Coming on the strongest in this week’s post featuring teams in this range of the state rankings is new No. 27 Cajon of San Bernardino and new No. 34 Manteca. The Buffaloes were not even in the State Top 50 at all last week while Cajon has moved up from No. 34. This week, we also are putting in five new teams into these rankings, led by newly crowned CIF Southern Section champions from Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley and Quartz Hill.
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(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)
(After games of Saturday, Dec. 2)
26. (24) Valencia 12-2*
Defense kept the Vikings close in their 20-19 loss to No. 8 Oaks Christian in the CIF Southern Section Division II championship game. They still had a chance after a Lions’ field goal with 2:12 left, but were stopped on downs and then never got the ball back. Mykael Wright capped a tremendous junior season with two TD catches on passes from senior Connor Downs and had an interception on defense. Valencia’s two wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals against state-ranked Norco and Heritage of Menifee will keep the team ranked high through the final rankings, but we’ll have to see whether that will be in the top 25 or in this range.