SBLive’s Southern Section Top 25 Football Rankings: Gardena Serra returns at No. 24

The fall 2021 Southern Section high school football season continued last week with several big games including No. 1 Mater Dei beating No. 13 Orange Lutheran 55-16 and No. 9 Los Alamitos beating No. 14 Edison 35-28.

After the eighth week of action across the Section, here are SBLive’s 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.


1. Mater Dei (5-0)

Last week: 1

Elijah Brown won his tenth straight start for the Monarchs leading Mater Dei to a 55-16 win over No. 13 Orange Lutheran a week after they beat No. 2 St. John Bosco 42-21.

2. St. John Bosco (6-1)

Last week: 2

Prior to losing to No. 1 Mater Dei two weeks ago, St. John Bosco had rolled through their non-league schedule which included three of the top teams in the country in Central (Fla.), East (Ill.) and Oscar Smith (Va.). The Braves beat No. 25 JSerra 44-7 last week.

3. Servite (7-0)

Last week: 3

On his 19th birthday, Friar senior running back Houston Thomas dominated in Servite’s 48-21 win over No. 8 Santa Margarita last week scoring three touchdowns.

4. Corona Centennial (7-0)

Last week: 4

Centennial beat up Santiago 69-14 to move to 7-0. Senior Jaden Mickey returned a punt for a touchdown in the win.

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5. Mission Viejo (6-1)

Last week: 5

Mission Viejo beat Helix 38-21 to stay in the top five.

6. Sierra Canyon (4-3)

Last week: 6

Sierra Canyon’s defense dominated Westlake in a 35-0 win last week. The Trailblazers’ best win this season came against No. 7 Norco, 35-21.

7. Norco (6-1)

Last week: 7

Norco beat Corona 55-13. Jaydn Ott rushed for two touchdowns.

8. Santa Margarita (5-2)

Last week: 8

Santa Margarita made it interesting at times with No. 3 Servite, but eventually fell 48-21.

9. Los Alamitos (6-1)

Last week: 9

Los Alamitos junior quarterback Malachi Nelson, an Oklahoma commit, completed 16 of 21 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Griffins to a 35-28 win over No. 14 Edison last week.

10. Inglewood (6-0)

Last week: 10

Inglewood shutout Hawthorne 59-0. The game was the Sentinel’s second shutout in a row.

11. Warren (Downey, Calif.) (6-0)

Last week: 11

Warren took down Lynwood 61-6 to stay undefeated on the season.

12.  Vista Murrieta (6-1)

Last week: 12

Vista Murrieta posted their second straight shutout 51-0 over Temecula Valley.

13. Orange Lutheran (5-2)

Last week: 13

The Lancers started the year 5-0 under new head coach Rod Sherman, but have since lost two games in a row to No. 3 Servite and No. 1 Mater Dei. They play No. 2 St. John Bosco this week. Welcome to life in the Trinity League…

14. Edison (4-3)

Last week: 14

Edison didn’t quit and fought back to get within a touchdown of No. 9 Los Alamitos in a 35-28 defeat on Thursday night.

15. St. Bonaventure (6-0)

Last week: 16

St. Bonaventure passed their test against previously unbeaten Bishop Diego two weeks ago. The Seraphs won 21-14.

16. Bishop Amat (5-2)

Last week: 17

The Lancers keep on moving up following convincing wins over Leuzinger, Damien, Notre Dame and Cathedral.

17. Alemany (3-3)

Last week: 18

Alemany has won two games in a row. They have a big one at home this week against No. 16 Bishop Amat.

18. Simi Valley (8-0)

Last week: 20

Even with backup QB Steele Pizzella playing, Simi Valley just keeps on winning. In their 42-6 rivalry win over Royal, Pizzella hit Cooper Wallace for three touchdowns.

19. Etiwanda (7-0)

Last week: 21

Etiwanda beat Los Osos 41-14 to stay undefeated.

20. Bishop Diego (5-1)

Last week: 22

Bishop Diego fell to No. 15 St. Bonaventure 21-14 two weeks ago.

21. Glendora (7-0)

Last week: 23

Glendora entered the rankings last week after beating previously undefeated Ayala 21-7. Braydon Brus rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

22. Corona del Mar (6-1)

Last week: 24

CDM had a tough time against No. 9 Los Alamitos falling 42-14 two weeks ago, but bounced back with a 35-8 win over Huntington Beach. The Sea Kings play at No. 14 Edison this week.

23. Cajon (7-0)

Last week: 25

Cajon beat Yucaipa 42-6 to stay undefeated.

24. Gardena Serra (3-3)

Last week: NR

Serra used a dynamic rushing attack to overcome an injury from QB Maalik Murphy (who still played) to beat Chaminade 22-16.

25. JSerra (3-4)

Last week: 19

JSerra lost to No. 8 Santa Margarita 38-13 two weeks ago and to No. 2 St. John Bosco 44-7 last week. The Lions 48-28 September win over Rancho Cucamonga keeps them in this week’s rankings.

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