No. 1 Vista Murrieta has to fight the complacency monster this season as their remaining schedule poses no real threats to a team that should finish No. 1. Temecula Valley helped remind the Broncos that they can’t just go through the motions with a quick 14 points in the first quarter. But there’s an old saying about waking a sleeping giant. Vista Murrieta dropped 37 points on the Golden Bears in the second quarter… yes… quarter. Great Oak at home should be no trouble this week, but a trip to Murrieta Valley on the Oct. 19 should be more interesting.
No. 2 Mission Viejo had the week off to prepare for league play. The Diablos open this week at San Clemente who just lost a shootout to No. 19 El Toro. Mission Viejo has used a balanced attack behind QB Ian Fieber and RB Alex Suchesk to pace the offense, while Max Redfield (USC) continues to be the leader on defense. The Diablos have gelled nicely with its newcomers and veterans alike and should get their toughest test of the season on the Oct. 19 when they travel to No. 9 Tesoro.
No. 3 Mater Dei opened Trinity League play with perennial cellar dweller JSerra and the Monarchs wasted little time dispatching its opponent in a 42-10 victory. It gets interesting this week as Mater Dei travels to Santa Margarita. Being that it’s the game of the week in the Southern Section, it will be the Game of the Week on FOX Sports West Friday at 7:30 p.m. Mater Dei has leaned heavily on big TE Thomas Duarte who already has eight TD receptions, while junior Justin Allen is pacing the rushing attack.
No. 4 Santa Margarita had to replace MVP Johnny Stanton (Nebraska), who is out for the season with a knee injury, with Josh Canty getting the start at QB while Kyle Sweet played the second half. Servite’s defense was able to hang tough for as long as they could while the new QBs took turns turning the ball over. Santa Margarita’s defense ensured that the game was never really in danger while the offense tried to find a rhythm. Sweet was more effective on the whole, but his reps came against a second-half Servite defense who began tiring. Sweet looks to be the better prospect in terms of running and throwing, but we didn’t get a definitive answer based on the Servite game. Mater Dei will provide a much bigger challenge, and the QB, whoever he might be this week, will need to make some plays and protect the ball better to come away with the W.
No. 5 St. John Bosco opened its Trinity League play against Orange Lutheran. The Braves were in a 7-6 battle late in the second half before pulling away, 21-6. After giving up 33 to Jordan of Sandy, Utah, St. John Bosco stepped up to the challenge of facing an Orange Lutheran squad that had averaged over 30 points per game on the season. Bosco has been incredibly balanced on the season with nearly 200 yards per game rushing and passing. Sophomore QB Josh Rosen has been incredibly efficient tossing 13 TDs against only three interceptions on the season. Bosco shouldn’t have much trouble with JSerra this week.
No. 6 St. Bonaventure’s goal for the rest of the season is simply to stay healthy. No one left on the Seraph’s schedule is going to stay within four scores of them. Simi Valley didn’t in a 42-0 whitewash. St. Bonaventure has the week off to get ready for Newbury Park who takes on Westlake this week. The Westlake/Newbury Park game will be for second place in the Eastern half of the Marmonte League.
No. 7 Corona Centennial has it rolling after its season-opening loss against St. Bonaventure. The Huskies have put up 60 three times this year including last week’s 61-24 shellacking of Corona. The domination in that game was more severe than even the final score indicated as Centennial was up 47-9 at halftime before easing up. A trip to Norco looked a little more daunting a couple of weeks ago, but a tough loss to Alemany followed by a bad loss to Corona Santiago last week doesn’t bode well for the Cougars.
No. 8 Oaks Christian held serve at home against Agoura in a 35-0 win. It will take an upset of colossal proportions for Oaks Christian to not end up meeting St. Bonaventure for the Marmonte League Championship as each team should roll through its respective divisions. The Lions have the week off before facing a sacrificial lamb in Calabasas who is coming off of its own 45-0 loss to Newbury Park.
No. 9 Upland makes its debut in the Top 10 after an impressive 19-7 victory over No. 14 Rancho Cucamonga on the Prep Zone last week. This game was low scoring because of the smash mouth, swarming defenses on both sides of the ball. This was Ravens/Steelers in the NFL as the hitting was fast and furious. Senior QB Nate Romine helped lead the Highlanders to enough points to let his defense do the rest. Upland lost a lot of talent from its 2011 squad, but they’re bringing a lot back including Romine and Joe Mathis who lined up at defensive end and fullback. Upland stood up and made Corona Centennial and Vista Murrieta take notice that there will be more than two teams competing for the Inland Championship this year.
No. 10 Tesoro has been a tough team to get a handle on this year. In the Al Davis school of “Just Win Baby,” the Titans are a perfect 6-0. But Tesoro has played nearly everyone close this year, none of which are Top-10 caliber opponents. Tesoro had another tight one with Trabuco Hills in a 35-28 victory. Trabuco Hills was a decent squad coming in with a 4-2 record, but one of those losses was 55-0 to Santa Margarita, and the other was to Trinity League’s last-place team JSerra. El Toro should provide a better matchup for Tesoro this week, but we may not get a real idea of the strength of the South Coast teams until the Pac-5 playoffs as none of them are playing tough out-of-league schedules.