(After games of Saturday, Nov. 8)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 9-0
It was only a matter of time before All-American wideout Cameron Colvin had a big-time outing and he did last Friday against Pittsburg. In the 26-0 win, he started the game with an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and added two more TDs on pass receptions from Anthony Gutierrez plus an interception on defense. The Spartans posted their sixth shutout of the season, giving up just one first down and 56 total yards. This weekend, De La Salle should put the wraps on its 14th straight unbeaten regular season with a win over neighborhood rival Ygnacio Valley.
2. (2) Mission Viejo 9-0
An 89-yard kickoff return for a score to start the game by Marty Tadman and an 11-yard interception return touchdown a few minutes later by Pat O'Neil enabled the Diablos to take a 35-0 lead in the first quarter of their eventual 68-7 win vs. Dana Hills of Dana Point. This week's regular season final will be against Capistrano Valley. Mission Viejo made bigger news last week off the field when details about next year's schedule were released. Included are games against No. 1 De La Salle as well as Los Alamitos. We'll have more about those schedules later this week.
3. (3) J.W. North (Riverside) 9-0
The Huskies should wrap up the No. 1 seed for the Southern Section Division V playoffs with a win this week against Canyon Springs of Moreno Valley. They won last week in another rout, this one 49-13 over Arlington of Riverside. Josh Barnett led the way with 230 total yards in passing and receptions. He also scored five touchdowns.
4. (4) St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 9-0
Andy Morales got the scoring going in a 43-0 triumph over Dos Pueblos of Goleta with a 61-yard run and a 35-yard blocked punt return. Matt Lee then took over as the Seraphs' dominant offensive player and finished with 18 carries for 154 yards and three TDs. The defensive shutout was keyed by Adrian Jones, who had three sacks and recovered two fumbles. This week, St. Bonnie plays San Marcos of Santa Barbara.
5. (5) Westlake (Westlake Village) 9-0
They're trying to hype up this week's Moorpark-Westlake game and it would indeed create a mess of the Marmonte League standings if Moorpark won. But a 17-0 loss last week by Moorpark to an Agoura team that the Warriors defeated by 24-0 certainly takes off a lot of the shine. Westlake rolled on with a 58-21 defeat of Simi Valley. Rudy Carpenter passed for five TDs and caught a TD pass himself on a 19-yard throw by Jason Soporito.
6. (6) Lutheran (Orange) 8-0
The Lancers stayed in cruise mode with a 35-6 victory vs. Loara of Anaheim. Defense and special teams set the tone early as Eric Augustine went 42 yards for a score on a fumble return and Danny Lee went 67 yards for a score on a punt return. Orange Lutheran goes up against Cypress in this week's regular season final. Junior QB Seth Blackamore has a sore shoulder and may not play for a second straight week, but should be ready for the playoffs.
7. (7) Los Alamitos 8-1
Jeremy Childs hauled in scoring passes of 8 and 12 yards from Jimmy Barnes as the Griffins beat Esperanza of Anaheim, 28-3. Barnes also threw an additional TD pass and scored on a short run. Joshua Jones kept up his recent resurgence as well with 25 carries for 182 yards. A major absence was All-American DB Randy Estes, who was suspended from school for unspecificied reasons and will not be on the team for the rest of the season. He is no longer enrolled at the school. Los Al will end its regular season this week at Marina of Huntington Beach.
8. (8) Clovis West (Fresno) 9-0-1
If you look at the bracket for the Central Section Yosemite Division Large School playoffs, it's hard imagining a situation in which Clovis West and Clovis East won't be playing each other in the final in three weeks. In fact, other than those two, the Small School version of the Yosemite Division might be even better this season. Clovis West closed its regular season with a 45-24 win over Buchanan of Clovis behind Jose Rojas' 155 yards rushing (on 15 carries) and two TDs plus Jeff Schott's two TD runs and a TD pass. The Golden Eagles' first-round playoff foe is Liberty of Bakersfield.
9. (9) Hart (Newhall) 6-3
A win this week against school district rival Valencia gives the Indians a 13th straight Foothill League title. A loss and it would be a three-way tie between Hart, Valencia and Canyon of Canyon Country. The way coach Mike Herrington's squad has been playing lately, though, that's probably not going to happen. In last week's 42-8 victory over Saugus, Sean Norton completed 18 of 23 passes for 304 yards and three TDs while Kevin Ciccone caught nine passes for 181 yards and two scores.
10. (12) St. Francis (Mountain View) 9-1
The Lancers will have to wait a week to see who they'll play in the Central Coast Section Division I playoffs. But they don't have to wait a week to be rewarded for their impressive last two outings of the regular season. How does a top 10 state ranking sound? Following a 38-14 win over Serra of San Mateo, St. Francis kept on rolling last week with a 24-3 triumph vs. Bellarmine of San Jose. Kyle Spraker's scrambling runs as a quarterback helped fuel two touchdowns and the defense completely shut down the Bells after giving up an early field goal.
11. (10) Venice 9-0
Maybe this slight drop in the rankings and the surprisingly close 27-25 win over Fairfax of Los Angeles will snap the Gondoliers into realizing they're going to have to be at their best to finish off an unbeaten L.A. City Section championship season. If they do that, the rankings will take care of themselves. For this week, though, St. Francis needed to move up following impressive outings and it was the right time to move down Venice.
12. (13) Lincoln (Stockton) 9-0
The Trojans not only have one of the best junior running backs in Northern California, but in last week's 14-0 win over Franklin of Stockton on a slippery field it was shown they also have one of the best junior wide receivers. Michael Johnson, who will join running back Billy Smith on major college recruiting lists this spring, hauled in a pair of scoring passes and intercepted a pass on defense as Lincoln survived a strong effort from the Yellowjackets. The Trojans will play 8-1 St. Mary's in this week's game. Lincoln is assured of a San Joaquin Athletic Association co-title, but a loss to the Rams would put St. Mary's as the league's No. 1 representative to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
13. (14) Edison (Fresno) 9-0-1
Because it's time to push Clovis East back in front of Long Beach Poly (a team the Timberwolves defeated), it's also time to move up the Tigers. They have to be ahead of Clovis East because they have a tie against Clovis West while Clovis East lost to the same team. In Edison's 49-0 win last week over McLane, Arkelon Hall completed 16 of 26 passes for 287 yards and five TDs. The Tigers play East Bakersfield -- and one of the state's leading rushers in LeAndre Matthews -- in this week's first-round of the Central Section Yosemite Division Small Schools playoffs.
14. (16) Clovis East (Clovis) 9-1
It was a tough call dropping the Timberwolves out of the top 15 after their loss to Clovis West, but now that they just whipped Clovis, 41-7, while Long Beach Poly struggled to a 14-10 win over Lakewood, the time is right to go back to Clovis East being in front of the Jackrabbits. Having a head-to-head win over Poly helps a lot, too. Clovis East broke out to an early lead as it took advantage of several Clovis turnovers. Westy Guill led the Timberwolves with three rushing touchdowns. The win avenged a 7-6 loss to Clovis from last year. Coach Tim Murphy's club opens the Central Section Yosemite Division Large School playoffs at home against 6-4 Bullard of Fresno.
15. (15) Los Altos (Hacienda Heights) 9-0
Randall Brown rambled for 119 yards on 14 carries and scored twice, but it was the defense that was more in the spotlight in last week's 53-0 romp over Charter Oak of Covina. The Conquerers shut down an offense that includes highly-touted running back Patrick Fuller and in the process posted their third shutout of the season. Charter Oak, in fact, only had seven total first downs. Los Altos faces crosstown rival Wilson in this week's game and it'll be another test for the defense. Wilson won its game last week, 61-28, over Garey of Pomona.
16. (11) Poly (Long Beach) 7-2
A 33-yard scoring pass from Cruz Parsons to Desean Jackson with 1:43 left may have prevented the Jackrabbits from being upset by Lakewood, but the 14-10 score and everything else that went on in the state last weekend didn't prevent them from having to take a rankings hit. Edison of Fresno and Clovis East had to go in front of Poly and it would have been worse to drop Los Altos at all, which won 53-0. These moves may incur the wrath of Poly fans, but even they have to admit that their team this year hasn't been as good as they hoped. The good news is that the Southern Section Division I title chase may be more wide open than ever and Poly definitely will be among the favorites.
17. (17) Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 9-0
Brothers Rich and Ryan Herrera combined for 211 yards rushing on 20 carries and scored three TDs -- Rich with 9 for 123, 2 TDs; Ryan 11 for 88, 1 TD -- as the Miners beat Yuba City, 57-22. This week, Nevada Union will host 8-1 Grant of Sacramento in a renewal of one of the top rivalries in Northern California. And if recent form holds -- NU winning at Grant and Grant winning at NU -- it might be a disappointing night for the home folks.
18. (19) Loyola (Los Angeles) 6-3
If the Cubs win their game this week against Bishop Amat of La Puente and Mater Dei wins its game against Santa Margarita, it will mean the Serra League's No. 1 seed into the Southern Section Div. I playoffs is theirs as well. Loyola and Mater Dei enter this week's regular season finals with 3-1 league marks, but the Cubs own a head-to-head win over the Monarchs. In last weekend's 21-7 victory over Santa Margarita, Trason Bragg ran for 118 yards on 20 carries and scored one TD while the defense came up with six sacks.
19. (20) Valley Christian (San Jose) 8-1
Forcing three turnovers and blocking a punt created several easy scoring opportunities for the Warriors in their matchup vs. San Mateo Serra last week. They converted on many of those chances and easily beat the Padres, 24-7. Matt Castelo rushed for two TDs on short runs. Valley Christian will next play Bellarmine of San Jose (5-3) in its regular season finale.
20. (nr) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 5-4
All you Mater Dei haters have to just face the facts. All four of the Monarch losses are to teams in the top 20 and one of those was in double-overtime. Plus, they now have quality wins over Edison (just beat Fountain Valley), St. John Bosco and Servite. In last week's 35-7 triumph over the Friars, junior quarterback Jason Forcier rushed for 130 yards and scored two TDs. Marian Catholic of San Diego would be next in line from Southern California for the top 20, but the Crusaders haven't beaten anybody as good as Edison.