Above: St. Francis faces a tough task when Bishop Amat comes to town on Friday night.
There was some major movement in the Star-News Top 10 football poll polls this week. Back by popular demand, my explaining of the top 10 poll.
1. ST. FRANCIS (5-0) — (Previously No. 1) The Golden Knights face their biggest challenge of the season when they play host to Bishop Amat on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Lancers (4-1) are the No. 1 team in the Tribune rankings. They have recorded impressive wins including an upset over Orange Lutheran. St. Francis, who is holding strong at the No. 1 spot, is hoping to avenge a loss from two seasons ago at Bishop Amat when the Lancers got a favorable call on a 2-point conversion.
2. MUIR (4-1) — (Previously No. 2) The Mustangs are looking beatable but Coach Ken Howard said Muir needs to win big this week to erase doubts other teams may have about the Mustangs. Pacific League teams, for good reason, are probably thinking they can knock off Muir, which is why Howard said they need to start putting up points and make it known that the Mustangs are, and will remain, the best team in the Pacific League. Muir is holding strong at the No. 2 spot, but to me they definitely look beatable. Muir’s defense is great but at some point other teams will start capitalizing on the Mustangs’ offensive miscues.
3. ROSEMEAD (3-2) — (Previously No. 3) The Panthers proved they can hang with the big boys. I knew this game would be very close and I was almost going to pick Rosemead. South Hills said they didn’t come prepared to play. Maybe they thought they could walk away with a win, but Rosmead coach Matt Koffler & Co. had other plans. Come playoffs the Panthers will be making some serious noise.
4. SAN MARINO (5-0) — (Previously No. 4) The Titans passing game suffered a bit against San Gabriel last week but did just enough to get by and prove San Marino is back in full force. Scott Dooley proved to be too much for the Matadors to handle in a 29-17 win over San Gabriel.
5. ARCADIA (3-2) — (Previously No. 6) The Apaches jumped up one spot. They are on a two-game winning streak and talk about proof that Todd Golper is the heart and soul of the Apaches team. Golper finally returned against Glendale last week and scored three touchdowns. I know he’s in major pain because of the injury but once he got the doctor’s clearance there was no way getting him off the field. With Golper back, and Garrett Tuck throwing the ball well and Dimalante finding a surprisingly good tailback in sophomore David Maldonado, the Apaches could be making a run for a second-place finish in the Pacific League. Why people continue to bash Golper is beyond me. The kid is the real deal. I’ve seen him play and after watching him I was convinced. I’m glad he’s going to UCLA next year because boy do we need his hard nose defense. In my opinion there are two teams that can knock off Muir: Crescenta Valley and Arcadia.
6. MONROVIA (3-2) — (Previously No. 7) The Wildcats jumped up one spot. Monrovia finally got its offense together, consistently improving week after week, and that falls on the coach. Ryan Maddox is getting the most out of his players week after week and the results have shown. I’ve never met Steve Garrison and from what I hear he was a great coach. I’m not going to say Maddox will replace Garrison, but in Maddox the Wildcats football program has an inspiring coach who will start his own legacy at M-town.
7. MARANATHA (5-0) — (Previously No. 8) The Minutemen jumped up one spot after their 14-7 win over Rio Hondo Prep. Maranatha has a favorable schedule from here on out with the exception of Brentwood whom the Minutemen don’t face until Nov. 14 to end the regular season. One loss and Maranatha could drop out of the polls, but as of now they are holding strong at No. 7.
8. SAN GABRIEL (3-3) — (Previously No. 5) The Matadors dropped three spots. The major movement I was talking about started with San Gabriel’s loss, which sort of caused a domino effect (Maranatha, Monrovia and Arcadia each moving up a spot). The Matadors had too many turnovers that not only helped San Marino establish a rhythm but it also energized the home crowd. If I’m correct, fumbles and other mistakes were the same committed against South Pasadena. The Matadors prevailed but I remember writing that if San Gabriel commits those mistakes against a better team (like San Marino), the better team would capitalize and prevail. The Matadors dug a hole too deep and just couldn’t get out.
9. ALHAMBRA (3-2) — (Previously No. 9) This reminds me, I have to put in a call to Gil Ruedaflores. Players were ejected in the Moors’ 35-7 loss to South El Monte last week. But the biggest question is, what happened to the offense? What happened to Cazarin’s 300+ yards passing? Cazarin completed 9 of 19 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown but was intercepted twice. The offense practically dissipated which resulted in another puzzling Alhambra loss. There were way too many penalties and that made for a sloppy game. But more puzzling was Alhambra giving up 21 points in the third quarter.
10. TEMPLE CITY (2-3) — (Previously No. 10) The Rams enjoyed a much-needed win, and it came (again) at the expense of La Salle. So here’s my question: Does Temple City now have two outstanding backs in Joey Stewart and Max Ruckle. From what I remember, Ruckle was more a receiver in the first few games and then brokeout for a huge gain two weeks ago. Things definitely won’t get easy as Temple City opens Rio Hondo League play on Friday in a showdown against Monrovia.