Updated State Football Rankings

One of four new entries in this week's state top 20 football rankings, as compiled by CalHiSports.com, is an old hand at such acclaim. Bishop Amat of La Puente, CIF Southern Section Div. I champs for 1992 and 1995, was selected after an impressive 30-7 victory last Friday over Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates.


It was a dismal 2000 season for the Lancers that saw them finish just 2-8. Many tough games lie ahead, but the win over Peninsula as well as a season-opening triumph over Valencia has shown marked improvement for Amat.

The contributions of two standouts from Amat's baseball team, which last spring was State Team of the Year by CalHiSports, have been crucial on the gridiron. Quarterback Mike Lange, shortstop in baseball, completed 12 of 17 passes against Peninsula for 134 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Adam Simon, a pitcher-outfielder in baseball, caught four passes for 58 yards and one TD. Running back Donnie McCleskey has been perhaps even more valuable. He carried 23 times against Peninsula for 245 yards and three scores.    

Also going in new to this week's top 20 are Carson, Johnson of Sacramento and Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. Johnson was chosen after knocking off previous No. 9 Grant of Sacramento, 34-12, last Saturday on its home field.    

Top-ranked De La Salle of Concord faced perennial power Mater Dei of Santa Ana, which never came close to scoring against the Spartans1 first-string defense in a 34-7 win last Saturday at University of the Pacific in Stockton that gave De La Salle a 4-0 record against the Monarchs.

Alijah Bradley led the De La Salle offense with 14 carries for 204 yards and two touchdowns, but the key play of the game came in the second quarter when Damon Jenkins picked up a punted ball behind the line of scrimmage and raced 73 yards for a score. The Spartans face St. Francis of Mountain View this week and then go up against No. 2 Long Beach Poly in the most highly anticipated national game of the year. De La Salle has now won 115 consecutive games.    

No. 2 Long Beach Poly put away Narbonne of Harbor City early and then rested most of its starters the entire second half in a 28-6 victory last Friday. Poly led 21-0 at halftime and then scored on its first possession of the second half. Poly hit a couple of big plays early as All-American tight end Marcedes Lewis hauled in a 64-yard touchdown, his first of two on the night, and fellow All-American running back Hershel Dennis scampered for a 68-yard touchdown a little later. Coach Raul Lara should be able to rest most of his starters again this week in a matchup against Fontana as Jackrabbit fans everywhere eagerly await the monster matchup on Oct. 6 at Veterans Stadium against De La Salle.    

This week's state rankings also show a new No. 1 team for schools with Div. III state enrollments or schools that compete in similar-sized section playoffs. Previous No. 1 La Quinta dropped to No. 7 this week after being involved in a wild 42-42 tie with Paloma Valley of Menifee. The new No. 1 is Los Gatos of CIF Central Coast Section. The Wildcats rolled on with a 42-7 win over Monta Vista of Cupertino behind All-American quarterback Trent Edwards. He completed 16 of 20 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns.    

The complete rankings follow:

Compiled by Mark & Nelson Tennis for CalHiSports.com
Preseason rank in parentheses; after games of Sept. 24

 1.      (1)    De La Salle (Concord) 2-0
 2.      (2)    Poly (Long Beach) 2-0
 3.      (3)    Loyola (Los Angeles) 2-0
 4.      (4)    Hart (Newhall) 2-0
 5.      (6)    Mission Viejo 3-0
 6.      (5)    Bakersfield 2-0
 7.      (7)    Helix (La Mesa) 3-0
 8.    (13)    Esperanza (Anaheim) 3-0
 9.    (10)    Clovis 2-1
10.    (11)    Centennial (Corona) 2-0
11.    (15)    Elk Grove 3-0
12.    (14)    Eisenhower (Rialto) 2-1
13.    (19)    Edison (Huntington Beach) 2-0
14.    (17)    Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 2-0-1
15.    (20)    Chino 2-0
16.      (8)    Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 1-2
17.     (nr)    Carson 2-0
18.     (nr)    Johnson (Sacramento) 3-0
19.     (nr)    Bishop Amat (La Puente) 2-0
20.     (nr)    Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 2-0

Notes & Highlights
No. 3 Loyola survived an early score and combined a stifling defensive performance with an effective short passing attack to down Muir of Pasadena 22-7. Loyola junior quarterback Adam Gonzalez, who commutes to the Los Angeles school by train from Oxnard every day, completed 15-of-18 for 180 yards. He connected with Quintin Daniels on a 35-yard scoring play on the Cubs' first possession, effectively countering Muir's first drive, which ended with a Ryan O1Hara to Darryl Stephens 14-yard scoring play.......

With the San Diego Section's top ranked team, Helix of La Mesa, idle, Week 4's Friday night spotlight fell on No. 2 Carlsbad.  Unfortunately for the Lancers, they were never able to get untracked, managing only 174 yards total offense in a 28-0 shocking loss to the Rancho Buena Vista Longhorns at Vista........

Bakersfield was dropped a notch behind Mission Viejo after defeating Div. III Tehachapi by 14-6 in a game that was scheduled as a result of cancellations from the week before. Mission Viejo rolled over Laguna Hills 35-3 and has a big game on the horizon in two weeks against Esperanza (nice Friday game for anyone in SoCal for the Saturday DLS-Poly showdown)......

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