Scott Kennedy's CIF-SS Scouting Report (9/17)
It was a week of blowouts and upsets and there wasn't much in between as the top teams either shellacked overmatched opponents or found themselves on the wrong side of a tight game.
No. 1 Santa Margarita got a chance to practice with its starters well into the fourth quarter of a 72-0 blowout of Carson. The Eagles have out-scored their past two opponents by a combined score of 127-0 but should find the going much tougher this week against No. 6 St. Bonaventure.
No. 2 Vista Murrieta's performance against Redlands East Valley was actually more impressive than Santa Margarita's on Friday. The Broncos beat down what was supposed to be a good REV squad, 59-14. We make light of Carson's kamikaze schedule, but REV faced St. Bonaventure two weeks ago, No. 2 Vista Murrieta last week and No. 4 Mission Viejo this week. Vista Murrieta should get more of a fight this week from San Diego's Cathedral Catholic.
No. 3 Oaks Christian's transition to new coach Jeff Woordruff has been seamless thus far. The Lions travelled to Chaminade and controlled the game from beginning to end. The 44-30 score wasn't indicative of the Lions' dominance; it never felt like Chaminade was challenging Oaks Christian. Oaks will need to shore up its interior run defense to make a deep run in the Pac-5 playoffs, but there's nothing wrong with that potent offense.
No. 4 Mission Viejo continues to cruise through its exhibition schedule having rung up another lopsided win over an overmatched opponent. This time the canon fodder was La Quinta who the Diablos beat, 63-14. On paper, Mission Viejo's next matchup with Aliso Niguel looks better as the Wolverines are 4-0, but this still shouldn't be a challenge compared to the teams most of the Top 10 has scheduled games against in September.
No. 5 Mater Dei has started to click on all cylinders as they handled Santa Monica with little trouble in a 51-0 win. DE/TE Thomas Duarte is arguably the top two-way player in the Southern Section this year as he dominates on both sides of the ball. Mater Dei will get a fight from Edison of Huntingtion Beach this week. The Chargers are coming off a hard fought 6-0 shutout win over Servite.
No. 6 St. Bonaventure has arguably the best out-of-league schedule of any team in the Top 10, and the big matchup is this weekend on Prep Zone. The Seraphs had a relatively easy matchup with Atascadero in preparation for No. 1 Santa Margarita on Friday. Running back Zachary Green was a known commodity coming in to the season, but sophomore quarterback Ricky Towns has been a pleasant surprise as he efficiently leads the Seraph offense up and down the field.
No. 7 St. John Bosco makes a big leap into the Top 10 after a 45-0 dismantling of Loyola, a team that was on the brink of pushing into the Top 20. The Braves had put up video game numbers in its first three games, but the competition stepped up dramatically against Loyola. The result however, remained the same - another big Braves win. This week the Braves are scheduled to travel to Utah to take on Jordan before getting into the teeth of its Trinity League schedule.
No. 8 Serra has been in some battles already this season including a Week 0 win over Notre Dame, but the Cavaliers will get their biggest fight of the season against the City Section's top team in Narbonne. Not that one can always gleam as much information as we'd like from common opponents, but Serra's Week 1 20-12 win over Long Beach Poly lost some of its luster when Narbonne whipped the same Poly team, 56-0 the next week. This matchup on Prep Zone will be the toughest test to date for either squad.
No. 9 Corona Centennial seems to be following a pattern, lose its first game while a host of players make their first start of their career, then evolve into one of the Southern Section's best teams. I'm hesitant to call Centennial's win over No. 4 Bishop Alemany an upset when it felt like the Huskies were still the favored team. Corona Centennial has it rolling again, just like they do every year, and hopefully the Huskies will use the second half against Carson this week to get its young players some experience.
No. 10 Lompoc held superstar running back Lavon Coleman out of action on Friday for precautionary reasons with a thigh contusion. The Braves are good enough, even without Coleman, to win out. Coleman will be relied on heavily however in the Braves playoff run which should include a matchup somewhere along the line with Serra.