Sunday, November 27, 2011
ESPN LA prep football Top 25
By Blair Angulo
Servite's stunning second-round loss opened the door for a new No. 1 in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25. The Friars, who spent the entire season at the top spot, were one of eight ranked teams to lose Friday. Our rankings heading into Week 3 of the playoffs:
1. Westlake (12-0) The Marmonte League champions slide into the No. 1 spot following Servite's loss. The Warriors are more than worthy of the ranking, touting an average margin of victory of nearly 33 points. Last week: Beat Hart, 42-14. Next: semifinals vs. Thousand Oaks, Friday.
2. Corona Centennial (11-1) Running back Romello Goodman was unstoppable Friday, setting a school record with eight rushing touchdowns and accumulating 335 yards in 24 carries (14-yard average). Last week: Beat Chaparral, 56-21. Next: semifinals at Rancho Cucamonga, Friday.
3. Mission Viejo (10-2) The second-seeded Diablos are the only seeded team remaining in the Pac-5 Division playoffs. Tailback Buzzy Yokoyama, who had four rushing touchdowns Friday, has been key down the stretch. Last week: Beat Huntington Beach, 41-31. Next: semifinals vs. Santa Margarita, Friday.
4. Vista Murrieta (7-5)* Is there any debate on who the area's top junior is? Right now that title belongs to the versatile Su'a Cravens, who added to his lore Friday with three touchdowns and 205 rushing yards in only 10 carries. Last week: Beat J.W. North, 58-14. Next: semifinals vs. Upland, Friday.
5. Upland (12-0) Lost in the continued success of running back Donta Abron and receiver Kenny Lawler is quarterback Nate Romine's efficiency. The junior passed for 291 yards in only 15 attempts in Friday's blowout. Last week: Beat Charter Oak, 51-13. Next: semifinals at Vista Murrieta, Friday.
6. Santa Margarita (10-2) Quarterback Johnny Stanton took to the ground to help his team advance Friday. The Eagles, the only remaining Trinity League team, can avenge last year's second-round loss to the Diablos. Last week: Beat Long Beach Poly, 49-16. Next: semifinals at Mission Viejo, Friday.
7. Oaks Christian (10-2) After seven touchdown passes from quarterback Brandon Dawkins on Friday, it's safe to say the Lions offense has a star in the making behind center. Dawkins, only a sophomore, is playing beyond his years. Last week: Beat Highland, 55-21. Next: semifinals at St. Bonaventure, Friday.
8. St. Bonaventure (10-2) The quick-striking Seraphs scored two touchdowns in a 10-second span Friday to earn a rematch with Marmonte League runner-up Oaks Christian. They lost to the Lions by 12 on Sept. 23. Last week: Beat Canyon Country Canyon, 38-17. Next: semifinals vs. Oaks Christian, Friday.
9. San Clemente (11-1) Utah-bound quarterback Travis Wilson ran for three scores and had 125 yards passing on the road, and the Tritons get another look at a familiar South Coast League foe. S.C. beat Tesoro by 25 on Nov. 10. Last week: Beat St. John Bosco, 42-24. Next: semifinals at Tesoro, Friday.
10. Rancho Cucamonga (11-1) A safety and a short touchdown on a sneak by quarterback Dimitri Morales was all the Cougars needed Friday because, for once, it was the defense making the big plays. Last week: Beat Redlands East Valley, 9-6. Next: vs. Corona Centennial, Friday.
11. San Pedro (12-0) The top-seeded Pirates eliminated the two-time defending City Section Division I champs Friday, securing another matchup with fifth-seeded Carson. The Marine League champs defeated the Colts 21-0 on Oct. 28. Last week: Beat Crenshaw, 31-7. Next: semifinals vs. Carson, Friday.
12. Tesoro (8-4) A week after shocking Huntington Beach Edison, the Titans did the improbable and stunned the state's No. 2-ranked team behind the gutsy play of senior running back Blake Rodgers. Last week: Beat Servite, 24-20. Next: semifinals vs. San Clemente, Friday.
13. Servite (10-2)* It feels weird just typing this, but a meager running game (89 yards in 31 carries) plagued the Friars on Friday. And the usually stout defense was overwhelmed by a backup running back. They uncharacteristically blew a 20-3 halftime lead. Last week: Lost to Tesoro, 24-20.
14. Dorsey (11-1) The fast and talented Dons defense had six takeaways Friday, and USC-bound receiver Jaydon Mickens had four total touchdowns to go along with six receptions and 82 yards. Last week: Beat Birmingham, 45-13. Next: semifinals at Narbonne, Friday.
15. Redlands East Valley (11-1)* Offensive inefficiency finally caught up with REV, which had walked the tightrope a handful of times during the season. Five of their wins were by eight points or fewer. Last week: Lost to Rancho Cucamonga, 9-6.
16. Long Beach Poly (10-2)* The lack of consistency from the quarterback positions was a season-long concern for coach Raul Lara. That turned into a nightmare Friday when the Jackrabbits were intercepted five times. The good news: Gerard Wicks returns next season. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 49-16.
17. Narbonne (9-3) Junior quarterback Troy Williams had six total touchdowns, and the emerging Tray Boone had two more to propel the Gauchos to their third straight 50-point performance. They now face perhaps the city's top defense. Last week: Beat West Adams, 59-20. Next: semifinals vs. Dorsey, Friday.
18. Chaminade (10-2) Running back Terrell Newby (230 yards and three scores) punched in the go-ahead touchdown with eight minutes remaining, and an Alexander Small interception with 10 seconds left preserved the victory. Last week: Beat San Luis Obispo, 31-27. Next: semifinals at Arroyo Grande, Friday.
19. Arroyo Grande (11-1) The indispensable Garrett Owens had a touchdown reception, returned an interception for a score and made two field goals to lead the Eagles, who outscored the Golden Knights 25-0 in the fourth quarter Friday. Last week: Beat St. Francis, 49-28. Next: semifinals vs. Chaminade, Friday.
20. Santa Monica (11-1) The Vikings make their first appearance in the rankings following their victory against previously undefeated Ventura. Kori Garcia rushed for 158 yards, Christian Salem passed for 202 yards and three touchdowns Friday. Last week: Beat Ventura, 29-24. Next: semifinals at Culver City, Friday.
21. Rancho Verde (12-0) The Mustangs pulled away from a 21-21 tie at the break, behind quarterback Carlos Hernandez's 248 passing yards and Kenny Torrence's 217 total yards and two touchdowns. Last week: Beat San Gorgonio, 42-28. Next: semifinals vs. Colony, Friday.
22. Culver City (9-3) First, the surprising upset of top-seeded Gardena Serra. Then, a blowout in the second round. Now, the Centaurs get a chance to avenge this season's three-point loss to Ocean League champion Santa Monica. Last week: Beat Righetti, 51-28. Next: semifinals vs. Santa Monica, Friday.
23. La Habra (9-3) The second-seeded Highlanders have won four straight CIF titles and are just a win away from having an opportunity to extend that streak to five. UCLA-bound linebacker Aaron Porter has been a difference maker on offense, too. Last week: Beat Brea Olinda, 28-21. Next: semifinals vs. El Toro, Friday.
24. St. John Bosco (8-4)* Bosco twice cut its deficit to four on Friday but the defense couldn't come up with stops. Still, the Braves made their first playoff appearance since 2006, so they've got nothing to hang their heads about. Last week: Lost to San Clemente, 42-24.
25. Alemany (8-3)*
Dropped out: Charter Oak (17), J.W. North (19), Ventura (22), Huntington Beach (23), Loyola (25)
Newcomers: Arroyo Grande, Santa Monica, Rancho Verde, Culver City, La Habra
* Denotes season is over
# Vista Murrieta is 12-0 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.