Edison or Redlands?

Despite its recent loss to national No. 1 De La Salle, very few -- if any -- prep football writers or observers in Southern California scratched off Long Beach Poly as the heavy favorite to capture its fourth CIF Southern Section Div. I title in the last five years.

One of the most lively topics of debate on internet message boards, however, is which team will emerge as the other finalist opposite the Jarckrabbits in this year's championship game. Last year's finalist, Loyola of Los Angeles, was a popular choice heading into last weekend, but the Cubs got knocked off, 21-14, by Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita.

Two that should gain support, especially after last weekend, are Edison of Huntington Beach and Redlands. The Chargers moved up from No. 12 to No. 8 in this week's top 20, but face a tough task in the next three weeks with games against Los Alamitos, Esperanza and Fountain Valley. Redlands is coming off a thrilling, last-second win over Eisenhower of Rialto and jumped up from No. 17 to No. 11 in this week's rankings.

Edison didn't figure to be quite this good this season. The Chargers lost all-state running back Darryl Poston to graduation, but junior quarterback Tommy Grady has stepped up and leads an offense that can score in so many ways. Edison won last week 66-19 over Huntington Beach as Grady completed 10 of 15 passes for 207 yards and three TDs. All of Grady's TDs went to Denny Flanagan and all totals were for the first half only. The win also made head coach Dave White the winningest coach in school history. White, with a 110-58-2 mark, surpassed Bill Workman, who led the school to national and state glory in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In a game that would probably decide who will eventually take home the Citrus Belt League championship, Redlands nipped Eisenhower of Rialto, 24-21. The Terriers, ranked No. 17 in the state entering the night, haven't won a CBL title since 1977.  However, Eisenhower of Rialto, ranked No. 11 in the state, had an 11-game CBL winning streak before Redlands snapped the streak before an estimated 6,000 fans at the University of Redlands.

Eisenhower was leading 21-17 with 44 seconds to play when Redlands, behind quarterback Greg Brock, took over the ball on its own 11 yard line, needing a touchdown for the win.  Brock guided his team 89 yards in 34 seconds with the final play being a 55 yard TD pass to Ryan Rogers to clinch the come from behind victory. Rogers, a senior transfer from Redlands East Valley, also carried the ball 22 times for 146 yards.    

Eisenhower quarterback Idris Moss, who was doubtful about playing in the game due to a dislocated left shoulder suffered one week ago, led the Eagles to a comeback of their own with less than 3 minutes to play.  Redlands was leading 17-7 when Eisenhower scored two TDs in 24 seconds, one being a quarterback keeper play from Moss.  Eisenhower then recovered an onside kick at the Redlands 43 yard line and Moss connected with Shanal Mayfield for an 18 yard TD pass to take a 21-17 lead and shock the Redlands sideline.  However, the big play from Brock to Rogers outdid the Eagles to take the win.

Meanwhile, for the team at the top of the rankings since 1995, Alijah Bradley scored on a 62-yard run on the first play and Damon Jenkins returned an interception for a score a few minutes later as De La Salle swamped Antioch, 64-0, for its 119th straight win. With his team on its way to taking a 43-0 halftime lead, coach Bob Ladouceur began going to the bench in the second quarter. De La Salle goes for No. 120 in a row Friday at home vs. Liberty of Brentwood.

No. 2 Long Beach Poly struggled early, but poured it on for 30 points in the second quarter en route to a 51-3 win over Lakewood. Poly's only first quarter score came when sophomore standout Marlin Simmons blocked a punt and Daniel Butler ran it in from 25 yards out. Hershel Dennis scored two TDs in the second quarter, but was used sparingly after halftime. Poly faces Long Beach Wilson on the road in this week's game.

Here are this week's complete divisional and regional rankings:

Compiled by Mark & Nelson Tennis for CalHiSports.com Preseason rank in parentheses; after games of Oct. 20

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

Notes & Highlights
The only team to drop out of last week's top 20 was Carson. The L.A. City Section frontrunners were knocked off, 13-3, by Marine League rival San Pedro. Mater Dei, which defeated Alemany of Mission Hills 38-9, was chosen to replace the Colts. Mater Dei's three losses were to De La Salle, Mission Viejo and Edison, now all among the top 10. The Monarchs also have wins over Fallbrook (defending S.D. Section champs) and Bishop Amat of La Puente (which was unbeaten).......

No. 10 Elk Grove, which is throwing this year almost as much as when current Boise State QB (and Fresno State BCS killer) Ryan Dinwiddie was at the helm in 1997-98, posted a 26-6 win last week over Woodland in a battle of two top 10 teams in the Sacramento area. Tyrice Daniels rushed for 159 yards and two TDs, but Brandon Gross continued to shine as a thrower as he hit on 12 of 19 for 155 yards. Tony Kays, who had seven catches, is Gross' top target and has one of the best pair of hands of any wideout in Northern California......

Sacramento Johnson, ranked ahead of Elk Grove as the Sacramento Bee's No. 1 team, crushed McClatchy 66-6 and is averaging well over 50 points per game. Vince Mays and James Finau both scored four times to lead the offense.........

Cameron Smith completed 11 of 24 passes for 228 yards and two TDs as Jordan of Long Beach downed Wilson, 60-21. Smith also rushed for 83 yards on seven carries. The Panthers face Long Beach Poly in two weeks.....

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