There’s more to our high school football rankings than won-loss records, which explains why teams can have multiple defeats and still be top ranked.
This rings true in these rankings, where The Bee traditionally does not drop teams who lose to state-ranked competition from out of the section. As for fierce in-section competition, this logic generally makes sense, too. Grant was Bee-ranked No. 2 earlier this season when the Pacers lost at then-No. 3 Oak Ridge 21-18. We flip-flopped the teams in the next rankings and ever since.
That’s why the Folsom Bulldogs remain top dog here. They are unbeaten in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section play with losses of 28-21 to Northern California No. 1 Serra of San Mateo and 14-7 last Friday against NorCal No. 2 De La Salle of Concord.
Still, why not inch 5-0 Oak Ridge up to the top spot regardless, to rattle cages and just because? See above. And this: Oak Ridge has not defeated Folsom since 2006. That’s a 19-game winning streak for the Bulldogs over the Trojans, including twice in the playoffs, the last double effort coming last season. Folsom beat Oak Ridge in the section Division I finals, 23-13.
Folsom hosts Oak Ridge this Friday in a Sierra Foothill League opener. The Bulldogs seek their seventh league crown since moving into the SFL before the 2014 season. Rocklin won the crown in 2021. The entire SFL is ranked with Folsom at No. 1, Oak Ridge at No. 2, Del Oro at No. 5, Granite Bay at No. 6 and Whitney at No. 17.
Here’s a closer look at The Bee’s latest Top 25.
1. Folsom (3-2)
The Bulldogs are especially strong in the trenches, including junior Theo Greule, who has had a tremendous season. QB Ryder Lyons is a skilled passer who is a load when he runs. Prairie City Stadium will be packed for Friday’s SFL showdown. Next: vs. Oak Ridge.
2. Oak Ridge (5-0)
The Trojans are coming off a bye week and they’ll head down Highway 50 with full intent of halting that 19-game losing streak to Folsom. Two-way star Gavin Malloy is ready for a return to action after injury, providing a boost to a physical outfit. Next: at Folsom.
3. Grant (5-1)
The Pacers opened Metro League play with a 48-0 homecoming victory over McClatchy, a game that was halted midway through the second quarter when a McClatchy player was hurt. He was resting at home over the weekend. Luke Alexander and Leon Martin combined for five touchdowns. The CIF hearing regarding RB Devin Green’s eligibility after his transfer from Sheldon is Friday. Next: vs. River City, Oct. 6.
4. Rocklin (5-0)
Rocklin was the only SFL team that didn’t have a bye as the Thunder headed south to hand Tracy its first loss, 28-21, as Reeve Slone hit Gavin Correia with two highlight touchdown strikes. Derek Keeley, Alex Durham and Mavrik Collins combined for 26 tackles, and Mikey Cunningham had an interception as he continues his solid season. Now it’s Quarry Bowl time. Next: vs. Whitney.
5. Del Oro (5-0)
The Golden Eagles have big wins over D-I section contender Inderkum (50-34) and D-V favorite Casa Roble (31-13). Robert Garcia is among the versatile Del Oro cogs, having scored six total touchdowns rushing and receiving. Next: at Granite Bay.
6. Granite Bay (3-2)
The Grizzlies are 3-0 against in-section teams with wins over ranked Elk Grove (27-13) and Vacaville (34-13) and losses to Manteca and Pittsburg. GB aims to run, averaging just over 180 yards rushing, though the receivers are threats in Joseph Cattolico and Carson Perry-Smith. Next: vs. Del Oro.
7. Inderkum (5-1)
The Tigers are now the clear favorites to win the Capital Valley Conference after beating Woodcreek 20-15 as QB Ricky Cole accounted for all three touchdowns and Baron Taylor made 13 solo tackles. Lono Chouteau saved the night with a late pass breakup. The loss was to Del Oro. Next: vs. Bella Vista.
8. Casa Roble (4-1)
The Rams now set their sights on repeating as Golden Empire League champions. Joe Dexter has been a force on defense with seven sacks, and Cole Owens continues to do Cole Owens things as a WR and DB. Casa Roble had nine sacks in a 35-0 win over Ponderosa. The loss was 31-13 to Del Oro after the Rams led 7-3 at the half. Next: vs. Mesa Verde.
9. Jesuit (4-1)
In beating Pleasant Grove 41-10, CJ Lee passed for one touchdown and ran for three more, Cooper Babb had two sacks, Alan Cordano had a 72-yard pick-six and George Hemmen made plays on the offensive line, defensive line, as a punter and kicker. He wants to sing the national anthem before the next home game, no doubt. The team’s only loss was 28-27 to St. Ignatius of San Francisco. Next: at Clayton Valley Charter.
10. Vista del Lago (5-1)
The Eagles kicked off their Capital Athletic League title chase with a 63-0 win over Capital Christian as John Koett fired five touchdown passes, including two each to Matt Long and Will Anderson, on 18-of-22 passing for 245 yards. Nicholas Navarre had 10 tackles. Nick Braver and Long each had interceptions. The team’s only loss was to Manteca. Next: vs. El Camino.
11. Monterey Trail (2-3)
In blasting Kennedy 70-0, Joe Barrientos hit Arik Phillips for two TD passes, D’Adrian Sanders ran for two scores, Damian McAlister had a 53-yard pick-6 and Donte Jacobs had eight tackles. The losses: Folsom (35-0) and Bay Area powers Saint Francis-Mountain View (28-21) and Pittsburg (10-7). Next: at Burbank.
12. Woodcreek (4-1)
The place was packed, and the effort was there, and lessons can be learned in the 20-15 loss to Inderkum to open CVC action. A league crown is still on the table, but someone has to beat Inderkum. Next: at River Valley
13. Vacaville (2-3)
The Bulldogs have losses to powerhouses Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa, Granite Bay and El Cerrito of the Bay Area, teams that are a combined 13-2. Vacaville seeks to win its seventh consecutive Monticello Empire League championship, last losing in the MEL in 2016. Next: vs. Rodriguez.
14. West Park (4-1)
The Panthers are still relatively new, right? Yes, and they’re a young team playing like vets, including handing Chico its first loss, 26-20. Jaden Jackson passed for 271 yards and three scores, hitting Ryan Sisson for two of them. LB Rigo Solano had nine tackles and five QB pressures, and DE Jonathan Martin had six tackles and the game-ending sack on fourth down late. The loss was to Casa Roble. Next: at Oakmont.
15. Laguna Creek (4-2)
The Cardinals bounced back from a double-overtime Metro League loss to Monterey Trail to roll River City 38-6 with Mitchell Labrado hitting Halim Tholley for a 71-yard touchdown as one of the region’s top playmakers. Tariq Booth had two rushing scores. The other loss was 35-20 in an opener against West Park. Next: at Kennedy
16. Elk Grove (2-3)
The Thundering Herd had a bye and bounds into Yolo County this week looking to go to 2-0 in the Delta League as defending champions. QB David Hale leads the triple-option attack. The losses: Granite Bay and Bay Area bruisers Menlo-Atherton and San Ramon Valley of Danville. Next: at Davis.
17. Whitney (2-3)
The Wildcats have one local loss, 25-0 to Woodcreek, and can make an SFL thunderbolt of a statement with a triumph over rival Rocklin in the Quarry Bowl. Rocklin won that matchup 13-10 last season. Next: at Rocklin.
18. Sutter (4-1)
The Huskies aim to win the Pioneer Valley League. They are 2-0 in PVL play after routing Colfax 30-0 as Killian Brucie ran for two scores and Jagger Beck hit Trenton Harter for a scoring pass. Mason Cartwright and Jeevan Chatha combined for 26 tackles. Max Bringgold and Rylan Giovannoni each had interceptions. The loss was to Chico, 26-24. Next: vs. Bear River.
19. Pleasant Grove (2-3)
The Eagles remain ranked despite a three-game skid after a stirring 36-35 win over ranked Christian Brothers. The losses are to West Park (35-24), Laguna Creek (27-24) and Jesuit (41-10). Next: vs. Franklin
20. Christian Brothers (4-2)
The Falcons, who aim to defend their Capital Athletic League championship, beat Sacramento 27-24 as Daniel Kamara rushed for 100 yards and a score. Jay Cummings went for 65 yards and a TD. CB had 11 tackles for loss and broke up three passes. The losses: Pleasant Grove and Jesuit. Next: at Capital Christian.
21. Roseville (5-1)
The Tigers fully expect to compete for the CVC crown after moving to 2-0 in league play with a 36-22 effort over Yuba City. Mason Susnara passed for three scores, hitting Joel Bradley, Jaden Broussard and Kenny McClure. Shawn Legue and Kaiden Pedone each had interceptions. The team’s only loss was 39-30 to Laguna Creek. Next: Oct. 6 at Bella Vista.
22. Twelve Bridges (6-0)
QB Whit Kruse was crowned homecoming king and had a TD pass in a 42-7 win over Bear River. Nathan Crawford was the king of the night otherwise, rushing 23 times for 218 yards and five scores. The D had four interceptions and seven tackles for loss. Next: at Center
23. Rio Americano (6-0)
The Raiders roll on, taking out El Camino 42-0 in CAL action as Keilen Gilbert had four TD passes, two to Antonio Saucedo. The defense under coordinator Jordan Botha had 11 tackles for loss, three by Raymar Griffith. Next: at Christian Brothers, Oct. 6.
24. Woodland Christian (5-0)
The small-school heavies opened the season with a 15-14 win over Bradshaw Christian and just beat cross-town rival Pioneer 24-15 as Noah Hinkle had 175 all-purpose yards and Isaiah Hunt 214, including 175 passing. Next: at Amador
25. Bradshaw Christian (3-2)
The Pride had a bye and open Sierra Valley Conference action as a threat, thanks to a running game that chews clock. The losses are 15-14 at Woodland Christian and 14-7 at Sutter. Next: vs. Union Mine.
Bubble: Center (5-1), East Nicolaus (2-2), Lindhurst (5-1), Placer (1-4), Union Mine (4-1), Wood (4-1).
The Bee’s Sac-Joaquin Section Top 15
1. Folsom (3-2)
2. St. Mary’s-Stockton (4-1)
3. Oak Ridge (5-0)
4. Grant (5-1)
5. Central Catholic-Modesto (3-2)
6. Rocklin (5-0)
7. Del Oro (5-0)
8. Manteca (3-2)
9. Granite Bay (3-2)
10. Inderkum (5-1)
11. Tracy (4-1)
12. Casa Roble (4-1)
13. Jesuit (4-1)
14. Vista del Lago (5-1)
15. Escalon (4-1)