Monday, November 21, 2011
ESPNLA prep football Top 25
By Blair Angulo
Mission League champion Gardena Serra, the top seeded team in the Western Division bracket, fell to Culver City in a shocker and dropped out of the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25. Sunset League runner-up Huntington Beach makes its first appearance in the rankings after upsetting Loyola on the road. Our rankings heading into Week 2 of the playoffs:
1. Servite (10-1) Coming off a thrilling victory in the Trinity League finale, the top-seeded Friars scored effortlessly on their first drive, then returned a blocked punt on special teams to put the opponent in an inescapable hole. Last week: Beat Long Beach Wilson, 41-3. Next: second round at Tesoro, Friday.
2. Westlake (11-0) Another dominant performance by the top-seeded Warriors, who scored all of their points in the first half of Friday's first-round game. Justin Moore had four touchdown passes. Last week: Beat Eastside, 59-12. Next: second round vs. Hart at College of the Canyons, Friday.
3. Corona Centennial (10-1) After leading by only seven heading into the fourth quarter, the top-seeded Huskies distanced themselves with two quick touchdowns. Tailback Romello Goodman reached the end zone five times. Last week: Beat Redlands, 49-35. Next: second round vs. Chaparral, Friday.
4. Long Beach Poly (10-1) The Jackrabbits avoided a repeat of last year's first-round exit, scoring touchdowns on each of their first six drives. This is a different bunch. Last week: Beat Newport Harbor, 49-14. Next: second round vs. Santa Margarita at Veterans Stadium, Friday.
5. Redlands East Valley (11-0) Austin Decoud found Zach Brown for the go-ahead 19-yard touchdown pass and the defense came up with a much-needed turnover late to avoid the upset. Last week: Beat Norco, 20-15. Next: second round vs. Rancho Cucamonga at site TBD, Friday.
6. Mission Viejo (9-2) Running back Buzzy Yokoyama paced the second-seeded Diablos with 170 rushing yards and three first-half touchdowns Friday. The South Coast League champs have won five straight. Last week: Beat Long Beach Cabrillo, 51-22. Next: second round at Huntington Beach, Friday.
7. Vista Murrieta (6-5)* Su'a Cravens had two touchdowns on offense and four sacks on defense Friday, showing once more why he's considered to be one of the top junior prospects in the Southland. Last week: Beat Damien, 38-13. Next: second round vs. J.W. North at Riverside CC, Friday.
8. Upland (11-0) How about this for offensive efficiency: The Scots scored on each of their first eight possessions, and scored all but seven of their points before halftime. Last week: Beat Murrieta Valley, 59-21. Next: second round vs. Charter Oak, Friday.
9. Oaks Christian (9-2) The starters were out by halftime but the damage had been done. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Dawkins shined in his first playoff action, throwing for 233 yards and two touchdowns and running for another score. Last week: Beat Mira Costa, 43-10. Next: second round at Highland, Friday.
10. Santa Margarita (9-2) The Eagles led by only three points after three quarters but three fourth-quarter touchdowns sealed the deal. Quarterback Johnny Stanton's 272 total yards led the way. Last week: Beat Bishop Amat, 45-21. Next: second round vs. Long Beach Poly at Veterans Stadium, Friday.
11. St. Bonaventure (9-2) Maybe the Seraphs still had their minds on losing the Marmonte League title the previous week. They had to rally from a 10-point deficit to avoid the upset. Last week: Beat Redondo, 19-10. Next: second round vs. Canyon Country Canyon at site TBD, Friday.
12. San Clemente (10-1) Utah-bound quarterback Travis Wilson had four touchdown passes to help the Tritons avenge last year's playoff loss to the visiting Lancers. The defense was mighty. Last week: Beat Lakewood, 42-6. Next: second round at St. John Bosco, Friday.
13. Rancho Cucamonga (10-1) The Cougars survived after quarterback Dimitri Morales connected with Marcus Bratton on a 38-yard, Hail Mary touchdown pass with no time remaining. Last week: Beat Chino Hills, 39-38. Next: second round vs. Redlands East Valley at site TBD, Friday.
14. San Pedro (11-0) The top-seeded Pirates rolled behind quarterback Kenny Potter's three total touchdowns and an effective run game led by Gregory Thomas. Now they've got the two-time defending champs. Last week: Beat Gardena, 49-7. Next: second round vs. Crenshaw, Friday.
15. St. John Bosco (8-3) Many doubted, and now many believe. The Braves, who finished third in the Trinity League, took down the Serra League champions thanks to DaVonte Young's short touchdown run with less than a minute left. Last week: Beat Alemany, 33-28. Next: second round vs. San Clemente, Friday.
16. Dorsey (10-1) The Dons fumbled on the first play from scrimmage but struck on the very next play for a 62-yard touchdown and quick lead. They opened up their pass game late. Last week: Beat Fairfax, 35-13. Next: second round vs. Birmingham at Rancho Cienega Park, Friday.
17. Charter Oak (10-1) A running clock was implemented to start the fourth quarter Friday, an indication of the combined power of Charter Oak’s two units. Travis Santiago passed for 322 yards and five touchdowns. Last week: Beat Corona Santiago, 63-21. Next: second round at Upland, Friday.
18. Narbonne (8-3) The second-seeded Gauchos got another great showing from ESPNU 150 quarterback Troy Williams (234 yards and three touchdowns). They scored on four of their first 11 plays from scrimmage. Last week: Beat Reseda, 52-7. Next: second round vs. West Adams, Friday.
19. J.W. North (10-1) The Huskies called a naked bootleg on fourth and 2 and got the ball to highly regarded tight end Marcus Baugh for his third touchdown of the night Friday. Last week: Beat Yucaipa, 27-13. Next: second round vs. Vista Murrieta at Riverside CC, Friday.
20. Alemany (8-3) The Serra League champions got a first-hand experience of how difficult the Trinity League is. The fourth-seeded Warriors led with 49 seconds remaining but could not extend their season. Last week: Lost to St. John Bosco, 33-28.
21. Chaminade (9-2) The Eagles responded well to not winning the Mission League, rolling through the first round Friday. Coach Ed Croson emptied his bench before the end of the first half. Last week: Beat Inglewood, 45-15. Next: second round at San Luis Obispo, Friday.
22. Ventura (11-0) It was only a sign of things to come when tailback Conner Armstrong took his first carry 76 yards for a score. He finished with 235 yards and three touchdowns Friday. Last week: Beat Dominguez, 41-14. Next: second round vs. Santa Monica at Santa Monica College, Friday.
23. Huntington Beach (9-2) The Sunset League runner-up Oilers remained undefeated on the road this season behind quarterback Michael Chislock's three total touchdowns. They had five fourth-down conversions. Last week: Beat Loyola, 31-21. Next: second round vs. Mission Viejo, Friday.
24. Tesoro (7-4) The Titans represented the South Coast League well, upsetting the Sunset League champions. Matt Adam had two touchdown passes. Now they welcome the area's top-ranked squad to town. Last week: Beat Edison, 16-14. Next: second round vs. Servite, Friday.
25. Loyola (8-3) The Cubs picked the wrong night to lose their first game at L.A. Valley College. Kodi Whitfield's last-minute touchdown catch was meaningless on the scoreboard but it was a nice way for him to end his high school career. Last week: Lost to Huntington Beach, 31-21.
Dropped out: Serra (21), Lakewood (22)
Newcomers: Huntington Beach, Tesoro
* Vista Murrieta is 11-0 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.