No matter whom you’re facing, it’s an accomplishment to go five, six, or seven games into a season without dropping one of them. Even the best high school football teams in the country have off nights, and the preseason is the perfect time to work out the kinks.
Most Southern California football teams are already a week or two into league, making it even more of an accomplishment to be undefeated this far into the 2019 season. Here’s a look at the Top 25 unbeaten football teams in Southern California (spanning the Southern, LA City and San Diego Sections).
Seven teams that almost made the list: El Monte, Segerstrom, Inglewood, Jurupa Hills, Oak Park, Rio Hondo, Alhambra.
TOP 25 UNDEFEATED TEAMS
Defense has been the key for Scripps Ranch’s excellent start to the season. Their list of victories includes Serra (San Diego) and La Jolla, and they’re only giving up six points per game.
Not all of San Fernando’s wins have been by wide margins, but six times out of six they’ve gotten it done. They’re already 2-0 in league, and have downed Reseda, Dorsey, and Canoga Park. Were Narbonne not around, they’d be in the discussion for best team in the LA City Section.
The Sultans have blown out every opponent this season, with their closest victory coming by 17 points. In total, they’ve scored 301 points and given up only 53. With only West Hills and El Cajon Valley remaining on the schedule, the odds are strong that the trend continues for the whole regular season.
Like the Sultans, the Centurions are blowing out just about everyone in their way. Their schedule includes impressive victories over Capistrano Valley, Sonora, Kennedy, and Peninsula.
The Knights are averaging 55 points per game this season. Take out an 18-7 victory to start the season against La Jolla, and they’re averaging 62.4.
Star QB Tyler Buchner — a Notre Dame commit — has over 2,000 passing yards and 24 passing touchdowns already. Not bad, right? Well that’s in addition to 682 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns.
The Sun Devils are led by two star seniors and D-1 prospects, TE Ryan Webster and WR/SS Jeremy Justice II. So far, Apple Valley has shredded every foe they’ve faced this season. For every point they give up, they score nine. If not for a weak strength of schedule so far, they could be significantly higher up on this list.
They very well might be next week if they can knock off another unbeaten team who happens to be a very familiar foe …
Serrano is that aforementioned familiar foe. This week, they will be duking it out with Apple Valley for what will almost certainly equate to the league championship game. Victories over the likes of Carter and Highland give them a slight edge on this list, but these two rivals are both well-coached and evenly matched.
One of them will still be unbeaten next week, and the other will not, with their Mojave River League title hopes essentially dashed.
West Ranch really gave it to Golden Valley last week in a 52-13 victory, and that’s the best resume bullet anyone has so far on this list. To win league and finish the regular season undefeated, they’ll have to go through Hart and Valencia (Valencia). That’s a tall order, but right now the Wildcats look more than capable of pulling it off.
To say the Blackhawks haven’t been tested yet would be an understatement. Through five games, they’ve outscored opponents by a crazy margin of 226-24.
They’ll only have one major chance to face a legitimate adversary this season, and it’s against Cajon. Citrus Valley will be a massive underdog, and their easy preseason relative to this league foe might come back to bite them. But the Blackhawks are capable of pulling it off, and if they do, the league title is essentially theirs.
Among Crescenta Valley’s list of solid wins so far this season is a 21-7 victory over Redondo Union. For all intents and purposes, their season boils down to a showdown with league favorites Muir on October 25th. An upset is far from impossible, and if they win that game, there’s almost no way they lose any other during the regular season.
Pacifica is in the same boat as Citrus Valley. They’ve blown out everyone in sight all year, but haven’t faced a worthy challenger yet compared to the Tritons’ level of talent.
We will know precisely how legitimate they are after this week’s battle against Oxnard, which will almost certainly determine the league champions. Also similarly to Citrus Valley, one might worry about their lack of difficult foes so far this season going into a match against a heavyweight. That said, they’re more than capable of pulling off the upset.
The last four spots on these rankings are especially a tossup, but victories over Aquinas and Los Osos give Kaiser the edge. If the Cats maintain the level of they play they’ve sustained all year, they will cruise to a Sunkist League title and an undefeated season.
The Lancers may prove to be better than couple of the teams ahead of them by the time the playoffs roll around, but for 13this quite solid for a team that hasn’t faced anyone on their level.
To be fair, La Serna has mostly dominated all of their opponents with room to spare without taking a week off. Easy wins should be in store for the rest of the season through league play. But for a team with aspirations to win Division 6, it’s risky to pull up to a field with several legitimate championship contenders without a single win against a relatively worthy adversary.
While a lot of their wins haven’t been particularly convincing, the Bulldogs are 6-0 with some decent competition under their belts. Most notably, they started the season off with wins against Chino Hills and Diamond Ranch. On Friday, they’ll be effectively playing for a league title against Glendora, another strong team on this list that remains unbeaten.
Foothill hasn’t been blowing opponents out this season, but their strength of schedule is easily the strongest so far of everyone in these rankings. Among their list of victories are Tustin, Yorba Linda, and most recently, Villa Park. The Knights are on pace to win Division 9, possibly without any close calls.
Glendora and Ayala are head and shoulders ahead of the pack in the Palomares League. Both are unbeaten, and they’re clashing this week in what could be the game of the year for the middle divisions.
As of last week’s shocking upset of Murrieta Valley, it’s official: the Pumas are having a dream season. That victory is by far the most impressive of anyone on this list so far. Chaparral, a team that hasn’t gone .500 in league in quite a few years, has a chance to seal an almost guaranteed Southwestern League title this week against Vista Murrieta.
The Scorpions have only faced one team on their level so far this season, Oxnard, but they pulled out the 26-25 victory. Everything else has been a blowout against inferior competition. The next three weeks are highly likely to be smooth sailing, but the team that sets up a league championship against on the last week of the season is Grace Brethren.
At the top of Steele Canyon’s list of impressive wins this season is one in late August against a strong Madison squad. The next two weeks should be easy victories. Then comes a worthy adversary in Grossmont, and looming after that is a terrifying Helix team.
The Centaurs have the best resume of wins on this list yet. Like Steele Canyon, they beat Madison, and they’ve also beaten Palos Verdes. QB Zevi Eckhaus has been unstoppable and then some. This week’s matchup against reigning 2-A state champion Lawndale could be among the best SoCal games of the year, and whoever wins will almost certainly win league. If Culver City pulls it off, which they have a very good chance of doing, that would be huge news.
Now we are getting to the real heavyweights, teams who could knock off just about anyone in the country on the right night.
Strangely, the biggest threat to disrupting Grace Brethren’s bid to run the table is a non-league game against Sierra Canyon with one week left in the season. Win or lose, that game will prepare the Lancers for what will likely be a league championship game the following week against Camarillo. Grace Brethren will be moderate favorites against Sierra Canyon and heavy favorites against Camarillo, but can’t sleep on either of them.
While Corona del Mar generally hasn’t played worthy competition this year, a 42-21 beatdown of San Clemente two weeks ago proved that they’ll have no problem getting up for big games. Edison has a trace chance of shocking them this week, but CdM is a strong threat to win out not only this regular season but through the Division 3 playoffs as well. Grace Brethren, who defeated them in the Division 4 championship last year, would be the biggest threat to disrupt the dream season.
Three and four are a complete tossup here, but Mission Viejo’s resume includes dominant wins against Upland and La Habra. League rivals Tesoro and San Clemente are both solid threats to knock off Mission Viejo, but the way they’ve played this season, the Diablos should be strong favorites to go unbeaten through league.
What a surprise, it’s the two best teams in the country. To give them anything other than a joint slide here wouldn’t feel right. But to be clear, Mater Dei has the edge so far this season.
St. John Bosco was finally tested last week against one heck of a Servite team. They still looked like a national title contender, but were clearly vulnerable in their one-point victory. Meanwhile, Mater Dei has not been tested yet this season, despite having faced the likes of Baltimore’s Saint Frances, who at the time was the consensus number-two team in the country.
If Bosco struggled with Servite (regardless of at least one touchdown that was erroneously waived off by the referees), they’re also at risk of being pushed by JSerra, and needless to say, Mater Dei. That said, a win is a win, and Servite is on a shortlist of the best teams in the country themselves.
One of these teams is probably going to finish the regular season undefeated. One of them certainly won’t. We will know for sure on October 25.