Sunday, November 13, 2011
ESPNLA prep football Top 25
By Blair Angulo
The ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings heading into the playoffs:
1. Servite (9-1) Did you expect anything less from coach Troy Thomas? The Friars went for two in overtime and converted on Cody Pittman's pass to Ainslie Johnson, claiming their seventh straight league title. Last week: Beat Santa Margarita, 43-42 (OT). Next: first round vs. Long Beach Wilson, Friday.
2. Westlake (10-0) Dashon Hunt, one of the top junior defensive backs on the West Coast, is doing big things on the offensive side of the ball too. He rushed for 180 yards and two scores on Friday to secure the Marmonte League title. Last week: Beat St. Bonaventure, 35-14. Next: first round vs. Eastside, Friday.
3. Corona Centennial (9-1) The explosive Hayden Gavett threw for 356 yards on Thursday ... in the first half. Running back Romello Goodman carried the ball 12 times for 201 yards and five touchdowns. Talk about a scary attack. Last week: Beat King, 58-3. Next: first round vs. Redlands, Friday.
4. Long Beach Poly (9-1) No problem for the Poly defense against Cabrillo's Derek Stewart, the leading passer in the entire Pac-5 Division. Linebacker Matthew Rowe and safety David Price each returned interceptions for touchdowns. Last week: Beat Cabrillo, 43-6. Next: first round vs. Newport Harbor, Friday.
5. Redlands East Valley (10-0) One word: Whoa. A once-struggling REV offense saved its best for last, outscoring the last two opponents 97-0. Friday's Citrus Belt title game was supposed to be more competitive, but the Wildcats flexed their muscle. Last week: Beat Yucaipa, 48-0. Next: first round vs. Norco, Friday.
6. Mission Viejo (8-2) Lefty Alex Bridgford threw for four touchdowns and ran for another, and the South Coast League champion Diablos had seven sacks and four takeaways. Buzzy Yokoyama rushed for 69 yards. Last week: Beat Trabuco Hills, 42-7. Next: first round vs. Long Beach Cabrillo, Friday.
7. Vista Murrieta (5-5)* Think the Broncos really mind their tarnished record? They shouldn't. They received a No. 2 seeding for the Inland Division playoffs and are the team to beat in the lower bracket. Last week: Beat Murrieta Mesa, 51-20. Next: first round vs. Damien, Friday.
8. Upland (10-0) The undefeated Highlanders racked up 455 total yards, led by running back Donta Abron's three touchdowns and quarterback Nate Romine's efficient throwing. Last week: Beat Alta Loma, 49-3. Next: first round vs. Murrieta Valley, Friday.
9. Oaks Christian (8-2) The Lions got the Marmonte League's second automatic playoff berth after their win and St. Bonaventure's loss to league champion Westlake. Brandon Dawkins passed for 201 yards and four touchdowns. Last week: Beat Newbury Park, 42-7. Next: first round vs. Mira Costa, Friday.
10. Santa Margarita (8-2) Giving up a two-point conversion in overtime was a tough way for the Eagles to lose, especially since Servite didn't seem to have an answer for Johnny Stanton and Ryan Wolpin. Regardless, they'll be dangerous in the playoffs. Last week: Lost to Servite, 43-42 (OT). Next: first round vs. Bishop Amat, Friday.
11. St. Bonaventure (8-2) The Marmonte League title game didn't unravel exactly how the Seraphs had hoped. St. Bonny was plagued by its inability to convert on fourth down and fell to third place in the standings. Last week: Lost to Westlake, 35-14. Next: first round at Redondo, Friday.
12. Alemany (8-2) For the second consecutive year, the Warriors went unbeaten in Serra League play. Junior quarterback Devon Dunn's one-yard sneak with 4:57 left gave Alemany the go-ahead score Friday. Last week: Beat S.O. Notre Dame, 21-14. Next: first round vs. St. John Bosco, Friday.
13. San Clemente (9-1) The Tritons were able to secure a home game in the first round of the playoffs with Thursday's crucial South Coast League win. They finished in second place thanks to quarterback Travis Wilson's 225 yards and two touchdowns. Last week: Beat Tesoro, 31-6. Next: first round vs. Lakewood, Friday.
14. Rancho Cucamonga (9-1) The Cougars scored 31 unanswered points Thursday to clinch second place in the Baseline League. Tailback Jaymi Munford carried the ball 13 times for 113 yards and three scores. Last week: Beat Los Osos, 38-14. Next: first round vs. Chino Hills, Friday.
15. San Pedro (10-0) Same old, same old for the Pirates on Friday as they blew out another opponent. On Saturday they received the top seeding for the CIF Los Angeles City Section Division I playoffs. They're the favorites. Last week: Beat Banning, 37-0. Next: City Section first round vs. Gardena, Friday.
16. Loyola (8-2) The resilient Cubs erased a 15-point deficit, blocked an extra-point attempt in overtime, and Conrad Ukropina made his PAT to clinch the Serra League's second automatic playoff berth Friday. Last week: Beat Crespi, 36-35 (OT). Next: first round vs. Huntington Beach, Friday.
17. St. John Bosco (7-3) A breakout performance by the lesser-known Royce Moore (178 rushing yards and four touchdowns) helped the Braves grab the third and final Trinity League playoff berth Friday. Last week: Beat Orange Lutheran, 48-28. Next: first round at Alemany, Friday.
18. Dorsey (9-1) Does it really matter that the Dons weren't awarded a No. 2 seeding in the City Section Division I bracket despite winning the Coliseum League, barely losing to REV and upsetting Alemany on the road? It's a tough snub. Last week: Beat Locke, 33-7. Next: City Section first round vs. Fairfax, Friday.
19. Charter Oak (9-1) Hobbling and in pain, senior quarterback Travis Santiago barely warmed up before Thursday's Sierra League title game. He wasn't mobile but still passed for 288 yards and two touchdowns. Last week: Beat Chino Hills, 38-7. Next: first round vs. Santiago, Friday.
20. Narbonne (7-3) Troy Williams spread the wealth Thursday, hitting 10 different receivers for 330 yards and five touchdowns. The Gauchos received a No. 2 seeding for the City Section playoffs. Last week: Beat Washington, 68-0. Next: City Section first round vs. Reseda, Friday.
21. Gardena Serra (8-2) Running back Ronnie Vaughn, one of the Cavaliers' lone senior starters, stepped up in the absence of leading rusher Anterio Bateman (ankle), rushing for 221 yards and two scores to help secure the Mission League championship. Last week: Beat Chaminade, 35-29. Next: first round vs. Culver City, Friday.
22. Lakewood (7-3)# In reality the Lancers are 8-2 but had to forfeit their Oct. 7 win over Compton due to the use of an ineligible player, according to gazettes.com. With receivers like Darius Powe and Malik Gilmore on the edges thy could make noise in the playoffs. Last week: Idle. Next: first round at San Clemente, Friday.
23. J.W. North (9-1) Senior quarterback Justin Gheorghe was responsible for six total touchdowns -- four passes, two runs -- in the Big VIII League finale Friday. His touchdown-to-interception ratio this season is an impressive 27-2. Last week: Beat Norco, 45-14. Next: first round vs. Yucaipa, Friday.
24. Chaminade (8-2) Quarterback Logan Scott passed for 112 yards and rushed for 80 more, and running back Terrell Newby rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns, but it wasn't enough in the Mission League title game. Last week: Lost to Serra, 35-29. Next: first round vs. Inglewood, Friday.
25. Ventura (10-0) The Cougars, making their first appearance in the ESPN Los Angeles Top 25 rankings, received the No. 4 seeding in the Western Division following a perfect regular season. Last week: Idle. Next: first round vs. Dominguez, Friday.
Dropped out: Crespi (23)
Newcomer: Ventura (25)
* Vista Murrieta is 10-0 on the field
# Lakewood is 8-2 on the field
Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter. Make sure to follow @ESPNLAPreps for live in-game updates, final scores and news.