SBLive’s Southern Section Top 25 Football Rankings: Orange Lutheran debuts after upset of Serra (Gardena)

The fall 2021 Southern Section football season kicked off last week with several upsets, including Orange Lutheran knocking off Serra (Gardena) 31-20. Serra came into the game ranked No. 18 in SBLive’s preseason CIFSS Top 25, while Orange Lutheran was unranked.

Orange Lutheran is one of three new teams to move into this week’s SBLive Top 25 Southern Section high school football rankings. The rankings are compiled by reporter Connor Morrissette and will be released every Monday throughout the fall 2021 season.


Aug. 23, 2021

1. St. John Bosco (1-0)

Last week: 1

The Braves beat Miami Central 35-12 on Friday night


2. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) (0-0)

Last week: 2

Mater Dei will be loaded once again this fall. The Monarchs have a California-best six players on SBLive’s Preseason All-State team. St. John Bosco got the edge over Mater Dei for our No. 1 spot due to having better depth, but both teams are stacked. The Monarchs top recruit is 2022 five star cornerback Domani Jackson, a USC commit. Mater Dei meets St. John Bosco in the regular season on October 1st. The two teams have met in the CIF Southern Section championship game every year the game has taken place since 2016.

3. Servite (1-0)

Last week: 5

The Friars have one of the best offenses in the country and that was on full display in their win against Edison on Friday. Senior Arizona commit Noah Fifita threw three TDs. He tossed two to Oregon commit Tetairoa McMillan and one to Arizona commit Keyan Burnett. Senior running back Houston Thomas also rushed for four TDs.

4. Sierra Canyon (1-0)

Last week: 4

The Trailblazers started a little slow, but rallied to beat JSerra 40-14. Terrell Cooks had nine carries for 103 yards and two TD’s.

5. Los Alamitos (1-0)

Last week: 5

The Griffins dominated Bakersfield winning 65-18.

6. Corona Centennial (0-0)

Last week: 6

Head coach Matt Logan is high on his team. The Huskies have a strong defense led by star cornerback Jaden Mickey, a Notre Dame commit.

7. Long Beach Poly (0-0)

Last week: 7

This year’s Long Beach Poly team should be head coach Stephen Barbee’s best so far. Senior Shea Kuykendall and sophomore Darius Curry, a transfer from St. Bernard, will both play at QB.

8. Santa Margarita (1-0)

Last week: 10

The Eagles beat San Juan Hills 38-14. Jaxon Potter threw three TDs in the win.

9. Mission Viejo (1-0)

Last week: 9

Apple Valley hung tough with Mission Viejo, but eventually the Diablos went on to win 44-21. Kadin Semonza connected with KJ Reed for a 49-yard passing touchdown in the game.

10. San Clemente (1-0)

Last week: 12

San Clemente beat Oceanside 38-0. Blake Allen rushed for three touchdowns in the game.

11. Alemany (0-1)

Last week: 8

Alemany traveled to Utah to take on Lone Peak and lost 31-24.

12. Norco (Calif.) (1-0)

Last week: 13

Norco beat Vista Murrieta 42-26.

13. Inglewood (1-0)

Last week: 15

Inglewood beat Loyola 29-26 to enter this week’s rankings. Louis Brown caught a TD in the win.

14. Chaminade (1-0)

Last week: 16

Chaminade dominated Oaks Christian 48-17 to move up two spots.

15. Apple Valley (0-1)

Last week: 15

Apple Valley went into the fourth quarter tied with No. 9 Mission Viejo, but the Sun Devils went on to lose 44-21.

16. Orange Lutheran (1-0)

Last week: NR

The Rod Sherman era got off to a hot start as the Lancers upset Gardena Serra 31-20 in Sherman’s first game of his second stint coaching the team.

17. Ayala (1-0)

Last week: 20

Ayala beat Chino Hills 21-20. CJ Sento scored on a 1-yard run and Chandler Carthan added the decisive extra point in the win.

18. Etiwanda (1-0)

Last week: 21

Etiwanda beat Aquinas 20-6. Jordan Williams scored two touchdowns.

19. Damien (0-0)

Last week: 23

On paper, Damien is the top team in the San Gabriel Valley to start the season.

20.  Vista Murrieta (0-1)

Last week: 19

After transferring to IMG Academy in Florida, UCLA tight end commit Jack Pedersen is back and he caught a TD in Vista Murrieta’s 42-26 loss to No. 12 Norco.

21. Serra Gardena (0-1)

Last week: 18

Serra Gardena was upset by No. 16 Orange Lutheran 31-20.

22. Bishop Amat (0-0)

Last week: 24

Head coach Steve Hagerty wants to “reestablish our culture” after a 1-4 spring season. Senior QB Tobin O’Dell will play a big role.

23. Warren (1-0)

Last week: NR

Warren QB Nico Iamaleava threw seven TDs in a 53-0 rout of Long Beach Wilson.

24. St. Francis (0-0)

Last week: 25

Max Garrison is one of the top two way players in the state at running back and corner.

25. Murrieta Valley (0-0)

Last week: NR

Murrieta Valley should have one of the top offenses in the Section thanks to Utah QB commit Brandon Rose.

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