1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 8-0
The Spartans romped past Pittsburg, 65-6, as juniors got in a lot of playing time due to a 37-0 halftime lead. Two of those juniors, RBs Jackie Bates and Mike Dominguez, combined for 293 yards on just 12 carries. Maurice Drew scored three times, including another one on a punt return, but judging from Bates and the others it looks there won't be much of a drop off when Drew graduates and moves on to the next level. The Spartans play at Clayton Valley Friday in a rare afternoon game.
2. (2) Poly (Long Beach) 7-1
It was only 7-6 at halftime before the Jackrabbits came alive in the third quarter and went on to beat Lakewood, 28-12. This week, Poly plays city rival Long Beach Wilson. But it looks to us like the team may be starting to look ahead toward the tough CIF Southern Section Div. I playoffs.
3. (3) Los Alamitos 7-0-1
John Barnes moved to No. 1 on the all-time career coaching win list for Orange County as the Griffins crushed Fountain Valley, 39-6. Barnes has 213 coaching wins and surpassed the previous O.C. record of 212 held by Dick Hill, known mostly for what he did at Santa Ana High. Barnes still has about seven more wins to go, however, before he makes it onto the all-time state list, which is currently about 30 deep.
4. (4) Hart (Newhall) 7-0-1
One good development in the Indians' 38-8 triumph over Burroughs of Burbank was the running of Don Howell. One bad development was three turnovers, although one of those was the first pick of the year thrown by QB Sean Norton and since it took Norton eight games to throw one we will cut him some slack. Hart gets Saugus this week and then it's Valencia.
5. (5) Mission Viejo 8-0
When Randy Blankenship (who has had so much success at Nevada Union, Clovis West and Fallbrook) was named head coach last spring at Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo, the thought of his famous Wing-T going up against the multi-faceted strengths of Bob Johnson's teams at Mission Viejo was enticing. But this week's first Blankenship-Johnson matchup doesn't figure to be much of a test for the Diablos. Capo Valley has struggled and will enter the game with a 1-7 mark. Mission Viejo dominated again last week with a 54-12 win over Dana Hills. It was 47-6 at halftime and MV QB Josh Rodarmel was 12 of 14 for 156 yards and three TDs. Rodarmel and many other starters didn't play in the second half.
6. (7) San Leandro 8-0
Coach Dan Calcagno's club coasted to a 36-3 win over Moreau Catholic of Hayward, but the easy games are now behind the Pirates. They get 6-1 Logan of Union City this week, then it's a showdown against probably unbeaten Hayward and then it's on to the CIF North Coast Section Class 4A playoffs.
7. (8) Grant (Sacramento) 8-0
The Pacers blanked Yuba City, 36-0, as coach Mike Alberghini's player polish their teamwork. Yuba City plays Nevada Union this week and a trend seems to have developed: Grant weakens them and then Nevada Union gets to play them. Whether that means Grant has a superior team this year to the Miners won't be known for another two weeks.
8. (9) Taft (Woodland Hills) 8-0
Coach Troy Starr's squad rolled over El Camino Real of Woodland Hills, 49-0, and appears to have the talent to dominate in the L.A. City Section playoffs this year. Of course, Valley teams have looked that way in the past and haven't always measured up once they play the Carsons, Bannings and Dorseys of the world.
9. (14) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 7-1
They're baaaack! In the top 10, that is. The Monarchs get to move up after their impressive 24-7 win over previous No. 10 Servite in a game that was expected to be very close. It looks like the Red Reign didn't exactly end with the Angels. And that early season 21-19 game in which the Monarchs lost to Mission Viejo is becoming more and more significant.
10. (16) Esperanza (Anaheim) 7-1
Facing the state's leading rusher was no problem for the Aztecs. They held Huntington Beach's Pat Harrigan to just 53 yards on 14 carries and proceeded to drill the Oilers, 42-0. That win and losing to Los Al by just four points earns Esperanza the No. 10 rankings spot.
11. (11) Monte Vista (Danville) 8-0
The Mustangs received another strong game from junior RB Tom Haug -- 260 yards rushing and two TDs on 31 carries -- in a 20-10 win over California (Cal Hi) of San Ramon. Monte Vista should end the regular season unbeaten, although upcoming game with San Ramon Valley on Nov. 14 won't be easy.
12. (12) Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 8-0
With Michael Okwo scoring three times and rushing for 103 yards, the Mustangs blasted Redondo Union of Redondo Beach, 42-17, in a near carbon copy of their previous game, a 43-20 win over Inglewood.
13. (13) Helix (La Mesa) 7-1
The Highlanders led 42-0 at halftime and cruised to a 49-13 win over a Granite Hills squad that played hard to the final gun. Reggie Bush led the charge with 8 carries for 101 yards with a 47-yard TD. Teammates Rajive Otah had 103 yards on 7 carries and Derral Hutsona ran for two touchdowns and 74 yards while carrying the ball only 3 times as Helix rolled up 391 yards on the ground. Coach Gordon Wood knows the road to a third consecutive Div II section title is no sure thing, but one has to wonder what will happen when Bush plays more than a half and has double digit carries. Mt. Miguel hopes it doesn't have to find out this week.
14. (15) Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 8-0
The Miners weren't sharp in last week's game against Woodland and played like they wanted to see how close they could come to losing without actually losing. But they played well when they had to and eked out a come-from-behind 23-17 triumph over the Wolves.
15. (17) Skyline (Oakland) 7-0-1
Some now think the Titans should be No. 2 in the Bay Area behind only De La Salle, based on how good they looked last week in the second half of their 33-6 win over McClymonds. Talentwise, Skyline could be that strong and a ranking that high may wind up happening indeed. The major flaw in doing it now, though, is that Skyline played to a tie vs. Foothill of Pleasanton, a team that Monte Vista has beaten.
16. (10) Servite (Anaheim) 7-1
The Friars don't have much time to regroup following their loss to Mater Dei. This week's game will be against St. John Bosco of Bellflower, which has surged in the past month and would love nothing more than to be unbeaten in league heading into its own game against Mater Dei in two weeks.
17. (19) Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 7-1
The Trojans rolled on with a 35-0 blasting of Union Mine of El Dorado. They are looking very good and appear to be on their way to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II title.
18. (18) Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 8-0
The Golden Knights had a tougher than expected game with St. Francis of La Canada, but managed to prevail, 19-14. This week, Notre Dame hopes to continue to avoid what happened to its college namesake with a game against Chaminade of West Hills.
19. (nr) St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 6-2
People in Florida will love it if the Braves keep on rolling and advance deep into the CIF Southern Section Div. I playoffs since a Florida school -- Miami Pace -- beat them in early September. Since then, though, Bosco has been terrific. It's only other loss was to No. 3 Los Alamitos in a fairly close game and in the last three weeks there have been wins over Santa Margarita, Loyola and Bishop Amat.
20. (nr) Oceanside 6-2
This team started 0-2, but is now No. 2 in the San Diego Section. The first loss was in a shootout and by just 43-35 to Helix. The second one was by one point to Rancho Buena Vista. The Pirates didn't sink after that, but instead have bobbed back to the surface. They were especially impressive in wins over Vista and El Camino and they knocked off Vista after it had risen to No. 8. Last week's win was by 56-0 over Orange Glen of Escondido.