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Around the Divisions: Top-heavy in the north

Posted: October 28, 2013 9:28 p.m.
Updated: October 28, 2013 9:28 p.m.
Valencia wide receiver Jay Jay Wilson leaps over a Canyon defender during Friday’s game at Valencia High School. Valencia wide receiver Jay Jay Wilson leaps over a Canyon defender during Friday’s game at Valencia High School.
Valencia wide receiver Jay Jay Wilson leaps over a Canyon defender during Friday’s game at Valencia High School.

After featuring only minor changes a week ago, this week’s CIF-Southern Section Northern Division football poll had a few shake-ups.

Those looking for major changes at the top of the poll will again be disappointed, as Hart, Palos Verdes and Atascadero were once again recognized as the class of the region.

Predictably, Valencia’s defeat of Canyon last Friday played a prominent role in reshuffling the middle of the standings, and after seeing three teams tie for the ninth spot a week ago — changes at the back end were in order as well.

Let’s reflect on last Friday’s sequence of events.

No. 1 Hart (8-0); Last Week: Beat Saugus 38-3; Last Week’s Ranking: No. 1

The Indians retain their ranking after beating Foothill League opponent Saugus in convincing fashion. Quarterback Brady White threw for 377 yards, finding receiver Davis Koppenhaver eight times for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Hart has cruised through the first half of the Foothill League season thus far, outscoring opponents by a combined 137-40 margin. Things get tougher from here, though — the Indians take on No. 4 Valencia this week in a game with big implications.

No. 2 Palos Verdes (6-2); Last Week: Beat West Torrance 34-7; LWR No. 2

After dispatching No. 8 Mira Costa in shutout fashion two weeks ago, Palos Verdes further demonstrated its superiority over Bay league opponents with a 34-7 showing against then No. 9 West Torrance this past Friday. Next up for the Sea Kings is Redondo Union, which sits at 6-2 on the season as well.

No. 3 Atascadero (6-2); Last Week: Beat St. Joseph 35-10; LWR No. 3

The Greyhounds easily dispatched a fairly strong St. Joseph opponent 35-10 last week. Atascadero senior running back Izaiah Cooks led his team in both rushing and receiving, tallying 160 total yards and three touchdowns as the Greyhounds maintained their seat atop the Pac-7 standings.

No 4. Valencia (6-2); Last Week: Beat Canyon 35-28; LWR No. 4

The Vikings needed a 22-point comeback against rival Canyon on Friday to maintain their No. 4 ranking in the polls and keep their hopes of a league title alive. Vikings receiver Nick Jones did all he could in the win, recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown before hauling in a 98-yard scoring pass from quarterback Jake Wallace to give Valencia the edge late in the game. A win against Hart this Friday could all-but seal a league title for the Vikings.

No. 5 Palmdale (6-2); Last Week: Beat Pete Knight 38-0; LWR: No. 6

Palmdale’s shutout of rival Pete Knight, as well as Canyon’s loss to Valencia, helped move the Eagles up one spot in the polls. Palmdale’s defense has surrendered just seven points in the past two weeks, and running back Demario Richard continues to attract national attention with 24 scholarship offers so far. The senior has rushed for 805 yards and 15 touchdowns on 7.2 yards per carry this season.

No. 6 Arroyo Grande (6-2); Last Week: Beat Righetti 31-6; LWR No. 7

Arroyo Grande moves up a spot in this week’s poll after a victory over Righetti. In the win, senior quarterback Mike Gutierrez threw for three touchdowns and the Eagles gained 228 yards on the ground. Next up is a showdown with Pac-7 rival, No. 9 Paso Robles.

No. 7 Canyon (6-2); Last Week: Lost to Valencia 35-28; LWR No. 5

The Cowboys’ second-half meltdown against the Vikings costs them control of their destiny in the Foothill League as well as two spots in this week’s poll. Despite the loss, the Cowboys can still win a share of the league title if the Indians win this Friday and the Cowboys beat them the week following. But before that, the Cowboys will look to rebound against West Ranch. Cowboys’ senior quarterback and Colorado commit Cade Apsay needs 11 touchdown passes to reach 30 for the second straight season.

No. 8 Mira Costa (5-3); Last Week: Beat Peninsula 42-6; LWR No. 9

The Mustangs move up a spot after defeating Bay League opponent Peninsula 42-6. On Friday Mira Costa faces a Leuzinger team that has scored just 30 points all season.

No. 9 Paso Robles (6-2); Last Week: Beat Pioneer Valley 31-28; LWR No. 9

Paso Robles stays put in the poll after squeaking by a weak Pioneer Valley team by just three points. After a midseason five-game winning streak, the Bearcats have been on a downward trend, losing to St. Joseph on Oct. 18 before struggling against inferior competition last week.

No. 10 Eastside (6-2); Last Week: Beat Antelope Valley 40-28; LWR No. 10

A 40-28 win over Golden League opponent Antelope Valley, along with a West Torrance loss propels Eastside into the final spot in this week’s poll. The Lions face a middle-of-the-road Highland squad next.

Some information for this story was gathered from


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