Saturday results added, including Helix of La Mesa winning CIF San Diego Section Open Division title. After just scraping by in its previous game, No. 6 and two-time defending CIF D1-AA state champion Folsom couldn’t survive a second straight upset bid as the Bulldogs got topped by Monterey Trail of Elk Grove in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 semifinals. No. 1 Mater Dei and No. 2 St. John Bosco won easily in CIF Southern Section D1 semifinals over state top five opponents and will now play each other for the fourth straight year in the CIFSS championship. There are also other teams that lost that should create a lot of movement in next week’s new State Top 50 rankings.
Note: Look for a brand new State Top 50 set of football rankings that won’t simply be a list on Monday. We’ll have insights and breakdowns based on more than 40 years of going to Friday night games with an overview of the state’s top teams and what’s coming up that just can’t be matched. It’s more than 8,000 words of jam-packed info. Each new set of rankings will be for Gold Club members only. The late Friday/Weekend Scoreboards will continue to be free posts and will provide snippets of info, comments and more.
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(Rankings based on last week’s State Top 50 released last Monday)
(Through reported results of Saturday, Nov. 23)
THANKS TO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CORRESPONDENT DANIEL POULTER FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THIS POST.
1. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 12-0
Defeated No. 4 Mission Viejo 49-24. While the Monarch defense only gave up 10 points (two of Mission’s TDs were on a pick six and blocked punt), the offense soared behind seven more TD passes from Bryce Young. Cody Epps caught five of them. Young 14 TD passes last two weeks. Epps 10 TD catches.
2. St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 11-1
Defeated No. 5 Centennial (Corona) 52-14. The Braves did their part to set the seemingly annual clash against No. 1 Mater Dei in next Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Division I final at Cerritos College with an overwhelming display in the Inland Empire. D.J. Uigalelei threw for four TDs. Bosco is in the CIFSS D1 final for the seventh straight year.
3. De La Salle (Concord) 11-1
The Spartans march into another North Coast Section Division 1 title game, as De La Salle routed Monte Vista (Danville) 49-13. The top team in Northern California put up 412 yards of offense in the first half in leading 49-0. Up next is No. 24 Pittsburg next Friday at Dublin High. DLS has won 27 straight section titles so if you think it’s boring with MD and Bosco in SoCal slaughtering everyone at least they can play each other.
4. Mission Viejo 11-1
LOST to No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 49-24. Even Mission’s vaunted defensive line couldn’t do much to slow down Mater Dei’s offense. James McDonald scored on a pick six for the final points of the game.
5. Centennial (Corona) 9-2
LOST to No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 31-10. It was thought the Huskies might offer up a scare to the Braves after their 56-0 win over JSerra, but just didn’t happen. Gary Bryant Jr. gave Centennial fans some hope with a first-half TD catch.
6. Folsom 10-2
In a massive upset, the Bulldogs’ season is over, as No. 50 Monterey Trail (Elk Grove) picks up revenge for the 2018 Sac-Joaquin D1 final with a 35-23 victory. The Mustangs kept the high powered Folsom offense off the field for most of the game. The Bulldogs’ nine-year streak of making the SJS D1 title game also is snapped in defeat.
7. Helix (La Mesa) 11-1
Defeated No. 22 Carlsbad 28-21 on Saturday night for CIF San Diego Section Open Division crown. Two interception return TDs (one by Keionte Scott, the other by John Carroll) turned the tide after Carlsbad broke 0-0 halftime tie with first score of game in third quarter. The Highlanders, who could be No. 5 in next week’s rankings, will now wait until next Sunday to learn placement and opponent for CIF regional/state games. D1-AA seems very likely.
8. Central (Fresno) 12-0
This could be one of the happiest teams in all of California Friday evening, not just because the Grizzlies handled Bullard of Fresno 35-7, but because Central’s likely opponent in a Norcal Bowl game, No. 6 Folsom, was knocked off in the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1 playoffs. A rematch with No. 26 Buchanan (Clovis) is next in the Central Section Division 1 title game.
9. Servite (Anaheim) 7-4*
Did not play. Season is complete for the Friars. They lost 38-35 to No. 4 Mission Viejo last week in the CIFSS D1 quarterfinals in a matchup of 4 and 5 seeds. Servite has win over No. 11 JSerra with other losses to Mater Dei, St. John Bosco and Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas. The Bosco loss also was only by one point.
10. Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 13-0
In a battle between two of the top quarterbacks in the state, it was Ethan Garbers and Corona del Mar that was celebrating on Friday evening. The Sea Kings raced to a 48-21 victory over No. 27 Alemany (Mission Hills) and junior Miller Moss in CIFSS D3 semis. The University of Washington commit threw for 322 yards on 20-of-30 passes. No. 16 Grace Brethren (Simi Valley) is next in final.
11. JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 6-5*
Did not play. Season complete for Lions. They lost 56-0 to No. 5 Corona Centennial last week in the CIFSS D1 quarterfinals but didn’t drop in rankings due to having wins over both Bishop Amat and Calabasas.
12. Bishop Amat (La Puente) 9-2*
Did not play. Season complete. Losses are to Mater Dei and JSerra. Went unbeaten in Mission League and is now watching two teams it beat in that league, Chaminade and Loyola, play for CIFSS titles in lower competitive equity divisions.
13. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 12-1
Defeated No. 16 Rancho Cucamonga 24-13 in CIFSS D2 semis. It’s the sixth CIFSS final in 10 years for the Trailblazers. Head coach Jon Ellinghouse and team will play Chaminade of West Hills in final, which is the school he once coached softball at and was once one of our state medium schools coaches of the year.
14. Calabasas 7-3**
Did not play. Season complete. Loss in the CIFSS D1 playoffs was to St. John Bosco. Has been ranked higher than Rancho Cucamonga (head-to-head win).
15. Rancho Cucamonga 10-3
LOST to No. 13 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 24-13. The Cougars scored first, but then couldn’t score again until the game was out of reach.
16. Grace Brethren (Simi Valley) 12-1
Mikey Zele found the end zone with only a couple seconds remaining and Grace Brethren outlasted No. 20 La Habra 49-45 in a classic during the CIFSS D3 semis. La Habra had hit a field goal with less than three minutes remaining, but Grace Brethren was able to mount the quick drive for the victory. Josh Henderson had 264 yards on the ground and picked up five touchdowns on 26 carries for the Lancers. Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) will be next in the title game.
17. Narbonne (Harbor City) 8-1***
***Season complete and forfeits not included. There have been two other schools in the state this season removed from section playoffs, but Narbonne in the L.A. City Section remains the one with the biggest impact, especially since many teams in Southern California will be moving up into higher CIF state divisions once those games begin in two weeks.
18. Serra (San Mateo) 101-1
Defeated No. 34 Wilcox (Santa Clara) 27-14 on Saturday in CCS D1 semifinals. Padres took advantage of four fumbles, including a recovery for a touchdown on a tipped backward pass by Malakai Hoeft. They are playing Valley Christian of San Jose next Saturday night for CCS D1 title.
19. Valley Christian (San Jose) 11-1
Head coach Mike Machado’s squad had little trouble with No. 40 St. Ignatius (San Francisco), as the Warriors advanced with a 28-7 victory in CCS D1 semis. St. Ignatius lost one of its two quarterbacks during the game.
20. La Habra 10-3
The Highlanders were seconds away from knocking off No. 16 Grace Brethren (Simi Valley) in the CIFSS D3 semis, but a late touchdown with only two seconds remaining by the Lancers ended their season. Two receiving touchdowns by Kristopher Koontz helped La Habra score 28 points in the opening frame. Isaiah Rosas also had a fumble recovery in the end zone for a score.
21. San Clemente 10-2**
**Season complete. Forfeits not included. It was a tumultuous week for the Tritons as they were removed from the CIF Southern Section D2 semifinals by the section office due to a player eligibility issue. Many of the players wore their jerseys to a court hearing on Friday morning regarding the matter, but an Orange County superior court judge would not decide in their favor. Chaminade of West Hills (7-5) will now be advanced into next week’s championship.
22. Carlsbad 10-2
LOST in CIF San Diego Section Open Division finals on Saturday to No. 7 Helix 28-21. The Lancers upset higher-ranked Cathedral Catholic of San Diego in last week’s semifinals 21-20.
23. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 8-3*
Did not play. Season complete. The Dons were upset by No. 22 Carlsbad in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division semifinals last week 21-20.
24. Pittsburg 11-1
The Pirates’ showdown with league rival and state No. 25 Liberty (Brentwood) in the CIF North Coast Section D1 semifinals was played Saturday night. Pitt won during the regular season 24-21 in overtime and won on Saturday 21-14. A 77-yard TD pass to start the fourth quarter from Jerry Johnson to James Battle held up as the game-winner.
25. Liberty (Brentwood) 10-2
Head coach Ryan Partridge’s squad is fell to No. 24 Pittsburg 21-14 on Saturday night in the NCS D1 semis. Both losses this season by the Lions were to Pitt this season.
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Alemany (Mission Hills) 9-3*
No. 10 Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) was too much for Alemany to handle on Friday evening in CIFSS D3 semis, as the Sea Kings ran away with a 48-21 victory behind University of Washington commit Ethan Garbers. Alemany was without one of its top players in sophomore Junior Tuihalamaka, who missed the contest with an injury.
Buchanan (Clovis) 8-3*
It was a statement in the Central Section, as the Bears blanked No. 29 Liberty (Bakersfield) 27-0 and set up for a showdown and rematch with No. 8 Central (Fresno) waiting in the final of Central Section Division 1. The Bears forced five turnovers on the night and made quick work of the Patriots. Buchanan set the tone with a 86-yard touchdown pass from Ian Kirby to Darrien Gaines on the second play of the game. Georgia five-star running back commit Kendall Milton also added a touchdown late in the game to confirm the victory.
Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 11-1
The Cardinals played the role of a villain on Friday evening, as Cardinal Newman dispatched the Cinderella story that was Piner (Santa Rosa) 49-0 in the NCS D4 semis. Jackson Pavitt had three touchdowns on the evening and helped the Cardinals roll into the finals against Marin Catholic (won Saturday 7-0 over Acalanes of Lafayette).
Chaminade (West Hills) 7-5
Did not play. Head coach Ed Croson and squad ended up having night off and have advanced to next week’s CIFSS D2 championship opposite Sierra Canyon/Rancho Cucamonga with San Clemente being removed from the bracket (ineligible player).
Culver City 12-1
This team had been putting up monster numbers this season, but ran into a tough St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs) team and fell 14-10 in the CIFSS D5 semis. The Centaurs were held scoreless in the second half, with friday evening being their lowest point total of the year.
Inderkum (Sacramento) 11-1
With No. 6 Folsom losing to No. 50 Monterey Trail (Elk Grove), there was a huge chance for Inderkum to finally have a chance at the SJS D1 title, but No. 30 Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) routed the Tigers 56-21 on Friday evening in SJS D1 semis play. The Trojans were only up seven points at halftime, but used 28 unanswered points in the third quarter to create separation.
Did not play. Season complete. Lost to No. 16 Grace Brethren 33-31 last week in CIFSS D3 quarterfinals.
Liberty (Bakersfield) 10-2
Without two of their star playmakers in Ramon Henderson (Two-way) and Haden Mann (Quarterback), the Patriots were blasted by No. 26 Buchanan (Clovis) 27-0 in the Central Sec D1 semis.
Lincoln (San Diego) 9-3
Defeated Mission Hills (San Marcos) 35-14 in matchup of State Top 50 teams in CIF San Diego Section D1 semifinals. Hornets will now play Oceanside in the final.
Loyola (Los Angeles) 6-6
The Cubs (No. 4 seed) defeated Camarillo (the No. 2 seed) 31-14 in CIFSS D4 semifinals. They are playing San Juan Hills in the final, which upset No. 1 seed Paramount 29-28 in overtime .
Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 9-2*
The Sac-Joaquin Section will take a hit from No. 6 Folsom falling, but the Trojans won’t mind as Oak Ridge handled previously unbeaten No. 32 Inderkum (Sacramento) 56-21 in the SJS D1 semis. Gui Luzada had four touchdowns on the ground for Oak Ridge. Up next will be a rematch against No. 50 Monterey Trail (Elk Grove), as the Mustangs knocked out the Trojans 48-20 last season.
St. Augustine (San Diego) 8-3**
Did not play. Season complete. Lost to No. 7 Helix 12-7 last week in SD Sec Open Division.
St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs) 11-2*
Swordsmen will play for CIFSS D5 title next week after beating top seed Culver City 14-10. Their losses are to Sierra Canyon and Narbonne with the Narbonne loss later reversed to a forfeit win. We’ve had them in our medium schools state rankings, but they’ll likely be in the State Top 50 now.
Wilcox (Santa Clara) 9-3
Warriors lost Saturday afternoon 27-14 at No. 18 Serra of San Mateo in CCS D1 semifinals. They ended with losses to Serra, Pitt and Valley Christian. A team they beat 38-0, Los Gatos, is playing for CCS D2 championship.
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