Northern California Top 25 Football Rankings
1. De La Salle (Concord) (1) 5-0
Beat Livermore 57-0. Host Foothill (Pleasanton) on Friday. Tiapepe Vitale
rushed for four first-half touchdowns and the defense, even resting two key starters, pitched its fifth consecutive shutout of the Cowboys.2. Elk Grove (2) 5-0
Bye. Host Laguna Creek on Friday. Coming off a 12-1 season, the Thundering Herd aims to repeat as Delta Valley Conference champions in a league that includes Franklin (Elk Grove) and Grant (Sacramento). Superb offensive line play the key again for a team that has won 15 consecutive regular-season games.3. Franklin (Elk Grove) (5) 5-0
Bye. At Grant (Sacramento) on Friday. Best team in the school's 10-year history with 17 starters back from last season, a lot of runners and fast defenders. Has never beaten Grant.4. Bellarmine (San Jose) (5) 3-1
Beat Riordon (San Francisco) 28-10 in posting six sacks. Quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels
, a Vanderbilt junior commit, rushed for two scores. Play at Mitty (San Jose) on Friday, having lost just once in last eight tries against rivals. Beat them twice last year. Lone loss was to De La Salle.5. Serra (San Mateo) (6) 4-0
Beat Mitty (San Jose) 30-21 for first West Catholic Athletic League win over rivals since 2008. Host Riordon (San Francisco) on Friday in ongoing meat-grinder league that could be the best in NorCal this fall.
6. Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) (7) 5-0
Bye. Host No. 9 Folsom on Friday. The Trojans open Delta River League play against Folsom in a terrific showdown of top-tier quarterbacks. DRL also includes defending champion Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) and Jesuit (Sacramento). Oak Ridge has a QB leader in Jason Samuels
and strong lines.7. Burbank (Sacramento) 10 (5-0)
Beat Sacramento 56-12 in Metro Conference game. Host Florin (Sacramento) on Saturday. The Titans are triple-option aces with speed and ferocity, headed by Isiah Williams
, who raced for 245 yards on seven carries and four scores against Sacramento.8. Folsom (11) 5-0
Idle. At No. 6 Oak Ridge on Friday. The Bulldogs won the Delta River League and state D-II title in 2010 and have similar goals this fall with a new quarterback in sophomore Jake Browning
and standout receiver Phillip Carter
, who has five scholarship offers. Offensive line has been stellar.9. California (San Ramon) (12) 5-0
Beat Foothill (Pleasanton) 36-7 in East Bay Athletic League of Bay Area-ranked heavies. Karris Johnson
rushed for 149 yards and three touchdowns. Host Monte Vista (Danville) on Friday.10. Placer (Auburn) (13) 5-0
Beat Woodcreek (Roseville) 54-14. Host Foothill (Sacramento) on Friday. The Hillmen buried another quality, prolific team, ruining Woodcreek's homecoming as Peter Denham
had three first-quarter touchdown passes. Could be the start of a 10-0 regular season as the Pioneer Valley League looms.11. Concord (14) 5-0
Idle. At Northgate (Walnut Creek) on Friday. Minutemen are favorites in the Diablo Valley League, though Northgate and Clayton Valley are off to 4-1 starts.
12. Deer Valley (Antioch) (NR) 4-1
Welcome aboard prolific bruisers of the East Bay. The Wolverines routed Vacaville 55-35 behind crafty junior quarterback Nsimba Webster
, who rushed for 221 yards and threw two touchdowns. Only loss was a 50-38 shootout at Folsom. Next is Bay Valley League, a slate that includes Pittsburg (4-2), Antioch (5-0) and Freedom (4-2). Play Antioch on Friday.13. Logan (Union City) (3) 5-1
Colts suffered 20-13 overtime loss at Del Oro, once nestled nicely in these rankings but off to a 1-4 start with close losses to Westlake, Grant and Burbank. If Logan wanted a wake-up call, it got it in Placer County. Bye this week with next game at home against Newark Memorial on Oct. 12.14. Buhach Colony (Atwater) (15) 3-2
Idle. Host Pitman (Turlock) on Friday. Major Central California League showdown looms here. The Thunder are still smarting from 36-35 loss to Serra when the Padres won it with two-point conversion run.15. Central Catholic (Modesto) (16) 4-2
Beat Ceres 69-7. Host Pacheco (Los Banos) on Friday. Ray Lomas
ran for four touchdowns and Garrett Ardis
hit Oregon-bound tight end Johnny Mundt
for a score. CC has a win over St. Mary's (Stockton) this season.16. St. Mary's (Stockton) (17) 3-2
Idle. Host Tokay (Lodi) on Friday. Still grinning after bombing Lincoln (Stockton) with late surge for 51-18 win. Has an earlier 21-13 loss to DLS in gutty effort.17. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) (8) 3-1
Lost to Serra (San Mateo) 30-21 for the first time since 2008. No shame here. May not be any unbeatens standing in rugged West Catholic Athletic League. Host Bellarmine (San Jose) on Friday with two scores to settle, having lost twice to the Bells last season, including the playoffs.18. Oak Grove (San Jose) (18) 5-0
Beat Independence (San Jose) 40-0. At Willow Glen (San Jose) on Friday. After squeezing past foes with wins of 1, 3 and 7 points, the Eagles cruised here. Finally, the coaches exhaled.19. Nevada Union (Grass Valley) (19) 3-2
Bye. Host Rocklin on Friday. The Miners open Sierra Foothill League play as tri-favorites with Granite Bay and defending champion Del Oro. NU has lost to Elk Grove and Pleasant Grove.20. Granite Bay (20) 2-3
Beat Lincoln (Stockton) 42-14. When on, this team is really impressive, as evidenced by the rout of Vacaville and blowing apart Lincoln which was NorCal ranked fourth not too long ago. Aim to win the Sierra Foothill League title.
21. Marin Catholic (Kentfield) (23) 5-1
Beat Redwood (Larkspur) 51-12 by scoring on first six possessions behind ace quarterback Jared Goff
. At Novato on Oct. 6. Lone loss was late to Vacaville when the Bulldogs were at full bark.22. Oakdale (24) 4-1
Beat Kimball (Tracy) 56-14. At Lathrop on Friday. Lost only to San Diego-area No. 1 Oceanside in SoCal showcase; run game is dominant.23. El Cerrito (NR) 6-0
The Gouchos are feeling the vibes of a potential D-III bowl bid, and can get it if they run the table. Easier said than done, certainly, but this is a talent-laden team that crushed Salesian 42-6 to snap the longest active winning streak in the state at 26. Keilan Benjamin
tossed four touchdowns for El Cerrito. Host Berean Christian (Walnut Creek) on Friday.24. Inderkum (Sacramento) (NR) 4-1
The Tigers beat Terra Nova (Pacifica) in a nonleague finale after an earlier win over Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove). Next is visiting Yuba City on Friday in a Tri-County League opener, a race that the speedy Tigers have owned with five consecutive titles.25. Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.) (25) 3-2
Idle. At Sheldon (Sacramento) on Friday. Lost to Lincoln when the Trojans were clicking and to upstart Inderkum. Aim to repeat as Delta River League champions in conference that includes Folsom and Oak Ridge.NorCal news and notes...
* Logan took one square on the chin strap in Placer County, falling in a nonleague finale at Del Oro 20-13 in overtime. It was Del Oro's first victory after agonizingly tough setbacks in recent weeks to Westlake (16-13 in overtime), Burbank (28-23) and Grant (31-30). Logan's hopes of a 10-0 start vanished when Cody Otten
caught the game winning pass from Zach LaBar
, and Otten iced it when he knocked down Logan's 4th-down pass attempt in the end zone. Otten was knocked out of a scrimmage against Elk Grove on the eve of the season, stopping play for 45 minutes as he was tended to. Coach Casey Taylor said he's recovered just fine. Ask Logan.
* Three consecutive losses for Vacaville bounced the Bulldogs out of these rankings. Vacaville has an earlier win over Marin Catholic.
* Back-to-back crushing losses to St. Mary's (51-18) and Granite Bay (42-14) resulted in Lincoln (Stockton) slipping out of these rankings. Lincoln debuted at No. 2 in this ranking but still is a heavy favorite to finish the regular season 7-3.
* Palo Alto also got bounced here after another stunning loss, this one to Milpitas
, which came up with six interceptions.
* Placer defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes
was selected to the U.S. Army All-American game with an on-campus presentation Wednesday. On Friday, the U.S. Army tour visited Lincoln (Stockton) to tender the formal invitation to tailback Justin Davis
. Despite internet and social media rumors, Vandedoes and Davis insist they remain firm on their USC verbal commitments, never mind that USC lost to Stanford recently.
* The ongoing debate of sharing athletes caused a major rift in Sacramento, resulting in coach Christian Mahaffey being dismissed as the head coach of the Rio Americano program on Tuesday. Eleven Rio Americano players turned in their gear in support of Guillermo Salazar, who requested a chance to compete in a baseball showcase event on Oct. 13. Mahaffey refused the request, resulting in Salazar leaving the program. When the 11 Rio players and Salazar requested a meeting with Mahaffey to return, they were declined, with the coach insisting the program would move on without them. Mahaffey was overruled by school administrators, who reinstated the players with a one-game sit-out this Friday at Cordova for insubordination, a move the players accepted and understood. Team leader Mark Lyon explained, "We could've handled it better." Here's The Sacramento Bee story
* And in a dose of real-life sadness, there is the tale of John Bloomfield, a member of 2008 state championship Grant (Sacramento) team and team captain defensive end for Sacramento. The senior is in a coma after suffering from undiagnosed respiratory problems. His mother, family and teammates stand vigil. Here is that Sacramento Bee story
.Joe Davidson has covered high schools with The Sacramento Bee since 1988. Follow him on Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD; on Facebook: sacbeepreps; and online: sacbee.com/preps; and radio podcasts: ESPN1320.net.