After a quick start, No. 2 Servite can’t do much for three quarters and falls to No. 1 Mater Dei on Friday in the CIF Southern Section D1 championship. The bigger question after the night, though, involves which team the Monarchs will play on Dec. 11 in the CIF Open Division state final as unbeaten and No. 6 St. Francis of Mountain View can’t repeat its earlier dominance against No. 11 Serra of San Mateo and loses in a CCS title game that was disrupted by shots fired outside the venue. Saturday’s biggest winners were Lutheran of Orange, Serra of Gardena, Long Beach Poly and Helix.
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(Rankings based on State Top 50 released last Monday)
(Through reported results of Saturday, Nov. 27)
(Thanks to Northern California correspondent Daniel Poulter for contributions)
1. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 11-0
Defeated No. 2 Servite (Anaheim) 27-7 to win CIF Southern Section D1 title. For the second straight week it was the MD defense and the ground game that was the difference. Servite was shut out for the last three quarters. Offensively, RB Raleek Brown gained 162 yards on 24 carries with one TD (his fourth big outing of the season in wins vs St. John Bosco, Servite, Centennial & now Servite again). The Mater Dei program was rocked with an Orange County Register report about a hazing incident, but as investigation is just beginning it didn’t have much of an impact on this game. The Monarchs will look to end a perfect season in two weeks in the CIF Open Division state final at Saddleback College.
2. Servite (Anaheim) 10-3
LOST to No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 27-7 in CIFSS D1 championship. After the Friars avenged one of their losses to St. John Bosco last week, they couldn’t do the same against the Monarchs. Unlike the first matchup between the two (MD won 47-38 in an offensive shootout), this game was a slugfest. Servite scored first after an interception in the first quarter on a TD pass from Noah Fifita to Tetairoa McMillan, but that was it for the rest of the evening.
3. St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 10-2
Season complete. The Braves lost to Servite in the CIFSS D1 semifinals. Barring what would be a huge upset in the CIF Open Division state final in two weeks, they also will finish third in the final state rankings.
4. Centennial (Corona) 11-1
Season complete. Head coach Matt Logan’s squad fell to Mater Dei 21-16 in the CIFSS D1 semifinals. Among teams the Huskies beat were Mission Viejo, Cathedral Catholic, Sierra Canyon and Norco.
5. Mission Viejo 9-2
Season complete. Next week, the Diablos (who lost to Centennial in the CIFSS D1 quarterfinals with the other loss to Servite) are expected to drop behind the NorCal team playing Mater Dei in the CIF Open Division state game). They’d then likely move back up.
6. St. Francis (Mountain View) 11-1
LOST to No. 11 Serra (San Mateo) 16-12 in CIF Central Section D1 championship. For the first time this season, Lancers’ ground game was held somewhat in check by Serra’s defense. St. Francis took a 12-10 lead in the fourth quarter on a 32-yard TD run by QB Josh Perry, but gave up the lead with 2:18 remaining.
7. De La Salle (Concord) 10-2
Did not play. The Spartans won the CIF North Coast Section Open Division title last Friday and are waiting to see what will happen for the NorCal pecking order. Now that St. Francis has lost in its section title game (which is the team that handed DLS its only in-state loss), it’s not as clear which team the CIF will choose to play Mater Dei in the Open Division. The Spartans don’t have a head-to-head loss to Serra, they have several other impressive wins (Cathedral Catholic, Folsom & Pitt) and they know what they’re getting into for a game against the Monarchs.
8. Rocklin 12-1
LOST to No. 16 Folsom 20-3 in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 championship. The Thunder could only get a game-opening field goal by McGregor TeSelle in this rematch with the Bulldogs, who they defeated 40-7 in the regular season. It was 3-3 at halftime before Folsom slowly pulled away.
9. Alemany (Mission Hills) 8-4
The Warriors (along with No. 12 Orange Lutheran) were the highest ranked team in California playing on Saturday in the CIFSS D2 championship and lost to the Lancers 38-35. Alemany had a 27-16 lead in the fourth quarter, but an OLu TD, then a huge fumble and then another TD resulted in a deficit that couldn’t be overcome. Floyd Chalk rushed for more than 220 yards and scored four TDs.
10. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 9-2**
Did not play. The Dons won the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship last week and will likely find out on Sunday they will be playing the CIFSS D2 champion in next week’s CIF SoCal D1-AA regional final.
11. Serra (San Mateo) 12-1
Defeated No. 6 St. Francis (Mountain View) 16-12 in CCS D1 championship. With 2:18 left, the Padres pulled ahead on a 3-yard TD run by QB Dominique Lampkin but right afterward there were shots fired outside the Westmont (Campbell) stadium. Our photographer, Willie Eashman, was there and reported he heard five shots. Some people hit the ground, others ran. After a few seconds, it got calmer. The players were sent to their locker rooms. There was a delay of more than 30 minutes, but the game resumed. St. Francis had to try to come back after all that and couldn’t do it. Serra had avenged its earlier loss at home to the Lancers in a game that was not close (and why the Padres fell behind some of the other top SoCal teams. Since St. Francis has the win over De La Salle, some think that the Padres will now get the NorCal Open Division berth. That does make sense, but we know the CIF likes to avoid rematches (DLS would be in one vs. Folsom in D1-AA if it isn’t in the Open) and there are other reasons to go in the other direction. We’ll just have to find out Sunday.
12. Lutheran (Orange) 10-4
Head coach Rod Sherman and QB Logan Gonzalez took the Lancers to the promised land as they came from behind on Saturday and defeated No. 9 Alemany 38-35 in the CIFSS D2 championship. Gonzalez finished with four TD passes, two to Hayden Farraday, who also pounced on an onside kick to clinch the win. It is the first CIFSS title for the Lancers since 2006. They will likely play Cathedral Catholic of San Diego next in the CIF SoCal D1-AA regional final.
13. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 7-5
Season complete. The Trailblazers fell to Orange Lutheran, 42-40, in the CIFSS D2 semifinals. Their head-to-head win over Norco still comes into play for our state rankings.
14. Norco 8-3
Season complete. The Cougars lost to No. 1 Mater Dei two weeks ago in CIFSS D1 quarterfinals. The other losses were to Sierra Canyon & Mission Viejo, but there is a win against Santa Margarita.
15. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 6-5
Season complete. The Eagles lost to No. 2 Servite two weeks ago in CIFSS D1 quarterfinals. Another loss was to Servite, plus those to Mater Dei, St. John Bosco and Norco. Key wins came against Los Alamitos and Orange Lutheran.
16. Folsom 10-3
Defeated No. 8 Rocklin 20-3 on Friday in Sac-Joaquin Section D1 championship. After No. 1 QB Tyler Tremain returned from injury, the Bulldogs have powered through their section playoffs and have won their eighth title since 2010. This win avenged an earlier 40-7 loss to Rocklin. With the score 3-3 at halftime, Folsom grabbed a 10-3 lead in the third quarter on a 2-yard run by Toure Hendrick. It went to 17-3 on a 3-yard run by Donovan Parler and then later another field goal. It’s pretty certain that the Bulldogs will be in the CIF NorCal D1-AA final next week, but it’s not clear whether they will play De La Salle or Serra (San Mateo).
17. Los Alamitos 9-2
Season complete. The Griffins lost to No. 3 St. John Bosco two weeks ago in CIFSS D1 quarterfinals. Their other loss was to Santa Margarita. Best wins were against Edison (Huntington Beach), Corona del Mar and Buchanan (Clovis).
18. Carlsbad 11-1
Season complete. The Lancers lost to No. 10 Cathedral Catholic last week in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship. If Lincoln were to win a state title, the Hornets could still come up in front of Carlsbad for the final rankings but not yet.
19. Lincoln (San Diego) 8-3**
LOST to No. 31 Helix (La Mesa) 21-14 on Saturday in the CIF San Diego Section D1 championship. The Hornets had a 14-7 lead entering the fourth quarter.
20. Bishop Amat (La Puente) 8-4
Season complete. The Lancers lost to No. 9 Alemany two weeks ago in the CIFSS D2 quarterfinals. Their other losses were to Alemany (earlier in league), Servite and St. John Bosco. The big win has turned out to be the one vs. league rival Serra of Gardena.
21. Serra (Gardena) 9-4
After getting past unbeaten Etiwanda in last week’s CIFSS D3 semifinals, the Cavaliers played No. 41 Apple Valley in Saturday’s championship game and won, 31-3. Two safeties in the second quarter and a 67-yard punt return that set up a score pushed Serra from a 6-3 lead to 17-3 at halftime. Cincere Rhaney rushed for two scores.
22. Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 11-3
Another Saturday title matchup in the CIFSS was the Jackrabbits traveling to face No. 49 St. Francis of La Canada in Division 4. They rolled to a 38-7 win and won the school’s record 20th CIFSS title. Devin Samples rushed for 220 yards on 38 carries and scored twice. How about Poly vs Serra in the CIF SoCal D1-A final? Rematches are frowned upon by the CIF for these games, but that was a 28-27 win by Serra in a great game. Why not?
23. Inglewood 10-1**
Season complete. The Sentinels lost to No. 9 Alemany last week in the CIFSS D2 semifinals. They had wins in the first two rounds vs. previously unbeaten St. Bonaventure plus Edison (Huntington Beach).
24. Central (Fresno) 9-2
LOST to No. 38 Liberty (Bakersfield) 42-14 in CIF Central Section D1 championship. The margin of victory was surprising in this one since Central was trying to win its fourth straight title in the section’s top division (not counting last year in which there were no playoffs). But it was 35-7 at halftime with the final TD in the fourth quarter by the Grizzlies taking place with a running clock.
25. Pittsburg 10-2
Defeated No. 29 Clayton Valley (Concord) 28-14 to win CIF North Coast Section D1 championship. Pitt took advantage of new NCS Open/D1 bracket and won its first section title since 1991. It wasn’t as easy as one might think since junior QB Jaden Rashada was out with an injury. Back-up Christian Aguilar threw for two TDs to big-time junior Rashid Williams and hit Zachary Card for another. The Pirates would seem to be headed for CIF NorCal D1-A final next week with likely opponent being CIF Central Section D1 winner Liberty (Bakersfield).
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Bellarmine (San Jose) 8-4
Season complete. The Bells’ season ended with a loss to No. 11 Serra (SM) last week in CCS D1 semifinals. Key wins were vs. Central Catholic of Modesto and Menlo-Atherton.
Central Catholic (Modesto) 12-1
The Raiders played Monterey Trail of Elk Grove in Saturday night’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D2 championship at Hughes Stadium and won 43-22. They were behind 22-13 at halftime, but dominated the Mustangs 30-0 in the second half. Central Catholic won its 20th section title, but first in D2.
Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 9-3
Season complete. Lost to No. 12 Orange Lutheran in CIFSS D2 quarterfinals. Won in 1st round vs Warren (Downey). Other losses Los Alamitos, Edison (HB).
Clayton Valley (Concord) 9-4
LOST to No. 25 Pittsburg 28-14 on Friday in CIF North Coast Section D1 championship. Head coach Tim Murphy also told reporter Juice Cano that he will not be retiring after the season and plans to be back next season.
Edison (Huntington Beach) 8-4
Season complete. The Chargers’ season ended with a quarterfinal loss to No. 23 Inglewood in CIFSS D2 playoffs.
Season complete. The Eagles saw their season conclude with an overtime loss to No. 21 Serra (Gardena) in the CIFSS D3 semifinals.
Helix (La Mesa) 10-3
The Highlanders took on No. 19 Lincoln (SD) on Saturday in the CIF San Diego Section D1 final and won 21-14. It’s the third section title in six years for head coach Robbie Owens. Christian Washington rushed for 181 yards on 45 carries, including two TDs in the fourth quarter.
Jesuit (Carmichael) 10-3
Season complete. This team lost to No. 16 Folsom in last week’s SJS D1 semifinals. Its other losses were to No. 8 Rocklin and in an early-season game with Folsom.
Liberty (Bakersfield) 9-2
Defeated No. 24 Central (Fresno) 42-14 to win CIF Central Section D1 title. The Patriots were down in the rankings due to losses to Bishop Diego of Santa Barbara and Clayton Valley. They have to come way up now. Carson Woods threw for three TDs. The first was to Luke Wattenbarger, who later ran back an interception for an 80-yard touchdown. Liberty won its last Central Section D1 title in 2015 when Green Bay Packers’ QB Jordan Love was the star. The Patriots may be headed to Pittsburg next week for the CIF NorCal D1-A. Could they go south? Maybe, but we think the top four San Diego Section winners will match up well with the CIFSS winners from D2 to D5 plus a Pitt-Liberty matchup would work. This is a different team that lost by one point to Clayton Valley in early September.
Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 11-0**
Defeated Ramona on Saturday in CIF San Diego Section D3 championship 37-10. Dominic Nankil threw for two TDs to Jerry McClure. Luke Teskey led the defense with four sacks. We have the Crusaders in the CIF SoCal D2-AA game against Helix in a matchup that was supposed to happen earlier. They could match up with Long Beach Poly, too.
Warren (Downey) 8-1
Season complete. Owns win vs Serra (Gardena). Playoff loss to Corona del Mar.
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