Scott Kennedy: Top 20 teams in CIF-SS, Week 5
No. 1 St. John Bosco started as the No. 1 team, and although the Braves have held the spot through five weeks, the team has yet to be truly tested this season. There haven’t been any huge out of league matchups. The Braves get a good Crenshaw team this week after taking last week off, but even the City Section power has already dropped three games, albeit to Long Beach Poly, Edison, and Oaks Christian. We don’t have to worry about Bosco going through the rest of the season untested though, the Trinity League schedule opens Oct. 11 with Santa Margarita, and the Trinity League is as strong as ever.
No. 2 Mater Dei
played an inspired Edison team on FOX Sports 1's National Game of the Week on Friday. It was a defensive battle for most of the game, with the only scoring coming on a pair of interception returns for touchdowns. The Monarchs finally broke through and wore down Edison before pulling away 21-7 in the second half. Mater Dei plays a disciplined, athletic, and complex set of defensive schemes, and the Monarchs haven't allowed an offensive touchdown since a garbage time score to St. Paul four games ago in a 56-7 blowout. Mater Dei has the week off to prepare for Servite and the Trinity League schedule.
No. 3 Serra
survived the early, most difficult part of its non-league schedule, including close calls with Oceanside and Notre Dame. The Cavaliers are off this week after taking care of business against Narbonne on Friday. Serra should cruise against Harvard-Westlake when they return to action in two weeks. Then it gets interesting, as Serra will play the first of two against Chaminade, assuming they meet again in the CIF playoffs. Winning might not be in Serra's best interest though. Last year Chaminade beat Serra and was rewarded by having to play at Serra in the CIF finals. Go figure.
No. 4 Mission Viejo didn't have the week off, but the starters got plenty of rest in a 56-7 laugher over Aliso Niguel. The Diablos travel to Redlands East Valley this week, which has been known to be a dangerous place to play as REV knocked off Mission Viejo two years ago. But this isn't the same set of teams, and Redlands East Valley looked awful against Orange Lutheran last week. The Wildcats invented new and exciting ways to turn the ball over in a comedy of errors against Orange Lutheran. Mission Viejo can't count on the Wildcats to play that poorly again this week, but it won't matter. Mission Viejo is going to cruise through the rest of its schedule and enter the Pac-5 playoffs undefeated.
No. 5 Alemany had one of the toughest schedules in the Southern Section, and the Warriors to this point have come through unscathed. Back-to-back victories over Centennial and St. Bonaventure have been impressive, but Alemany can't afford a letdown against a solid Norco team on the road this week. Quarterback Alief Grayes has been outstanding for Alemany, and the Warrior defense has improved tremendously over last season. Alemany is one of the few teams to have not taken a week off to this point, and the Warriors don't get a break until Halloween. Can Alemany keep up the pace?
No. 6 Servite
may be the surprise of the season thus far. The Friars were left for dead after an un-Servite-like season last year coupled with losing successful head coach Troy Thomas to Crespi. But Servite has beaten Long Beach Poly this year; they dominated Edison two weeks ago. The biggest test of the year is coming up this weekend with the state's No. 1 team and Southern Section bully De La Salle paying a visit on Saturday. Servite runs a high risk, high reward pressure defense, and De La Salle's precision option attack may exploit the Friar's scheme badly. Servite has had two weeks to get ready for De La Salle, but will it be enough?
No. 7 Long Beach Poly found itself in an unexpected battle with Cabrillo on Friday. After taking on Servite, Corona Centennial and Bakersfield on consecutive weeks, the Jackrabbits can be excused for being off their game a bit. It's nice to have a defense that can pitch a shutout when the offense isn't clicking. Poly was up only 7-0 late in the fourth quarter before tacking on the second touchdown. Poly wasn't expecting the fight they got from Cabrillo, but they should still roll through Compton this week and the rest of their Moore League Schedule.
No. 8 Hart may have taken a break from putting up record setting number through the air against Birmingham as the Indians took to the ground to blow out the Patriots. Senior running back Conner Wigenroth rushed for four touchdowns and added a fifth receiving for good measure. Hart is the class of the Foothill League and should put up gaudy numbers all season. The question now becomes, will it be the air attack, ground assault or both?
No. 9 Chaminade
had the week off after an impressive win over Oaks Christian. The Eagles are a two-point conversion against Hart away from being undefeated this year, but they'll face a Notre Dame team that feels for all the world that they should be undefeated, with a win over Serra included. After struggling on defense the first several weeks of the season, the Eagles held Oaks Christian to 14 points. Notre Dame isn't the most explosive offense the Eagles will have faced this year, but they'll have the best defense Chaminade has seen.
No. 10 Notre Dame was going to show us whether Canyon belonged among the Southern Section elite last week, and the Knights proved Canyon wasn't ready for prime time. Notre Dame won 45-21 in a game that was more lopsided than the score indicated. The defense held Serra to 13 points during regulation, Birmingham to five and Mira Costa to six, but they'll face their toughest offensive test to date against Chaminade's balanced attack. Notre Dame and Chaminade both have one loss, and both feel they should be undefeated. This should be one of the best matchups of the year.
CIF-SS Top 20: Week 5
1. (1) St. John Bosco (4-0)
2. (2) Mater Dei (5-0)
3. (3) Serra (5-0)
4. (4) Mission Viejo (5-0)
5. (6) Alemany (5-0)
6. (7) Servite (3-0)
7. (8) Long Beach Poly (4-1)
8. (9) Hart (4-0)
9. (10) Chaminade (3-1)
10. (11) Notre Dame (4-1)
11. (5) Vista Murrieta (3-1)
12. (12) Oaks Christian (4-1)
13. (13) Corona Centennial (3-2)
14. (15) Rancho Cucamonga (4-0)
15. (14) St. Bonaventure (3-2)
16. (16) Bishop Amat (4-1)
17. (17) JSerra (4-0)
18. (19) Orange Lutheran (5-0)
19. (18) Chino Hills (4-1)
20. (NR) Santa Margarita (3-2)
Out: Trabuco Hills