Biggest winners added from Saturday: Cathedral Catholic, Serra (San Mateo) & Folsom. On Friday, in what could be the greatest CIF section semifinals in California history and the first we know of in which all four were the top four ranked teams in the state, No. 1 Mater Dei tops No. 4 Centennial of Corona and No. 3 Servite of Anaheim tops No. 4 St. John Bosco of Bellflower. Friday night also saw De La Salle defeat Pittsburg to stamp its ticket for the 16th time in the 16 years of the CIF regional/state bowl games.
Note: Look for a brand new State Top 50 set of football rankings that won’t simply be a list on Monday night. 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 State Top 50 released last Monday)
(Through reported results of Saturday, Nov. 20)
(Thanks to Northern California correspondent Daniel Poulter for contributions)
1. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 10-0
Defeated No. 4 Centennial (Corona) 21-16 in CIFSS D1 semifinals. Yes, the Monarchs’ offense was held down by a rugged Centennial defense, but it still wasn’t enough to derail the title hopes of the nation’s No. 1 team. Raleek Brown had his third strong rushing game of the season vs. an elite opponent with 164 yards on 27 carries and two TDs. Mater Dei now moves on to play for the CIF Southern Section D1 title next Friday at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach against its longtime rivals from Servite. Mater Dei’s own defense got several fourth-down stops, including one just before halftime with a batted pass in the end zone.
2. St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 10-2
LOST to No. 3 Servite (Anaheim) 40-21 in CIFSS D1 semifinals. In a reversal of a 24-10 win by the Braves in the final regular season game, they fell in a rematch. Bosco was looking to make it to its eighth straight CIFSS D1 championship game (a streak that began in 2013 but with no playoffs for last year) and was hurt by a fumble and botched punt that set up Servite for TDs on the 10- and 5-yard lines. Rayshon Luke was spectacular for the Braves with a 78-yard TD run in the third quarter and a 37-yard TD catch on a pass from Pierce Clarkson in the first half.
3. Servite (Anaheim) 10-2
Defeated No. 2 St John Bosco (Bellflower) 40-21 in CIFSS D1 semifinals. That’s one loss avenged and now it could be another as the Friars will take another crack at No. 1 Mater Dei following their big win against Bosco. In this game, the big adjustment was running the ball. Noah Fifita didn’t even pass it 10 times but he had 17 carries for 128 yards and three TDs (according to the OC Register). Houston Thomas also had a 71-yard TD run in the third quarter and ended with 134 yards. Servite has not won a CIFSS title since 2010. Mater Dei won, 47-38, in a great game we saw in October.
4. Centennial (Corona) 11-1
LOST to No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 21-16 in CIFSS D1 semifinals. Jayson Cortes scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter that sliced a 21-9 lead for the Monarchs down to 21-16, but that ended up being all of the scoring in the game. The Huskies just couldn’t get that one big play in attempt to beat a Trinity League team in the semis or finals for the first time since 2015.
5. Mission Viejo 9-2
Season complete. Eventually, the Diablos may drop behind the NorCal team that is playing in the CIF Open Division state final, but that didn’t happen last week and they’d then likely move back up to the fifth spot for the final rankings. If Alemany were to win the CIF D1-AA state title, that would ensure a final No. 5 ranking since Mission has a win over the Warriors.
6. St. Francis (Mountain View) 11-0
For the second straight week, St. Francis was tested early and often, but used a strong fourth quarter to pull away. This time it was a 49-28 victory over No. 38 Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) in CCS D1 semifinals. The two sides were tied 21-21 to start the final frame and Menlo-Atherton had a 21-7 lead early in the contest. St. Francis will go for its first Central Coast Section championship since 2014 against either Serra (San Mateo) or Bellarmine (San Jose).
7. De La Salle (Concord) 10-2
Defeated No. 21 Pittsburg 42-14 in NCS Open/D1 championship. It was weird watching the Spartans playing in an NCS final at home instead of at a neutral place like Dublin High or the Oakland Coliseum. Still, it was a normal ending as DLS extended its state record for consecutive section titles to 29. Charles Greer scored on a 59-yard run and on a 36-yard pass play. Ronald Pierce basically cinched the win with a pick six in the third quarter. DLS will now wait to see who it plays in a NorCal bowl or it could be sent again to the Open Division if St. Francis doesn’t win in the CCS.
8. Rocklin 12-0
The Thunder erased a 10-point deficit with less than two minutes remaining to come back and defeat No. 35 St. Mary’s (Stockton) 51-48 in SJS D1 semifinals. Macgregor Teselle hit the game winning 37-yard field goal with seconds left. He also had a game-tying field goal in the final minute. Kyran Bell had the interception for Rocklin to set up the game winning field goal. St. Mary’s started the game up 14-0 in less than three minutes and opened the contest with a kick return score from 4-star Jadyn Marshall.
9. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 7-5
LOST to No. 18 Lutheran (Orange) 42-40 in CIFSS D2 semifinals. Jason Jones scored five times for the Trailblazers after he had six last week. All of the other losses were to higher-ranked teams so this one will cause a significant drop in the rankings.
10. Carlsbad 11-1
LOST to No. 13 Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 48-19 on Saturday in CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship. A 67-yard TD pass from Julian Sayin to Matt Moore put the top seed Lancers up 6-0 in the early going, but they couldn’t stop the powerful Dons’ running attack. Sayin, a sophomore, should be the rock for great teams at Carlsbad in the next two seasons.
11. Alemany (Mission Hills) 8-3
Defeated No. 19 Inglewood 56-30 in CIFSS D2 semifinals. According to the Daily Breeze/Daily News, Floyd Chalk ripped off 226 yards on 19 carries and scored five TDs. The Warriors advanced to their first CIFSS title game since 2009. The running game with Chalk and teammate Jaylen Thompson bouncing through holes opened up by a dominant offensive line has created a monster. Up next: Orange Lutheran in the championship game.
12. Norco 8-3
Season complete. Cougars lost to No. 1 Mater Dei last week in CIFSS D1 quarterfinals. Other losses to Sierra Canyon & Mission Viejo. Win against Santa Margarita.
13. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 9-2*
Defeated No. 10 Carlsbad 48-19 on Saturday in CIF San Diego Section Open Division final. Lucky Sutton’s TD runs of 77 and 88 yards in the third quarter were killers for the Lancers, who were undefeated. The Dons, who also had fumble return TD in the second half, will now wait one week to see who they’ll play in a CIF SoCal regional playoff game. They may want to scout the CIFSS D2 final between Orange Lutheran and Alemany.
14. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 6-5
Season complete. Eagles lost to No. 3 Servite last week in CIFSS D1 quarterfinals. Another loss to Servite, plus those to Mater Dei and St. John Bosco. The other was to Norco. Wins vs. Los Alamitos and Orange Lutheran.
15. Serra (San Mateo) 11-1
Defeated No. 31 Bellarmine (San Jose) 41-0 in CCS D1 semifinals on Saturday. The Padres scored twice after a fake field goal and blocked punt and then had a field goal for 17-0 halftime lead. They will now look to avenge their only loss when they face No. 6 St. Francis on Friday at Westmont High in Campbell in the title game.
16. Los Alamitos 9-2
Season complete. The Griffins lost to No. 2 St. John Bosco last week in CIFSS D1 quarterfinals. Their other loss was to Santa Margarita. Best win was the one we saw against CIF Central Section frontrunner Buchanan.
17. Buchanan (Clovis) 10-2
Grant Austin scored with 2:38 left from 18 yards out and Liberty (Bakersfield) upended top seed Buchanan 28-21 in CIF Central Section D1 semifinals. James Oliver had a punt return for a touchdown in the first half for Liberty. The game was tied 14-14 at halftime.
18. Lutheran (Orange) 9-4
Defeated No. 9 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 42-40 in CIFSS D2 semifinals. Head coach Rod Sherman’s squad won its biggest game yet in taking down the 2019 CIF D1-AA SoCal champions. If it wins vs. Alemany in the final, a spot in the same game likely would be coming next for the Lancers.
19. Inglewood 10-1*
LOST to No. 11 Alemany (Mission Hills) 56-30 in CIFSS D2 semifinals. Justyn Martin tried to keep it close and had three TD passes for the Sentinels. Two of those went to Justus Ross-Simmons.
20. Folsom 9-3
Defeated No. 27 Jesuit (Carmichael) 22-21 on Saturday in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 semifinals. The Bulldogs won it in the final two minutes on a TD pass from Tyler Tremain to Walker Lyons, a two-point conversion run by Toure Hendrick and then a big hit on the ensuing kickoff that caused a fumble. Folsom plays next against Rocklin on Friday in the section final and will be looking to avenge earlier loss.
21. Pittsburg 8-2
LOST to No. 7 De La Salle (Concord) 42-14 in NCS Open/D1 championship. Jaden Rashada found teammate Rashid Williams for two TD passes although one them on a sensational catch was two feet out of bounds. At least that’s what photos showed on the sidelines. Pitt will now play next week at home against Clayton Valley of Concord for the NCS D1 championship. Clayton Valley won in a Friday D1 semifinals, 24-21, over California (San Ramon).
22. Etiwanda 12-1
LOST to No. 29 Serra (Gardena) 34-27 in overtime in CIFSS D3 semifinals. The Eagles scored with five seconds left in regulation to force the extra session.
23. Central (Fresno) 9-1
In the Central Section D1 semifinals, the Grizzlies took care of previously unbeaten San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) 37-20. They will now host their fifth consecutive Division 1 championship game.
24. Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 9-0*
The Crusaders went up 23-0 by halftime on previously unbeaten Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) and went on for an easy 40-8 victory over the Eagles. MD Catholic will now take on Ramona in the CIF San Diego Section D3 finals.
25. Edison (Huntington Beach) 8-4
Season complete. The Chargers fell to Inglewood in CIFSS D2 quarterfinals. Other losses to Servite, Orange Lutheran, Los Alamitos. Wins over Corona del Mar, Murrieta Valley.
Bellarmine (San Jose) 8-4
On Saturday, the Bells’ season ended with a 41-0 loss to No. 15 Serra (SM) in CCS D1 semifinals.
Bishop Amat (La Puente) 8-4
Season complete. Lancers lost to Alemany last week in CIFSS D2 quarterfinals. Other losses to Alemany (league), St. John Bosco, Servite. Wins vs Chaminade, Serra (G), Yorba Linda.
Central Catholic (Modesto) 11-1
The Raiders breezed to a 35-0 victory over previous 11-0 Antelope in SJS D2 semis. Game ended with 3:15 left in the fourth quarter, as an Antelope player was down and needed an ambulance. Monterey Trail (Elk Grove) will be next in D2 finals.
Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 9-3
Season complete. Lost to No. 18 Orange Lutheran in CIFSS D2 quarterfinals. Won in 1st round vs Warren (Downey). Other losses Los Alamitos, Edison (HB).
Clayton Valley (Concord) 9-3
Defeated California (San Ramon) 24-21 in NCS Open/D1 semifinals. Ugly Eagles, who have a win over Central Sec D1 finalist Liberty of Bakersfield, will be at Pittsburg next week for a spot in the NorCal bowls.
Helix (La Mesa) 8-3
Defeated El Camino (Oceanside) 28-17 in San Diego Section D1 semis. Highlanders will now take on Lincoln (SD) in the final.
Jesuit (Carmichael) 10-2
The Marauders lost to No. 20 Folsom on Saturday 22-21 in SJS D1 semifinals. They were the higher seed despite losing to the Bulldogs 56-7 early in the season.
Lincoln (San Diego) 8-2*
Defeated No. 37 Madison (San Diego) 42-14 in CIF San Diego D1 semifinals. This avenged a loss in a big way for the Hornets, who will now meet Helix (La Mesa) in the title game.
Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 8i-3
Defeated Cypress 35-0 in CIFSS D4 semifinals. Poly held the Centurions to just 50 yards of offense. The Jackrabbits face St. Francis (La Canada) in title game.
Madison (San Diego) 9-2
LOST to No. 28 Lincoln 42-14 in San Diego Section D1 semis. The Warhawks had a win over the Hornets earlier this season.
Serra (Gardena) 8-4
The Cavaliers were down 14-0 at the halftime break to Etiwanda in CIFSS D3 semifinals, but took a 27-20 lead late in the fourth quarter only for the game to go into overtime. Maalik Murphy scored on a 2-yard quarterback keeper in overtime on the first possession for Serra and Etiwanda failed to score. Serra advanced 34-27 in overtime.
St. Mary’s (Stockton) 10-3
The Rams lost to No. 8 Rocklin 51-48 in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 semifinals. They had a 48-38 lead late in the fourth quarter, but it was Rocklin that made the plays in the final two minutes.
Warren (Downey) 8-1
Season complete. Owns win vs Serra (Gardena). Playoff loss to Corona del Mar.
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