No. 1 St. John Bosco loses on Saturday night in Hawaii. The No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 were on byes, so the big winner of the weekend was No. 5 Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth plus the team that took down No. 6 JSerra of San Juan Capistrano. De La Salle of Concord and San Ramon Valley of Danville also were big winners up in Northern California.
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(Rankings based on previous State Top 50)
(Through reported results of Saturday, Sept. 16)
(Thanks to Northern California correspondent Daniel Poulter for contributions)
1. St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 4-1
LOST on Saturday night, 30-23, to Kahuku of Hawaii in a game that ended near 12 midnight California time. This was a team that had lost last Saturday night in Santa Ana to Mater Dei, 55-8. Details were not available but reportedly turnovers and penalties plagued the Braves. With the Trinity League coming up, including a game on Oct. 13 at home vs Mater Dei, all is not lost for the team. The loss obviously will make MD even more of a favorite to run the table this season than it already was.
2. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 4-0
Did not play. This is a bye week for the Monarchs. Most of the teams in the Trinity League, including St. John Bosco, have a bye next week before starting league competition. MD is taking its bye this week and next week will be playing St. Frances Academy of Baltimore, a team which played and lost last Friday, 37-14, to St. John Bosco in California. Monarchs coaches will no doubt point to comparing scores and Bosco losing to Kahuku in an effort to let their kids know it can happen to anyone.
3. Centennial (Corona) 2-2
Did not play. It also is a bye week for the Huskies. In their last game last week, they were rolled 56-28 by Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas. Many national rankings have Mater Dei No. 1 and Gorman No. 2 and those are the two teams that Centennial has lost to. The Huskies host Liberty of Peoria, Ariz., next Friday.
4. Serra (San Mateo) 3-0
Did not play. Obviously, there won’t be any changes in the top four for next week’s rankings. Serra also has a bye after opening its season with wins over Folsom, De La Salle and Central Catholic of Modesto.
5. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 4-0
Defeated No. 7 Orange Lutheran, 40-6, on Friday night at Orange Coast College. Yes, the Lancers were coming off of a loss to Chandler, Ariz., but this win certainly solidified the Trailblazers as one of the top four likely seeds for the upcoming CIF Southern Section D1 playoffs along with St. John Bosco, Mater Dei and Corona Centennial. It’s often been felt that Sierra Canyon had all the resources to get up close to those three. It wasn’t at that level even for some of the other CIFSS and CIF state title teams, but now it’s happened.
6. JSerra (SJ Capistrano) 3-2
In the biggest upset of the night, it was No. 30 Clovis North stunning JSerra 23-7 on Friday in the Central Valley. Clovis North never trailed and completely shutdown the heralded JSerra offense, which had scored 45, 41 and 34 points in its previous three games.
7. Lutheran (Orange) 3-2
LOST to No. 5 Sierra Canyon, 40-6, on Friday. The only TD for OLu came from junior Steve Chavez, who also rushed for 120 yards on 19 carries. The Lancers didn’t have junior QB T.J. Lateef with an injury and in the second quarter they lost sophomore QB Alex Medyn with an injury as well.
8. Lincoln (San Diego) 5-0
The Hornets continue to roll, as Lincoln had little trouble blasting on the bubble side and previously undefeated Cajon of San Bernardino 34-0. Up next will be squaring off with 2-1 Inglewood.
9. Carlsbad 5-0
Josh Ball took the opening kickoff back 99 yards for a touchdown and head coach Thadd MacNeal’s club breezed past Ramona 38-7 at home on Friday. Mason Walsh also had two first half rushing touchdowns in the blowout.
10. Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 4-1
Defeated Lakewood, 48-19 on Friday. Senior QB Darius Curry passed for 300 yards and four TDs with Michael Beresford catching two of them. Lakewood hung tough in the first half, but the Jackrabbits surged in the second. Their win from last week over Serra (Gardena) also has picked up strength with Serra beating Oaks Christian on Friday.
11. Mission Viejo 4-1
Defeated No. 21 Los Alamitos, 34-28 in overtime, on Friday at home. Junior FB Lilomaiava Hinesword scoring the winning touchdown in overtime. Vince Spafford, a sophomore, also had three TD catches. Mission tied the game with 1:26 left on a 30-yard FG by Michael Salgado. The team’s only loss is to Long Beach Poly.
12. Folsom 3-1
Did not play. It’s a bye week for the Bulldogs, who will return next week to host De La Salle and then the week after that they will be starting Sierra Foothill League competition with a game against No. 24 Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills.
13. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 4-1
There was no drama this week, as Santa Margarita cruised to a 42-7 victory over Leuzinger of Lawndale on Friday night. Logan Hirou had a Pick-6 and freshman Elijah “Eli” Robinson had a rushing TD for the Eagles in the rout.
14. St. Mary’s (Stockton) 3-1
LOST to No. 15 De La Salle (Concord), 24-10. The only points for the Rams came on a 19-yard TD pass from Samson Hunkin to Naseri Davidson and on a field goal by Matthew Kain. They may have an even tougher trip next week to play at Bishop Amat (La Puente).
15. De La Salle (Concord) 2-2
Defeated No. 14 St. Mary’s (Stockton), 24-10, on Friday at home. The Spartans are still going to beat most of the teams on their schedule with their run game and defense. Dominic Kelley rushed for 102 yards and two TDs and Toa Faavae raced for an 84-yard TD in the second half to lead DLS. They will come up in the next rankings, but will still have to behind Orange Lutheran (head-to-head loss).
16. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 2-2
LOST to No. 26 Serra (Gardena), 26-13, on Friday at Serra. There were no crowd issues this week at Serra, but plenty of problems for the Lions. They only scored once on the night on a TD catch by Chase Farrell. The other six points came on two field goals by Noah Laberge.
17. San Clemente 5-0
This team is 5-0 for the first time since 2020, as the Tritons powered past No. 34 Edison (Huntington Beach) 31-7 on Friday. Riley Kelley snagged two interceptions for San Clemente and Aiden Rubin put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter with a 45-yard touchdown burst.
18. Rancho Cucamonga 5-0
Trey Wilson rambled for 203 yards rushing and two TDs, including a game-clinching 50-yard in the fourth quarter, as the Cougars got past Bishop Amat of La Puente, 31-20. There was some emotion on both sidelines as three expected top players for Amat transferred to Rancho during the spring/summer.
19. Helix (La Mesa) 5-0
It’s never easy to take down five quality opponents in a non-league slate, but the Highlanders can claim that feat after a 35-21 victory over Cathedral Catholic on Friday evening. Kevin Allen III had the final two touchdown bursts for Helix in the victory.
20. Servite (Anaheim) 3-1
Did not play. The Friars are on their bye week, then come back to face St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs next week before starting Trinity League competition on Sept 29 vs Mater Dei. They came up in last week’s rankings after a win over Los Alamitos (which was No. 8 coming into that game). Their loss is 34-31 to Rancho Cucamonga.
21. Los Alamitos 3-2
LOST to No. 11 Mission Viejo, 34-28 in overtime, on Friday. Alonzo Esparza threw for three TDs to lead the Griffins, but they lost for the second straight week. Their loss in their previous game was to Servite of Anaheim.
22. Liberty (Bakersfield) 4-1
It was a banner night for some of the top programs in the Central Valley, as Liberty shut down a previously undefeated Central (Fresno) side 35-14 in Bakersfield on Friday. Liberty jumped out to a 28-7 lead at the halftime break and never trailed in the victory over the Grizzlies.
23. Pittsburg 4-0
It was a rollercoaster of a game for the Pirates of the Bay Area, as Pitt needed a late rally to hold off a quality California (San Ramon) 38-35. California was ahead 14-3 for most of the first half and Pittsburg didn’t take the lead until late in the third quarter 24-21. Los Gatos is up next week for the Pirates.
24. Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 5-0
The Trojans kept on rolling, as Oak Ridge headed into the Northern Section and left with a 31-7 victory over Pleasant Valley of Chico. Oak Ridge scored 24 unanswered points to secure the blowout. Erick Orme Jr. had two rushing touchdowns.
25. San Ramon Valley (Danville) 4-0
Defeated No. 35 McClymonds of Oakland, 35-7, on Friday. This is a team the Wolves lost to, 44-42, in a shootout last season and had won its first games by a combined score of 85-0. It was sloppy with penalties in the first half, but SRV found its rhythm in the second half. QB Luke Baker passed for three touchdowns and ran for another. Senior John Pau Mendoza scored the first TD on a 33-yard run and caught a TD pass from Baker to score the second.
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE
Central Catholic (Modesto) 2-2
Did not play. Bye. Losses to Serra (San Mateo) & St. Mary’s (Stockton).
Chaminade (West Hills) 3-2
Defeated Loyola (Los Angeles), 42-35, at home on Friday. Seth Shigg led the way with three TDs rushing and one TD pass.
Chaparral (Temecula) 4-1
After an opening week loss to No. 17 San Clemente, the Pumas are on a four-game winning streak after pushing past Great Oak of Temecula 35-3 on Friday evening.
Clovis North (Fresno) 5-0
Clovis North just picked up one of the top victories for a Central Section side in the past few years, as the Broncos welcomed Trinity League member and state No. 6 JSerra on Friday at Veterans Stadium and sent the Lions back home disappointed after a stunning and convincing 23-7 victory. Ryan Kobzeff hit a 21-yard field goal with five minutes remaining to push the Broncos to a 23-0 advantage before the Lions avoided the shutout in the final minutes.
Edison (Huntington Beach) 1-3
A hard fought preseason comes to a close for Edison, as the Chargers fell to No. 17 San Clemente 31-7. Edison will look to bounce back at home against Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) next Friday.
Grant (Sacramento) 4-1
The Pacers opened Metro League play on Friday at home with a comfortable 48-0 blowout of Burbank of Sacramento.
Granite Hills (El Cajon) 4-0
Defeated Central (El Centro), 34-6, in a Thursday game this week. Frosh QB Zachary Benitez threw for two TDs and ran for one. Maxwell Turner also rushed for a pair of scores.
Madison (San Diego) 2-2
Did not play. Warhawks on a bye this week. Their losses are to higher ranked Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) and Helix (La Mesa).
McClymonds (Oakland) 2-1
LOST to No. 25 San Ramon Valley, 35-7, on the road on Friday. Mack’s offense had difficulty throwing the ball and starting QB Isaac Espinoza also went out with an injury. The only TD came on a 95-yard kickoff return to start the second half by Adon Dent.
Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 3-1
Defeated M.L. King (Riverside) on Thursday night, 48-24. QB Bear Bachmeier has left after that game and will be visiting South Bend, Indiana, this weekend.
Oak Hills (Hesperia) 4-1
Oak Hills fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, as the Bulldogs fell behind early in a home defeat 23-21 at the hands of No. 41 St. Bonaventure (Ventura).
Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 5-0
The Sea Kings improved to 5-0 with ease, as they scored 21 points in the first quarter and cruised to a 49-18 victory over Banning of Wilmington. There will be a bye next week before taking on Santa Monica.
Pacifica (Oxnard) 5-0
Defeated San Marcos of Santa Barbara, 49-14, on Friday. The Tritons definitely are in cruise control now in the Channel League.
Did not play. The Thunder are on a bye this week after 35-14 win last Saturday over Manteca. They play next Friday vs Tracy.
Serra (Gardena) 3-2
Defeated No. 16 Oaks Christian, 26-13, on Friday. After the 28-14 loss to Long Beach Poly, the Cavs posted their best win of the season so far. Cincere Rhaney rushed for 217 yards and a pair of scores.
St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 3-2
St. Bonnie picked up revenge for last season, in a campaign that saw the Seraphs fall to Oak Hills (Hesperia) twice in 2022. In 2023, St. Bonaventure scored 16 points in the opening quarter and did enough the rest of the way to hold off the Bulldogs 23-21 on Friday evening in Hesperia. The team’s two losses are to Pacifica of Oxnard and Lincoln of San Diego.
Defeated Saugus, 48-0, on Thursday night in their Foothill League opener. Only loss 22-20 to Rancho Cucamonga.
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