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Hart, Valencia, Canyon are 1,2,3 in football poll

West Ranch is seventh

Posted: September 9, 2013 8:14 p.m.
Updated: September 9, 2013 8:14 p.m.

No one can say the Foothill League isn’t getting respect, at least from the CIF pollsters.

Monday’s release of the CIF-Southern Section prep football polls revealed that the top three spots in the Northern Division are taken up by Hart, Valencia and Canyon, in that order.

And for the third straight week, West Ranch also made the top 10, this week staying put at seventh. All four teams won this week.

Hart began the season at No. 1 and hasn’t budged from that spot after two impressive wins to open the season. Valencia moved up a spot from third place after beating previous No. 2 Palmdale on Friday and Canyon also moved up a spot after a shutout victory on Saturday.

West Ranch, despite beating small-school power Sierra Canyon on Friday, didn’t move up or down this week.

Here’s how this week’s entire Northern Division top 10 looks.

No. 1 Hart (2-0); Last Friday: Beat Chaminade 55-54; Last week’s ranking: No. 1

Friday’s thrilling overtime win over a state power not only showed why Hart belongs at the top of the division, but it enters the Indians into the conversation as one of the state’s best teams.

Chaminade came into the game ranked 12th in the state, according, while Hart didn’t crack the top 25. This week, the prep sports website has Hart at 22nd ahead of Chaminade at 23rd.

Hart’s offense made just enough plays in the game to outlast Chaminade, which heads back up to the Santa Clarita Valley to face Valencia this Thursday.

No. 2 Valencia (1-0); Last Friday: Beat Palmdale 29-20; LWR: No. 3

While Hart was all offense, Valencia demonstrated some defensive prowess in a season-opening win over a Palmdale team that was ranked a spot ahead of the Vikings last week.

Valencia compiled seven sacks, forced three turnovers and a Palmdale safety in the game to avenge a 35-21 loss to Palmdale in last year’s season opener at Valencia High.

Valencia’s Jay Jay Wilson picked off two passes in the game and caught one of two touchdown strikes thrown by Jake Wallace in the game.

A bigger test against a very powerful Chaminade offense awaits on Thursday at Valencia High.

No. 3 Canyon (2-0); Last Saturday: Beat Clovis West 48-0; LWR: No. 4

Canyon posted its first shutout win since Oct. 6, 2011, when it beat Dos Pueblos 42-0. And the Cowboys did it against a Clovis West team that went toe-to-toe with it last year in a 56-48 Canyon victory.

With two impressive wins so far — including week one against Westlake — Canyon is proving it can play well on both sides of the ball.

The Cowboys defense intercepted another four passes this week, which puts the team at nine total for the season in two games.

And the offense continues to click for Canyon as well, led by Cade Apsay’s five touchdown passes and touchdown run.

No. 4 West Torrance (1-0); Last Friday: Beat Culver City 36-15; LWR: No. 5

A season-opening victory over Culver City was enough to bump West High of Torrance up a spot as well.

The West Warriors trailed 15-7 early in the game before bouncing back to score 29 straight points and take control.

West running back Brett Ojiyi rushed for 200 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries to lead the offensive charge.

No. 5 Palmdale (1-1); Last Friday: Lost to Valencia 29-20; LWR: No. 2

It became a tough day for Palmdale after Valencia found an answer for star senior running back Demario Richard.

Richard was limited to 89 yards on 13 carries by the Valencia defense after the tailback had torched Valencia for 194 yards the year before.

Palmdale was unable to make up for it in the passing game — throwing two interception — and that let the Vikings come from behind to beat the defending Golden League champions.

No. 6 St. Joseph (2-0); Last Friday: Beat Calvary Chapel 42-7; LWR: No. 6

St. Joseph picked up its second straight impressive win on Friday, forcing five turnovers on the way to a blowout victory.

In two games this season, the St. Joseph Knights have outscored opponents a combined 89-14.

St. Joseph’s Vincent Martino had two interceptions and a forced fumble that he returned for a score against Calvary Chapel.

Also in the game, quarterback Curry Parham threw for two touchdowns for the Knights and also took a score in himself from 12 yards out.

No. 7 West Ranch (2-0); Last Friday: Beat Sierra Canyon 28-10; LWR: No. 7

Facing a team that won 11 games last season and won a CIF Division IV state bowl championship in 2011, the West Ranch Wildcats stood up to the test.

Though West Ranch didn’t move up in the polls, it showed why it continues to belong in the top 10.

The Wildcats pulled away in the second half after falling behind 10-7 in the second quarter.

Running back Christian Parrish piled up 259 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries to lead West Ranch.

No. 8 Palos Verdes (1-1); Last Friday: Beat Moorpark 15-9; LWR: No. 8

The defending Northern Division champions notched their first win of the season in a double-overtime victory over Moorpark, a former Northern Division power which now plays in the Pac-5 Division.

Palos Verdes’ Tyler Moore scored the game-winning touchdown in the second overtime period after Jordan Hazard had blocked a field-goal attempt during Moorpark’s overtime try.

Moore’s score was PV’s only touchdown of the game. The other nine points came from Austin Nakata’s three field goals in regulation.

The win come a week after Palos Verdes fell to Narbonne 27-23 to a last-second touchdown.

No. 9 Righetti (2-0); Last Friday: Beat Cabrillo 54-16; LWR: not ranked

The Righetti Warriors made their first appearance of the season on the division’s top 10 following a decisive victory.

In a game that was never in doubt, Righetti quarterback Conor Regan passed for 145 and two touchdowns in just eight passing attempts in the game.

The Warriors also ran for a total of 244 yards.

No. 10 Arroyo Grande (1-1); Last Friday: Beat Nipomo 44-6; LWR: No. 10

Answering back from a season-opening loss the week before, the Arroyo Grande Eagles stomped Nipomo and maintained their spot on the top 10.

Senior quarterback Mikey Gutierrez efficiently completed 10-of-11 pass attempts for 166 yards and two scoring strikes on the day.

Sean St. Denis caught seven of Gutierrez’s passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.

Some information for this story was gathered from, The Daily Breeze and The Santa Maria Times.


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