(After games of Saturday, Oct. 25)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 7-0
Anthony Gutierrez threw an 11-yard TD pass to Alex Stroud with 52 seconds left in the first half as the Spartans took a 19-3 lead in their nationally-televised game against Louisiana powerhouse Evangel Christian. De La Salle went on to a 27-10 victory to improve its national record win streak to 145 games. It was when Stroud landed in the end zone, though, when a number of those watching the ESPN2 broadcast probably got twitchy thumb syndrome with their remote control. The Spartans travel to Deer Valley of Antioch for this week's game, then hit the road again to play Pittsburg, a team that is currently 6-0-1.
2. (3) Mission Viejo 7-0
Marty Tadman's 87-yard punt return and Nick Grothjan's 41-yard interception return led the Diablos to a 49-point first half in their 63-13 victory over El Toro. Chase Frazier also had a strong game with four catches for 110 yards and three TDs. Mission Viejo plays its toughest league opponent this week in dangerous San Clemente, the team that dropped Centennial of Corona off the charts earlier this year with a 55-35 win. The Diablos will be going for their 36th straight victory.
3. (4) J.W. North (Riverside) 7-0
It was another impressive win for the Huskies, who are now starting to garner more and more national attention. They rolled over Moreno Valley, 49-7, behind three TDs from Josh Barnett and a pair of TD catches from E.J. Brown, who also made a big interception early in the game. Coach Lou Randall's team appears headed to an undefeated regular season and will try to take another step toward that goal this week with a game against Valley View of Moreno Valley.
4. (5) St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 7-0
It didn't matter much that the Seraphs were held to just 50 rushing yards on 23 carries in their game last week against Ventura. They still won, 50-3. The defense forced five turnovers, including two interceptions by Chris Diaz and a 30-yard interception return for a TD by Cory Finnerty. St. Bonnie also threw the ball well as Brian Stevens went 15 of 21 for 208 yards and three scores. This week, the Seraphs play Santa Barbara.
5. (6) Westlake (Westlake Village) 7-0
Another team to move up due to Los Al's upset loss to Fountain Valley is the Warriors. Last week, Rudy Carpenter passed for four TDs and ran 30 yards for another score against the team he played for last year, Newbury Park, in a 41-14 triumph. Also starring for Westlake on defense was Marcus Maddocks, who came up with three interceptions. The Warriors should continue their march toward a 10-0 regular season this week at Royal of Simi Valley.
6. (7) Lutheran (Orange) 6-0
The question of where to drop Los Al starts to come into play here and a quick check of others who do rankings for Orange County (L.A. Times, OCStatman and OC Register) seems to favor moving the Lancers ahead of the Griffins. One factor that helps Orange Lutheran in this situation is that normally it wouldn't figure to have much competition left in the CIF Southern Section Div. VI playoffs. After all, that win over Mater Dei (which is now 3-4) does have limitations. But then you see Los Altos in the same picture and that changes things. The Lancers won last week 55-0 over Katella of Anaheim. Highly-regarded Katella QB Ethan Haller passed for 200 yards, but Lutheran intercepted four of his passes on the way to the easy win. Next up for the Lancers is a game vs. Kennedy of La Palma.
7. (2) Los Alamitos 6-1
If all these CIFSS Division I teams keep faltering, we can start saying that this year's champion probably will have two losses. In their loss to Fountain Valley, junior QB Jimmy Barnes struggled with four interceptions, although the rushing attack was fine, led by Joshua Jones' 14 carries for 121 yards and one TD. The loss also ended a 19-0 win streak by the Griffins and a 19-0-1 unbeaten streak. Los Al will try to bounce back this week at Huntington Beach.
8. (8) Clovis West (Fresno) 7-0-1
The Golden Eagles defeated Bullard of Fresno, 32-13, and they are now just two wins away from an unbeaten regular season. Outstanding senior RB Jose Rojas starred with 18 carries for 206 yards and scored five TDs. Two of Jose's scores were on runs of 45 and 58 yards. Clovis West next plays Madera, which will have former CW coach Randy Blankenship in attendance as its athletic director.
9. (10) Hart (Newhall) 4-3
As we said last week, if Hart did well against Canyon of Canyon Country, it would have to go in front of Venice in this week's rankings. We figure a 56-21 win qualifies. Hart meets Burroughs of Burbank in this week's game. It's interesting to note that Hart, named for a movie cowboy, goes by the nickname Indians, while Canyon, where Indians dwelled, goes by the nickname Cowboys.
10. (9) Venice 7-0
Quarterback Beau Davis had another big outing, tossing two TD passes and running for another score as the Gondoliers blanked University of Los Angeles, 35-0. WR Ryan Graves also starred for Venice with five catches for 144 yards. The series of easy wins for Venice should continue this week in a game vs. Palisades.
11. (11) Poly (Long Beach) 5-2
Senior Anthony Baker rushed for 150 yards and two TDs, one coming on a 94-yard run, as the Jackrabbits blanked Compton, 43-0. Coach Raul Lara's squad plays Jordan of Long Beach in this week's contest. Does Los Al's loss to Fountain Valley make the Jackrabbits look more attractive as a CIFSS Div. I title contender or does it stay the same?
12. (12) St. Francis (Mountain View) 7-1
Where there's a will, there's a way, and two-way standout Will Taufoou is the Lancers' will. In last week's 36-13 win over Mitty of San Jose, Taufoou scored on a 65-yard fumble return and on a one-yard run. St. Francis ended the weekend as the only unbeaten team in the rugged West Catholic Athletic League, but if the WCAL is like its extremely-balanced sister league in SoCal, the Serra League, then the Lancers are in trouble this Friday at home against 6-1 Serra of San Mateo.
13. (13) Lincoln (Stockton) 7-0
One week after Lodi pinned a 17-14 loss on 5-0 Edison of Stockton, the Flames didn't quite exactly do the same against 6-0 Lincoln. The host Trojans obliterated Lodi, 68-0, holding the opponent to just 19 rushing yards while piling up 531 themselves. Junior Pete Boggs led the onslaught with 12 carries for 173 yards and one TD. Fellow junior Billy Smith scored three rushing TDs and caught a 10-yard TD pass from QB Brian Korinek. Lincoln travels to play Edison this week. Edison lost its only game last year, 48-14, to the Trojans in a game played at Lincoln.
14. (14) Edison (Fresno) 7-0-1
Junior QB Arkelon Hall broke a school record held by two others (including current head coach Tim McDonald) by throwing for six TDs in the Tigers' 46-14 romp past Roosevelt of Fresno. Hall completed 10 of 18 passes for 260 yards. Edison travels to face 4-4 Sunnyside of Fresno in this week's game.
15. (17) Los Altos (Hacienda Heights) 7-0
Hey, somebody official let us know if Jason Estrada's long touchdown pass to Travis Brown went for 99 yards or 98 yards in the Conquerors' 42-13 victory over previously unbeaten South Hills. We've seen it both ways in newspaper accounts. If it's 99 yards, it's another one of those umpteen state record ties. If it's 98 yards, we get to forget about it. Brown ended with five catches for 143 yards and three TDs. Los Altos will play this week at Garey of Pomona.
16. (15) Clovis East (Clovis) 7-1
The Timberwolves edged Central of Fresno, 15-14, on a eight-yard TD pass from Westy Guill to Austin Nakagawa with just under a minute to go. Clovis East also benefitted from two points on a safety in the third quarter. The closeness of the game plus the impressive nature of the Los Altos win over South Hills caused Clovis East to lose one spot in this week's rankings. Next up for the Timberwolves is a game vs. Hoover of Fresno.
17. (20) Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 7-0
The Miners smashed Kennedy of Sacramento, 42-6, in their last easy game of the season. It'll be trick or treat on Halloween night against the orange and white Woodland Wolves in Woodland. It's a team that will be eager to erase all memory of last week's 40-0 loss to Grant of Sacramento.
18. (nr) Fountain Valley 5-2
That big upset win over Los Alamitos moves the Barons into the top 20. It isn't their only quality win of the season, either. They also have a 28-7 victory over South Coast League powerhouse San Clemente. Fountain Valley also has losses by just one point to No. 2 Mission Viejo and by eight to Santa Margarita. This week, coach Eric Johnson's squad takes on Marina of Huntington Beach. Three more wins and the Barons will have a Sunset League title and they'll be a high seed in the CIFSS Div. I playoffs.
19. (nr) St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 6-1
In deference to the ridiculously difficult Serra League and the fact that all six teams are 1-1, we're going with two Serra League teams to round out this week's top 20. First, there's St. John Bosco. After a loss to Mater Dei dropped the Braves from the unbeaten ranks, they came back strong last week with a 22-0 win over previously unbeaten Santa Margarita. But watch out, Bosco fans. The topsy-turvy nature of the league could strike at any moment and this week it's a trip to play Loyola of Los Angeles.
20. (nr) Loyola (Los Angeles) 4-3
Never count out the Cubs and head coach Steve Grady. After a three-point loss to Servite of Anaheim two weeks ago, they came back last week to edge Mater Dei of Santa Ana, 31-28, in two overtimes. Servite would have been in this week's ratings ahead of the Cubs as well as St. John Bosco and Fountain Valley, but the Friars suffered a 33-20 loss to Bishop Amat of La Puente. Loyola's other losses were in close games to top 10 teams Hart and Venice.