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(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)
(After games of Saturday, Nov. 18)
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 12-0
It’s getting hard to say what’s more impressive each week for this team: offense or defense. In the Monarchs’ 55-13 win last Friday in the CIF Southern Section Division I quarterfinals, the defense gave up 59 yards rushing and shut down a Jackrabbits’ squad that had scored 60 in its previous outing. The offense scored on just about every possession with junior QB JT Daniels finishing with 299 yards passing and three TDs plus 42 yards rushing and two scores, including one leap into the end zone. Elias Ricks also shined on defense with a pair of interceptions. Head coach Bruce Rollinson’s team now plays state No. 4 and unbeaten Mission Viejo in the semifinals. We were asked by a fan if this will be the first time that the top four teams in the state rankings have played each other in a section’s semifinals. We checked our archives back to 1975 when our state rankings began and the answer is yes. This is an expected result of the CIFSS competitive equity divisional breakdowns because in many previous years teams like Centennial and Mission Viejo were in different divisions than Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly, etc.