November 21, 2011
Bee Section Top 25 football rankings: how they fared, where they are headed

A closer look at The Bee's Sac-Joaquin Section Top 25. Dig in, discuss, debate...

1. Lincoln 11-1
Trojans are top seeds in D-I playoffs, losing only to rival St. Mary's; wins include Pleasant Grove, Grant, Sheldon and Franklin. Great RB in Justin Davis, good line play, D.
Next: vs. Granite Bay
2. Pleasant Grove 11-1
Eagles lost only in double overtime to Lincoln early in the season; wins include Folsom, Sheldon, Oak Ridge, Pitman. Superb lines, steady QB leader, bevy of backs, D, experienced as defending D-I champions.
Next: vs. Bethel.
3. Del Oro 11-1
Lost only to state-ranked No. 1 Westlake in overtime in Week 1; wins include Nevada Union, Oak Ridge, Granite Bay, Placer. Excellent lines, 1-2 running attack, steady QB play, opportunistic D, experience as defending D-III champs.
Next: vs. Whitney
4. Elk Grove 12-0
Good argument to have Herd as No. 1, but higher teams haven't lost in a long time and have roared down the stretch. Wins include Nevada Union, Sheldon, Grant, Franklin and two playoff routs. Dominant line play, overall D, running game and one very united team.
Next: vs. Folsom

5. Vacaville 11-1
Bulldogs lost only to unbeaten Marin Catholic; wins include Granite Bay, St. Mary's. Excellent run team, tradition, D and confidence.
Next: at Buhach Colony
5. Granite Bay 10-2
Grizzlies lost to Vacaville and Del Oro in close games; wins include St. Mary's, Nevada Union, Oak Ridge. Excellent QB leader in Brandon Keeney, running game, O-line and rising D.
Next: at Lincoln
6. Folsom 10-2
Bulldogs lost early to Grant and recently to Pleasant Grove; wins include Oak Ridge, Sheldon, San Ramon Valley, Inderkum. Incredible offense headed by record-setting QB Tanner Trosin, strong line play and improving-fast D.
Next: at Elk Grove
6. Buhach Colony 12-0
Wins incoude Bethel, Pitman, Merced, Del Campo, Clovis East. Superb line play, running game, momentum.
Next: vs. Vacaville
7. Oakdale 12-0
Wins vs. Turlock, Manteca, Sonora, Vista del Lago. Great tradition of toughness, mostly unbeatable at home over the years, strong D.
Next: vs. Casa Roble
8. Bethel 11-1
Jaguars of Vallejo are soaring fast, winners of 11 in a row. Lost only to Buhach in opener; win vs. Grant solidified program by shutting out red-hot Pacers in second half. Fast, fearless, poised and wanting more.
Next: vs. Pleasant Grove
9. Casa Roble 10-2
Losses were shootouts to Woodcreek and Folsom; wins vs. Del Campo, Los Banos, Placer, Vista del Lago, Benicia. Excellent passing team with QB Mitch Samson, a D-stopper in Cameron Buell, strong line play.
Next: at Oakdale
10. Grant 8-4
Losses to state-ranked Long Beach Poly, Lincoln, Elk Grove, Bethel. Only Lincoln game was a rout (Grant was without 8 starters). Wins vs. Folsom, Franklin, Turlock, Burbank. Will return a wealth of talent next season, if not Shaq Thompson.
Next: season complete
11. Franklin 8-4
Wildcats lost to Grant, Elk Grove, Freedom, Lincoln. First playoff win in school history was against Nevada Union. Lot of returning talent; could be highly ranked to start next season.
Next: season complete
12. Nevada Union 7-4
Close losses to Del Oro, Granite Bay, and season ended against Franklin. Excellent program will return a lot of talent next season.
Next: season complete
13. St. Mary's 9-3
Rams lost to De La Salle, Granite Bay, Vacaville; only team to beat Lincoln. Rams will return a lot of talent for a program that has dominated Stockton.
Next: season complete
14. Escalon 12-0
Small-school Cougars are a machine, riding state-leading 25-game winning streak. Could get a shot to repeat as state champions.
Next: Central Catholic
15. Whitney 10-2
Wildcats were only winning playoff team on Friday NOT to celebrate. Loss of QB Jake Rodrigues is crippling, though Wildcats vow to march on. Losses to Woodcreek, state-ranked No. 1 Idaho team.
Next: at Del Oro
16. Liberty Ranch 9-3
From 1-9 last season to this amazing campaign now, the team motto of "Why Not Us?" really makes sense. John Wiernicki has been incredible at RB, including beating 11-0 Colfax with a last-minute score.
Next: at Hilmar
17. Oak Ridge 7-5
Trojans lost to some of the section's best in Pleasant Grove, Del Oro, Folsom, Sheldon. Beat Burbank in playoffs and lost tough D-I quarterfinal at Granite Bay. Plenty of talent returns for another title push.
Next: season complete
18. Burbank 9-2
Titans will be heavy favorites to win Metro League again next season under coach John Heffernan. Will again play Grant in early nonleague, too.
Next: season complete
19. Pitman 10-2
Pride of Turlock lost 45-0 to Pleasant Grove on Friday; other loss was by thee to Buhach Colony. Program has come on strong of late.
Next: season complete
20. Colfax 11-1
Falcons have wins against Bradshaw Christian, Placer, Bear River, but last-second loss to Liberty Ranch will sting for years after leading 26-6. Great program under coach Tony Martello will bounce back.
Next: season complete
21. Placer 9-3
Hillmen suffered tough losses to Casa Roble, Colfax and finally to Del Oro in the playoffs after leading 12-7 at the half. Lot of returning pieces, including NG Eddie Vanderdoes.
Next: season complete
22. Inderkum 10-2
Tigers lost opener to Salesian of Richmond and then to Folsom on Friday in D-II quarterfinal. Only four starters graduate so Inderkum will be back for more.
Next: season complete
23. Bradshaw Christian 10-1
Small-school Pride have won 10 straight since Week 1 loss to Colfax behind running game headed by L.J. Upshire. Bradshaw seeks another section title to school's expanding resume.
Next: vs. Foresthill
24. Foresthill 10-1
Small-school Wildfires - can't beat that mascot - have won 10 straight and seek program's first section title. Terrific community support.
Next: vs. Bradshaw Christian
25. Highlands 10-2
Scots were large-school powers in the 1980s but are more of a small-school force now under coach - and former Scots player - Matt Cokley. LB Ray Edwards a standout.
Next: vs. Le Grand



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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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