New Cal-Hi Sports Football Top 25

Writeups are deeper and offer more analysis than ever before. This week’s newcomers are led by St. Bonaventure and Bishop Amat. Elk Grove and Westlake among highest risers.

Thanks to Paul Muyskens and Harold Abend for contributing information and writeups. All rankings through games played Saturday night, Aug. 25. Check back later this week for Week 1 CIF State Bowl Game rankings and for 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 for updates.

1. (1) DE LA SALLE (CONCORD) 0-0

Why This Ranking: The Spartans, preseason No. 1 in the state due to the best senior talent on defense they’ve ever had and winners of the last three CIF Open Division bowl games, should be No. 1 in the state until another California school beats them. It doesn’t matter what national ranking compilers say since none of them live even close to California.

Weekend Result: Did not play.

Up Next: The Spartans travel to meet No. 6 Bellarmine (San Jose) Friday at San Jose City College. De La Salle won in double-overtime when the two parochial powers met last season.


Why This Ranking: The talent on this team was clear to a nationwide audience in the season opener. The top-ranked team in Southern California by nearly everyone -- with some rankings having the Eagles No. 1 in the nation -- struggled at times but picked up a season-opening win against a Brophy Prep squad that lost just once last year and is considered among Arizona’s best teams again this year.

Weekend Result: Johnny Stanton had two touchdown passes and ran for two scores in the Eagles’ 27-14 win in Arizona over Brophy Prep in a nationally televised contest on ESPN2.

Up Next: Santa Margarita will still be on the road next week, but it'll be a little closer to home as the boys head to Long Beach to take on a Long Beach Jordan squad that opened the season with a 65-9 win over Sun Valley Poly.


Why This Ranking: The defending CIF Southern Section Inland Division champions, who count 2011 State Junior of the Year Su'a Cravens and quarterback Nick Stevens among other top returnees, probably won’t be overlooked for a bowl game if they have a season like last year.

Weekend Result: Did not play.

Up Next: Vista Murrieta’s season will open Friday as the Broncos host ThunderRidge of Highlands Ranch, Colorado.


Why This Ranking: While there was a solid consensus in every preseason national ranking about the top three teams in the state (despite all of them having Santa Margarita higher than De La Salle), looking at which team should be fourth was mixed. We liked the Lions and they backed up that choice with their impressive win over Del Oro of Loomis, a CIF state bowl participant last season.

Weekend Result: A 69-yard touchdown run by junior Chris Davis was the highlight of the first-half in the 40-0 victory against Del Oro. Cameron Judge’s 55-yard fumble return in the second half helped turn it into a rout.

Up Next: It will be a second straight CIF Sac-Joaquin Section champ for the Lions to face this weekend, but this time it will be Granite Bay (the team Westlake defeated on Saturday) and it will be Saturday at Westlake.

5. (5) BAKERSFIELD 1-0

Why This Ranking: Despite an easy win on the road at Ventura in the first game, there was nowhere for head coach Paul Golla and his boys to move up this week. It was a win, though, that helps solidify the Drillers for the top five.

Weekend Result: The seats were barely warm in Ventura and the Drillers already had a 21-0 lead with less the nine minutes gone in the first quarter. From there it didn’t get better for the hosts. Bakersfield rushed for 350 yards and six touchdowns by five different players. Junior quarterback Asauni Rufus was 6-of-8 passing for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Jeremiah Reddick only played a half but ran for 118 years on six carries, including a 35-yard TD run. Another junior running back, Derrick Vickers, had first quarter TD runs of three and 37 yards.

Up Next: The Drillers should get a good test at home against Arizona’s Cactus of Glendale. Cactus lost last year in the Arizona Division III state title game and opened this season with a 62-0 win.


Why This Ranking: Some rankings have the Bells considerably lower, and a lot of that has to due with the loss of most of their firepower to graduation. Still, coach Mike Janda continues to silence the naysayers each season, and last year the only losses his charges took were in double overtime to De La Salle and 42-37 in the CIF Division I Bowl Game in a contest in which they gave Santa Margarita all it could handle. Plus, they open again at home against De La Salle.

Weekend Result: Did not play.

Up Next: The Bells will look to avenge last year’s 26-23 loss to De La Salle, only this time it will be in front of a packed house at San Jose City College.


Why This Ranking: The amount of returning starters from last year's team is almost unfair as All-South Coast League signal caller Matt Adam is among those that elimated Servite of Anaheim from the CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs. The team couldn’t move up this week because the top six either didn’t play or didn’t lose.

Weekend Result: Matt Adam was a perfect 8-for-8 passing for 188 yards and three scores while Nate Tago scored three touchdowns in Tesoro’s 55-14 season opening win over Compton.

Up Next: Hart of Newhall will head to Rancho Santa Margarita on Friday for its season opener against the Titans. The Titans were victorious in last season's game against the Indians 35-21.


Why This Ranking: Nothing has changed with respect to the reasons the Warriors opened the preseason in the top 10, and after a win on the road at Pasadena to open the season, the future will have more to do with where head coach Dean Herrington and the boys will be going this year.

Weekend Result: The offense capitalized on Pasadena’s miscues in the easy 45-8 win. USC-bound wide receiver Steven Mitchell played just over a half and had seven catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Devon Dunn was a pinpoint 13-of-16 for 162 yards and four touchdowns.

Up Next: The Warriors should not have much trouble this Friday with a Pasadena Muir team that lost its opener to No. 20 Upland, 34-6, but after that they face J.W. North of Riverside, a team that handed them one of their three losses last year in a 36-35 nail-biter.


Why This Ranking: Although the Huskies did not play in Zero Week, they move up one spot due to previous No. 9 Del Oro losing 40-0 to No. 4 Oaks Christian. They also inch up because other preseason rankings have them higher than other teams in our top 10.

Weekend Result: Did not play.

Up Next: Centennial opens at No. 18 St. Bonaventure of Ventura, a team it lost to in the first game last season. This will be a good opening test for head coach Matt Logan’s new backfield.


Why This Ranking: Losses by two teams ahead of the Cougars in the preseason rankings plus another that didn't play makes room for them to sneak into the top 10 this week in advance of their game against Servite of Anaheim.

Weekend Result: Making his first start since transferring from La Costa Canyon, signal caller Adam Friederichsen passed for 157 yards and three touchdowns while Kiraun Mayo and Khalil Muhammad rushed for a combined 207 yards in a 40-17 win over Redlands.

Up Next: A tougher test awaits Rancho Cucamonga this week as it will face Servite on Saturday night. The Friars, No. 11 in the preseason, will be looking to bounce back after a 40-23 loss at Bishop Amat of La Puente in their season opener.


Why This Ranking: Higher-ranked teams losing, No. 12 Oceanside being idle and Poly perhaps finding a quarterback all contribute to this week’s jump.

Weekend Result: Eban Jackson connected with John Smith for what is believed to be a school-record 98-yard touchdown pass to lift the Jackrabbits past Carson 42-26 in their first game. Jackson ended up 15 of 24 for 219 yards. Rusher Gerard Wicks added a pair of scores and 85 yards.

Up Next: After Carson, Poly’s early-season schedule will remain difficult. No. 17 Serra of Gardena is next at Gardena, then comes defending L.A. City champ Narbonne.

12. (12) OCEANSIDE 0-0

Why This Ranking: Two teams that opened up with quality wins jumped in front of the Pirates this week. They stayed at No. 12, but could move up next week. They are the preseason No. 1 team in San Diego and are preseason No. 1 for the D2 South bowl game.

Weekend Result: Did not play.

Up Next: Oceanside travels to Westlake Village on Friday to play Oakdale (13-1 last year) in the first game of the second weekend of the Battle for Veterans event. With its proximity to Camp Pendleton, you can’t get much more military than Oceanside so it’s great to see the school involved.

13. (16) ELK GROVE 1-0

Why This Ranking: We said in the preseason that if Del Oro couldn’t beat Oaks Christian in its first game, then the winner of the matchup between the Thundering Herd and preseason No. 14 Lincoln of Stockton would then be the No. 1 team in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section. Del Oro wasn’t close and Elk Grove won so it’s a logical bump for coach Chris Nixon’s bunch.

Weekend Result: Wadus Parker and Robert Frazier were huge on both sides of the ball in the 35-21 triumph at Lincoln. Parker ran for three touchdowns while Frazier rushed for a score and made a game-clinching interception.

Up Next: The Thundering Herd will be the visitors for a second straight home opener as they head to Modesto to take on Beyer. The Patriots also stand at 1-0 after defeating West of Tracy 27-21 in its first game.

14. (17) MISSION VIEJO 1-0

Why This Ranking: The new pieces on offense that transferred in from Orange Lutheran and Santa Margarita played well in the season opener while the defense as expected was stellar.

Weekend Result: Alex Suchesk rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns while Daniel Marx also rushed for two scores in a 35-0 road win over Centennial of Bakersfield. Ian Fieber also passed for 158 yards and a touchdown.

Up Next: Mission Viejo plays its home opener on Friday against Mission Hills of San Marcos. Mission Hills could be one of the top CIF San Diego Section Division I teams this season.


Why This Ranking: A more than solid first win against previous No. 22 Granite Bay shows that the Warriors need to be closer to the top 10. Although they don’t look as formidable up front as last year and don’t have a running quarterback option in the offense like last year, it’s still a very good team and one that should only get better. Senior Dashon Hunt also looks stronger, more powerful and is even more of a force on defense.

Weekend Result: The 24-6 victory over Granite Bay featured two interceptions by senior Kyle Rothschiller plus a scoring pass from senior Neil Uksali to senior Jake Rothschiller. Kyle’s twin brother.

Up Next: As the host of the second weekend of games in the Battle for Veterans event, the Warriors will host Del Oro of Loomis on Friday night. The two teams played into overtime last season, but it might not be as close this time. Del Oro will enter after losing 40-0 to Oaks Christian.


Why This Ranking: Although the Gauchos did not have a Zero Week game, they stay in front of Gardena Serra due to being higher by the South Bay Daily Breeze. They also are getting a lot of recognition in other rankings.

Weekend Result: Did not play.

Up Next: Coach Manuel Douglas’ team goes up the hill to play at Palos Verdes in Palos Verdes Estates on Thursday afternoon in its first game. Although PV is solid, the bigger tests for Narbonne will come in following weeks, beginning with Long Beach Poly on Sept. 7.

17. (20) SERRA (GARDENA) 1-0

Why This Ranking: Coach Scott Altenberg’s team started out a season of high hopes with a win over Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, which is another team with a number of top returning players and was No. 28 in the Cal-Hi Sports preseason top 50. The Cavs also can prove they are even better than top 20 in this week’s game against No. 11 Long Beach Poly.

Weekend Result: The triumph against Notre Dame was achieved on a 16-yard scoring pass from Jalen Greene to Marques Rodgers with 3:45 left. The defense then held and Notre Dame botched its ensuing punt. Greene rushed for 123 yards on 12 carries and passed for two scores. In addition to the scoring catch, Rodgers also rushed five times for 77 yards and two touchdowns.

Up Next: The Jackrabbits of Long Beach are coming to Gardena for Friday night’s game. Should be a track meet on turf.


Why This Ranking: With six teams dropping out of the rankings, six new teams enter. So why are the Seraphs the top newcomer? Despite being a CIFSS Northern Division semifinalist last season, they started off in the preseason rankings quite low. The question was would they have the blocking up front to protect a new, young quarterback, and open the holes for Arizona-bound running back Zach Green. The answers didn’t necessarily come in the season-opening rout of host Los Angeles Garfield, but it would seem the Seraphs are primed for another great season:

Weekend Result: Sophomore quarterback Ricky Town (11-of-12 for 160 yards) completed his first 10 passes, including three for TDs, in the 48-0 win against Garfield. The defense also intercepted three passes, returning two for scores to build a 35-0 lead at the half.

Up Next: Coach Todd Therrien’s boys will have to work to keep this spot when they face No. 9 Centennial of Corona this Friday night at home in Centennial’s season opener.

19. (19) HELIX (LA MESA) 0-0

Why This Ranking: The Highlanders lost some fine talent, but the still have a lot left in the tank from last year’s CIF D2 Bowl Game championship team. Of the five returning starters, four of whom play offense and defense. The schedule isn’t too bad, either.

Weekend Result: Did not play.

Up Next: Coach Troy Starr sends his boys on the field Friday at Chula Vista Eastlake, a team that handed the Highlanders their only defeat last year in the same season-opening game. With that kind of incentive, we should find out right away if Helix is a major contender this year.

20. (25) UPLAND 1-0

Why This Ranking: A strong bump for the Highlanders took place more due to six teams from the preseason top 25 taking a loss than their own impressive play.

Weekend Result: Facing a Muir of Pasadena team in disarray, the Highlanders were sloppy at times but cruised to a 34-6 victory. Nate Romaine completed 10 of 20 passes for 156 yards and one score. Kendall Dukes shined on special teams as he blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown.

Up Next: Coach Tim Salter’s team plays in the Saturday early game at the Battle for Veterans event at Westlake of Westlake Village. While the Windsor team that the Highlanders face went 14-0 last season, there is a difference between the CIFSS Inland Division and the CIF North Coast Section Division II playoffs.


Why This Ranking: We actually thought about putting the Lancers higher (where St. Bonaventure was placed) due to their 40-23 win over previous No. 11 Servite of Anaheim. Another few efforts like that and they’ll move up much higher regardless.

Weekend Result: It was a spectacular debut for junior Koa Haynes as the Amat quarterback. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 157 yards and three scores and ran for a touchdown to spark the 40-23 win against Servite. Dionza Blue added 116 yards and one score on the ground.

Up Next: Bishop Amat hits the road to play at Chino Hills, a 41-21 winner in its first game against Arlington of Riverside.


Why This Ranking: After a disappointing four-loss season last year, the Pacers looked especially good on defense as they opened the season with a win while other teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section struggled. Plus, it’s clear that the winner of the game between Grant and Nevada Union should be no worse than No. 2 in the section next week.

Weekend Result: Their defense bent but didn't break against perennial CIF Northern Section power Paradise as the Pacers opened the season at home with a 28-7 victory. Marquise Carter-Petit rushed for 123 yards and three touchdowns while also catching a touchdown pass in the win.

Up Next: It will be a battle of newly ranked top 25 teams as the Pacers play host to Nevada Union of Grass Valley on Friday.


Why This Ranking: The Miners have a chance to earn their way up the Sac-Joaquin Section ladder even more in the next few weeks as they face Grant of Sacramento, Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove and new number one ranked in the section Elk Grove.

Weekend Result: With the game tied at 10-10 after three quarters of play, the Miners scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to pull out a 27-10 win over McQueen of Reno, Nevada. Hank Humphers returned a fumble 80 yards for a score and Kyle Cota scored on a quarterback sneak for the deciding points. Cota passed for 168 yards with 165 of those yards and a score going to Ian Davis.

Up Next: The Miners will go on the road to take on Grant of Sacramento this Friday in a renewal of a great series of memorable games in the 1980s and 1990s.


Why This Ranking: The No. 2 team from the CIF Central Section jumps a lot of teams that were ahead of them in the preseason rankings, but other than perhaps Rancho Cucamonga no team in the state has a defensive backfield quite like the Grizzlies.

Weekend Result: Running back Nick Wilson rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns, including a 64-yard run, in a 44-3 rout of visiting Hanford. First year coach Justin Garza’s defense also rang up six sacks and standout junior defensive back Devon Brewer had two interceptions, one of which he returned 31 yards for a touchdown.

Up Next: The Grizzlies travel down to Bakersfield to take on a Liberty team that routed Delano on the road to open its season, 56-7. A solid win here would justify their spot and might even move them up a few notches.

25. (NR) LOMPOC 1-0

Why This Ranking: After their impressive season-opening win against Arroyo Grande, the Braves look like a legit threat to preseason and current No. 1 Serra of Gardena in the CIFSS Western Division. Anybody up for another 13-0 vs. 13-0 matchup of those two in the title game? We saw the first one at El Camino College and will never forget it.

Weekend Result: Washington-bound Lavon Coleman had 17 carries for 170 yards and two scores in his first game as Lompoc thrashed Arroyo Grande 31-0. It was much closer last year and Arroyo Grande went on to finish 13-1 to win the Western Division crown.

Up Next: Coach Andrew Jones and his squad host Frontier of Bakersfield on Friday. Frontier topped Ridgeview of Bakersfield 17-6 in its first game.


Previous No. 9 Del Oro (Loomis), No. 11 Servite (Anaheim), No. 14 Lincoln (Stockton), No. 21 San Ramon Valley (Danville), No. 22 Granite Bay, No. 24 Edison (Fresno).


Buhach Colony (Atwater) 1-0, Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 0-0, Clovis 1-0, Del Oro (Loomis) 0-1, Folsom 1-0, Granite Bay 0-1, Loyola (Los Angeles) 1-0, James Logan (Union City) 0-0, Lincoln (Stockton) 0-1, Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 1-0, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 0-1, Palma (Salinas) 0-0, Palo Alto 0-0, Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 1-0, Poway 0-0, Oakdale 0-0, Redlands East Valley (Redlands) 0-0, Serra (San Mateo) 0-0, Servite (Anaheim) 0-1, St. Mary’s (Stockton) 1-0, Vacaville 0-0.

Comments or corrections? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com or markjtennis@gmail.com.