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SBLive's North Coast Section Fab 15 Football rankings (8/27): Acalanes, California enter fray

Dons upset San Marin, Grizzlies impressive over James Logan; Top-ranked De La Salle awaits Serra in ESPN showcase.

Week one of the North Coast Section season revealed many things. Among them

  • Antioch running back Charles Brown, a Pittsburg transfer, is an immediately Player of the Year candidate. 
  • Throw Liberty-Brentwood senior quarterback Nate Bell immediately into the POY mix also. 
  • Marin Catholic-Kentfield will be good no matter how long it takes to get transfer quarterback Joey Cook eligible. 
  • Acalanes-Lafayette legendary coach Floyd Burnsed still knows how to develop quarterbacks — in this case two.  
  • San Ramon Valley-Danville, Foothill-Pleasanton and California-San Ramon, East Bay Athletic League teams all, simply reload every season even after graduation hits their programs hard. 
  • North Bay players Santino Acevedo (Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa) and Sailasa Vadrawale (Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park) look primed to join the POY race as well.

  • Here's one more early POY nominee and he's only a sophomore: Chris Lawson, a receiver and defensive back from No. 9 Foothill-Pleasanton.  


1. De La Salle-Concord (1-0 record)
Last week: No. 1
Last game: Beat Monterey Trail-Elk Grove 36-20
Next game: Friday vs. Serra-San Mateo (8 p.m. on ESPN)
The Spartans started fast, struggled in the third quarter and led just 22-20 early in the fourth before RB Charles Greer (18 rushes, 134 yards) kicked it into gear with two rushing touchdowns. (See preseason interview with Green above). Will need a lot more offense to beat a stingy Serra defense.

2. Pittsburg (1-0)
Last week: No. 2
Last game: Beat Bethel-Vallejo 59-0
Next game: Saturday vs. Liberty-Henderson (Nev.) at Cathedral Catholic-San Diego (Honor Bowl).
Everyone got a lot of playing time as the Pirates led 38-0 at halftime and cruised. Miami-bound QB Jaden Rashada threw just 14 passes, completed nine for 123 yards and two scores. Four different receivers caught TD passes and super sophomore Elijah Bow rushed for two scores. 

3. Marin Catholic (1-0)
Last week: No. 4
Last game: Beat Freedom-Oakley 55-29
Next game: Saturday at Spanish Springs (Sparks, Nev). 
With transfer quarterback Cook not yet cleared to play by NCS, Sam Testa stepped in and threw four touchdowns passes, including two to JR Bosch. Testa added a 2-yard TD run. 

Marin Catholic's offensive line, which paved the way to a state title in 2021, is still a strength. Photo: Greg Jungferman

Marin Catholic's offensive line, which paved the way to a state title in 2021, is still a strength. Photo: Greg Jungferman

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4. El Cerrito (1-0)
Last week: No. 5
Last game: Beat Amador Valley-Pleasanton 7-3
Next game: Friday vs. Freedom
Michael Vanhook's 1-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown with about two minutes left was the game-winner for the Gauchos, Markeith Harper had a key sack down the stretch. The game was scoreless for three quarters. 

5. Clayton Valley Charter-Concord (0-1)
Last week: No. 3
Last game: Lost to Salinas 21-14
Next game: Friday vs. Del Oro
Despite 380 total yards and two red zone fourth-quarter drives that produced no points, the Eagles dropped a tough home opener. Hayezon Jackson caught a TD pass and Nick Khashabi rushed for a score for CVC. Team waiting for eligibility of Bishop Gorman transfer Will Stallings Jr., a three-star RB and Tennessee commit.

6. Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park (1-0)
Last week: No. 6
Last game: Beat Las Lomas-Walnut Creek 42-16
Next game: Friday vs. Redwood-Larkspur
Liam Keaney completed 22 of 28 for for 326 yards and four touchdowns, two that went to Cal commit Sailasa Vadrawale (8 catches, 95 yards) in the decisive win. Keaney spread the ball around beautifully, completing passes to eight different receivers. RC piled up more than 400 yards. 

7. San Ramon Valley-Danville (1-0)
Last week: No. 9
Last game: Beat Vintage-Napa 41-7
Next game: Sept. 9 vs. Elk Grove
Nick Rivera got the season going by returning the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and the Wolves dominated Vintage on the road from there. QB Luke Baker completed 16 of 18 for 263 yards and two scores. The Wolves already have a week off.

8. Antioch (1-0)
Last week:
No. 11
Last game: Beat Monte Vista-Danville 57-28
Next game: Friday vs. Vintage
The impact of Brown was immediately felt in waves as the shifty and powerful running back exploded for 289 yards rushing and three touchdowns. It was a highly successful head coaching debut for Brett Dudley. Elijah Stingley also looked good with 107 yards rushing and a score.

9. Foothill-Pleasanton (1-0)
Last week: No. 12
Last game: Beat Castro Valley 49-3
Next game: Friday vs. College Park
Junior QB Erik Olsen threw three touchdown passes and four-star sophomore Chris Lawson added three touchdowns as the Falcons breezed in their opener. Lawson caught two TD passes and returned an interception for a touchdown. 

10. Campolindo-Moraga (1-0)
Last week: No. 8
Last game: Beat Moreau Catholic 28-17
Next game: Friday at Aptos
Quarterback Dash Weaver threw touchdown passes to Charlie Murrin and Robbie Mascheroni, and Robbie Horst rushed for two scores in the wire-to-wire victory. 

11. Liberty-Brentwood (1-0)
Last week: No. 14
Last game: Beat Enochs-Modesto 56-0
Next game: Friday at Los Gatos
As good as senior quarterback Bell was — 10 of 13 for 250 yards and three touchdowns along with seven carries for 113 yards and another score — the story was Liberty's defense which allowed 36 yards, including minus-1 through the air. Deuce Carr had three catches for 112 yards and two TDs. 

12. Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa (1-0)
Last week: No. 13
Last game: Beat San Leandro 34-7
Next game: Friday at Vacaville
Acevedo needed just six carries to go for 120 yards and two touchdowns and he contributed six tackles on defense in the season-opening win. The defense gave up just 129 yards and got nine tackles each from Kaize Stevenson and sophomore Jesse Myers. 

13. Acalanes-Lafayette (1-0)
Last week: NR
Last game: Beat San Marin-Novato 21-14
Next game: Friday at Bishop O'Dowd-Oakland
Burnsed, approaching 75, is a quarterback master. He's coached many of the Bay Area's best including Ken Dorsey, Drew Bennett and Marc Guillon while at Miramonte-Orinda. At Acalanes, guys like Robby Rowell, Brady Huchingson and Luke Souza have been near the top of passing leader boards. Now Burnsed has two signal-Callers in Sully Bailey and Jake Boselli, who combined to throw three touchdowns in Friday's upset win. 

14. San Marin-Novato (0-1)
Last week: No. 7
Last game: Lost to Acalanes-Lafayette 21-14
Next game: Friday at Analy-Sebastopol
The defending state 5-AA champions fell behind 14-0 but caught up behind a touchdown pass from Dominic Ingrassia (21 of 29, 215 yards) to Matt Gooden and a TD run from Charlie Singleton. A late drive and and incompletion ended the game.

San Marin had to fought back from a late loss in season to win a state 5-AA title. Photo: Greg Jungferman. 

San Marin had to fought back from a late loss in season to win a state 5-AA title. Photo: Greg Jungferman. 

15. California-San Ramon (1-0)
Last week: NR
Last game; Beat James Logan-Union City 31-7
Next game: Friday at Milpitas
Danny Calcagno is one heck of a coach. Always has been, ever since his younger days at San Leandro, when he led the Pirates to three straight NCS top division title games. He went on to the JC level and returned to coach his son, who has since graduated. Graduation rocked the program hard after an 8-4 campaign in 2021 but this was a great start with first-year starting QB Jayden Macedo. Devan Love returned a kickoff for a TD and the defense was stout. 

On the bubble: Benicia (1-0), De Anza-El Sobrante (1-0), Del Norte-Crescent City (1-0), Heritage-Brentwood (1-0).