The opening weekend of the high school football season offered minimal changes in The Bee’s Top 20 rankings.
It was a much different story after this past week’s action. There was more movement as six ranked teams lost, including three in the top 10.
Two teams drop out – previous No. 18 Placer and No. 20 Cosumnes Oaks – and two others come in.
Welcome back, Vista del Lago at No. 20 and longtime ranked program Monterey Trail at No. 19. And how convenient: Those teams will meet Friday.
The biggest drop this week is Jesuit, slipping eight spots to 11. The Marauders entered the season No. 2 on the strength of 12 returning starters – and one whale of a backfield with Lorenzo Burkes and Isaiah Rutherford – from a team that reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinals. But Jesuit is reeling at 0-2 after suffering a 31-21 loss to preseason No. 3 Granite Bay (now No. 2) and then absorbing a 55-9 shelling by top-ranked Folsom, which included a running clock in the fourth quarter.
Jesuit will be fine, with a brutal early schedule sure to refocus the squad. Was Jesuit too highly ranked to start the season? It’s easy to argue as much, but we prefer to rank teams next to other highly ranked teams to let them play it out on the field, as it always comes down to results.
The Marauders were in the game against Granite Bay and were quickly out of it against Folsom with two first-half turnovers inside the Bulldogs’ 10-yard line and their inability to contain Kaiden Bennett.
The junior quarterback dazzled, passing for 336 yards and six touchdowns and rushing for 122 and a score as Folsom looked the part of championship contender again with superb line play on both sides and an overall defensive effort that stymied the Marauders.
Folsom plays at Modesto Bee’s No. 1 Oakdale on Friday at The Corral in one of the great settings in all of Northern California. It will be a battle of section and NorCal powerhouse programs with state championship pedigree (three combined titles this decade).
Jesuit plays No. 16 Christian Brothers in the Holy Bowl on Saturday night in what should draw another 18,000-plus fans at Hughes Stadium, and there will be a moment of silence before kickoff to honor Dick Sperbeck, the famed CB coach in the 1960s and ’70s who was instrumental in getting the Holy Bowl launched in 1969. Sperbeck died Thursday after battling a lung illness (more on him in Tuesday’s Bee).
No. 9 Capital Christian hosts No. 8 Grant on Friday in a great gauge game for the up-and-coming Cougars as they take on the speed, ferocity and tradition of the visiting Pacers.
Del Oro and Elk Grove were the other top 10 teams that suffered losses. The No. 5 Golden Eagles fell 30-13 to Timpview, a state power from Utah, in a showcase event in Mission Viejo. Del Oro opened the season with a 22-12 victory over state preseason Cal-Hi Sports No. 14 Cathedral Catholic of San Diego. Elk Grove dropped five spots to No. 13 after losing a competitive 42-21 contest to Central Coast Section power Serra of San Mateo.
Strength of schedule matters here, and the rankings will reflect accordingly. These rankings are not standings, so unbeaten teams will not automatically climb over teams that have losses.
THE BEE’S TOP 20
(With last week’s ranking)
1. Folsom (1) 2-0
The Bulldogs can score, block, defend and overwhelm teams with speed, skill and cohesion.
2. Granite Bay (2) 2-0
The Grizzlies have a player in Evan Tattersall, a runner and a linebacker who has influenced the fast start.
3. Oak Ridge (4) 2-0
The Trojans showed championship grit by rallying from a two-touchdown deficit to beat Vacaville behind Marco Baldacchino.
4. Inderkum (6) 2-0
The Tigers were not tested against Kennedy, rolling 72-0, but will soon enough against No. 18 River Valley.
5. Del Oro (5) 1-1
Can’t drop the Golden Eagles for playing a Utah powerhouse on the road, especially after beating a state-ranked heavy.
6. Rocklin (7) 2-0
Blayden Brown has scored on offense and defense as a fullback and linebacker, and he’s just warming up, as are the Thunder.
7. Sacramento (11) 1-0
The Dragons were idle and soon play Folsom in a rematch of last season’s epic upset of the Bulldogs.
8. Grant (9) 1-1
The Pacers found their offense and defensive grit in belting Burbank, and there’s no way they want to lose to small-school Capital Christian.
9. Capital Christian (10) 2-0
The Cougars won’t be at full strength against Grant with star running back Christian Simmons sidelined with a broken leg, a shame for such a hard-working kid.
10. Franklin (12) 2-0
The Wildcats have a running back to behold in Daniel Ross, who rushed for 204 yards and three scores against Laguna Creek.
11. Sheldon (13) 2-0
The Huskies have rolled teams from Roseville (Woodcreek) and Orangevale (Casa Roble) and now face 2-0 Reno at home.
12. Jesuit (2) 0-2
Big Red is a bit red-faced after Folsom loss but can bounce back big with a strong showing in the Holy Bowl.
13. Elk Grove (8) 0-2
The Thundering Herd has lost to No. 4 Inderkum and Bay Area power Serra, meaning they’re all ready to unleash on Lincoln in Stockton.
14. Antelope (14) 2-0
The Titans are balanced on offense with Damon Nunn and Moses Paul running the ball for a coach – Matt Ray – who loves to pass.
15. Whitney (15) 1-1
The Wildcats have impressed in effort, spirit and resolve under trying circumstances, a credit to new coach Jesse Armas.
16. Christian Brothers (16) 0-1
There’s no shame losing to NorCal power Manteca on a last-minute 2-point conversion, and welcome to CB, new QB star Gunnor Faulk.
17. Del Campo (17) 2-0
A year ago, Tyler Dimino forced throws. Now he’s in a groove with nine touchdown passes in two first-half routs.
18. River Valley (19) 2-0
The Falcons had their Friday home game against Wood moved to Saturday morning due to heat/fires and prevailed 36-22, as good teams adjust.
19. Monterey Trail (-) 1-0
The Mustangs always compete, for the sheer will of fiery proud coach T.J. Ewing, and they fluster foes with the veer offense.
20. Vista del Lago (-) 1-1
The last time the Eagles were ranked, they fell 49-0 to Oak Ridge. They aim to stick around awhile this time.
Bubble teams (alphabetical order): Bear River (2-0), Bradshaw Christian (1-1), Casa Roble (1-1), Colfax (2-0), Cosumnes Oaks (0-2), El Dorado (1-0), Natomas (2-0), Placer (1-1), Pleasant Grove (1-1), River City (2-0), Rio Linda (2-0), Yuba City (2-0).
This week’s schedule (Sept. 5-9)
All games start between 7-8 p.m., unless noted:
Marysville at Wheatland
El Camino at Pioneer
McClatchy vs. Rio Americano at Hughes Stadium
No. 1 Folsom at Oakdale
St. Mary’s-Albany at No. 2 Granite Bay
No. 3 Oak Ridge at Burbank
No. 4 Inderkum at American Canyon
No. 5 Del Oro at Windsor
No. 6 Rocklin at No. 15 Whitney
No. 8 Grant at No. 9 Capital Christian
Reno at No. 11 Sheldon
No. 13 Elk Grove at Lincoln-Stockton
Woodcreek at No. 14 Antelope
No. 18 River Valley at Roseville
No. 20 Vista del Lago at No. 19 Monterey Trail
Bye: No. 10 Franklin, No. 17 Del Campo
Argonaut at Colfax
Bret Harte at Golden Sierra
Center at River City
Cordova at Rio Linda
Davis at Vintage
Delta at Rio Vista
Dixon at Fairfield
El Dorado at Ponderosa
Encina at Western Sierra
Florin at Highlands
Galt at Linden
Kennedy at Rosemont
Laguna Creek at Stagg
Lincoln at Nevada Union
Mira Loma at Natomas
Pleasant Grove at Pitman
Union Mine vs. Casa Roble at Bella Vista
Vacaville at Yuba City
Valley at Vallejo
Woodland vs. Foothill at Pioneer
Aptos at Placer
Bradshaw Christian at East Nicolaus
Foresthill at Maxwell
Lindhurst at Colusa
Marysville at Sutter
Mesa Verde vs. Wheatland at San Juan
Pershing County-Nev. at Bear River
San Juan at California School for the Deaf
Vanden at No. 7 Sacramento, 1 p.m.
No. 12 Jesuit vs. No. 16 Christian Brothers at Hughes Stadium