Mission Viejo, Serra of Gardena and Helix among those coming up quickly. Newcomers led by new No. 20 Vacaville and new No. 21 Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks.
Contributing: Paul Muyskens, Ronnie Flores, Harold Abend
All rankings through games played Saturday night, Sept. 1. Check back later this week for Week 2 CIF State Bowl Game rankings and for the next State Stat Stars of the Week. If you check back and no longer see Cal-Hi Sports content on an ESPN page, please go to our twitter page @CalHiSports or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/CalHiSportscom/162897664162 for updates.
1. (1) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 1-0
Why This Ranking: The three-time defending CIF Open Division champions have not lost to a California team since 2008 and showed little signs of a drop from last year in the first game.
Weekend Result: After going to two overtimes to beat defending CIF Central Coast Section Division I champ Bellarmine of San Jose in last year’s opener, the Spartans scored on their second play and had little difficulty in beating the Bells 41-7. Tiapepe Vitale had 15 carries for 181 yards and three touchdowns. New quarterback Chris Williams rushed for two scores and had a 58-yard TD pass to Austin Hooper in which Hooper broke several tackles.
Up Next: This year’s game against an out-of-state foe comes Friday at home against Mullen Prep of Denver. Mullen arrives after getting a 14-13 win in a much-hyped game against Valor Christian of Highlands Ranch that drew NFL QB Peyton Manning to the sidelines. Coach Bob Ladouceur expects his team will get a much stiffer challenge than what Bellarmine presented.
2. (2) Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) 2-0
Why this ranking: The Eagles didn’t have anywhere near as tough an opponent last week as De La Salle but like the trip to Arizona two weeks ago they once again traveled – this time just north to Long Beach -- where they handily took care of Jordan. The way De La Salle is looking, coach Harry Welch and his boys may be stuck in the No. 2 spot in the state until December.
Weekend result: It wasn’t 56-0 like it was at home last year, but despite some penalties and dropped passes, and a not very flashy performance by standout quarterback Johnny Stanton (10-of-20 passing, 95 yards, two TDs, one INT, sacked three times), as expected, the Eagles rolled to a 35-6 win over a Long Beach Jordan team that had scored 65 points in its season opener. The defense certainly played well, allowing only 82 yards passing with five sacks, and Stanton did have a 74-yard TD run.
Up Next: The Eagles host a Trabuco Hills (Mission Viejo) team they beat 35-14 on the road last season.
3. (3) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 1-0
Why This Ranking: There’s no reason to drop or move the Broncos up or down from the No. 3 spot behind De La Salle and Santa Margarita after their season-opening win. If anything, they’re closer to No. 4 Oaks Christian than those first two teams.
Weekend Result: Trailing 20-16, the Broncos scored 21 straight points on the way to a 37-26 win over ThunderRidge of Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Nick Stevens passed for 232 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 77 yards and a score.
Up Next: For the second week in a row, coach Coley Candaele and team will face an opponent from another state, this week as hosts to South of Anchorage, Alaska. The toughest non-league foes, however, may be the next two: Redlands East Valley and Cathedral Catholic of San Diego.
4. (4) Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 2-0
Why This Ranking: After crushing its second straight defending CIF Sac-Joaquin Section champ and now having a chance to compare the Lions to De La Salle from on-site evaluations, there’s no doubt this is an elite team that has proved it belongs in the top five of the state, perhaps even higher.
Weekend Result: Junior quarterback Brandon Dawkins connected on 19 of 24 passes for 325 yards and three scores as Oaks Christian followed up its 40-0 win over Del Oro of Loomis with a 48-13 romp past Granite Bay in the second weekend of the Battle for Veterans events held in Southern California. Sophomore speedster Darick Holmes added a 41-yard TD run plus a 95-yard fumble return score.
Up Next: Venice (1-1) heads up to Ventura County for this week’s home opener. Last week’s game against Granite Bay was played at nearby Westlake.
5. (5) Bakersfield 2-0
Why This Ranking: After a solid win over last year’s Arizona Division III state runner up, Cactus of Glendale, the Drillers hold fast in the fifth spot with everyone above them winning. Unless someone finds a way to stop the powerful Bakersfield running game, coach Paul Golla and his boys are going to continue knocking on the door to get moved up.
Weekend Result: After rushing for 387 yards on 37 carries and six TDs in the opening win at Ventura, Bakersfield rushed for a whopping 537 yards on 48 carries with six TDs against Cactus. Junior quarterback Asauni Rufus ran for 143 yards and one TD, sophomore running back Marcus Bruce ran for 134 yards and two TDs, including a 67-yarder, junior Derrick Vickers ran for 109 yards and a 68-yard TD, and junior Jeremiah Reddick added an 84-yard romp to paydirt.
Up Next: The Drillers play visiting crosstown Catholic school rival Garces for the first time since 2008. Garces is 2-0 and last week put 77 points on the board against Bakersfield Golden Valley. The Rams will be playing with heavy hearts, however, as a player from last year’s team, Phillip Dhanens, died over the weekend after attending a fraternity drinking party at Fresno State.
6. (8) Alemany (Mission Hills) 2-0
Why This Ranking: The Warriors jump over No. 7 Tesoro partly due to local consensus. In this case, it’s because Alemany is higher than Oaks Christian according to the L.A. Daily News and Mission Viejo is higher than Tesoro by the Orange County Register.
Weekend Result: Devon Dunn passed for four touchdowns, three to Steven Mitchell, to help Alemany cruise past Muir of Pasadena 49-12. Running back Deshone Randall also had a strong outing with three touchdown runs.
Up Next: The schedule gets much tougher for the Warriors from here on out, beginning Friday at home against J.W. North of Riverside. Alemany will be trying to avenge a loss from last year in this matchup and the Huskies are coming in after winning 41-0 in their first game against Colton. Alemany will then play Corona Centennial in its fourth game.
7. (7) Tesoro (Rancho Santa Margarita) 2-0
Why This Ranking: A loss by Bellarmine of San Jose made room for the Titans to move up a spot, but their struggles against Hart of Newhall made us leave them where they were. While Hart is no pushover, Tesoro also is ranked lower than Mission Viejo by four of five voters in the Orange County Register’s rankings.
Weekend Result: With the offense struggling to put points on the board while the defense kept the Titans in the game, they finally found the end zone on an 80-yard drive in the 10-9 win against Hart. Parker Wells found the end zone on a short run for a 10-7 lead with 1:33 remaining that eventually ended as the final score.
Up Next: It should be another tough test for the Titans as they will face a Chino Hills squad that is 1-0-1 after a 48-48 tie against Bishop Amat of La Puente.
8. (14) Mission Viejo 2-0
Why This Ranking: With teams ahead of the Diablos losing and with themselves looking impressive, it made sense for us to move them right behind Tesoro. The consensus in Orange County also favors Mission ahead of Tesoro. Those two teams, however, will play later in the season in a South Coast League contest.
Weekend Result: For the second week in a row, the Diablos scored 35 points as Alex Suchesk rushed for three touchdowns in a 35-21 win over Mission Hills of San Marcos in the home opener. Ian Fieber had a better night passing the ball as he went for 280 yards and a score after just 158 yards in the season opener.
Up Next: Mission Viejo will head back on the road this week to face Santiago of Corona.
9. (13) Elk Grove 2-0
Why This Ranking: Lincoln of Stockton rebounded from its opening loss to the Thundering Herd with a win over Pleasant Grove, which has helped solidify the Thundering Herd as the No. 1 team in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and also No. 2 in Northern California behind De La Salle of Concord.
Weekend Result: Robert Frazier rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns and Wadus Parker ran for 154 yards and two scores as the Thundering Herd went to Modesto and returned home with a 48-0 win over Beyer.
Up Next: The road warriors will once again be headed out of Elk Grove for their game as they head to Fair Oaks on Friday to take on Del Campo. Watch out for game on Sept. 21 against Nevada Union.
10. (17) Serra (Gardena) 2-0
Why This Ranking: The Cavs move up seven spots this week following their victory over previous No. 11 Long Beach Poly. Poly hasn't been a dominant program in recent seasons, but it's still a program with a high talent level and Serra coach Scott Altenberg stated the victory was among his program's best-ever regular season wins. Another reason for the bump is Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks’ victory over Arizona power Hamilton of Chandler, in Dublin, Ireland. Serra opened its season with a win over Notre Dame.
Weekend Result: Poly committed turnovers on its first two offensive series and Serra took advantage, scoring touchdowns on both of its subsequent possessions to take control in the 20-12 win. Darrell Fuery led the way offensively for Serra with five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Up Next: Serra takes on 1-0 Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach this week, then gets Banning of Wilmington the following week.
11. (19) Helix (La Mesa) 1-0
Why This Ranking: It’s a huge eight-spot bump for a team both the San Diego Union-Tribune and a media poll has No. 1 in the CIF San Diego Section ahead of No. 12 Oceanside. The Highlanders, defending CIF Division II state champs, also opened by beating Chula Vista Eastlake, the only team it lost to last season.
Weekend Result: In a game they wanted real badly, the Highlanders started slow and actually trailed 6-0 after one quarter, but that was all host Eastlake was able to do in a 28-6 victory. Running back Michael Adkins carried 28 times for 102 yards and three TDs. Starting his first game at quarterback, junior Josh Harris turned in a solid effort, completing 8 of 13 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown. Junior Jalen Davis intercepted two passes on defense.
Up Next: Helix hosts last year’s CIFSDS D1 runner-up Vista, a team coming off a 32-10 home loss to Colorado’s Grandview of Aurora, a state 5A semifinalist last season.
12. (12) Oceanside 1-0
Why This Ranking: Just like the two primary CIF San Diego Section section rankings, head coach John Carroll and his boys fall in behind Helix in these rankings and hold fast at No. 12 after a solid win over an Oakdale team that was the top-ranked D2 team in Northern California to begin last week.
Weekend Result: It was pow, pow, pow after Pirates’ quarterback Tofi Paopao threw three first-half touchdown passes in a 34-14 victory over visiting Oakdale that was 34-0 at the half. Paopao was 8-of-9 passing for 141 yards at halftime. His last completion with 55-seconds left in the half, a 58-yard touchdown strike to Micah Holder, closed out his team’s scoring and was Holder’s second TD reception. The defense also didn’t allow any points until the final four minutes of the game.
Up Next: Carroll and the boys travel to Temecula to face a Chaparral team that has blown away it first two opponents by a 90-20 combined score.
13. (16) Narbonne (Harbor City) 1-0
Why This Ranking: The Gauchos move up three spots this week after opening the season with an intersectional win over Palos Verdes. Narbonne is ranked in the top 10 of the Los Angeles Times' weekly poll, one spot behind Serra, so it makes sense the Gauchos are creeping towards the top 10 in our state rankings.
Weekend Result: This year's L.A. City Section favorites beat Palos Verdes by only two points last season. After a slow start, they turned it up in the second half for the 41-0 win. Narbonne got a huge performance from running back Tony Gates, who scored on a 74-yard run in the first half and a highlight-reel 15-yarder in the third quarter where he flipped over two Palos Verdes defenders to give the Gauchos as 21-0 lead. He finished with 158 yards and the two scores on 14 carries.
Up Next: Coach Manuel Douglas’ team has a big test against state-ranked Long Beach Poly this week. Conventional wisdom makes Narbonne the favorites, but the Jackrabbits have beaten Narbonne in each of the last five seasons.
14. (15) Westlake (Westlake Village) 2-0
Why This Ranking: Coach Jim Benkert’s team doesn’t move up as much as other teams this week due to going overtime against a Del Oro of Loomis squad that lost 40-0 to No. 4 Oaks Christian the week before.
Weekend Result: After three quarterbacks played in the first game, senior Neil Uksali went solo against Del Oro and finished with 31 completions in 50 attempts for 380 yards and one score. Still, the Westlake defense gave up a late field goal that tied the game 13-13. The game was won 16-13 on a 32-yard field goal by Kevin Robledo.
Up Next: Two teams that made it to the CIF Open Division bowl game for 2009 and 2011 will square off on Friday at Westlake when the Warriors play Crenshaw of Los Angeles. Crenshaw improved to 2-0 last week by beating Norco 41-25.
15. (18) St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 2-0
Why This Ranking: Beating previous No. 9 Corona Centennial arguably could have gotten the Seraphs much higher, but they do move into the top 15 and they probably should still be behind Westlake.
Weekend Result: One of the reasons that St. Bonaventure has been able to overcome heavy graduation losses this year has been the emergence of sophomore quarterback Ricky Town, who hit on 16 of 23 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns in the 40-35 triumph over Corona Centennial. Senior running back Zach Greene also is looking more and more like a first team All-State candidate. He had 165 yards on 22 carries and scored once.
Up Next: After hosting a top Inland Empire team, the Seraphs head out to the Inland Empire on Friday to play Redlands East Valley. REV (1-0) blanked Dominguez of Compton 36-0 in its first game.
16. (20) Upland 2-0
Why This Ranking: It’s a nice upward bump of four notches for the Highlanders, who beat a Windsor team that was 14-0 last season but lost almost everyone, including its coach. Whether or not Upland deserves a high ranking will probably not be decided until a matchup on Oct. 5 against Rancho Cucamonga.
Weekend Result: Quarterback Nate Romine completed 17 of 27 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown and ran for 85 yards and a second score in Upland's 48-21 victory over Windsor in the Battle for Veterans event at Westlake High. Adonis Harrison also scored two TDs while Devan Clark and Dean Kabir returned interceptions for touchdowns.
Up Next: Coach Tim Salter and his boys will play host to a Long Beach Jordan team that will be smarting from a 35-6 home loss to No. 2 Santa Margarita. Look for Jordan to play better.
17. (23) Nevada Union (Grass Valley) 2-0
Why This Ranking: Not only did the Miners go to Grant and pick up the win but they did so in dominating fashion to become a strong No. 2 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section behind Elk Grove. They will face Elk Grove in their final game before league play.
Weekend Result: Half of Kyle Cota's completions went for scores as he passed for 177 yards and four touchdowns in the surprisingly easy 37-7 romp past the Pacers. It was the renewal of one of the top rivalries in Northern California in the 1980s and 1990s.
Up Next: It will be a game at Sheldon of Elk Grove against a Pleasant Grove team that stands at 1-1 and will be anxious to get back into the win column after losing to Lincoln of Stockton.
18. (9) Centennial (Corona) 0-1
Why This Ranking: The Huskies mounted a spirited comeback that fell short in their loss to No. 15 St. Bonaventure. They also have a big game coming up against No. 6 Alemany in two weeks that gives them the chance to climb back up in the rankings.
Weekend Result: Robert Webber threw a pair of touchdown passes to Barry Ware in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough in a 40-35 loss to No. 15 St. Bonaventure. Centennial even grabbed an onside kick with 2:04 left but was then stopped on downs.
Up Next: It should be an easy game for the Huskies Friday at home against 0-2 Cabrillo of Long Beach.
19. (11) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 1-1
Why This Ranking: The Jackrabbits fall eight spots after losing to new No. 10 Serra of Gardena 20-12 last weekend. With an anemic offensive performance, a case could be made for the Jackrabbits to fall further, but the next two weeks against Narbonne and Bakersfield should give us a better idea of what kind of team Poly will be this season. It also looks like Serra might be that good.
Weekend Result: It's been the same theme for Poly in recent seasons in big games. The offense is lacking or the Jackrabbits commit a key turnover early to put them in a hole. The Jackrabbits' defense usually keeps them in games, and that was the case against Serra as the unit only gave up 44 yards rushing, but the hole was too big to climb out of this time around.
Up Next: Coach Raul Lara and his team look to bounce back this week against No. 13 Narbonne. The two teams have developed a great intersectional rivalry the last five years with Poly winning every matchup. The last two games have been extremely
close and Narbonne is extremely confident it can get the job done this year.
20. (NR) Vacaville 1-0
Why This Ranking: Last year’s State Coach of the Year, Mike Papadopoulos, and his boys jump into the rankings as the No. 4 team from Northern California and the No. 3 team from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section after a very solid win over perennial West Catholic Athletic League power Valley Christian of San Jose.
Weekend Result: Senior running back/defensive back Curtis Goins was the big star in a 35-27 road win over Valley Christian, in a game the Bulldogs led 28-12 in the early fourth quarter before holding off the Warriors down the stretch. Goins rushed for 101 yards, took a 74-yard screen pass for a touchdown, scored a second touchdown on a 53-yard fumble recovery, and added a pass interception as well.
Up Next: The place will be rocking this Friday night when the Bulldogs host a Marin Catholic (Kentfield) team that handed them their only loss last season. Marin Catholic, just out of the state top 25 itself, is coming of a victory over San Francisco St. Ignatius in a game it trailed by two TDs in the third quarter. Vacaville led Marin Catholic in the fourth quarter last year before Cal-bound quarterback Jared Goff led a comeback. The key to a win this year will be controlling the ball with the running game and stopping Goff from making the big plays.
21. (NR) Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 1-1
Why This Ranking: Besides picking up their first win of the season, the Knights’ three-point loss to Serra of Gardena in the season opener now looks even better as the Cavaliers defeated Long Beach Poly by eight points.
Weekend Result: Playing in Ireland in the longest road trip for a California football team ever, the Knights defeated Hamilton of Chandler, Arizona 27-15. Trailing by 7-0 early, Notre Dame scored 27 straight points helped by Nick Holland’s interception return for a score and two field goals by Lucas Alfonso. Hamilton is a three-time defending state champ in Arizona that has been nationally ranked numerous times in recent seasons.
Up Next: The Knights will be back on the road this Friday but it'll be much closer to home as they head to Woodland Hills to take on Taft, which is 0-2 this season.
22. (NR) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 1-0
Why This Ranking: Finally opening the season with a win, the Monarchs should be able to move to 2-0 this week and have the chance to move their way up even further in the rankings, especially with a game against No. 13 Narbonne of Harbor City.
Weekend Result: Standout junior cornerback Jonathan Lockett had two interceptions and returned a fumble for a score as Mater Dei won its season opener for the first time since 2008 with a 35-10 win over St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs. Mater Dei led 35-0 at halftime.
Up Next: With their season opener out of the way, Mater Dei will now take aim against 0-2 Carson in the home opener on Friday. Carson has won in the last three meetings against the Monarchs.
23. (24) Central (Fresno) 2-0
Why This Ranking: It was as close as it can be in a victory, but the No. 2 team from the CIF Central Section had a nice ride back up Highway 99 after a 10-9 victory over Liberty of Bakersfield, in a game it led 10-0 at the half. With Liberty considered one the top teams within the section as well, the win gets Central a notch higher this week.
Weekend Result: Coach Justin Garza and his host Grizzlies held off the Patriots after the visitors missed an extra point on their third quarter touchdown, and then came up short on their final drive with seconds left. Nick Wilson rushed for 107 yards on 24 carries. He scored Central’s only touchdown, a two-yard plunge, on the opening drive of the game.
Up Next: The Grizzlies host a Palos Verdes (Palos Verdes Estates) team coming off a 41-0 shellacking at the hands of No. 13 Narbonne.
24. (25) Lompoc 2-0
Why This Ranking: After moving into the top 25 rankings with an impressive 31-0 win over Arroyo Grande, the Braves move up just one spot after holding on to win against Frontier of Bakersfield.
Weekend Result: Washington-bound Lavon Coleman ran for 216 yards and two touchdowns as the Braves won their 22nd straight game with their triumph against Frontier.
Up Next: For the first time this season, Lompoc will go on the road as it will play at Pioneer Valley of Santa Maria on Friday night.
25. (NR) Lincoln (Stockton) 1-1
Why This Ranking: The Trojans are the next team in line from Northern California and posted a quality win in their second game after losing to No. 9 Elk Grove in the first game.
Weekend Result: We got a chance to see their 34-27 win over Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove (which has been in the last two CIF Sac-Joaquin D1 finals) on TV and both quarterback Zack Greenlee and running back Justin Davis had their shining moments. Greenlee threw for three touchdowns, the last to Oshea Washington in the game’s final minute for the winning score. Davis scored on two short runs, but is still getting hit too often in the backfield.
Up Next: Coach Brian Gray’s squad travels to 0-2 Berkeley on Friday in the first of three straight road games. The next two – at St. Mary’s of Stockton and at Granite Bay – figure to be more difficult.
Previous No. 6 Bellarmine (San Jose); No. 10 Rancho Cucamonga; No. 21 Bishop Amat (La Puente); No. 22 Grant (Sacramento).
Teams on the Bubble:
Bellarmine (San Jose) 0-1
Bishop Amat (La Puente) 1-0-1
Buhach Colony (Atwater) 2-0
Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 1-0
Crenshaw (Los Angeles) 2-0
El Toro (Lake Forest) 2-0
Loyola (Los Angeles) 2-0
James Logan (Union City) 2-0
La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 1-0
Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 2-0
Monte Vista (Danville) 2-0
Palo Alto 0-0
Palma (Salinas) 0-0
Placer (Auburn) 1-0
Redlands East Valley (Redlands) 1-0
Servite (Anaheim) 1-1
St. Mary’s (Stockton) 2-0