Previous week’s rankings are in parentheses
1. (1) De La Salle 3-0
The Spartans gave us the familiar dominant effort we’ve come to expect. Sophomore Antoine Custer’s star continues to rise, the defensive front pulverized St. Mary’s-Stockton, and the Spartans were up 33-0 after three quarters in a 40-13 win against a team that may be one of Northern California’s top ten. Another Sac-Joaquin team of similar caliber, Del Oro, is next.
2. (2) Bellarmine 2-0
The Bells were down 14-3 late in the second quarter to San Leandro in a 31-21 win. While we think this said more about San Leandro than Bellarmine, the Bells pass defense and tackling still needs to improve. Sophomore Kyle MacAuley is a bright spot of the early going and a major threat in the return game.
3. (3) Serra 0-1
After a bye, the Padres will face an improved Encinal team on Friday. In their last visit to Alameda, Serra escaped with a 34-28 overtime win in 2011.
4. (4) Marin Catholic 3-0
That wasn’t a normal 0-2 team that Marin Catholic hammered on Saturday. The Wildcats nearly had a shutout against Heritage in a 42-6 final and finally got off to a quick start when Andrew Celis returned the opening kickoff for a score.
5. (5) Palo Alto 1-0
With a 28-7 win over San Benito,the Paly defense made a statement and there was no distraction from the re-opening of Vikings stadium. The upcoming matchup against Mitty on Saturday will feature a ton of speed.
6. (6) El Cerrito 2-1
Nobody is going to bottle up Keaton Dunsford (just 168 passing yards on 24 attempts) and Cardinal Newman the way El Cerrito did on Saturday night. It will be good preparation for Campolindo this week.
7. (8) Archbishop Mitty 2-0
After a 35-14 win over Leland, it’s starting to look like Matt Haniger’s best team since 2009. The Monarchs disciplined defense will be tested against Paly’s balanced attack.
8. (9) Foothill 3-0
Foothill has not let up and their defense has allowed six points in each of their wins, including a 31-6 decision over Las Lomas on Friday. After 17 interceptions last year, junior quarterback Kyle Kearns has zero picks this season.
9. (12) Pittsburg 2-1
The Pirates weren’t happy with their #9 seed in last year’s NCS Division I playoffs, but have won two key games that could shape this year’s seeding. If Pitt wins the BVAL, they could be looking at a #2 or #3 seed, which would keep them on the opposite side of the bracket from De La Salle. Fresh off his 464-yard effort, Harris Ross now plays a stingy Berkeley defense.
10. (19) James Logan 2-1
The Colts came through with the most impressive Friday night win (21-18 over SRV) and their resume is even better when we consider their win over San Leandro, who gave Bellarmine a game. Road games against Heritage and Berkeley won’t be easy, but the Colts should be 5-1 going into their De La Salle game on October 18.
11. (7) San Ramon Valley 1-1
In the 21-18 loss to James Logan, San Ramon threw for just 95 yards in 21 attempts. The Wolves could be dropping below .500 with the state’s #5 team, Folsom, looming.
12. (10) Clayton Valley 1-1
The Eagles, as expected, destroyed Castlemont, 66-6. The good news is that tight end/linebacker Kristian Mamea’s ankle injury is not as bad as once feared. Mamea could be back within a month.
13. (13) Valley Christian (San Jose) 1-1
The Warriors ran for 422 yards, including 218 from Kirk Johnson, in their 38-10 win over O’Dowd. Valley Christian now gets two weeks to prepare for Milpitas.
14. (16) St. Francis 2-0
Five shutouts and only seven points allowed in their last six games is ridiculous, especially considering the competition. The Lancers could be 4-0 heading into their big rivalry home game against Bellarmine on October 11.
15. (15) California 2-1
Until we see improvement from a defense that is allowing 28.7 points and gave up 406 rushing yards to Castro Valley, it will be tough to move Cal up much further. Their best defense will be big back Blake Bierwith (557 yards, 10 TD) keeping the opposing offense off the field.
16. (NR) Terra Nova 2-0
Anthony Gordon’s sensational start to the season (732 passing yards, 6 TD) has included the shredding of Bishop O’Dowd and St. Ignatius defenses. Before the 50-33 win at SI, Terra Nova was 0-11 versus WCAL teams since 2004.
17. (17) Amador Valley 3-0
The Dons 38-0 win over Skyline was no surprise. Looking deeper at their schedule, however, suggests their resume is slipping.
18. (20) Deer Valley 2-0
The Wolverines schedule has been kind, but their defense was solid in a 49-18 win versus College Park. Confident Deer Valley now has three straight road games against Santa Rosa, San Leandro, and Vacaville.
19. (21) Campolindo 3-0
The 28-14 win over Washington wasn’t the offensive show we’ve come to expect, but maybe the Cougars weren’t trying to show too much before their upcoming game against El Cerrito.
20. (18) Cardinal Newman 2-1
If anything was proven in Saturday’s 35-7 loss to El Cerrito, it’s that the gap between the top two Northern California Division III teams (Marin Catholic, El Cerrito) and the third best team is very wide. That’s no disrespect to the Cardinals, who should be 7-1 heading into their final two games against Rancho Cotate and Casa Grande.
21. (24) McClymonds 2-1
Mack impressed in a losing cause with their 38-24 decision at Central Catholic. If the Raiders can’t slow down Lavance Warron and Lavon Washington, maybe no one can.
22. (25) Casa Grande 3-0
Coach Trent Herzog called the 31-19 win at Napa the biggest road win since he’s been at Casa. John Porchivina (109 rush yards, 2 TD, 11 tackles, 2 TFL, FR vs. Napa) is a player the rest of the Bay Area needs to become more familiar with.
23. (NR) Miramonte 2-1
The Mats 10-point win at Analy, combined with their strong first half in the opener at Marin Catholic, gets them in the rankings for the first time. Defensively, Miramonte looks much better than a year ago.
24. (11) Analy 2-1
It’s not easy to have the Tigers so far below Pittsburg but, since the opening win, they have not impressed at all. Analy’s spot inside the top-25 is not a strong one.
25. (NR) Wilcox 2-0
Wilcox gets the final spot over Milpitas because of a stronger body of work. The win over Manteca, who has won their two other games, is a more impressive resume but Milpitas can find there way back in with a win over Sacred Heart Cathedral this week.
Dropped out: #14 St. Ignatius 0-2, #22 Milpitas 1-0, #23 Los Gatos 0-2
Bubble: Acalanes 3-0, Berkeley 2-1, Carmel 2-0, Castro Valley 1-2, Freedom 0-3, Justin-Siena 2-1, Las Lomas 2-1, Los Gatos 0-2, Menlo-Atherton 1-1, Milpitas 1-0, Monte Vista 1-2, Montgomery 2-0, Northgate 3-0, Rancho Cotate 2-0, Sacred Heart Cathedral 2-0, Sacred Heart Prep 2-0, St. Ignatius 0-2, San Benito 1-1, San Leandro 1-2, San Marin 2-1