(After games of Saturday, Sept. 13)
(Preseason ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 1-0
Off to another thunderous start, the Spartans won their 139th straight game, 47-0, over San Jose Mitty. It was Mitty's second game, by the way, after winning 49-0 in its first game vs. Gunderson. Junior Kevin Lopina completed nine of 12 passes for 171 yards and one TD in his debut. He also rushed for a pair of scores. DLS hosts Palma of Salinas in a battle of NorCal powers on Saturday night.
2. (2) Los Alamitos 2-0
Last week's 20-17 win over Hart probably will be the Griffins' toughest test in the nonleague portion of their regular season schedule. This week's game vs. Brea-Olinda looks pretty easy, but the week after against La Habra could be another test.
3. (3) Mission Viejo 1-0
The Diablos play Mater Dei this week and it came very close to being a matchup of 0-1 teams. While the Monarchs got thumped by Orange Lutheran, Mission Viejo was nearly stunned by Fountain Valley and by a backup quarterback, too. That QB, Chris Debowski, scored on a nine-yard run with one second left. He was stopped short, however, on a two-point conversion try that would have won the game. Mission Viejo will take a 29-game win streak into its game this week.
4. (5) Poly (Long Beach) 1-0
The inexperienced Jackrabbits "cruzed" to a 31-12 victory over Mayfair of Lakewood as junior QB Cruz Parsons completed 10 of 16 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown. Parsons was aided by the good field position provided by Poly's defense. This week, the Jackrabbits host Clovis East from the CIF Central Section. Clovis East coach Tim Murphy used to play De La Salle every year when he was at Ygnacio Valley of Concord, so he should be able to prepare his players to play an opponent like Poly.
5. (4) Hart (Newhall) 0-1
QB Sean Norton does not have a broken rib and is expected to play in this week's matchup against St. Bonaventure. With Norton on the sidelines the entire second half, no miracle comeback materialized like last season against Los Alamitos when Norton tied up the Griffins 21-21. This time, it was Los Al on top, 20-17.
6. (7) J.W. North (Riverside) 1-0
The Huskies prepped nicely for this week's showdown against Kaiser of Fontana with a 39-3 trouncing of Rancho Verde. Damon Morton caught a 67-yard touchdown pass from Dion Morton off a flea-flicker on the first play of the season. Damon later scored on a 71-yard reception and on a 51-yard punt return. A lot of people have Corona Centennial ahead of J.W. North, but we'll keep it this way at least for another week.
7. (9) Centennial (Corona) 1-0
Terrell Jackson started off his 2003 season strongly with 33 carries for 174 yards and three TDs in a 25-0 win over Eisenhower of Rialto. All-State LB Ryan Phipps led the defense and blocked a field goal attempt. It should be no problem for Centennial this week vs. Manual Arts, but a dandy is shaping up the following week against Clovis West.
8. (11) Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 1-0
Coach Kevin Rooney's team plays Westlake of Westlake Village on Friday at home and the winner will be the early leader in the Division II state rankings. Notre Dame opened impressively with a 30-6 win over defending L.A. City champ Birmingham. Josh Cordray led the defense with a safety and a fumble recovery.
9. (12) Loyola (Los Angeles) 1-0
The Cubs had another easy opener, this one 27-0 over Hawthorne as Trason Bragg scored four TDs. Anybody out there know if Trason is related to UCLA's Craig Bragg, who's the brother of San Jose Bellarmine QB Darrin Bragg? We've always looked at Loyola, by the way, as the sister school of Bellarmine due to age of the two schools, colors and other traditions. Loyola plays Venice in this week's game, a matchup that has been enhanced by what Venice did to Carson in its first game.
10. (13) Grant (Sacramento) 1-0
Worrell Williams, the All-American linebacker, was at quarterback for the Pacers in their 49-7 victory over Franklin of Stockton. Gerwin Williams, Worrell's brother, rushed for three TDs and Reggie Walker scored by scooping up a blocked punt. This week, Grant plays Florin of Sacramento.
11. (14) Clovis West (Fresno) 2-0
Jose Rojas surged for 141 yards on 19 carries as the Golden Eagles ran all over Central of Fresno, 31-0. This was a team they lost to last year, so you can say it's been a good start for new coach Jim Hartigan. This week, Clovis West meets Edison of Fresno and new coach Tim McDonald in what may be the best game in Fresno this season since the two schools aren't in the same playoff divisions.
12. (8) Westlake (Westlake Village) 1-0
Rudy Carpenter ran for two TDs and threw for another as the Warriors led 35-0 at halftime and went on to a 42-0 win in their first game over Santa Paula. We had to adjust their ranking to account for them being a lot lower in other rankings than we had them. That all could change, of course, next week if Westlake beats Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks in one of this week's top games in the state.
13. (15) St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 1-0
It turned out to be not much of a gamble for the Seraphs to open their season in Las Vegas. They played Centennial of that city and breezed to a 34-6 triumph. Terrail Lambert scored on a 92-yard interception return, Matt Lee rushed for three TDs and Brian Stevens completed 19 of 21 passes for 148 yards. This week, St. Bonnie will take another crack at Hart, a team they got dominated by a year ago in a game that turned out to be the only loss of the season.
14. (16) Foothill (Pleasanton) 1-0
While Grant was playing Franklin in Stockton last Saturday, the Falcons were playing the same time at nearby University of Pacific. And like Grant, Foothill had no problem, shutting out Stagg of Stockton, 34-0. Coach Matt Sweeney wasn't happy with the way his team played afterward, probably because it only led 21-0 heading to the fourth quarter over an opponent that won just one game a year ago.
15. (17) Valley Christian (San Jose) 2-0
Senior Kevin Jurovich completed all but one of his 12 passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns as the Warriors routed Alvarez of Salinas, 44-7. Coach Mike Machado's team plays another Salinas school this week, but North Salinas is much better. The Vikings just humbled San Lorenzo Valley of Felton, 40-13.
16. (nr) Lutheran (Orange) 1-0
Big plays sparked the Lancers to their eye-opening win over Mater Dei. Brendan Circle scored the first TD on a 49-yard reception from QB Seth Blackamore. Anthony Vernaglia scored on a 73-yard TD pass, also from Blackamore, and Alex Mason had 30-yard fumble return for a score. This week's game is against Millikan of Long Beach.
17. (18) Oceanside 1-0
The Pirates led early, thanks to two Marcus Montgomery touchdown catches, and held on for a 26-23 victory over Rancho Buena Vista of Vista. RBV made its comeback in the second half mostly off of Oceanside turnovers, a problem coach John Carroll will no doubt address this week in practice. This week, Oceanside hits the road to face Monte Vista of Spring Valley.
18. (19) Palma (Salinas) 1-0
Luke Lippincott rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries as the Chieftains pounded Alisal of Salinas, 48-9. With junior Chad Bozzo at QB and Ryan Hastie joining Lippincott in the backfield, Palma may have some success running the ball in this week's game against De La Salle.
19. (20) Carlsbad 1-0
The Lancers routed San Diego High, 62-14, to start their season. Spike Shaw carried just 11 times but rushed for 168 yards and one TD. Alan Singh added 8 for 109 as Carlsbad had 541 total yards. The Lancers will travel up I-15 this week for a matchup against Temecula Valley of Temecula.
20. (21) Lincoln (Stockton) 1-0
It's a tricky situation ranking the Trojans ahead of their north Stockton rivals from St. Mary's. On the one hand, St. Mary's did beat Jesuit, the defending Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I champion. On the other hand, the last time the two played it was Lincoln in a rout. Lincoln also has a better track record in recent years than the Rams, so for now it gets the nod. Note: St. Mary's would be in the top 30 in the state overall and also will be in the NorCal overall rankings (released and posted on Tuesday).