Here are rankings done by longtime Bay Area analyst Harold Abend and were 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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The Antioch television show is done for the season but the bigger show still goes on and Antioch is still in action and in search of its first ever CIF North Coast Section title as the No. 2 seed in the NCS Division I playoffs.
As for the Najee Harris show, the Alabama-commit who is getting the full court press from Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh now has 2,331 yards and 30 TDs rushing, two scores receiving, 15 two-point conversions, plus tackles, sacks and interceptions on defense. He went for 304 yards rushing and three TDs in a 29-17 win over San Ramon Valley.
The rankings were done last week but couldn’t get posted before games started on Friday so they were given a one-week hiatus. For this week’s rankings, we are still going to show what the ranking was supposed to be for last week as the previous ranking in parentheses.
As for the biggest change, it s Palma moving up eight spots to No. 13 last week after it beat San Benito to claim the No. 1 seed in the CIF Central Coast Section Open III playoffs. Freedom and Pittsburg also moved up last week while Bellarmine and San Ramon Valley dropped big last week. All those moves were before anyone took the field this past weekend and not surprisingly with first round games not usually matching up the top teams the first 18 spots didn’t change other than Palma and O’Dowd flipping for now.
Once again, the Central Coast Section has given the West Catholic Athletic League the proverbial shaft in the seedings of its Open II Division by seeding St. Francis No. 1 and Serra No. 5, ensuring Serra must beat its league rival a second time in the semis to advance to a NorCal bowl game, and St. Francis must avenge that loss to go bowling. Serra gets this week’s matchup after a 45-14 victory over No. 4 seed Leigh and St. Francis will host after a 56-27 win over Mountain View. Based on how the CCS has seeded things, an Archbishop Mitty team Serra beat 41-14 and St. Francis walloped 42-0 has the easiest road to a NorCal bowl game as the No. 6 seed on the top of the bracket and after a 28-21 win over No. 3 seed Oak Grove. The Monarchs face No. 2 seed Los Gatos, a 31-6 winner over Palo Alto.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through games of Saturday, Nov. 12)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 9-1
The demise of Sparta as usual in NCS supremacy since Pittsburg turned the trick 25 years ago was put to bed two weeks ago in the Monte Vista win and now it’s Clayton Valley that will try to alter history and dethrone NCS Open Division top-seeded De La Salle after both had a bye last week.
2. (2) Freedom (Oakley) 10-0
The Falcons have moved as far up as anyone can in these rankings. Now the only way the NCS Open No. 2 seed can go higher is if Sparta is toppled.
3. (3) Pittsburg 9-1
The NCS Open No. 3 seeded Pirates will look to avenge their last-minute loss to Freedom and head coach Vic Galli has had success in these situations before.
4. (4) Clayton Valley (Concord) 9-1
The Ugly Eagles are in the NCS Open Division and despite staring at De La Salle, head coach Tim Murphy is overjoyed. “Yeah Baby!! We got what we wanted,” was his reaction to making the elite four teams.
5. (5) Monte Vista (Danville) 10-1
The Mustangs were the odd team out of the NCS Open field but will still have a chance to do something they haven’t done since they won two straight section titles in 2001-02 in the old NCS 3A Division and before they played in the same division as De La Salle. By the way, head coach Craig Bergman and his boys were a 52-0 winner over Irvington of Fremont and now face a Heritage-Brentwood team that trailed 32-0 but won 35-32 over San Leandro.
6. (6) St. Francis (Mountain View) 9-1
The Lancers’ faithful can’t be happy having to play Serra again in the semis.
7. (7) Serra (San Mateo) 7-4
The fact the CCS system has Los Gatos, and San Jose Oak Grove and Leigh ahead of the Padres doesn’t mean anything in these rankings and their easy win over Leigh was a no-brainer.
8. (8) Valley Christian (San Jose) 10-1
The Warriors were only awarded the No. 2 seed behind Palma in the CCS Open III Division despite an overtime loss to St. Francis as their only blemish. As expected, they were a 41-0 winner over Burlingame.
9. (9) California (San Ramon) 9-2
The NCS has the Grizzlies behind Antioch as the No. 3 seed but based on a three-point loss to Monte Vista we will show we’re not an Antioch homer and put California next in the NCS D1 pecking order and a 35-7 win over Foothill does nothing to diminish that status.
10. (10) Antioch 7-4
The Panthers just were no match for a rugged Pittsburg but like the other large schools in the NCS they’re still alive for a section title as the D1 No. 2 seed.
11. (11) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 9-1
12. (13) Palma (Salinas) 9-2
13. (12) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 10-1
14. (14) Bellarmine (San Jose) 7-4
15. (15) Analy (Sebastopol) 10-1
16. (16) San Benito (Hollister) 10-1
17. (17) McClymonds (Oakland) 9-1
18. (18) Campolindo (Moraga) 7-3
19. (20) Miramonte (Orinda) 9-2
20. (21) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 9-2
21. (22) Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 9-2
22. (19) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 6-5
23. (24) Los Gatos 8-3
24. (25) Milpitas 9-2
25. (NR) Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 9-2
Previous No. 23 Kennedy (Fremont).
On the Bubble
(In alphabetical order)
(Teams making section playoffs only)
Aptos 9-2, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 6-5, Carmel 10-1*, Concord 6-4, Encinal (Alameda) 8-2, El Cerrito 7-3, Half Moon Bay 8-2, Heritage (Brentwood) 7-3, Foothill (Pleasanton) 6-4, Kennedy (Fremont) 10-1*, Kennedy (Richmond) 9-1, Leigh (San Jose) 8-2, Live Oak (Morgan Hill) 8-2, Menlo School (Atherton) 9-1, Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 8-2, Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 7-3, Oak Grove (San Jose) 8-2, Piedmont 6-4, Salesian (Richmond) 7-3, San Leandro 6-4, Seaside 9-1, Westmont (Campbell) 9-1, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend