Los Angeles Preps: Top 25

ESPNLA prep football final Top 25

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
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Santa Margarita moves into the top spot after winning the CIF State Division I bowl in thrilling fashion. Westlake's stay atop the rankings was short-lived as the Warriors were overwhelmed by a superior Northern California power. The final ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings:

1. Santa Margarita (13-2)
If we learned anything about junior quarterback Johnny Stanton it's that he thrives when the lights shine the brightest. Stanton's go-ahead score with 16 seconds remaining secured the CIF State Division I bowl championship, and it'll be remembered for a long time. Coach Harry Welch won his third bowl game with the third different school. Last week: Beat San Jose Bellarmine, 42-37.

2. Vista Murrieta (9-5)*
The Broncos were a perfect 14-0 on the field but weren't selected for a state bowl game. They could reach the spotlight next year with the dynamic Su'a Cravens returning for the Inland Division champs.

3. Westlake (14-1)
Not exactly how coach Jim Benkert envisioned the CIF State Open Division bowl game, but consolation lies in the fact that it wasn't the first time De La Salle embarrassed a team, and it won't be the last. The Warriors figure to be in the mix again next year, with top playmakers Dashon Hunt and Justin Moore returning. Last week: Lost to De La Salle, 35-0.

4. Narbonne (11-3)
The City Section Division I champions are favored to repeat in 2012, if only because they've got the section's leading passer in Troy Williams (3,247 yards and 34 touchdowns).

5. Corona Centennial (12-2)
Quarterback Hayden Gavett exceeded expectations in his first year as starter following Michael Eubank's graduation. Running back Romello Goodman finished seventh in rushing in the section.

6. San Clemente (12-2)
The Tritons reached the Pac-5 Division championship game but must replace Utah-bound quarterback Travis Wilson next season.

7. Mission Viejo (10-3)
Safety Max Redfield, one of the top defensive backs in the 2013 class, has already bagged an offer from USC. He'll draw plenty of interest next season.

8. Upland (12-1)
No matter what you call them -- the Highlanders or Scots -- Baseline League champion Upland has a good group returning, led by quarterback Nate Romine.

9. Oaks Christian (11-3)
The Lions could take the next step if quarterback Brandon Dawkins, only a sophomore, develops the way many expect him to.

10. St. Bonaventure (10-3)
The Seraphs finished in third place in the Marmonte League and will have to find replacements for leading offensive standouts Shaun Wick and Marc Evans.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
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Shiny trophies were handed out to sectional champions, led by state-bowl selections Westlake (Northern Division) and Santa Margarita (Pac-5 Division). Harbor City Narbonne claimed the City Section Division I title, moving up to the No. 4 spot in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings. Our list heading into the state bowl games:

1. Westlake (14-0)
The Warriors won their second Northern Division championship in three years behind Dashon Hunt's five touchdowns. Westlake is going bowling. Last week: Beat Oaks Christian, 49-42. Next: Open Division state championship game vs. Concord De La Salle at Home Depot Center, Saturday, 8 p.m.

2. Vista Murrieta (9-5)#*
Junior quarterback Nicholas Stephens scored the Inland Division championship-winning touchdown with 26 seconds remaining. They were undefeated on the field, but they didn't get the nod for the Division I state bowl. Last week: Beat Corona Centennial, 35-28.

3. Santa Margarita (12-2)
Coach Harry Welch won his ninth overall championship and first with the Eagles. Quarterback Johnny Stanton had 240 total yards. The Eagles are heading to state. Last week: Beat San Clemente, 27-13. Next: Division I state championship game vs. San Jose Bellarmine at Home Depot Center, Friday, 8 p.m.

4. Narbonne (11-3)*
Emotional leader Tray Boone usually talks the talk, but he backed it up Friday with six touchdown runs and 316 total yards to lead the Gauchos to the City Section Division I title. Last week: Beat Carson, 48-32.

5. Corona Centennial (12-2)*
Quarterback Hayden Gavett and running back Romello Goodman finally ran into the team that could keep up. Last week: Lost to Vista Murrieta, 35-28.

6. Oaks Christian (11-3)*
The Lions were closer to Westlake this time around, but it still wasn't enough in the Northern Division championship game. Last week: Lost to Westlake, 49-42.

7. San Clemente (12-2)*
The Tritons had to settle for a pair of first-half field goals, and it was the difference at Angel Stadium. The Tritons could have put the Eagles on their heels. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 27-13.

8. Mission Viejo (10-3)*
The South Coast League champions have Max Redfield coming back next year. He's projected as one of the top safeties on the West Coast.

9. Upland (12-1)*
Quarterback Nate Romine returns next year for the Baseline League champs.

10. St. Bonaventure (10-3)*
The third-place Seraphs must replace departing seniors Shaun Wick and Marc Evans.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
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Top-ranked Westlake rolled through Thousand Oaks to clinch its spot in the Northern Division championship game. Four new teams enter the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings this week, led by Carson, which upset top-seeded San Pedro in the City Section Division I semifinals. The Colts return to the title game after losing to Crenshaw last year. Ocean League champion Santa Monica lost to league rival Culver City -- the surprise of the playoffs -- and fell out. Our rankings heading into the championship round:

1. Westlake (13-0)
Quarterback Justin Moore and tailback Dashon Hunt encountered no problems, leading the Warriors to their largest margin of victory since September. Last week: Beat Thousand Oaks, 62-0. Next: Northern Division championship vs. Oaks Christian, Friday.

2. Corona Centennial (12-1)
What the 5-foot-5 Romello Goodman lacks in size he makes up for in speed. The tailback rushed for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns to send the Huskies to another title game. Last week: Beat Rancho Cucamonga, 41-21. Next: Inland Division championship vs. Vista Murrieta, Friday.

3. Vista Murrieta (8-5)#
All units contributed Friday, with the Broncos getting scores on offense, defense and special teams. The versatile Su'a Cravens, an offensive hero the previous week, had four sacks. Last week: Beat Upland, 39-19. Next: Inland Division championship vs. Corona Centennial, Friday.

4. Santa Margarita (11-2)
Some job second-year coach Harry Welch has done. Quarterback Johnny Stanton capped the game-winning 70-yard drive with a late one-yard touchdown run. Last week: Beat Mission Viejo, 21-20. Next: Pac-5 Division championship vs. San Clemente at Angel Stadium, Saturday.

5. Oaks Christian (11-2)
The Lions erased a 10-point deficit to punch their ticket to the final. Oaks Christian captured the Northern Division crown last year with a one-point win over Westlake. Last week: Beat St. Bonaventure, 27-24. Next: Northern Division championship vs. Westlake, Friday.

6. San Clemente (12-1)
Senior Christian Tober scored three touchdowns Friday -- each of at least 70 yards -- helping the Tritons reach their first final since 1979. Last week: Beat Tesoro, 51-16. Next: Pac-5 Division championship vs. Santa Margarita at Angel Stadium, Saturday.

7. Narbonne (10-3)
The Gauchos made easy work of a very good defense to secure a spot in the title game for the third time in four years. Quarterback Troy Williams is hungry. Last week: Beat Dorsey, 41-7. Next: City Section Division I championship vs. Carson at East L.A. College, Friday.

8. Mission Viejo (10-3)*
A tough way for the Diablos to go out. The defense had a go-ahead 85-yard touchdown on a recovered fumble but couldn't make a stop in the final minutes. Quarterback Alex Bridgford wasn't able to manufacture the game-winning drive. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 21-20.

9. Upland (12-1)*
It took a while, but the previously unbeaten Highlanders finally met their match. They were within two points at the break but numerous mistakes turned costly in the second half. Receiver Kenny Lawler won't soon be forgotten, though. Last week: Lost to Vista Murrieta, 39-18.

10. St. Bonaventure (10-3)*
The Seraphs at one point led by 10 despite the absence of quarterback Marc Evans, who did not play because of a shoulder injury. They got the ball back in the waning seconds but time ran out on the final punt return. Last week: Lost to Oaks Christian, 27-24.

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ESPN LA prep football Top 25

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
11:25
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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.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
1:20
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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.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25

November, 13, 2011
11/13/11
10:40
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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.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 10

November, 7, 2011
11/07/11
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Spots one through 12 remain the same this week after the upper half of our top 25 rankings took care of business. Two season-long staples -- Bishop Amat and Orange Lutheran -- fell out completely following demoralizing league losses. San Pedro came away with a dramatic Marine League win and jumps into the top 20 for the first time. Our rankings heading into Week 10:

1. Servite (8-1)
A nice welcome back for Charlie Etiaki, who carried the ball 13 times for 150 yards and two scores in his return from a broken collarbone. The Friars beat their rivals for the third straight year. Last week: Beat Mater Dei, 35-28. Next: vs. Santa Margarita at Cerritos College, Friday.

2. Westlake (9-0)
The Warriors rolled through the latter part of their Marmonte League schedule, outscoring opponents 173-39 over the last month. And now, the big one is here. Last week: Beat Agoura, 45-9. Next: vs. St. Bonaventure at Moorpark College, Thursday.

3. St. Bonaventure (8-1)
Shaun Wick took the ball 65 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage Friday. He got only three more carries and finished with 125 yards and another score. Last week: Beat Calabasas, 60-7. Next: vs. Westlake at Moorpark College, Thursday.

4. Corona Centennial (8-1)
Senior running back Romello Goodman had his best game of the season Friday, rushing for 237 yards and three scores in 24 carries. He has 21 rushing touchdowns. Last week: Beat Eastvale Roosevelt, 45-24. Corona, 49-6. Next: at King, Thursday.

5. Long Beach Poly (8-1)
Expectations were high for the Jackrabbits’ air attack, with Arizona State commits Richard Smith, Josiah Blandin and Randall Goforth in tow. Instead, they've been most successful when running the ball. Last week: Beat L.B. Wilson, 65-13. Next: vs. Cabrillo at Veterans Stadium, Thursday.

6. Santa Margarita (8-1)
Johnny Stanton set new school records for single-game and season rushing yards by a quarterback with Friday night's 173-yard performance. The Eagles clinched a spot in the Pac-5 playoffs. Last week: Beat St. John Bosco, 28-20. Next: vs. Servite at Cerritos College, Friday.

7. Redlands East Valley (9-0)
A season-high 49 points and the year's fourth shutout made for a great combination during Friday night's tuneup game. Now, the Wildcats hit the road for a highly anticipated battle of unbeatens. Last week: Beat Fontana, 49-0. Next: at Yucaipa, Thursday.

8. Mission Viejo (7-2)
It wasn't pretty, but the Diablos pulled off the hard-fought victory against their neighboring rivals. Buzzy Yokoyama scored the go-ahead touchdown following a muffed punt in the third. Last week: Beat Tesoro, 14-7. Next: at Trabuco Hills, Thursday.

9. Vista Murrieta (4-5)
The Broncos, a team that is still an unbeaten 9-0 on the field, relied on their usual game plan Friday: Pursue, pursue, pursue. Opposing quarterbacks don't have much time when facing this bunch. Last week: Beat Murrieta Valley, 23-14. Next: vs. Murrieta Mesa, Thursday.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 9

October, 31, 2011
10/31/11
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Twenty-one of last week's ranked teams won, making for minimal noise in our weekly top 25 rankings. Encino Crespi took the hardest fall -- from 18 to 25 -- following its loss to defending Serra League champion Alemany. The rankings heading into Week 9:

1. Servite (7-1)
Timely defense and a relentless running attack helped the Friars come back from two deficits on Friday. Quarterback Cody Pittman praised his physical offensive line. Last week: Beat St. John Bosco, 35-27. Next: vs. Mater Dei at Angel Stadium, Friday.

2. Westlake (8-0)
Running backs coach Ellis Green got a great birthday present from his group, led by tailback Zach Mumford. Quarterback Justin Moore continued his hot streak, passing for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Last week: Beat Newbury Park, 49-3. Next: vs. Agoura, Friday.

3. St. Bonaventure (7-1)
The dynamic duo of Shaun Wick and Zack Green keeps getting it done for the Seraphs. The running backs combined for 256 yards and four touchdowns Friday, and Marc Evans was good through the air. Last week: Beat Thousand Oaks, 50-3. Next: at Calabasas, Friday.

4. Corona Centennial (7-1)
Romello Goodman ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns and Hayden Gavett once again eclipsed the 200-yard passing mark. The improving defense allowed just two field goals. Last week: Beat Corona, 49-6. Next: vs. Roosevelt, Friday.

5. Long Beach Poly (7-1)
The Jackrabbits earned their first shutout of the season, showing no signs of rust following a bye week. Nick Pope was impressive in place of quarterback the injured Chaiyse Hales (concussion). Last week: Beat Millikan, 54-0. Next: at Long Beach Wilson, Friday.

6. Santa Margarita (7-1)
Tailback Ryan Wolpin rushed for 169 yards and scored four touchdowns, and the Eagles avoided a letdown before the two remaining league games. Last week: Beat JSerra, 42-14. Next: vs. St. John Bosco at Saddleback College, Friday.

7. Redlands East Valley (8-0)
There were concerns hovering over the offense's productivity, but the Wildcats scored plenty Friday. The defense has not given up more than 14 points in any game this year. Last week: Beat Eisenhower, 34-14. Next: vs. Fontana at Citrus Valley High, Friday.

8. Mission Viejo (6-2)
Buzzy Yokoyama, who had been sidelined because of a foot injury, returned to the lineup and scored two early touchdowns. The Diablos jumped out to a 23-0 lead at halftime. Last week: Beat San Clemente, 29-21. Next: vs. Tesoro, Friday.

9. Vista Murrieta (3-5)
Having to forfeit five nonleague wins earlier in the week didn't appear to affect the Broncos' psyche when they took the field Friday. Junior running back Su'a Cravens rushed for three touchdowns. Last week: Beat Great Oak, 45-24. Next: vs. Murrieta Valley, Friday.

10. Upland (8-0)
Talk about efficiency. The Highlanders scored on six of their first seven possessions Friday, blowing past a helpless Glendora team to set up a battle for Baseline League title. Last week: Beat Glendora, 49-3. Next: vs. Los Osos, Friday.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 8

October, 23, 2011
10/23/11
11:50
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Orange Lutheran took another hard fall in our weekly top 25 rankings after its loss to Santa Margarita, further complicating its bid for a Pac-5 Division playoff spot. Upland gained control of the Baseline League with its clutch victory over Rancho Cucamonga, and Bishop Amat rejoined the Serra League race by beating Crespi on the road. The rankings heading into Week 8:

1. Servite (6-1)
No issues against the league bottom-dwellers as the Friars earned their 16th consecutive Trinity League victory. Senior quarterback Cody Pittman was effective on the ground and through the air. Last week: Beat JSerra, 42-14. Next: at St. John Bosco, Friday.

2. Westlake (7-0)
A slow start Friday was just a minor glitch for Warriors quarterback Justin Moore, who passed for 225 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Dashon Hunt added 118 yards rushing in 14 carries. Last week: Beat Moorpark, 34-13. Next: vs. Newbury Park, Friday.

3. St. Bonaventure (6-1)
It's becoming a weekly thing for the powerful tandem of Shaun Wick and Zack Green, who combined to score six of the team's eight touchdowns Friday. The Seraphs gave up only 12 yards rushing. Last week: Beat Agoura, 56-0. Next: vs. Thousand Oaks, Friday.

4. Corona Centennial (6-1)
The defense bent but didn't break, forcing four turnovers despite surrendering 438 yards of total offense Friday. The high-powered Huskies capitalized behind Hayden Gavett's 248 total yards and four scores. Last week: Beat Norco, 45-18. Next: at Corona, Friday.

5. Long Beach Poly (6-1)
A bye week might have come at the wrong time for a Jackrabbits offense that seemed to be finding its groove recently. Players, meanwhile, probably weren't complaining about the extra rest heading into the final Moore League games. Last week: Idle. Next: at Millikan, Friday.

6. Santa Margarita (6-1)
A solid bounce-back win Friday for the Eagles, who were coming off an upset loss in the Trinity League opener. Johnny Stanton had 235 total yards and scored twice in the final five minutes. Last week: Beat Orange Lutheran, 31-10. Next: vs. JSerra at Saddleback College, Friday.

7. Redlands East Valley (7-0)
The Wildcats needed overtime to survive their crosstown rivals' upset bid Friday. They raised the Smudge Pot trophy after quarterback Austin Decoud scored the game-winner on a 16-yard run. Last week: Beat Redlands, 21-14. Next: at Eisenhower, Friday.

8. Mission Viejo (5-2)
You can argue that the schedule worked out well for the battle-tested Diablos. They are well rested heading into Friday's crucial matchup, which will likely decide the South Coast League champion. Last week: Idle. Next: vs. San Clemente, Friday.

9. San Clemente (8-0)
The Tritons erased an early deficit against rival Dana Hills on Friday, relying on running back Mike Elespuru and Utah-bound quarterback Travis Wilson. Elespuru rushed for 146 yards and Wilson passed for 205. Last week: Beat Dana Hills, 35-10. Next: at Mission Viejo, Friday.

10. Vista Murrieta (7-0)
The dominant defense forced nine punts Friday, holding Temecula Valley to just 64 total yards. On the other side, Aaron Piecukonis was effective running the ball. Last week: Beat Temecula Valley, 41-3. Next: at Great Oak, Friday.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 7

October, 16, 2011
10/16/11
10:40
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Santa Margarita's loss to Mater Dei was the big upset of the week and it shook up our weekly top 25 rankings. Others, like Servite, Long Beach Poly and Crespi, took care of business by beating ranked opponents. Bishop Amat and Orange Lutheran fell the hardest -- nine spots each -- after stumbling against Alemany and Servite, respectively. Here are the rankings heading into Week 7:

1. Servite (5-1)
Much to the delight of coach Troy Thomas, the Friars looked like their old selves Friday. Cody Pittman found Ainslie Johnson twice for long touchdowns, and Butch Pauu led a stingy defense. Last week: Beat Orange Lutheran, 21-8. Next: vs. JSerra at Cerritos College, Friday.

2. Westlake (6-0)
The league-leading Warriors turned the ball over on their first two possessions Friday but responded well. UCLA commit Dashon Hunt, a junior, ran for two touchdowns and added a pick-six. Last week: Beat Simi Valley, 45-14. Next: at Moorpark, Friday.

3. St. Bonaventure (5-1)
Running backs Shaun Wick and Zack Green shouldered the load for the second straight week, combining for 195 yards in 20 carries Friday. Defensively, the Seraphs were solid. Last week: Beat Newbury Park, 38-6. Next: vs. Agoura at Ventura College, Friday.

4. Corona Centennial (5-1)
The Huskies have never lost to Santiago, their neighboring rivals, but were a little too excited in victory Friday. They were flagged 17 times. Romello Goodman ran for four touchdowns and Hayden Gavett passed for three. Last week: Beat Santiago, 56-34. Next: vs. Norco, Friday.

5. Long Beach Poly (6-1)
A packed house saw a more motivated bunch after the break, as the Jackrabbits reached the end zone on their first three possessions of the second half. The Moore League is theirs to lose. Last week: Beat Lakewood, 38-21. Next: at Millikan, Oct. 28.

6. Santa Margarita (5-1)
The Trinity League got its first "upset" Thursday, putting the Eagles in catch-up mode early. Johnny Stanton and Ryan Wolpin, the two main weapons, were contained by the Monarchs. Last week: Lost to Mater Dei, 21-14. Next: vs. Orange Lutheran at Saddleback College, Friday.

7. Redlands East Valley (6-0)
A surprisingly slim margin of victory for the Wildcats, whose defense gave up a season-high 13 points. They maintain the high ranking thanks to the impressive win over Mission Viejo. Last week: Beat Miller, 21-13. Next: at Redlands, Friday.

8. Mission Viejo (5-2)
The Diablos got back to their winning ways behind Alex Bridgford's 389 yards passing and three touchdowns. Receiver Brandon Neville had two of the scores, six catches and 129 yards. Last week: Beat Dana Hills, 48-21. Next: vs. San Clemente, Oct. 28.

9. Rancho Cucamonga (6-0)
Tailback Tyan Washington ran for three touchdowns, making sure Rancho Cucamonga handled its business. Now the intriguing Baseline League matchup between two undefeated teams is here. Last week: Beat Alta Loma, 41-17. Next: at Upland, Friday.

10. San Clemente (7-0)
Utah-bound quarterback Travis Wilson threw the ball only nine times Friday, but the Tritons still put up a monster offensive performance, led by a rushing attack that amassed 305 yards. Last week: Beat Trabuco Hills, 43-14. Next: vs. Dana Hills, Friday.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 6

October, 10, 2011
10/10/11
12:12
AM PT
LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Following their dominant Marmonte League victory against rival Oaks Christian, the Westlake Warriors made a big leap -- from ninth to third -- in our weekly top 25 rankings. Mission Viejo took a hard fall -- from second to 10th -- after losing to top 10 newcomer Redlands East Valley, which made the biggest rise from No. 21 to No. 9. Here are the rankings heading into Week 6:

1. Servite (4-1)
The Friars have had an extra week to clear their minds following the last-minute loss to Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Now, they begin the grueling Trinity League schedule. Last week: Idle. Next: vs. Orange Lutheran at Cerritos College, Friday.

2. Santa Margarita (5-0)
They didn't play last week, but the Eagles were beneficiaries of Mission Viejo's loss at Redlands East Valley. The Johnny Stanton and Ryan Wolpin show hits the road this week. Last week: Idle. Next: vs. Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium, Thursday.

3. Westlake (5-0)
Consider the message delivered. The Warriors made a statement by thumping their rivals behind 444 rushing yards, 226 of those coming from quarterback Justin Moore. Last week: Beat Oaks Christian, 43-21. Next: vs. Simi Valley, Friday.

4. St. Bonaventure (4-1)
The potent tandem of Shaun Wick and Zack Green combined for 170 yards rushing in 33 carries, and the Seraphs got just enough from quarterback Marc Evans. Last week: Beat Moorpark, 28-17. Next: at Newbury Park, Friday.

5. Corona Centennial (4-1)
Does anyone in Corona even miss former quarterback Michael Eubank? Hayden Gavett didn't play the whole game Friday but finished with 139 yards rushing in five carries (three touchdowns) and 178 yards passing. Last week: Beat J.W. North, 52-34. Next: at Santiago, Friday.

6. Long Beach Poly (5-1)
On Friday, the Jackrabbits put up the most points since 2005, when they hung 65 on Millikan. With the big one coming up against Lakewood, the offense couldn't have picked a better time to start clicking. Last week: Beat Long Beach Jordan, 67-6. Next: vs. Lakewood at Veterans Stadium, Friday.

7. Bishop Amat (5-1)
What else can we say about tailback Jalen Moore? The senior rushed for 214 yards in 38 carries on Thursday. Couple that with efficient passing from Rio Ruiz and you've got an offense that can score with the best of them. Last week: Beat Venice, 38-35. Next: vs. Alemany, Friday.

8. Orange Lutheran (5-0)
The Lancers' chance to take down the area’s top-ranked team has arrived. Quarterback Conner Sullivan must be smart with the ball against the Friars' opportunistic bunch. Last week: Idle. Next: vs. Servite at Cerritos College, Friday.

9. Redlands East Valley (5-0)
Not having the services of top runners Darreus Parrison and Taylor Thompson surely affected the offense. But REV's top-notch defense handled its business. Last week: Beat Mission Viejo, 10-7. Next: vs. Miller at Univ. of Redlands, Friday.

10. Mission Viejo (4-2)
On Friday, deep in the Inland Empire, the Diablos couldn't do what they had done previously: make up for the absences of leading rushers Buzzy Yokoyama, Jahleel Pinner and Daniel Marx. Last week: Lost to Redlands East Valley, 10-7. Next: at Dana Hills, Friday.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 5

October, 3, 2011
10/03/11
12:14
AM PT
LA PrepESPN.com Illustration

Top-ranked Servite traveled to Nevada and took its first loss of 2011. Still, dropping a road game against a nationally ranked team wasn't too devastating, so the Friars remain at the pinnacle of our weekly top 25 rankings heading into Week 5:

1. Servite (4-1)
A late field goal by nationally ranked Bishop Gorman sank the Friars in Las Vegas. They remain at the top spot because they haven't loss to a Southern California team since 2009. Last week: Lost to Bishop Gorman, 31-28. Next: vs. Orange Lutheran at Cerritos College, Oct. 14.

2. Mission Viejo (4-1)
The absence of top player Jahleel Pinner (ankle) didn't affect the Diablos, who got solid production from quarterback Alex Bridgford and two-way stud Max Redfield. Last week: Beat Carson, 31-0. Next: vs. Redlands East Valley at Univ. of Redlands, Friday.

3. Santa Margarita (5-0)
Two monster performances kept the Eagles undefeated. Johnny Stanton rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns and Ryan Wolpin added 214 yards in 33 carries. Last week: Beat Los Alamitos, 38-27. Next: vs. Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium, Oct. 13.

4. Oaks Christian (3-1)
Credit coach Bill Redell's squad for handling its business before the big rivalry game. Quarterback Brandon Dawkins threw the ball only eight times Friday and the Lions still won by seven touchdowns. Last week: Beat Calabasas, 56-7. Next: at Westlake, Thursday.

5. St. Bonaventure (3-1)
The defense pitched its second shutout of the season, bouncing back from a disappointing effort against Oaks Christian in the Marmonte League opener. Shaun Wick ran for two scores. Last week: Beat Simi Valley, 34-0. Next: at Moorpark, Thursday.

6. Corona Centennial (3-1)
The high-powered Huskies, behind Hayden Gavett's dual-threat capabilities, are back to scoring in the 40s. Fellow Big VIII League schools can't be feeling too confident about their chances. Last week: Beat Riverside Poly, 48-6. Next: vs. J.W. North, Friday.

7. Long Beach Poly (4-1)
We already know what to expect from Poly's defense. Now, with Moore League play underway, expect the offense to start posting huge numbers. Last week: Beat Compton, 41-14. Next: vs. Long Beach Jordan at Veterans Stadium, Friday.

8. Bishop Amat (4-1)
Really, the Lancers might be a top-five team had they not been blown out against Servite in early September. They're still dangerous, especially if Jalen Moore keeps running the ball the way he can. Last week: Beat Cathedral, 56-7. Next: at Venice, Thursday.

9. Westlake (4-0)
An opportunity to make a massive statement has arrived. Westlake is either a serious contender in the Marmonte or just the third-best team. Warrior Stadium will be the place to be, that's for sure. Last week: Beat Royal, 73-27. Next: vs. Oaks Christian, Thursday.

10. Orange Lutheran (5-0)
The perfect start has generated buzz and, now, the Lancers get an extra week to get ready for the area's top-ranked team. The bye couldn't have come at a better time. Last week: Beat Redondo, 33-13. Next: vs. Servite at Cerritos College, Oct. 14.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 3

September, 19, 2011
9/19/11
4:18
PM PT
Alemany and Mater Dei were the only ranked teams to lose last week, so there aren't any newcomers to the latest ESPN Los Angeles prep football 25. There are six matchups between ranked teams this week, making for an intriguing slate of games as nonleague action winds down across the Southland. Here are our rankings heading into Week 3:

1. Servite (3-0)
Cody Pittman had 230 passing yards -- 147 going to favorite target Sam Hunt. But not all went well for the Friars, who will be without running back Charlie Etiaki (collarbone) for over a month. Last week: Beat La Habra, 24-16. Next: vs. Edison at Huntington Beach HS, Fri., 7 p.m.

2. Long Beach Poly (3-0)
The crowd's exhale at Veterans Stadium was clearly audible after the Jackrabbits survived a late charge by a City Section favorite Friday night. Coach Raul Lara had his defense to thank. Last week: Beat Narbonne, 19-16. Next: at Mission Viejo, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

3. Santa Margarita (3-0)
Ryan Wolpin carried 20 times for 133 yards and scored four touchdowns, and the Eagles picked off four passes to beat a neighboring school for the second straight week. Last week: Beat Trabuco Hills, 35-14. Next: at Carson, Fri., 7 p.m.

4. Mission Viejo (2-1)
The Diablos were obviously glad to be back in town following their humbling trip to New Jersey. Alex Bridgford, Jahleel Pinner and D.J. Wilson got the explosive offense back on track. Last week: Beat La Quinta, 47-21. Next: vs. Long Beach Poly, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

5. St. Bonaventure (2-0)
Give the Seraphs credit for not lollygagging through their Marmonte League opener. They could have easily overlooked Royal, instead setting their sights on this week's highly anticipated game. Last week: Beat Royal, 59-0. Next: at Oaks Christian, Fri., 7 p.m.

6. Corona Centennial (1-1)
There's no questioning the Huskies' heart, that's for sure. Hayden Gavett led a late charge to erase two-touchdown deficit, helping Centennial avoid what would have been a demoralizing 0-2 start. Last week: Beat Mater Dei, 28-20. Next: vs. Chaparral, Fri., 7 p.m.

7. Crespi (3-0)
Serra League coaches might have been jumping for joy after the graduation of Kenny Stenhouse, but Cody Cordell might cause some headaches this fall. The junior threw for five touchdowns in Fresno. Last week: Beat Clovis West, 42-28. Next: at Palisades, Fri., 7 p.m.

8. Oaks Christian (1-1)
Sophomore Brandon Dawkins threw the ball only six times in his varsity debut but half went for scores. Ishmael Adams added 121 rushing yards to help the Lions bounce back from their season-opening loss. Last week: Beat Agoura, 50-11. Next: vs. St. Bonaventure, Fri., 7 p.m.

9. St. John Bosco (3-0)
As expected, the Braves are spreading the ball around on offense, averaging nearly 38 points through three games. Cal-bound Bryce Treggs either beats defenses by himself or serves as a decoy. Last week: Beat Santa Fe, 51-0. Next: vs. Loyola at L.A. Valley College, Fri., 7 p.m.

10. Alemany (2-1)
In the biggest shocker so far, the Warriors blew a 14-point lead on the road Friday and lost, snapping their 15-game regular-season winning streak. The schedule doesn't get easier, either. Last week: Lost to J.W. North, 36-35. Next: at Chaminade, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

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ESPNLA prep football Top 25: Week 2

September, 12, 2011
9/12/11
7:35
PM PT
Four of last week's top eight teams lost, paving the way for some shuffling among the highly ranked. Servite, our No. 1 squad, was the only top 12 team from last week to stay in the same slot. Here are our rankings heading into Week 2:

1. Servite (2-0)
A scary thing for Trinity League and Pac-5 opponents to consider: Senior quarterback Cody Pittman might be better this year. Last week: Beat Bishop Amat, 49-14. Next: vs. La Habra at Cerritos College, Friday, 8 p.m.

2. Long Beach Poly (2-0)
Only two weeks in, the Jackrabbits have already taken down one of the state's better teams and a City Section favorite. Last week: Beat Carson, 38-18. Next: vs. Narbonne at Veterans Stadium, Fri., 7 p.m.

3. Alemany (2-0)
The defending Serra League champs are proving that life without former dynamic weapon Vernon Adams isn't so bad. Last week: Beat Eastside, 46-7. Next: vs. Riverside North at Riverside CC, Fri., 7 p.m.

4. Santa Margarita (2-0)
The Eagles had no trouble against their crosstown rivals, recapturing bragging rights in the sold-out "Rumble at the Ranch." Last week: Beat Tesoro, 39-7. Next: at Trabuco Hills, Thursday, 7 p.m.

5. Mission Viejo (1-1)
A memorable trip to the East Coast turned sour in a miserable loss to the nation's top-ranked team. Last week: Lost to Don Bosco Prep (N.J.), 35-7. Next: vs. La Quinta, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

6. St. Bonaventure (1-0)
It's safe to say the Seraphs didn't really mind their 115-mile bus ride back to Ventura on Friday night. Last week: Beat Corona Centennial, 29-27. Next: at Royal, Fri., 7 p.m.

7. Corona Centennial (0-1)
Coach Matt Logan's concerns about youth and inexperience were verified in a major way. Last week: Lost to St. Bonaventure, 29-27. Next: vs. Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

8. Crespi (2-0)
Talk about explosive. The Celts, led by Cody Cordell, have put up 112 points through two games. Last week: Beat L.A. Jordan, 64-0. Next: vs. Clovis West at Buchanon HS, Sat., 7:30 p.m.

9. Oaks Christian (0-1)
They've had the extra week to analyze tape, correct mistakes and refine a defense that struggled to stop nationally-ranked Bellevue (Wash.) in the opener. Last week: Idle. Next: at Agoura, Fri., 7 p.m.

10. St. John Bosco (2-0)
Mistakes on special teams nearly cost the Braves in Lakewood. They might be on the verge of something special if kinks are ironed out. Last week: Beat Lakewood, 35-31. Next: vs. Santa Fe, Fri., 7 p.m.

11. Bishop Amat (1-1)
As if poor defensive play wasn't enough of a concern, coach Steve Hagerty is unsure about offensive catalyst Zachary Shay's health. Last week: Lost to Servite, 49-14. Next: vs. La Mirada, Fri., 7 p.m.

12. Carson (1-1)
Freakishly-talented receiver Darreus Rogers will need some help if the Colts hope to pull off an upset or two in the coming weeks. Last week: Lost to Long Beach Poly, 38-18. Next: Santa Margarita, Sept. 23.

13. Westlake (1-0)
Momentum figures to be favorable for the Warriors, who might still be riding high following a thrilling overtime win in their opener. Last week: Idle. Next: vs. Calabasas, Fri., 7 p.m.

14. Mater Dei (0-1)
The Monarchs surely went back to the drawing board, looking to correct a defensive formula that failed them to start. Last week: Idle. Next: vs. Corona Centennial at Santa Ana Stadium, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

15. Rancho Cucamonga (2-0)
Perhaps the best dual threat in San Bernardino County, quarterback Dimitri Morales has thrown for 500 yards and six touchdowns through two games. Last week: Beat Great Oak, 35-0. Next: at Muir, Fri., 7 p.m.

16. Orange Lutheran (2-0)
Jabari Wilson had 152 rushing yards and Conner Sullivan added 203 through the air to lead the Lancers' balanced attack. Last week: Beat Los Osos, 36-21. Next: vs. Tesoro at Orange Coast College, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

17. Norco (1-0)
Coach Todd Gerhart's bunch needed to come from behind to avoid an upset in their first game of 2011. Last week: Beat Crenshaw, 21-20. Next: vs. Etiwanda at Colony HS, Fri., 7 p.m.

18. Chaminade (1-0)
The Eagles broke in their new blue turf with a victory thanks to Terrell Newby's five touchdowns and 269 rushing yards. Last week: Beat Venice, 41-21. Next: at Valencia, Fri., 7 p.m.

19. Lakewood (1-1)
Top playmaker Darius Powe sat out because of an injury but his young, athletic teammates stepped up to make things interesting. Last week: Lost to St. John Bosco, 35-31. Next: at Mayfair, Fri., 7 p.m.

20. San Clemente (2-0)
Highly regarded offensive lineman Kyle Murphy plays a huge role in the Tritons' running game, which produced 393 rushing yards and four touchdowns Thursday. Last week: Beat Fountain Valley, 43-10. Next: vs. La Costa Canyon, Fri., 7 p.m.

21. Vista Murrieta (1-0)
Tyler Rausa converted a game-winning 38-yard field goal as time expired, but the Broncos made things harder than they had to be. Last week: Beat Etiwanda, 31-28. Next: vs. Corona Santiago, Fri., 7 p.m.

22. Canyon Country Canyon (1-0)
Canyon's offense was impressive: Senior quarterback Jonathan Jerozal threw for 179 yards and two touchdowns; tailback Max Archuleta ran for 164 and a score. Last week: Beat Burroughs, 42-14. Next: vs. Knight, Fri., 7:30 p.m.

23. S.O. Notre Dame (2-0)
Lucas Alfonso became an instant hero on campus, nailing a 40-yard field goal in overtime to keep the Knights perfect. Last week: Beat Valencia, 17-14 (OT). Next: vs. Taft, Fri., 7 p.m.

24. Upland (2-0)
Not a bad start for the Highlanders, who racked up 365 yards Friday after putting up 63 points by halftime in their opener. Last week: Beat Tustin, 31-20. Next: at Serrano, Fri., 7 p.m.

25. Redlands East Valley (1-0)
Difficult tests are on the horizon but, if their opening performance is any indication, the Wildcats appear poised to meet them head on. Last week: Beat Dominguez, 30-0. Next: at San Gorgonio, Fri. 7 p.m.

Dropped out: Tesoro (24)

Newcomer: Redlands East Valley (25)

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter. Make sure to follow @ESPNLAPreps for live in-game updates, final scores and news.

ESPNLA prep football top 25: Week 1

September, 5, 2011
9/05/11
3:33
PM PT
Opening week has come and gone, and only one team in the top 10 of the ESPNLA.com Top 25 prep football preseason rankings lost. Three teams fell completely out following rather lackluster performances but, other than that, there was no drastic movement. Here are our rankings heading into Week 1:

1. Servite (1-0)
New year, new names, same old story. Coach Troy Thomas' bunch just finds ways to win. Last week: Beat Oceanside, 20-0. Next: vs. No. 7 Bishop Amat, Friday.

2. Corona Centennial (0-0)
The Huskies' uptempo attack and new quarterback Hayden Gavett get a tough first test. Last week: Idle. Next: vs. No. 9 St. Bonaventure, Friday.

3. Mission Viejo (1-0)
A successful opening weekend was spoiled by senior transfer Buzzy Yokoyama's leg injury. Last week: Beat Bakersfield Centennial, 35-6. Next: at Don Bosco Prep (N.J.), Saturday.

4. Long Beach Poly (1-0)
The Jackrabbits traveled north and pulled out a thrilling victory against the state's No. 7-ranked team. Last week: Beat Sacramento Grant, 24-23. Next: vs. No. 8 Carson at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Friday.

5. Alemany (1-0)
Devon Dunn had no problems in his first career varsity start. The junior threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. Last week: Beat Pasadena, 55-0. Next: vs. Lancaster Eastside, Friday.

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