(After games of Monday, Nov. 3)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 8-0
Thoughts of Percy McGee -- the former Pittsburg High player who had an 87-yard interception return for a touchdown in 1991 in the last game anybody beat the Spartans -- always come up whenever De La Salle plays the Pirates and this week the rivalry will be resumed at Pitt. The Spartans rolled on with a 47-0 win over Deer Valley of Antioch in a breezy effort that was led by junior Eduardo Lopez's six carries for 86 yards and three TDs. Pittsburg enters with a 7-0-1 record after a 13-7 overtime win last week over Clayton Valley.
2. (2) Mission Viejo 8-0
San Clemente's recent success of ending win streaks by opponents on its home field was resoundingly reversed by the Diablos last Friday, as they rolled to a 49-7 win. The Tritons ended a 27-game win streak by Mater Dei in 1995 and stopped a 28-game win streak by Santa Margarita in 1998. This time, Mission Viejo led 28-0 at halftime with an offense that was clicking and a defense that was dominating. The Diablos end the regular season with games vs. Dana Hills and Capistrano Valley, which should put the win streak at 38 games heading to the CIF Southern Section Div. II playoffs.
3. (3) J.W. North (Riverside) 8-0
The Huskies were tied for the first time this year (other than 0-0 at the start) at 14-14 in the second quarter of last week's game vs. Valley View of Moreno Valley. No problem. They throttled the Eagles for the rest of the game for a 49-14 triumph. Damon Morton caught eight passes for 263 yards and three TDs and Josh Barnett rushed for 158 yards and three more scores. J.W. North travels to play Arlington of Riverside in this week's game.
4. (4) St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 8-0
The Channel League isn't proving to offer many challenges for the Seraphs. Last week's 35-3 victory vs. Santa Barbara also made it a 120-3 advantage in league games thus far. St. Bonnie was led on offense by Matt Lee's 20 carries for 186 yards and two TDs. This week, the Seraphs play Dos Pueblos of Goleta and its highly-touted junior QB, Kellen Moriarity.
5. (5) Westlake (Westlake Village) 8-0
Defensive ends Michael Stuart and Jimmy Miller paced their unit to a 43-0 shutout win over Royal of Simi Valley. It was Westlake's fourth shutout of the season and Royal was only able to muster three total first downs throughout the game. Tahj Mowry (two rushing TDs) and Rudy Carpenter (two TD passes) led the offense. The Warriors meet Simi Valley in this week's game.
6. (6) Lutheran (Orange) 7-0
The Lancers' domination of the Empire League continued last week in a 63-17 romp vs. Kennedy of La Palma and it should keep on going this week against Loara of Anaheim. Fullback John Ausmus piled up 155 yards on 12 carries and scored four TDs for Orange Lutheran. QB Seth Blackamore added a TD pass to Brendan Circle and rushed 10 times for 88 yards and one TD.
7. (7) Los Alamitos 7-1
Games against Esperanza of Anaheim are always a blast and that's what's in store for the Griffins on Friday. They followed up the upset loss to Edison with a 42-14 win last week over Huntington Beach. Josh Jones keyed a more ground-oriented attack with 21 carries for 173 yards and three TDs. The loss to Edison, as we expected, didn't drop the Griffins from the USA Today national rankings, although nearly every other ranking involving Orange County teams put them behind Orange Lutheran. Five other teams with losses to unranked opponents also appear in this week's USA Today top 25. What do results have to do with rankings? For USA Today, apparently nothing.
8. (8) Clovis West (Fresno) 8-0-1
Jeff Schott caught a TD pass, threw a TD pass and ran for two scores as the Golden Eagles pummeled Madera, 50-7. The balanced attack also featured 17 carries for 134 yards by running back Jose Rojas as well as field goals of 28 and 43 yards by Kevin Trippel. Clovis West ends its regular season Friday at district rival Buchanan, which doesn't seem as strong this year as in years past.
9. (9) Hart (Newhall) 5-3
It was widely reported that the Indians broke the Southern Section record for consecutive league wins with their 61st in a row on Monday night, a 40-0 shutout of Burbank Burroughs. But the totals we've been going by for the state record book indicate Hart already did that last year. The discrepancy is over the length of Carpinteria's league win streak from 1947 to 1957. The section record book has always listed it as 60 games. Game-by-game research by our own Nelson Tennis shows it to be at 54 games, plus one win for a league playoff game. Hart should get to 62 this week against Saugus, but the Indians could get a test the following week against Valencia.
10. (10) Venice 8-0
James Lewis juked his way to TDs of 80 and 57 yards on punt returns as the Gondoliers smacked Palisades of Pacific Palisades, 31-7. The offense was almost as effective as the special teams, too, with Byron Ellis running for 129 yards and two TDs on 14 carries and Beau Davis throwing for 205 yards and two TDs on 20 completions in 28 attempts. This week, Venice plays Fairfax of Los Angeles.
11. (11) Poly (Long Beach) 6-2
The Jackrabbits displayed all their usual explosiveness in a 49-27 victory over Jordan. Derrick Jones scored on a 78-yard punt return and caught a 48-yard TD pass from QB Cruz Parsons. Anthony Baker also ran for four TDs and finished with 20 carries for 132 yards. Poly will play its two toughest Moore League opponents to close the regular season, beginning with this week's game against Lakewood.
12. (12) St. Francis (Mountain View) 8-1
The annual rivalry game against Bellarmine Prep of San Jose is on tap for this Friday, which also will conclude the regular season for the Lancers. St. Francis impressed last Friday in a 38-14 triumph vs. Serra of San Mateo in a matchup of NorCal ranked teams. In fact, Serra is the third NorCal-ranked team St. Francis has defeated, after Los Gatos and Valley Christian of San Jose. St. Francis also is the only team to pin a loss on Oak Grove of San Jose so far this season. Bellarmine stumbled in its warm-up act prior to this week, dropping a 17-7 game to Mitty.
13. (13) Lincoln (Stockton) 8-0
If the Trojans stay consistent and don't get caught up in their own press clippings, it will take a major upset to prevent them from being 13-0 heading into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I final against whoever emerges as the Sacramento city champion. Last week's 49-6 win over an Edison of Stockton team that was 6-1 coming in featured 150 yards rushing and four TDs from junior RB Billy Smith. Michael Johnson added an 84-yard interception return and Bryan Parker had a 64-yard punt return TD. Lincoln meets Franklin of Stockton on Saturday.
14. (14) Edison (Fresno) 8-0-1
Arkelon Hall maintained his hot pace for the powerful Tigers, completing 15 of 18 passes for 247 yards and four TDs in an easy 57-0 romp past Sunnyside of Fresno. Edison meets McLane of Fresno in this week's regular season finale and then it will be on to the Central Section Yosemite Division Small School players where the Tigers will be heavy favorites.
15. (15) Los Altos (Hacienda Heights) 8-0
Coach Greg Gano's club warmed up for this week's matchup vs. Charter Oak of Covina with a 54-12 triumph over Garey of Pomona. Tau Alo took center stage individually for the Conquerors with eight catches for 206 yards and three TDs. Jason Estrada threw all of those passes to Alo and wound up 11 of 16 for 234 yards.
16. (16) Clovis East (Clovis) 8-1
We've heard of many ranked teams scoring on their first offensive play, but the Timberwolves did it last week on the opposing team's first offensive play as Jesse Aguilar recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score. Clovis East went on to crush Hoover of Fresno, 48-8. This week, coach Tim Murphy's squad plays district rival Clovis, which comes into action with a 7-2 mark.
17. (17) Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 8-0
It was only two weeks ago when Woodland was 6-0 and was No. 3 in the Sacramento Bee rankings. One week after losing to Grant of Sacramento 40-0, the Wolves took on the Miners last week and got blanked again, 22-0. Nevada Union, rated No. 1 in the area, posted its third shutout in four league games. QB Jared Van Matre ran for one TD, caught a TD pass and completed 10 of 16 passes for 182 yards. Defensively, the Miners were led by senior Chad Bomer, who recovered a fumble and sacked the quarterback four times. NU plays Yuba City at home this week, then it's another home game against Grant.
18. (18) Fountain Valley 6-2
Ryan Best churned out 203 yards on 14 carries and scored three TDs as the Barons overpowered Marina of Huntington Beach, 28-16. The win came one week after they upset previous state No. 2 Los Alamitos. Fountain Valley still has work to do to win the Sunset League title, though. First, is this week's showdown game against arch-rival Edison at Edison International Field. Then comes a matchup against rugged Esperanza of Anaheim.
19. (20) Loyola (Los Angeles) 5-3
Well, well, well, finally a change in the top 20, but this one is only because last week's No. 20 edged last week's No. 19, St. John Bosco of Bellflower, 29-24. Scott Deke led the Cubs with 12 completions in 16 throws for 283 yards and four TDs. Loyola travels way down to south Orange County this week for a game against 7-1 Santa Margarita. The winner will be 3-1 in the Serra League and at least tied for first-place with one week to go.
20. (nr) Valley Christian (San Jose) 7-1
The defending CIF Central Coast Section Division I champs roared back from a 21-7 deficit in the second half to defeat St. Ignatius of San Francisco, 28-21. Valley Christian's only loss has been to No. 12 St. Francis and this week the Warriors will either have their ranking solidified or they'll be gone as their game is Saturday at 6-2 Serra of San Mateo.