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October 15, 2013There were big league games last week and more slated for this weekend as teams position themselves in the bowl chase. Who has the inside track in the Open Division and Division I? Which schools made the biggest impression in Division II?
NCP Bowl Rankings
More than halfway through the regular season, the bowl picture is starting to provide more concrete favorites as we get into important league games. Of course, De La Salle remains the class of NorCal and the North Coast Section Division I. The top contenders are No. 9 Deer Valley and Top 20 ranked Pittsburg and California. Also look for Logan, Foothill-Pleasanton and San Ramon Valley.
The Sac-Joaquin Section makes up half of the Division I rankings led by defending Division II champion Folsom. The Bulldogs are followed by Delta River League rival Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove, Del Oro and St. Mary's-Stockton. Watching how the brackets line up in Division I and II will be a key storyline in the final weeks of the regular season.
Serra and Bellarmine sit at No. 6 and No. 7 respectively after the Padres beat Bellarmine 17-7 two weeks ago. They are the top two teams in the section, but don't forget about Mitty. The Monarchs are No. 17 in the NCP Top 20 and play Bellarmine and Serra to end the year.
Marcus Gilbert rushed for 166 yards and a touchdown in Inderkum's 27-18 win at Yuba City a year after the Honkers ended its league winning streak. The Tigers, which can score in multiple ways, are the top ranked team in the SJS and No. 4 in the division. Their only losses are to Pleasant Grove and Rocklin.
Enterprise and Paradise matched up in a rematch of the Northern Section Division I title game, but it wasn't much of a contest. Enterprise was dominant in a 42-7 win led by 210 yards and two scores from Isaiah Matthews. Could Enterprise receive a rare regional/state bowl bid for the section?
For the second straight week, Montgomery posted an impressive North Bay League win in a 28-3 win over previously ranked Rancho Cotate. Henry Stelzner notched a season high 15 tackles in the win. It is plausible for the Vikings to win out and finish 9-1.
Eight of the ten teams won by double digits with Marin Catholic, Terra Nova and Ripon staying undefeated. The NCS has the top six teams with Cardinal Newman (twice) and Marin Catholic (twice) representing the North in Carson. The winner of NCS Division III is headed to the regional bowl and has the edge to return to the state bowls.
The Peninsula-Bay League is going to provide plenty of big games the rest of the way with Terra Nova, Menlo, Menlo-Atherton and Sacred Heart Prep combining for an 18-2 mark. The league winner is headed to the Open Division, but a second place finisher as a one or two loss section champion could be a possible regional bowl pick.
Biggs moves into the rankings after knocking Chester from the ranks of the undefeated teams with a 35-6 win. Nathan Callaway rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns in the win. The Wolverines have scored at least 34 points in each game.
Le Grand has three straight seasons with double digit wins and is primed to make it four. The Bulldogs sit at 6-0 as senior Ryan Martinez is averaging nearly 10 yards per carry with 13 touchdowns. Le Grand sits at No. 5 in Division IV.