Two-time defending CIF Open Division state champ De La Salle inches back up to No. 6 after its 28-0 win over Clayton Valley in NCS Open Division semifinals. We also have four newcomers this week, led by 11-1 Edison of Huntington Beach. The other three are Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills), Valley Christian (San Jose) and Elk Grove.
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(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(After games of Saturday, Nov. 19)
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 12-0
If you’re nit-picking for anything negative surrounding the amazing Monarchs, it might be that they gave up 21 first downs and were ahead “only” 35-16 before pulling away for a 63-30 win against previous state No. 24 Vista Murrieta in the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs. Nevertheless, Mater Dei continued to look like one of the greatest offensive units in state history. Sophomore QB J.T. Daniels hit on 25 of 43 for 407 yards and five TDs and now has nearly 4,300 yards and 63 TDs for the season. He may reach 5,000 in the CIFSS D1 final and the only reason he may not break Jake Browning’s state record of 5,790 is because the most games he can play is 15 as opposed to 16. RB Shakobe Harper also was effective with 14 carries for 135 yards and three TDs. Amon-Ra St. Brown was Daniels’ top target with seven catches for 184 yards and two TDs. The Monarchs will now play No. 4 Rancho Cucamonga in the semifinals, which has one of the top groups of DBs in the nation. The Cougars may need to get a pick six or two to stay close.