1. MONROVIA (9-0) — Nick Bueno. Nick Bueno. Nick Bueno. Nick Bueno. Nick Bueno. Just thought I’d get writing Bueno’s name out of the way. Some “Monrovia” folks are saying they themselves are tired of hearing/reading about Bueno. But if you read my story last week carefully, I wrote: “While it’s Bueno garnering most of the attention, there’s also no doubt Monrovia (9-0, 4-0) is pummeling opponents with a valiant team effort. For instance, Bueno’s 23-yard run with 9:13 left in the fourth quarter was set up by Monrovia junior Christian Blanco, who on third and 8 from the La Ca ada 33 ran for a 10-yard gain to give the Wildcats a first down. Bueno connected with Grant Haggard for a 40-yard touchdown score with 8:33 left in the second quarter. Bueno did it again with 10:58 left in the fourth quarter, this time with Jordan Trujillo, whose score also was from 40 yards. La Canada (4-4, 2-2) hurt itself with penalties and turnovers, and it didn’t help that quarterback Rocky Moore established little, if any, rhythm. He was intercepted by Monrovia’s Derrin Jenkins and Evan Sanchez. Moore also couldn’t withstand the constant pressure in the pocket – Monrovia’s Haggard, Ellis McCarthy, John Adams and Josh Lowden each recorded a sack; McCarthy, a sophomore, now has seven this season.” …. Anyway, the Wildcats are the No. 1 team after St. Francis lost last week.
2. ST. FRANCIS (7-2) — The Golden Knights drop to No. 5 in the Western Division rankings. They were ranked as high as No. 1 early in the season. St. Francis can’t afford another loss this week when they travel to play
Alemany Chaminade on Friday.
3. TEMPLE CITY (5-3-1) — Isn’t it odd that the Rams are not ranked in the Mid Valley Division? If you look closely, Temple City’s opponent, San Marino, is ranked at No. 9. Aside from the Turkey Tussle, here’s a huge showdown if you can’t make it to the Rose Bowl.
4. RIO HONODO PREP (9-0) — The Kares earned their second forfeit win of the season. To be fair, Rio Hondo Prep probably would have won anyway last week. Still, the Kares I’m sure would have wanted to play and keep their juices flowing.
5. LA CANADA (4-4) — Nice try last week, but no dice. The Spartans were overwhelmed in all facets of the game by Monrovia.
6. SAN MARINO (7-2) — Must-win game is Friday at home. What’s the game plan? How do you stop Temple City?
7. SAN GABRIEL (5-4) — I saw it coming. A loss to Schurr, again. The Spartans are used to playing in these pressure-moment situations. Simply put, San Gabriel is not.
8. PASADENA (5-4) — The Bulldogs not only climbed a few spots in our rankings, but they also made their debut in the Southeast Division poll. Pasadena sits at No. 9 after its stunning win over Burbank. Aaron Simpson has become one of my new favorite players.
9. ALHAMBRA (5-3) — Squeezed past Bell Gardens last week. A win’s a win, and they’ll need to find one Friday to make the playoffs. Alhambra should get the win, they play Keppel. And there’s no way the Gil Ruedaflores era should end without a playoff trip. Regardless, Ruedaflores should be carried off the field and on the shoulders of his players. Over two decades at one school. That’s impressive. Thanks for the memories, coach.
10. MARANATHA (7-2) — Quite a few things are on the line for the Minutemen. They have not won an Alpha League championship outright in a long long time. Not only that, but the Minutemen are hoping to keep their No. 2 ranking in the East Valley Division.