Joe Davidson

How an upset, big showdowns alter The Bee’s Top 20 high school football rankings

Isaah Crocker (13) and his Inderkum High teammates prepare for a game against host Elk Grove on Aug. 25. The Tigers host Kennedy on Friday.
Isaah Crocker (13) and his Inderkum High teammates prepare for a game against host Elk Grove on Aug. 25. The Tigers host Kennedy on Friday. Special to The Bee

There were slight changes in The Bee’s Top 20 and some new blood, thanks to the biggest upset on opening night.

River Valley of Yuba City went 3-7 last season, often plowed under as a young and inexperienced bunch. The Falcons came of age in a hurry on Friday.

Newly ranked at No. 19, River Valley produced a stirring 42-27 home victory over previous No. 15 Cosumnes Oaks behind quarterback Dawson McPeak, receiver Nick Barnes and a wing-T run game that produced 444 yards of total offense.

Coach Brennan McFadden brought aboard his Nevada Union mentor in Dave Humphers, now his co-coach, and it paid off immediately. River Valley plays Wood (1-0) next and on Oct. 20 it will host No. 6 Inderkum, which overwhelmed Elk Grove 52-36 with its wing-T scheme.

The weekend was also a successful one for Sac-Joaquin Section teams against out-of-area heavyweights. No. 5 Del Oro beat Cal-Hi Sports’ state-ranked No. 14 Cathedral Catholic of San Diego 22-12 in Jeff Walters’ coaching debut at his alma mater. Cathedral Catholic beat St. Mary’s of Stockton 38-35 in the 2016 CIF State Division I-AA final to cap a 15-0 season.

St. Mary’s, which dethroned four-time defending section champion Folsom in the D-I section final last season, beat Serra of San Mateo 41-13 on Saturday. Serra will play on consecutive Saturdays when it visits Elk Grove in another prime inter-sectional showdown. St. Mary’s travels to Cosumnes Oaks on Sept. 16 and then will play national No. 1 Mater Dei of Santa Ana at Levi’s Stadium on Sept. 23.

No. 11 Sacramento went to the Bay Area to down Mitty of San Jose 47-21 in coach Joe McCray’s debut. Mitty is a rival of Serra in the rugged West Catholic Athletic League. Sacramento plays top-ranked Folsom on Sept. 15.

Top-ranked Folsom opened with a 56-33 rout of Coeur d’Alene, ranked second in Idaho, after storming to a 56-8 halftime lead and playing reserves the rest of the way. The Bulldogs play at No. 3 Jesuit on Friday in a 4:45 p.m. game that expects to be roasting hot in temperature and in game action, especially after Jesuit was left seething from a 31-21 loss to new No. 2 Granite Bay.

Manteca beat Valley Christian, a rival of Serra and Mitty, 22-20 and will face No. 16 Christian Brothers on Friday at Hughes Stadium in the coaching debut of Tyler Almond, whose Falcons visit Jesuit on Sept. 9 at Hughes Stadium.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD


(With last week’s ranking)

1. Folsom (1) 1-0

The Ngata brothers – Daniyel and Joe – are versatile double trouble and scholarship talents.

2. Granite Bay (3) 1-0

From a 4-7 season to a rousing win over Jesuit, all systems go for the Grizzlies.

3. Jesuit (2) 0-1

Big Red can redeem quickly with a victory over No. 1 Folsom.

4. Oak Ridge (4) 1-0

Welcome to El Dorado Hills, Davin Simmons (three rushing touchdowns in debut effort).

5. Del Oro (5) 1-0

Defensive coordinator Steve Birch and linebacker son Andrew stymied state-ranked Cathedral Catholic in frenzied Loomis setting.

6. Inderkum (7) 1-0

New-look Tigers flashed old-school wing-T grit and burst under grizzled coach Terry Stark to beat Elk Grove.

7. Rocklin (9) 1-0

When you lead Grant 24-0 (and win 24-14), you pass the physicality/speed tests.

8. Elk Grove (6) 0-1

It doesn’t get easier for the Herd with powerhouse Serra-San Mateo coming to town, smarting from its own 0-1 start.

9. Grant (8) 0-1

The Pacers sputtered on offense in trailing Rocklin big, but potential is enormous.

10. Capital Christian (10) 1-0

Christian Simmons is a man-child, rushing for 250 yards and five scores to race past an Alaska team not used to such talents.

11. Sacramento (13) 1-0

Dragons impressed on road in toppling Mitty-San Jose to kick start the Joe McCray coaching era.

12. Franklin (11) 1-0

Jalen Lampley is the star running back and Zach Upshaw is the unsung lineman leader.

13. Sheldon (12) 1-0

Coach Joe Cattolico prefers simplistic football, as in heavy on the run and line play.

14. Antelope (14) 1-0

Nathan Lucero is the next star Titans QB, debuting with three touchdown passes.

15. Whitney (17) 1-0

Beating Davis to ease hurt of trying week is one thing; now it’s Granite Bay time.

16. Christian Brothers (16) 0-0

Falcons open against NorCal powerhouse Manteca, which has CIF State bowl pedigree.

17. Del Campo (18) 1-0

QB Tyler Dimino is already a better athlete and statistical marvel than coaching father Mike was in his day.

18. Placer (19) 1-0

In an era of field turf, the Hillmen bask in their natural-grass look and smell in Auburn.

19. River Valley (-) 1-0

Topping ranked teams like Cosumnes Oaks gets you on the list in a hurry.

20. Cosumnes Oaks (15) 0-1

Wolfpack played opener without best player, Kahlef Hailassie, and now encounter dangerous Pleasant Grove.

Bubble teams: Monterey Trail (1-0), Vista del Lago (0-1), Yuba City (1-0), Bradshaw Christian (1-0), Rio Linda (1-0), Colfax (1-0), El Dorado (0-0), Bear River (1-0), River City (1-0), Casa Roble (1-0).

This week’s schedule (Aug. 31-Sept. 2)

All games kickoff between 7-7:30 p.m., unless noted:


Bella Vista at El Camino


Top 20

No. 1 Folsom at No. 3 Jesuit, 4:45 p.m

No. 2 Granite Bay at No. 15 Whitney

No. 4 Oak Ridge at Vacaville

Kennedy at No. 6 Inderkum

No. 7 Rocklin at Napa

Burbank at No. 9 Grant

No. 10 Capital Christian at Modesto Chr

No. 12 Franklin vs. Laguna Creek at Cosumnes River College

No. 13 Sheldon at Casa Roble

No. 14 Antelope at Lincoln

Manteca vs. No. 16 Christian Brothers at Hughes Stadium

No. 17 Del Campo at Alameda

No. 18 Placer at Nevada Union

Wood at No. 19 River Valley

No. 20 Cosumnes Oaks at Pleasant Grove

Other games

Rio Vista at Natomas

Ponderosa at Vista del Lago

Rio Americano at Center

Davis at Woodcreek

Rio Linda at Roseville

Oakmont at Foothill

Highlands at Lindhurst

Marysville at Wheatland

Colusa at East Nicolaus

Galt at Ripon

Los Banos at Liberty Ranch

Winters at Colfax

Bear River at Union Mine

Woodland at Rosemont

Johnson at Mountain House

Dixon at Sutter

El Dorado at Del Mar

Chavez at Cordova

Mira Loma vs. Encina at El Camino

Valley Christian at Big Valley

Golden Sierra vs. Mesa Verde at San Juan


Top 20

No. 5 Del Oro at Timpview, 4 p.m.

Serra at No. 8 Elk Grove

Other games

Florin at San Juan

River City vs. McClatchy at Hughes Stadium