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Football: ESPNLA Top 25 Review - Week 0

The first official week of high school football is in the books, and it offered plenty of exciting results. Only one team in the top 10 of the ESPNLA.com Top 25 rankings lost, though five overall dropped their openers. Let's look back on some of the highlights and other moments throughout the Southland.

  • Tough starts: No. 8 Oaks Christian started the season with a 31-21 loss on Saturday night to Bellevue, a perennial power from Washington. But remember last season the Lions opened with a loss too and ended up winning the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division title in dramatic fashion over Westlake, so all hope is not lost. Other first-week losers were No. 12 Mater Dei (26-22 to No. 9 Carson), No. 19 Compton Dominguez (48-6 to No. 11 Crespi), No. 21 Chaparral (30-14 to Cajon), and No. 25 Gardena Serra (35-13 to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame).

  • Most impressive victory: There were a few, but we have to go with Crespi's rout of Dominguez. If anything, last season it seemed Dominguez's strong suit was its defense, and 2011 was supposed to be no different. Crespi showed it has not missed a beat, and is probably even stronger than last year, despite losing All-CIF quarterback Kenny Stenhouse and receiver Devin Lucien (UCLA). The Celts, as one of my colleagues recent put it, are "legit."

  • Honorable mention: No. 17 Orange Lutheran showed it's ready to compete in the Trinity League this season by walloping the best team the state of Utah has to offer, Bingham, 42-6, in the Mission Viejo Football Classic on Saturday. OLu is predicted to be the fifth-best team in the Trinity. Yes, you read that right, FIFTH-best.

  • More Trinity love: No. 13 St. John Bosco's 27-0 win over Mission Hills of San Diego, also shows the Braves have come to play this season.

  • Game of the week: No. 9 Carson's 26-22 win over visiting No. 12 Mater Dei lived up to the hype with USC-bound receiver Darreus Rogers scoring the winning touchdown with 6.5 seconds left.

  • Something to prove: We'll go with No. 7 Bishop Amat. Yes, the Lancers won, 14-0, over Garfield, but the offense obviously needs work. And with the complicated quarterback situation with Rio Ruiz lingering (he is expected to miss games because of commitments with USA Baseball), it could add a layer of instability. Still, the Lancers' defense looked tough.

  • Road warriors: No. 4 Long Beach Poly and No. 14 Westlake both went on the road to score impressive, though narrow, victories. Poly knocked off the state's No. 7 team, Sacramento Grant on Saturday night, 24-23, aided by a blocked extra-point attempt. Westlake, meanwhile, beat Del Oro in overtime, 30-27.

  • Taking care of business: No. 5 Alemany (55-0 over Pasadena), No. 6 Santa Margarita (56-0 over Long Beach Jordan), No. 16 Rancho Cucamonga (52-0 over Silverado) all did what they were supposed to do, scoring more than 50 points and shutting out their opponents. No. 15 Lakewood also did what was expected in handing Locke a 46-22 loss.

  • Run o' the mill: No. 3 Mission Viejo had an easy time with Bakersfield Centennial and No. 22 San Clemente did likewise with Long Beach Cabrillo. Both won by identical 35-6 scores.

  • Idle times: Sitting out the first week of action were No. 2 Corona Centennial, No. 10 St. Bonaventure, No. 18 Norco, No. 20 Chaminade, No. 23 Vista Murrieta and No. 24 Canyon Country Canyon. Centennial and St. Bonaveture meet this week in Corona in one of the season's most highly anticipated nonleague games.

  • Top dog: No. 1 Servite started the season with an impressive defensive showing, knocking off the San Diego Section's top team, Oceanside, 20-0. The Friars again appear to have a typically hard-nosed team.

Check out our high schools page on Monday afternoon to see the new Top 25.