Scott Kennedy: Top 20 teams in CIF-SS, Week 13
NOV 24, 2013 2:25p ET
No. 1 St. John Bosco's coaching staff had to chuckle privately when they saw the Pac-5 bracket knowing that they'd face two of the worst 16 teams in the tournament in Round 2. While Mission Viejo, Alemany, and Long Beach Poly were hitting the road to take on tough opponents, Bosco got the short trip to Tesoro. The Titans were no match for any of the teams left alive in the Pac-5, let alone the best one. Bosco predictably crushed Tesoro, but will get a full four quarters from Alemany on Friday.
No. 2 Serra didn't need the good fortune of scheduling to know it wasn't going to be challenged in the first two rounds of the Western Division. There were only four teams in the Western Division, and then there was everyone else. With everyone else gone in two rounds of blowouts, Serra will grant St. Francis a rematch of a thrilling 35-21 Cavaliers win on Nov. 1. St. Francis jumped to a 21-7 lead before Serra answered the bell and ripped off 28-straight points. Serra won't be caught napping this week and should advance without too much trouble to face the Lompoc/Chaminade winner.
No. 3 Long Beach Poly had a game on Friday that basically said "Hey! Don't forget about us!" The Jackrabbits needed a little luck to survive against a good Orange Lutheran squad two weeks ago. Poly needed no such luck to devastate St. Bonaventure on the road in their 44-8 win. Poly's defensive size and speed is just devastating, and the Jackrabbits overwhelmed the Seraphs setting up a Pac-5 Championship rematch from last year with Mater Dei. The game will put the two best defenses in the Southern Section against one another.
No. 4 Vista Murrieta had little trouble with a good Charter Oak team in a 52-7 win. Throw out its loss to Cathedral Catholic of San Diego, and we'd be talking about one of the top teams in the country. No one else has played the Broncos within four touchdowns this year. Their win set up an intriguing matchup with Norco. Quarterback Coltin Gearhart was a three-year starter for Norco before transferring to the Broncos this season. Norco has found their identity and it's run, run, and more run. Norco won a gutty game against Rancho Cucamonga last week on Prep Zone, but Vista Murrieta is going to be too much for the Cougars.
No. 5 Mater Dei was ranked as high as No. 2 for a large part of the season, and the Monarchs looked the part as they beat up Mission Viejo on Friday night. The Monarchs got back to basics the last couple of weeks and dedicated themselves to the run. Mission Viejo couldn't match up with Mater Dei's size on the line of scrimmage, and quarterback Chase Forrest played confidently with his lineman dominating up front. Forrest knows better than to get too comfortable this week, because Poly's defense will be the best he and Mater Dei has seen all season.
No. 6 Corona Centennial has evolved into the team we thought they could be to start the season when they began the season ranked No. 4. The Huskies stumbled early against Long Beach Poly and Alemany, but have rediscovered their focus and won eight in a row, averaging 57 points per game over that span. Centennial will now face the season's most improved team in Upland who knocked off Rancho Cucamonga last week.
No. 7 Mission Viejo fell in the second round of the Pac-5 for the second consecutive year after posting 11-0 records heading into the games. The Diablos have entered the playoffs untested after running roughshod over the South Coast League. No one played Mission Viejo within 35 points in league play. Mission Viejo looked tentative and rattled against a terrific Mater Dei defense, and by the time they got their composure, it was too late.
No. 8 Alemany jumped all over Servite early, establishing a 21-7 lead, but the Warriors had to hang on for dear life as the Friars' halftime adjustments brought them within a two-point conversion of tying the game. Quarterback Alief Grayes keyed the big-play attack for the Warriors, and the defense, a weakness last year, became a strength this year. Alemany can play with Bosco, but the Warriors' best hope of pulling off the upset is that the Braves are complacent after two easy games to open the playoffs. With both teams at their best, St. John Bosco wins comfortably.
No. 9 Chaminade got off to a bit of a slow start against Ventura, but the Eagles won comfortably 36-3 when all was said and done. The Western is a four-team division, and Chaminade won their first two games by a combined score of 107-11 while Lompoc cruised through the same games 80-17.Chaminade has a balanced attack on offense, and the defense will be tasked with stopping the Lompoc ground game. It's taken three weeks, but we should finally get a competitive game in the Western this week.
No. 10 Valencia had a wake-up call against Loyola on Oct 4. Valencia was pushed all over the field by the Cubs. Valencia hasn't lost since. Starting with a 38-24 win over this week's opponent Saugus. The Vikings have won through the air (Over 300 yards against Canyon), and they’ve won on the ground (51 rushing attempts against Hart). Most of the credit though goes to the defense as the Vikings have shut down a variety attacks including Hart's air raid and Arroyo Grande's option. Valencia will do its best to strike midnight against Cinderella Saugus who entered the playoffs at 5-5 but find themselves in the Northern quarterfinals.
TOP 20 IN CIF-SS, WEEK 12
1. (1) St. John Bosco (12-0)
2. (2) Serra (12-0)
3. (4) Long Beach Poly (11-1)
4. (5) Vista Murrieta (11-1)
5. (7) Mater Dei (10-2)
6. (6) Corona Centennial (10-2)
7. (3) Mission Viejo (11-1)
8. (8) Alemany (10-2)
9. (10) Chaminade (10-2)
10. (13) Valencia (10-2)
11. (11) Orange Lutheran (7-4)
12. (16) Upland (9-3)
13. (NR) Norco (9-3)
14. (9) Rancho Cucamonga (10-2)
15. (19) Hart (10-2)
16. (15) Servite (6-6)
17. (17) Westlake (8-3)
18. (20) Lompoc (11-1)
19. (NR) Edison (9-3)
20. (NR) Corona Del Mar (12-0)
IN: Norco, Corona Del Mar, Edison
OUT: St. Bonaventure, La Habra, Palos Verdes
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