3
The Panthers scored over 40 points for the third-straight week and sixth time this season in a 43-6 shellacking of Heritage.
12. (12) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 6-3
13. (13) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 8-1
14. (18) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 8-1
15. (14) San Benito (Hollister) 9-0
16. (15) Analy (Sebastopol) 8-1
17. (16) McClymonds (Oakland) 7-1
18. (17) Campolindo (Moraga) 7-2
19. (19) Miramonte (Orinda) 7-2
20. (20) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 7-2
21. (21) Palma (Salinas) 7-2
22. (22) Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 7-2
23. (23) Kennedy (Fremont) 9-0
24. (NR) Los Gatos 6-3
25. (24) Milpitas 7-2
Previous No. 25 Heritage (Brentwood).
On the Bubble
(In alphabetical order)
Acalanes (Lafayette) 4-5, Aptos 7-2, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 4-5, Carmel 9-0, Concord 5-4, Encinal (Alameda) 7-2, El Cerrito 6-3, Half Moon Bay 8-1, Heritage (Brentwood) 6-3, Foothill (Pleasanton) 5-4, Kennedy (Richmond) 9-1, Leigh (San Jose) 7-2, Live Oak (Morgan Hill) 7-2, Menlo School (Atherton) 8-1, Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 7-2, Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 7-2, Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 6-3, Oak Grove (San Jose) 7-2, Piedmont 5-4, Salesian (Richmond) 7-2, San Leandro 6-3, Seaside 8-1, Westmont (Campbell) 8-1, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 5-5.
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