FB: FINAL Sac-Joaquin Top 25

Jake Dunniway (No. 7) and Dewey Cotton (No. 17) were St. Mary's players celebrating after team's win vs. Central Catholic of Modesto. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Jake Dunniway (No. 7) and Dewey Cotton (No. 17) were St. Mary’s players celebrating after team’s win vs. Central Catholic of Modesto. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Regardless of heart-breaking loss to Cathedral Catholic, St. Mary’s of Stockton still has to go down as one of the best teams in section history. In the final rankings, Del Oro also has to go back behind Oak Ridge for head-to-head loss.

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Colleague Thomas Lawrence of the Stockton Record referred to the 38-35 loss in overtime by St. Mary’s to Cathedral Catholic of San Diego as “Shakespearian” in last Friday’s CIF Division 1-AA state final.

Other than the final few minutes of the first half and final three or four minutes of the fourth quarter, it certainly appeared as if the Rams were the superior team. But that also wasn’t just some chump opponent they were playing, either.

In winning, the Dons became the first team in CIF San Diego Section history to go 15-0 and win a Division I state title.

Since St. Mary’s only other loss this season was to a St. John Bosco (Bellflower) squad that beat De La Salle of Concord 56-33 in the Open Division state final and since the Rams scored 831 points in their games (second-best in section history and fourth-best in state history), they still have to go down as one of the best in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section history.

No, St. Mary’s 2016 isn’t up there with Folsom 2014, Cordova 1975, Elk Grove 1998 and Merced 1990 and possibly Grant 2008, but they’re up there just the same and deserving of being in the debate.

Head coach Tony Franks’ squad obviously stays No. 1 in the final Top 25 section rankings as well. It also was easy to put Del Oro back behind league rival Oak Ridge in the final rankings due to a head-to-head loss. If the Golden Eagles had won the CIF Division 1-A state final against San Clemente instead of losing, they would have stayed in front of the Trojans in the final rankings.

By winning the CIF Division 3-A crown, we’re also going to place Oakdale one spot in front of Manteca in the final rankings despite a 30-22 head-to-head loss. The Buffaloes also were in a higher division, but the team they lost to in their NorCal regional game, Menlo-Atherton of Atherton, got beat in their state game. Oakdale also got a win over Central Catholic of Modesto late in the season, which was a team that beat Manteca.

Oak Ridge QB Marco Baldacchino got a lift from a teammate after TD late in the season. Photo: Twitter.com.

Oak Ridge QB Marco Baldacchino got a lift from a teammate after TD late in the season. Photo: Twitter.com.

(After games of Saturday, Dec. 17)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 14-2

2. (2) Folsom 12-2

3. (4) Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 10-3

4. (3) Del Oro (Loomis) 13-3

5. (5) Elk Grove 11-2

6. (7) Oakdale 14-2

7. (6) Manteca 12-2

8. (8) Inderkum (Sacramento) 11-3

9. (9) Sacramento 10-2

10. (10) Turlock 9-3

11. (11) Jesuit (Carmichael) 9-4

12. (12) Central Catholic (Modesto) 8-4

13. (13) Pitman (Turlock) 10-2

14. (14) Antelope 12-1

15. (15) Sheldon (Sacramento) 8-4

16. (16) Grant (Sacramento) 8-4

17. (17) Merced 9-4

18. (18) Napa 7-4

19. (20) Christian Brothers (Sacramento) 11-3

20. (19) Vacaville 8-4

21. (21) American Canyon 10-3

22. (22) Roseville 9-2

23. (23) Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) 8-4

24. (24) Davis 5-6

25. (NR) Monterey Trail (Elk Grove) 5-6

Dropped Out:
Previous No. 25 Capital Christian (Sacramento).

Honorable Mention:
Amador (Sutter Creek) 14-2, Capital Christian (Sacramento) 11-3, Del Campo (Fair Oaks), Franklin (Elk Grove) 5-5, Granite Bay 4-7, Sonora 11-1, Tracy 5-6, Whitney (Rocklin) 6-5, Woodcreek (Roseville) 4-6.

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  1. Kenneth Moore
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Hey Mark, you are the section football historian. I think the 2016 version of the St Mary’s in fact are one of the very best teams in Section history. Not just in the conversation. This team has the #1 qb & rb in the section plus the #’3,10 & 13 WRs in the section. That is unheard of!!! All of these teams mentioned above where relatively one sided, either all passing or all running. This SM team was 2nd in the nation in scoring average and the 4th highest scoring team in the STATE of California history. I would make a case for top 3/4.

  2. james
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    what does the SJS section look like next year in terms of returning players in the case of Folsom, DO, I hear Jesuit?

    Oh to the comment above, I think this year’s SM team is fantastic and if they are in tact for next year, may be on of the top 3. They cannot come close to the 2014 Folsom team…when you talk about Jake Browning (QB at WA, #5 Heisman ranking), Jonah Williams (5 star recruit, starter at ALABAMA), and team that scored 915 points, 16 running clocks, incredible defense (some writers considered better than Bishop Gorman and DLS defense that year – who saw both those teams play) and a 68-7 shellacking of the #4 state team and #1 SD section team, and a 25 year coach of Cathedral Catholic in SD saying it was the best team he had played in 25 years…..it is too bad they did not play DLS that year..I think they would have actually won that game, they were that on point that year

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 21, 2016 at 12:17 am | Permalink

      As we’ve said many times, it is too bad Folsom 2014 never played DLS. Also said many times, no way Folsom 2014 could be ranked higher since DLS 2013 and DLS 2012 dominated unbeaten Folsom teams and DLS 2014 was unbeaten too. Other problem is that DLS 2014 probably is only No. 6 or No. 7 on school’s list of greatest teams and since Folsom 2014 always has to be lower that puts Folsom 2014 probably lower than it deserves. Folsom can’t complain, though, because it was perhaps the school that wanted the NorCal Open Division game scrapped after it watched Granite Bay win a state title in a lower division after it lost to De La Salle. As for next year in SJS, looks wide open. St. Mary’s loses a lot, but RB Frampton will be back. Folsom was mostly seniors too. Manteca is one team that was loaded with juniors, but not going to put them that high overall in the state.

      • Kenneth Moore
        Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        True in your assessment. St Mary’s does also return 1000+ wr Marcus Aponte, wr/fs Tre Jenkins & 6 key guys on defense as well as a great upcoming JV team. They too will be fun to watch.

    • Kenneth Moore
      Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      In 2014, we watched a lot of Folsom and them of St Mary’s because many thought SM would play Folsom in the D1 regional game that year. SM was kind of robbed in the section championship game against Grant the week before. Coach Richardson sat by me that game and was actually disappointed in the outcome. Folsom went on to destroy grant. That Folsom team is the best in Section history. LoL next season, St Mary’s returns leading rusher Frampton, 3rd & 4th leading WRs. O-line will be young anchored by max Barth who was recently offered by Cal. Defense will be strong returning 6-7 starters/key reserves. Our JV lost 1 game and tons of skill and a great o-line. We will be back trust me.

  3. William
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    American Canyon finished 11-2 there only loses were to Vanden and Christian Brothers

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