Joe Davidson

Little movement in The Bee’s prep football rankings leaves a lot of room to debate

Christian Brothers remains in The Bee’s Top 20 despite an 0-2 start because the Falcons have played two powerhouse teams in Manteca and Jesuit.
Christian Brothers remains in The Bee’s Top 20 despite an 0-2 start because the Falcons have played two powerhouse teams in Manteca and Jesuit. Special to The Bee

Steady as she goes, each of The Bee’s top seven teams rolled, with No. 8 Grant beating No. 9 Capital Christian 19-0 in a game that felt closer as the ferocity and skill for both squads was on display in front of an overflow setting in Rosemont.

Capital Christian showed it belongs in the top 10, and it will hold at No. 9 as competitive losses to higher-ranked teams do not equate to free-falls in the rankings.

That’s why Grant slid just one spot after losing 24-14 to higher-ranked Rocklin in an opener, and why Del Oro didn’t plunge after falling to a Utah power in a showcase game a week after beating a Cal-Hi state-ranked heavyweight.

Half of our top six hail from the Sierra Foothill League, with the exception of Inderkum of the Tri-County Conference. The SFL will shake out soon enough.

Key games this week include top-ranked Folsom playing No. 7 Sacramento at Hughes Stadium in a rematch of last season’s stunner in Folsom. That’s when the Dragons became the first area team to knock off Folsom since 2011, and they rose to No. 1 in these rankings for the first time since the 1960s. Folsom is eager for this rematch because it wants to remove that bruise once and for all, and Sacramento want to show that the 2016 effort was no fluke.

Hughes Stadium on Saturday was festive with the Holy Bowl, played since 1969 between Christian Brothers and Jesuit. The No. 12 Marauders flexed the sort of muscle and skill they expected to when coming into the season ranked No. 2, rolling the then-No. 16 Falcons 43-14. Jesuit lost 31-21 to No. 2 Granite Bay and 55-9 to top-ranked Folsom. Christian Brothers remains in the rankings, falling three spots to No. 19, as it has lost to Sac-Joaquin Section power Manteca by a point and to a Jesuit program it cannot seem to solve of late.

No. 17 Monterey Trail and its run-heavy veer offense plays Friday at No. 5 Del Oro, which offers a balanced offense and a stout defense. Monterey Trail ran previous No. 20 Vista del Lago off the field, 42-14, allowing Bear River to jump in at No. 20, a storied program that continues to compete despite declining enrollment.

This is a bye week for seven teams, as schools are allowed 11 weeks to play 10 regular-season games. Idle teams are No. 8 Grant, No. 9 Capital Christian, No. 11 Sheldon, No. 12 Jesuit, No. 13 Elk Grove, No. 14 Antelope and No. 18 Whitney.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD. On Instagram: JoeDavidsonMedia


(With last week’s ranking)

1. Folsom (1) 3-0

The Bulldogs don’t just score in bunches and block, they tackle and defend with purpose and fury with Tyler Hardeman, Cruz Lara and Tanner Ward.

2. Granite Bay (2) 3-0

The Grizzlies can match last season’s victory total with a win at Vacaville.

3. Oak Ridge (3) 3-0

The Trojans face Reed, a Nevada team that has had their number in recent seasons, including high-scoring shootouts.

4. Inderkum (4) 3-0

The Tigers have not been challenged since the opener at Elk Grove, as opponents have buckled under their skill, speed and defense.

5. Del Oro (5) 2-1

Josh Gazzaniga has been steady at quarterback. The Golden Eagles also boast a solid running game, good targets and a strong offensive line.

6. Rocklin (6) 3-0

Unsung performers for the Thunder include linemen Tyler Geide and Sam Hinerman as the team has withstood speed, size and skill from opponents.

7. Sacramento (7) 2-0

The Dragons are eager for another shot at Folsom, having upset the host Bulldogs a year ago, but they have to clean up the sloppy mistakes and drops.

8. Grant (8) 2-1

The Pacers have tons of potential, size, and speed, but they stall out too often with penalties, some of the absurd variety.

9. Capital Christian (9) 2-1

The Cougars are a sudden triage unit with so many injuries, though they showed well against storied Grant, refusing to be bullied.

10. Franklin (10) 2-0

The Wildcats had a bye and are gearing for a Delta League title run with a wealth of returning players and veteran coach Mike Johnson.

11. Sheldon (11) 2-1

The Huskies lost by a touchdown to state-ranked Reno, though scoring the final three touchdowns was encouraging for a team seeking a Delta title.

12. Jesuit (12) 1-2

The Marauders found themselves in rolling Christian Brothers during the Holy Bowl. Josh Farr-to-Evan Panson deep plays are heating up.

13. Elk Grove (13) 1-2

The Thundering Herd gave coach John Heffernan his first win with triple-option excellence behind Jake Jordan and Zion Thomas.

14. Antelope (14) 3-0

The Titans have a bye and seek another Capital Valley Conference crown after posting consecutive 12-1 seasons, with defense the unsung cog.

15. Del Campo (17) 2-0

The Cougars were idle, meaning they’re rested for Vanden and ready for another run at a CVC league championship.

16. River Valley (18) 3-0

The Falcons have already equaled last season’s victory total and now target a Tri-County Conference crown long owned by Inderkum.

17. Monterey Trail (19) 2-0

The Mustangs are ready to unleash backs Jehiel Budgett and Aztlan Lopez on Del Oro after rushing for 382 yards to blast previously

ranked Vista del Lago.

18. Whitney (15) 1-2

The Wildcats have losses to No. 2 Granite Bay and No. 6 Rocklin, but look the part of Capital Valley League title contenders.

19. Christian Brothers (16) 0-2

The Falcons have one of the best players in the state on board in tight end/defensive end Spencer Webb, who had big moments against


20. Bear River (-) 3-0

The Bruins have long been a factor or force behind classy coaches Terry Logue and Scott Savoie with defense and effort team staples.

Dropped out: Vista del Lago (20).

Bubble teams (alphabetical order:) Casa Roble (2-1), Colfax (3-0), Cordova (2-1), Cosumnes Oaks (0-2), Lincoln (2-1), Oakmont (2-0),

Placer (1-1), Pleasant Grove (2-1), Rio Americano (2-1), River City (3-0), Rio Linda (2-1), Vista del Lago (1-2), Yuba City (2-1).

This week’s schedule (Sept. 15-16)

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


Top 20

No. 1 Folsom vs. No. 7 Sacramento at Hughes Stadium

No. 2 Granite Bay at Vacaville

Reed-Nevada at No. 3 Oak Ridge

Moreau Catholic at No. 4 Inderkum

No. 17 Monterey Trail at No. 5 Del Oro

No. 6 Rocklin at Clovis West

No. 10 Franklin vs. Lathrop

Vanden at No. 15 Del Campo

No 16 River Valley at Pleasant Valley

No. 20 Bear River at Marysville

Byes: No. 8 Grant, No. 9 Capital Christian, No. 11 Sheldon, No. 12 Jesuit, No. 13 Elk Grove, No. 14 Antelope, No. 18 Whitney.

Other games

Bella Vista at Colfax

Bradshaw Christian at Center

Casa Roble at Oakmont

Cordova at Vista del Lago

El Camino at River City

Encina at Delta

Franklin vs. Florin at Monterey Trail

Golden Sierra at El Dorado

Highlands at Bret Harte

Johnson at Big Valley Christian

Laguna Creek at Placer

Liberty Ranch vs. Escalon at

Napa vs. Nevada Union

Natomas at Rosemont

Rio Americano at Pioneer

Rio Linda at Foothill

San Juan vs. Mira Loma

Sierra Ridge vs. Western Sierra

Union Mine at Calaveras

Valley vs. Galt

Vintage at Woodcreek

Chico vs. Yuba City

Foresthill at Biggs

Lincoln at Wheatland

Lindhurst vs. Las Plumas

Orestimba at Esparto

Quincy at Woodland Christian

Winters at Dixon

Woodland at Enterprise


Top 20

McClatchy vs. No. 19 Christian Brothers at Hughes Stadium

Other games

St. Mary’s at Cosumnes Oaks